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Hospitality career fair draws recruits

Jamyra Perry
Hospitality career fair draws recruits
Job seekers and hospitality industry professionals gathered at the Hyatt Regency for the third annual Meet Boston Regional Career Fair. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MEET BOSTON

The rebound of the hospitality industry from the pandemic was in full evidence at a local career fair last week that drew nearly 100 recruiters and hundreds of potential employees to connect over jobs in the growing industry.

Gathering at the Hyatt Regency for Meet Boston’s third annual Regional Career Fair, professionals from the hotel, restaurant, convention and tourist sectors pitched opportunities that have soared with the return of visitors to New England.

Meet Boston Regional Career Fair. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MEET BOSTON

The goal of the career fair was to connect diverse candidates to jobs in the hospitality industry. Hilina D. Ajakaiye, executive vice president at Meet Boston, said there were a lot of jobs and a variety of candidates to fill them.

“The hospitality and tourism industry is the third largest sector in the city of Boston,” she said. “It’s incredibly diverse in a lot of different ways but also has an opportunity to continue to be diverse. We recruit talent at all levels, from entry-level to executive.”

In a city as diverse as Boston, it’s important that the workforce reflects that diversity, she said.

“We have a majority-minority city, so 57% of our city is diverse. About 23% are Black. We have the third-largest Asian community in the country. We speak over 79 different languages. And really, we’re an international hub. So from our educational institutions to our pharma, to our meetings and conventions, Boston is a huge diversity hub. So in order to make our workforce look like both our visitors and our residents, we want to make sure that people know what’s out there,” Ajakaiye said.

The third annual Meet Boston Regional Career Fair. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MEET BOSTON

Meet Boston, formerly known as the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the city’s primary private sector marketing and visitor services organization and has stepped up efforts to diversify the city’s visitor base, hospitality hiring and firms benefiting from tourism and conventions.

Conan Harris, founder of Conan Harris and Associates, helped Meet Boston put on last week’s event. He said they were very intentional about making their job fair unique and appealing to a diverse pool of candidates.

“The whole goal was to get people hired — that’s why we did a different kind of career fair. We had workshops. We had places where people could get headshots. We had panel discussions. We got creative. We wanted to make sure we offered the community a lot of valuable things,” Harris said.

careers, hospitality, job fair, Meet Boston