Job applicants like how job fairs offer face to face opportunity

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The latest figures show 8.4 percent of Mississippians are out of work and looking for a job. For all the perks of technology, some South Mississippians say when it comes to job hunting, the best way is the old fashioned way. Winn Dixie held a job fair to hire between 20 and 40 employees for the stores in Biloxi and surrounding areas. Applicants said the best way to impress a potential new boss is face to face.

Every day Winn Dixie employees help grocery shoppers with their purchases. The company wants to grow that team, mostly for the Biloxi store.

"We have a list of cashier associates, deli, bakery, meat, seafood," said Keith Anderson, Store Director. "We have a wide variety of folks throughout the store we're looking to hire and with all the qualified people coming in, we'll be happy to share the wealth with the neighboring stores. We have six stores here on the coast within 20 to 25 minutes of each other."

Winn Dixie officials said although they take applications all the time, job fairs seem to give them a larger, better pool of applicants. By noon, store managers had interviewed 70 people and expected at least 300 in all. Many applicants said, lately, they've put in a lot of applications in many places, but with no success.

"It's very frustrating some people are hiring and some people are not," Bianca McMillon said. "You have to keep trying and trying and it gets very frustrating."

Applicants said they were grateful for a chance to show off their qualifications in person.

"I think it's easier to get a job when they have a job fair because you're speaking with a manager in person instead of putting in an application, twiddling your thumbs, hopefully they'll look it," said Alex Shinall.

"A lot of times at job fairs they actually get to meet you face to face instead of through a computer, so I think I have a better chance. Because they don't get to see what I present just by looking at a piece of paper compared to seeing me face to face," Bradley Houck said.

Winn Dixie say officials some of the people interviewed Wednesday received on the spot job offers. The company has also put on job fairs recently in Meridian and in Hattiesburg.

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