Job drama

Thousands gather at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre for interviews with Sandals

What started out as an exciting opportunity for thousands of jobseekers this morning quickly turned into a day of confusion and frustration for some and disappointment for others.

From as early as 6 a.m., scores of people had gathered outside the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre for a chance at getting a job with Sandals. And although the event was originally set to start at 9 a.m., organizers started an hour early because of the large crowd that had gathered.

By around 10:30 a.m. it was estimated that approximately 4,000 people had made their way to the location and police had to be called in to help maintain order.

During the job fair, which will run until Friday, Sandals will be seeking to fill 600 vacancies.

General manager Josef Zellner told journalists he did not expect such a large crowd, adding that they would only interview approximately 1,000 residents to find suitable applicants to fill the vacancies in the rooms division.

General manager of Sandals Barbados Josef Zellner speaking to reporters.
General manager of Sandals Barbados Josef Zellner speaking to reporters.

During what was a long wait for some, tempers flared and about three fights broke out at different intervals. Some of the hopefuls had to be rushed inside due to fainting spells or asthma attacks. One woman was taken away by ambulance.

The job fair was eventually closed for the day around 12:30 p.m.

“We have to close our doors a little earlier and we do hope that, based on what we see today, it will be sufficient for our rooms divisions area. Tomorrow at 9 o’clock in the morning we will then continue with food and beverage,” Zellner explained.

“What we are going to do tomorrow is we are going to put . . . a little more organization to it when the people come for the interviews. We are going to make sure that when people come that there is not that crowd. Despite the few small incidents today I really must commend the applicants for how they have waited patiently to be interviewed.”

Despite the announcement that the job fair was closed for the day, a large crowd converged on the steps at the entrance of the building, seemingly hopeful of still getting inside.

When Barbados TODAY spoke with some of the disappointed residents, they described the process as “ridiculous” and not properly organized.

One woman said she did not think the situation would improve tomorrow.

She also expressed disgust at the behaviour of those who were waiting to get inside.

“They came for a job and they were behaving worse than school children. As for the organizers, I don’t know what they are going to do tomorrow but this was not organized properly . . . The police came late, which was another issue. They should have been here from the beginning,” she said.

Some people said they would return tomorrow to take a shot at getting a position in the food and beverage division of Sandals.

Hopeful jobseekers filling out applications for a job with Sandals Barbados.
Hopeful jobseekers filling out applications for a job with Sandals Barbados.

On Thursday, interviews will be conducted for the revenue division and on Friday it will be the turn for those interested in entertainment, maintenance, landscaping and watersports.

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5 Responses to Job drama

  1. Elke Hassell
    Elke Hassell October 7, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    that’s the most f….. up Organisation ever! and to think that Sandals will continue with this foolishness tomorrow again is just mindblowing. How could they NOT expect that thousands of people will turn up for this, especially since 3000 alone lost their jobs recently. Its humiliating to the people having to hustle for a job like that. Let them employ a few people to scan over CV’s send by email or otherwise, pick the once they think are suitable and then call them for an interview, its simple and efficient and without any degrading incidences.

  2. Kimberley Cadogan
    Kimberley Cadogan October 8, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Madness I never attend job fairs never appreciated the idea

  3. Robert Holloway
    Robert Holloway October 8, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Organization madness… what they did expect , who did they consult prior , did they even think of consulting the Barbados Hotel Organization or those who know how many were laid off prior Can only hope they have their act together for the next two days’

  4. jr smith October 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    You people stop criticizing, sandals could have taken they business anywhere else. Barbados should be covered in bajan businesses, instead most of everything is foreign own.
    Bajans were never interested in trade and commerce, all you all do is pray. the chickens are home to roost.
    Take a look back at the past two decades, see the failings of being so laid back and so educated, depending on who, or what always waiting to be told where and when to turn right or left.
    whets next.
    My personal feelings ,I wish sandals and many more corporates with they vast investments, would choose Barbados so our people could have jobs to look after they families, but we must also wake up to the fact, we need a cottage industry on Barbados.
    Hope a lot of people be employed by sandals.

  5. Brimstone October 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    It is amazing that an international company like Sandals did not initiate an online application process as many other companies would have done.
    This clearly shows incompetence or a total disrespect for the Barbadian mentality. This issue should never have evolved and since it did, it causes us to wonder if this will be the operating standard of the establishment.
    Everyone has the right to their opinion, and yes, Barbadians believe they have an entitlement to a salary with little performance in return, but we cannot allow people to treat us with disrespect.
    Foreigners have gained access to owning our local institutions because we allow them. The same senior staff that run down our local companies are retained by the foreigners, and within eighteen months there are profits rolling in.
    When you question hese same individuals, they tell you, “You cant sit and cool out now like before, you have to get up and do real work”, just imagine these hypocrites, selling out the very persons who were providing food for them and their families.
    Bajans want money, not work. WE NEED THE IMF………..


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