Thousands turn out at job fair as recruiters struggle to find people the old-fashioned way

Five-thousand job hunters tried their luck at a mass recruitment drive on Sunday, as Auckland Airport and the aviation industry scale up their operations now the border's reopened.

The job fair is the first of its kind, bringing employers and candidates face-to-face for a supercharged selection process.

And they came in their thousands, sporting CVs, some in three-piece suits, putting their best foot forward on the hunt for a job.

"I was surprised, this is massive!" said one attendee. 

"I'm looking for something about public relations or stakeholder management, communications, marketing so hopefully there's something there."

From entry-level to senior degree-qualification positions there's something for everyone, as recruiters say it's hard to find people the old-fashioned way.

"We've been trying to source people for quite a while for our Auckland Airport store, it's been difficult right now, there's just a lot of jobs right now and it's just hard for every sector," said one recruiter. 

There are hundreds of positions up for grabs. Auckland Airport has 70 critical roles it needs to be filled, and they are confident they'll find them through this unique process.

"What a great opportunity to bring employers and candidates together face-to-face to see if we can help make a match and turbo-charge recruitment," said Auckland Airport CEO Carrie Hurihanganui.

Forms were filled out on the spot and interviews were conducted in the most unconventional way.

With unemployment at just 3.2 percent, many applicants here already have a job but they're here to look at the opportunities that a post-COVID aviation industry has to offer.

"I was interested in joining Customs," one attendee told Newshub. 

Some employers even preferred this mass event to the old-fashioned way.

"What this does for us gives us an opportunity to get a mass level of interest at one time which we would struggle to get if we were doing online recruitment," said recruiter Craig Manester.

While it might look a little impersonal, the aim is the same, trying to match suitable candidates with the right roles.

From application to job in one day, the job is done.