The annual Park City Chamber/Bureau Job Fair could be used as a local measuring stick for the economy, tracking the number of attendees against the number of participants. And Park City employers with a booth would have a good idea of how hot or not the job market looks.
Following the job fair on Tuesday, vendors gave one major piece of feedback: the number of attendees is down, but the quality is up.
"The feedback I have seen has been that there are fewer potential employees, but they are a higher quality," said Craig McCarthy, the Director of Member Services for the Park City Chamber/Bureau.
" And we're a resort economy," he added. "In a resort economy, we are dependent on finding outstanding individuals to deliver a high level of service to our visitors. That's key."
This year, the job fair hosted 39 vendors, or employers, a jump from last year which features only 19 total. The number of attendees dropped from an estimated 175 in 2011 to roughly 150 Tuesday.
"It's a little slower than what we've seen in the past," said Michelle MacDonald, the Director of Human Resources at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. "We do quite a bit of final hiring here and find a lot of good candidates to work at the hotel."
MacDonald said of the candidates she did encounter, several caught her interest. In the first hour of the event, she hired seven attendees on the spot following on-site interviews.
Chris Gillece, the Canyons Ticket Checking Supervisor, had a similar take on the event.
"It did seem busier last year, but people have been trickling in all day," Gillece said. "We're meeting a lot of interesting people and hiring for everything at the resort. It's definitely an event worth attending for us."
Last year, Gillece said he hired one of his best ticket checkers directly from the job fair.
Attendees ranged from local teenagers to those just coming into town. Cody Lundgreen, a long-time Kamas resident, said he was on the hunt for a hotel job. In his suit with resumes at the ready, he wandered from table to table to speak with employers.
"There are a ton of employers here," he said, "like a one-stop shop, which saves me a lot of time. The main reason I am here is because attending buys you an interview, the face-to-face. With online applications, employers weed you out too easily. This way, they can see your face and you can try to sell them on you instead of getting thrown out of the pile."
Fellow attendee, Chandler Memmott, 18, is looking strictly for a seasonal position.
"I need a job and this is a great way to come find out about a bunch of different companies and get to talk to them personally," she said. "I'm here to see what I can find."
Ted Dutkanych, a Park City local, said he came with the hopes of finding a managerial position.
"I'm looking to make a career change, and these employers Canyons Resort, the Stein Eriksen Lodge, the Montage they would all be good fits for me."
Perhaps one of the biggest changes from last year to this was the type of vendors at the fair, said Bill Malone, the Executive Director and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau, with a growing number of vendors from outside of the hospitality industry all together. From Del Taco to Intermountain Healthcare, the event is starting to cater to more than those looking to hire for the season.
"I think people see the value in terms of it being a part of their chamber membership," Malone said. "I was pleased to see variety of types of employers participating there was great variety. And that seems to be growing, the variety of businesses looking for help."
"The time of the year the event occurs, we coordinated that with the ski season," he added, "but it seems to have expanded from just seasonal hiring. If the demand is there, it could be something we want to look at doing twice a year."