by Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette — Not much has changed in the process for recruiting qualified candidates at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.
The various departments still put job-seekers through two interviews to determine eligibility. Those interested in jobs still decide which they care to apply to.
What has changed at one of the Western New York's largest employers is the speed at which the rewards, approximately 50 openings, are doled out.
"We're not making any offers (Saturday) like we have in the past," Brandy Owens, director of recruitment, said. "We want to make sure we're looking at everybody who applies. What we've found in the past is sometimes we miss some candidates at the end who are not able to be here, for whatever reason, at the beginning."
This also marks the first time the company has held its bi-annual job fair on a Saturday, a move Owens hopes pays off in the end.
She said a trend she witnessed through the early parts of the afternoon featured much more mature, hungry people looking for employment, though the total number of applicants wasn't as high as it has been in the past. By mid-afternoon, the casino had hosted 150 job-seekers.
Back in April, the casino hosted more than 500 applicants for the same number of open positions currently up for grabs.
Many of the openings are for food service positions, which would help fully staff an expanding Thunder Falls Buffet inside the casino complex. The popular eatery is undergoing remodeling and is expected to be unveiled Dec. 21.
But Owens said they have to hire people to work it.
"With the expansion of the buffet, we need to have a staff ready for its opening," she said.
One individual waiting to hear from the casino is Mila Barnes, a Niagara Falls resident who just wants to work at the casino.
She said this isn't the first time she's applied to the company and, if hired, would be extensive food service experience as well as positive energy.
"This is my thing," she said. "I want to work at the casino."
Darryl Whitcomb of Sanborn is the same way. A former associate at a furniture factory in Salamanca, he said he watched as his job was eliminated after he averaged about 50 hours per week.
He said a part-time job either in the stock room or working retail for the casino would be about even with his other job prospects.
"I've only been able to find part-time work since," he said.