Looking for a job? Happily employed? The Specialty Coffee Job Fair is a place to network, hear experts speak, and connect with potential employers.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of The Crown
How did you hear about your last coffee job? Was it a “help wanted” sign at your local spot, or perhaps a job posting on a coffee website? While a number of folks might hear about potential openings through these avenues, the Specialty Coffee Job Fair is hoping to reach more potential candidates and break down the barriers that can exclude people. The job fair will take place June 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room in Oakland, Calif.
The Specialty Coffee Job Fair is hosted in partnership with The Crown the Bay Area Coffee Community (BACC). “The people have been asking for it,” says Richard Sandlin, one of the event organizers and general manager of The Crown’s tasting room. “It seems like every day a different company is asking us if we have the right person in mind for their next great role, or a well-qualified candidate asks us if they know which great coffee company is hiring. The industry has been asking for this event for a long time, and we are thrilled to help bring the first one into existence.”
Instead of relying on candidates knowing the right people, this job fair puts potential applicants face-to-face with coffee companies that are looking to hire, including Andytown Coffee Roasters, Blue Bottle Coffee, Equator Coffees & Teas, and Red Bay Coffee, with more companies to be announced soon. “It’s hard to know which companies are accessible and which are not. It’s hard to know if it’s difficult to land an interview at company XYZ to get that next great role,” Richard says. This event helps remove some of those social barriers.
“By leveling the playing field and brining hiring managers to our space, anyone can come and meet with them, get face time, and make an impression to get that next great role,” Richard says. “As someone who has spent time in hiring as well as a job seeker, I can clearly say that neither side of that table is easy. By having everyone come together to achieve the same goal (fill great jobs), we can make the hiring process better for everyone.”
Although many of the companies are hiring baristas, most are hiring for a number of positions within their organizations. “As the landscape of coffee consumption changes, a coffee job no longer comes in just one size. There are dozens of job descriptions out there for the coffee professional: barista, roasting, HR, digital marketing, social media, sales, finance, strategy, grocery, etc.,” says Richard.
And what if you like your current job, or are maybe considering a new position, but aren’t quite ready yet? The BACC will be hosting a panel, and folks are encouraged to attend if just to make new connections and meet other coffee pros. “We’ve teamed up with longtime collaborators at the BACC to hold a panel session focused on key aspects of the industry important to the coffee professional,” Richard says. “We want this event to be just as much about learning and connecting with opportunity as much as it is about getting that next great game-changing role.”
The Specialty Coffee Job Fair shines a light on the skills that, as coffee professionals, we can sometimes forget about. “Depending on the demand for this kind of event, we could see this form as an event series focused on professional development for coffee professionals outside of the ‘hard coffee skills’ we typically associate with training in the coffee industry,” Richard says. “For example—how many classes are out there focused on brewing, cupping, roasting, tasting, and training? There are ‘soft’ skills that are essential to any career path including resume building, interview training, the art of negotiation, and a lot more that could develop from the forthcoming June 28 event.”
Attendance is free, but tickets are required for the event.