Filipino Job Hunters Express Dismay Over Independence Day Job Fair in Dubai

A number of Filipino job hunters who went to a job fair organized by Filipino communities in Dubai took to social media to voice their frustration over how the event unraveled, with many suspecting that they were lured to remain in the premises to boost crowd numbers, according to a report by Gulf News.

The job fair, organized by the Unified Filipino HR Professionals, Filipino HR Club and FICN Inter-Church Sports Fellowship, was part of the 120th Philippine Independence Day celebrations which featured several other programmes. Thousands of Filipinos gathered at the Dubai World Trade Center to participate in the event, but many were mainly keen on getting new jobs through the job fair.

Through posts on social media, comments apparently from those who came described their experiences that were below expectations. Some have claimed they were given false hopes of getting job interviews and many of them ended up waiting for more than six hours without receiving the promised notification SMS for their scheduled interview.

“I was already there by 6:30am and there was a massive queue of people for the job fair,” Denver Love Palafox told Gulf News. He said he left the venue at 1:30pm after failing to get a promised SMS alert for a job interview.

“At first, it went on smoothly. We were able to quickly submit our CV to volunteers. Then they told us to wait for an SMS for a job interview,” he added.

Palafox also said that due to lack of suitable places in the venue to wait to get called for interview, job applicants had to wait near the stage.

“During the opening program, it was announced that there were already 3,000 people in the venue. I’m sure 60 per cent of those people came only for the job fair,” he said.

“It would have been better if they also sent an SMS to alert people that they have not been shortlisted so they don’t waste time waiting,” he added.

“I thought they used the job fair to make it look like there were a lot of participants for the show,” a comment Palafox made that has also been echoed across social media.

Some have shared on Facebook that the CVs they submitted were placed in a giant box. “A waste of CVs,” one comment said.

The litany of frustrations seemed endless as applicants who went home empty handed offered a variety of perspectives such as observing that some companies advertised to attend in the job fair were not present, being asked to bring in several copies of CVs and not getting notified of an unsuccessful application even if a flow chart posted at the venue showed only shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

Many job applicants who came early had to take the taxi going to the venue as Dubai Metro was not yet open at the time.

Organizers cited lack of space as the main reason they cannot accommodate additional employers into the venue.

“It seems they were overwhelmed with the influx of job applicants just an hour after the event started,” said JM, a former human resource specialist, though he appreciated the efforts of organizers to help jobseekers land jobs.

“They posted a small flow chart on the wall at the venue but I could barely read it. Even if we followed that flow chart, the fact is that the whole system crashed even during the registration period,” he said.

“It was like a crash after takeoff. They should know the projected traffic for an event like this, knowing also that this was not their first time to hold this activity,” JM added.

But there are also those who empathize with the organizers, pointing their finger to impatient job applicants.