Frequently Asked Questions


You’ve got questions? We got answers. Workforce Weekend is an innovative approach to the job hiring process. (In fact, we’re pretty sure we’re the first and only community to do this!) With something new comes lots of questions, so here are some answers about the “why,” the “how,” and the “what” of Workforce Weekend.

For Everyone

How did this project start?

Workforce Weekend is an experiment in response to responses in the 2017 Humboldt County Workforce Development Survey and 2016 HSU Business Gap Survey. With the help of a grant from US Bank, the Arcata Economic Development Corporation developed this program to try to address the needs of our business community and workforce. This program is meant as an experiment: it has a specific window of time, allowing employers to easily gauge if it will be a useful tool in the future.

What are the main goals of Workforce Weekend?

We want to see a thriving workforce and healthy, growing businesses in Humboldt County. Workforce Weekend serves as a catalyst for intentional hiring and a new approach to seeking jobs. In both local surveys and national studies, research shows that focusing on compatibility and personality are better determinants for a successful hire.  According to Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, “The typical job interview process fixates on ensuring that new hires are technically competent. But coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation, and temperament are much more predictive of a new hire’s success or failure. Do technical skills really matter if the employee isn’t open to improving, alienates their coworkers, lacks emotional intelligence and has the wrong personality for the job?”

Where will this take place?

There is no central location for the Workforce Weekend. Unlike a job fair, all interviews will take place at the employer’s place of business, or a predetermined location. We hope this offers a more convenient option for employers while allowing job seekers to get a more tangible feel for a specific company.

Who can I talk to if I have more specific questions?

Email Susan Seaman at susans@aedc1.org if you have any further questions about Workforce Weekend.

For Job Seekers

Where can I get help to fill out my application or prepare for an interview?

Check out our resources page. We have a ton of local and free resources to help you feel prepared, including application assistance, interview preparation, and more.

Why doesn’t your application include skills, degrees, or a place to put my resume?

Looking for a career level job can be difficult when you lack the required “years of professional experience.” We recognize that your skill set and relevant experience may not translate well on a resume, but will be a valuable asset to a business or organization! While some jobs do require a certain level of education or technical skills, this application removes the barriers between good candidates with a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn new skills and ideal employers. You will want to have an updated resume on the date of your interview, however, so make sure it’s all polished before you meet your contact at each business. 

Why is Workforce Weekend more effective than Craigslist in helping me find a job.

Did you know that up to 80% of jobs are never posted? That means there are an array of fascinating and career-advancing positions available that you’ll never know about if you’re only looking on job boards and Craigslist. Especially in a rural community like Humboldt where word-of-mouth is king, spending hours combing through potential jobs (and weeding out the scams) may not be the best use of your time. Workforce Weekend provides an opportunity for face-to-face interaction with potential employers and the chance to be considered for a position before it’s even posted online.

Why should I interview if there isn’t a position available right away?

Even if you don’t walk away with an immediate job offer, being a part of Workforce Weekend may be the most powerful thing you can do to advance your career. Some studies indicate that up to 85% of jobs are found through networking. This is your chance to make a great first impression, learn more about the types of jobs available, help you prepare for the next steps you should take, and more. In other words, this is your chance to get your foot in the door with some amazing local businesses.

What do I do after I fill out my application?

After you’ve filled out your Aptitude Application and indicated which businesses you’re interested in, you wait for employers to contact you. This waiting period doesn’t mean just sitting on your hands. Take the time to research the companies you’re interested in. Reach out to anyone you know who already works for that business to get a better idea of their work culture. (Knowing someone on the inside gives you a serious advantage in getting an interview!) And, take this opportunity to research the companies you’re interested in and polish your resume. 

Do I have to fill out an application for every company I want to talk to?

No. There is only one Aptitude Application you need to fill out. Each business you’d like to connect with will receive your application through our online platform, and any interested employers will reach out to you.

What if a job opens up before the Workforce Weekend? Can I interview before that?

Absolutely! This whole project is designed to help businesses and job-seekers to connect. If a company reaches out to you and wants to connect before Workforce Weekend, go for it! Best of luck!

For Employers

Why doesn’t the application look like a typical resume or job application?

Starting the hiring process with education and work experience requirements provides a narrow scope of ideal candidates. The saying goes “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” We are not saying that skills and education aren’t important, but this experiment is based on the premise that finding a compatible fit is the most essential element in the hiring process.

What are my obligations as an employer participating?

Let’s start with what you aren’t obligated to do. You do not need to interview anyone who isn’t a good fit for your team. You don’t even have to have a current position available. We are asking businesses to create a business profile and to review the applications of job-seekers who indicate an interest in your business. For the applicants who seem like a good fit, simply reach out and set up an interview during the weekend of March 1-2.

Why one weekend instead of an ongoing process?

Similar to a job fair, having multiple interviews lined up over the course of one weekend provides an opportunity for both employers and job-seekers to compare the possibilities. Also, many people looking for a job don’t currently live in Humboldt County. They may be HSU alumni who had to move away or individuals who are drawn to living in the Pacific Northwest. Stacking the interviews over the course of one weekend allows people to maximize their time while in town.

Do I have to wait until the beginning of March if I want to talk to someone?

No! The whole point is to help you find the right people for your team. If you have an opening and a Workforce Weekend applicant seems like a good candidate, by all means, set up an interview that works for your timeline.

What happens if I want to hire someone?

Consider Workforce Weekend as the start to your talent pipeline. We are bringing enthusiastic candidates to your front step. After the Workforce Weekend, it’s really up to you. Continue to stay in touch with the talented individuals who might be a good fit for your team and find opportunities to bring them into the loop. Be proactive and transparent about upcoming job opportunities and move them through your own company’s onboarding process.