Unemployed? 'Pink slip parties' might help

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. This was an idea meant to benefit all parties involved, not only the people looking for a job, but for the hotel, which has seen a drop in business since the downturn in the economy.

And for recruiters, it's a chance to meet prospects in a very casual environment.

Nothing says unemployment like a martini -- well, maybe only in Beverly Hills, where the hottest trend for the out of work is dominating the patio of the Crescent Hotel.

"This is a brilliant approach to get people back out there, I think," said Sharon Rich, LayOffBounceBack.com. "It brings people together who have something in common."

Welcome to a "pink slip party," an event that's part happy hour, part job fair, where the unemployed can meet with recruiters and where the job search can be mitigated with drink specials and half-priced appetizers.

"It's laid back. It's not quite like walking into an interview," said Matthew Reno.

Matthew Reno is a success story. He came to the inaugural pink slip party last month, and one week later ... "passed along some resumes, made some calls, and before I knew it, I had a job lined up. I'm starting on Monday."

"We had no idea it would turn out this well," said Greg Peck, owner of the /*Crescent Hotel Beverly Hills*/.

Peck thought the pink slip parties would be a great way to help people find work, while drumming up business for the hotel.

"Like all businesses, we've been affected by what's going on in the economy, so we tried to come up with an innovative party to bring people here," said Peck. "Fortunately, I think it's something that's going to work for everybody, ourselves and the people coming here."

Recruiters say this environment gives out-of-work professionals a chance to take a break from the onslaught of bad economic news.

"I don't know if it's because it's in such a beautiful place and there's nice food and some cocktails involved, but I think it just makes it more approachable," said recruiter Wendy Tuttle. "And I think the job fairs, they absolutely have their place. I think that this is just another way to do the same thing."

At the party Tuesday night were recruiters with the entertainment, hospitality and tourism industries. And plenty of prospects.

There were more than 100 people attending Tuesday night's party, trying to talk to recruiters.

They are doing these at the Crescent Hotel Beverly Hills the first Tuesday of the month every month from now through July.


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