We will be updating this post live throughout the day, with the most recent news at the top. For full coverage, keep scrolling!
2:27PM: Things are starting to slow down a bit as we make our way through the waiting list. Joyce Jenkins, who’s been working the interview queue all day, sums up the day nicely. “Today exceeded our expectations in terms of the caliber and talent of our future leaders,” she says. We’re having trouble estimating how many people we saw today– in the moment, things have been a blur– but Sarosh guesses nearly 150 people came through. There were many more we were unable to speak to on the spot, but we’re looking forward to following up with them in the coming weeks to meet them and hear more about why they want to join our team.
Enos Watts, Pizza Hut Area Coach, had this to say: “The toughest thing about the event was that we don’t have the positions open to be able to make offers to everyone. Every candidate that came through was full of life and has a bright future ahead of them– every single one.”
Once the dust settles, we’ll give a full report on the day’s events and the awesome people we met in Chicago– from Restaurant General Managers and Area Coaches to franchise partners and some fantastic job candidates. Thanks for following along during this great event, and thanks to the 100,000 Initiative for letting us be a part of this day!
1:52PM: Greg Stewart, the Great Lakes Region Coach, pops out to see what the line is like for those waiting for interviews– it reminds him of customers on a busy Friday waiting to pick up their pizzas. We ask him how things are going:”I just offered a job to a young lady, and her response was that I changed her life. The caliber of candidates has been unbelievable. I wish we could just hire everyone.”
1:36PM: Cassandra and Brianna have been waiting in line for two hours, “just for Pizza Hut!”. We decided to have an impromptu photo shoot while they were waiting. Looking good ladies!
1:25PM: It’s after one, and people are still checking in with the registration desk. Myron’s first stop is the Pizza Hut booth to fill out an application. “This event has been great. I didn’t know lots of these places were even hiring,” Myron tells us. “I just got here, but people are really friendly.” I ask him why Pizza Hut? “I like pizza! I like to cook and try new things.” We love pizza too– great to meet you, Myron!
12:48PM: We grabbed the industrious Katie Mellor, who’s single-handedly organized the Pizza Hut team for this event. “We’ve just been overwhelmed by the volume of quality and talent that we’ve met. These candidates are really raising the bar for talent at Pizza Hut and we are so excited that they want to be part of our team. I wish we had brought even more interviewers with us so we could talk to everyone!” she says.
12:34PM: While some people are taking quick breaks for lunch, here at the Pizza Hut booth we’ve reached peak interview time. As we passed Sarosh taking another candidate back for an interview, he had one word to describe how things were going: “fabulous.” We have nearly all available interview slots filled until 3pm, and are starting to collect applications for interviews after the event. It’s great to see so much enthusiasm for our brand! At this rate, Joyce estimates that we’ve done about 100 interviews– and we have three hours still to go.
11:00AM: Undrai fills out an application with some input from John. We’ve got a line around the block with people interested in joining the Pizza Hut family.
We chatted with Cierra while she waited in line for an interview, and asked her what she’s looking for in a job and why she chose to interview with Pizza Hut. She said, “I had a friend who worked here who said there were great benefits. I also love WingStreet, so when the two companies combined I thought Pizza Hut was an interesting opportunity. I also like the food, so that’s a perk!” Cierra went on to say that she’s looking for a company that treats their employees like family. “I want to find a job where the company cares not only about the customers but also about the employees. I want to be a part of a great team!”
We want that too. Good luck Cierra!
10:07AM: The team at the interview check-in booth…they make it look easy, but we’ve already had around 50 people come through!
9:43AM: Just caught up with Sarosh Khan, Director of Operations with one of our Chicago franchises, FMI and the rest of his team. They’ve been interviewing like crazy! So far, Sarosh says, they’ve made a few conditional offers to great candidates– and it has been the best part of his morning. “The most rewarding thing about the day is when we get to tell someone, welcome to Pizza Hut! Their faces just light up. It’s beautiful, and feels great to say to them,” he says. His team agrees that the candidates are very well prepared when they come in to talk to us. “It’s still early in the day, but it’s going great so far,” adds Sarosh.
9:20AM: We checked in with Laura Bingham from the floor of the jobs fair: “There’s a talent show going on right across from our booth and we got a nice shout out from the stage! We’ve been talking to a ton of young, eager, excited people– the first stop they’ve make for the day is with us here at Pizza Hut. We’re sending a ton of people back for interviews!” she reports.
8AM: The team is buzzing with excitement as candidates are starting to arrive. Even though one of the world’s largest coffee companies is sponsoring the event, caffeine has nothing to do with the energy in the room. Katie Mellor and James Fripp lead the team in the Yum cheer, and the doors open for business!
Today, a team of Pizza Hut Restaurant General Managers, Coaches, and HR specialists are in Chicago interviewing candidates with the 100,000 Initiative event. A day of mentoring, interviews, and career development for over 4,000 youth in the Chicagoland area, this job and career resource fair offers the opportunity for youth ages 16-24 to kick-start fulfilling careers with major US companies. We have over 75 interviews scheduled with some great candidates, and hope to meet many more throughout the day. You can track our progress right here on Hut Life—we’ll be updating live as we meet people and get the chance to know some potential new team members—and also on Twitter with the hashtags, #100kopportunities and #startsomewhere.
Throughout the day, we’ll be both interviewing and networking with job applicants. With around 20 Restaurant General Managers and local coaches as well as a team of people traveling from Dallas, the day is really about mentorship and positive re-enforcement of each candidate’s career goals. “It’s about making a difference in one person’s life. We have a strong legacy of giving back, and for our team to be here and get the opportunity to come here and interview people– we’re just as excited as the candidates visiting us today,” said Brittany Holmquist, People and Capabilities Leader.
As part of the day, we’re getting to do a little extra recognition: the event has provided us with badges that booth visitors and applicants can earn by utilizing their job skills. Anyone with a firm handshake or great eye contact can earn a badge, and add their badges to a raffle with prizes at the end of the day. Hut Life is personally looking forward to these candidates bringing their best! Recognition is something we’re big on here at Pizza Hut…so bring on the eye contact and listening skills.
This event is just a part of our brand’s efforts to support the growth of young people around the world. Pizza Hut employs thousands of people between the ages of 16-24 every year, and our training is geared toward supporting young people with the skills to grow within our company or to be great candidates in their future positions. And, regardless of how the day goes, we’re just excited to be here and get the chance to support some great kids.