UNIVERSITY PARK -- Job seekers for positions at the Mall at University Town Center will have to do some hunting of their own to find their next career.
More than 2,000 jobs at the Mall at UTC will be up for grabs in advance of the mall's opening Oct. 16, and several positions are being advertised now.
Those looking to get any job at the mall, however, will have to put in the work to find their next career or part-time job. The mall doesn't plan to have a career fair for the 100-plus stores and restaurants before the 880,000-square-foot mall opens, said Mall at UTC general manager Octavio "Tav" Oritz.
So CareerSource Suncoast, the region's job agency, is doing detective work to reach out to the stores and hopes to roll out a digital jobs portal for the mall on its website in coming weeks.
"We're in the exploratory phase and doing the detective work to determine who the right people are," said Doug Warrington, a CareerSource account executive who is coordinating the job postings for the mall.
The digital jobs portal will have a special page that lists all the jobs at the mall and how to apply for each job, and will continue to be updated during the next few months, Warrington said. An announcement is expected to be made soon about the launch of the page.
Retailers and the mall's operator, Taubman Centers, aren't giving CareerSource any scoops on the new retailer, so the agency is left to research or read in the Bradenton Herald about the latest building permits being issued for stores, Warrington said.
Much like an applicant, Warrington has to make dozens of cold calls and hope the receptionist doesn't hang up.
"When you call about a job opening, they think that you're applying and they want to hang up," he said. After a quick explanation that
he's from the area job agency, the information usually starts flowing.
It's actually a lot of fun, he noted, to put all the pieces together to help find jobs for people.
"We're very excited as CareerSource Suncoast to be involved in this and help people find jobs and help employees get people," Warrington said.
So far, CareerSource has been able to reach out to about one-third of the confirmed stores coming to the mall, although it is a little early for some of them. The large anchors, like Macy's, Dillard's and Saks Fifth Avenue, can pull from existing stores and perform their own career fairs.
A Macy's spokeswoman said a jobs announcement coming later this summer will feature an "employment center."
Here is a sampling of jobs available so far at the mall:
H&M, a Swedish clothing retailer, is hiring for various positions now, available on its website. H&M, officially Hennes & Mauritz, is looking for department supervisors and managers and "visual merchandisers."
Seasons 52, a Darden restaurant, has jobs posted for executive chef partner and a sales manager for its Sarasota store.
Dillard's is hiring for all departments now, part-and full-time, through listings on Monster.com for the University Town Center location.
Indeed has listings for managers at American Eagle Outfitters, Brooks Brothers, Express and Centerplate; the operator of Sophie's inside Saks Fifth Avenue is also looking for an executive sous chef and assistant restaurant general manager.
Other places, such as Mandarin Express Gourmet Chinese, Camicissima Milano, Everything But Water and Z Gallerie don't post available openings, but ask interested employees to send in applications or resumes on their websites.
Sterling Jewelers, the operator of Kay Jewelers and other jewelry store brands, don't even let job seekers get to the point of looking at available openings before taking an online virtual job tryout.
Retailers so far have told Warrington that the key attribute they're looking for is experience in a retail and sales environment. Some retailers are still getting their list together of how many employees and what employees they need, but Warrington said job seekers should get ready now before the rest of the jobs are announced.
CareerSource offers free help to write resumes, cover letters and improve interview skills.
Job seekers looking for help can either visit CareerSourceSuncoast.com, click on Career Seekers and then click on Employability Workshops to find a schedule of workshops or visit CareerSource's offices in Bradenton at 1112 Manatee Ave. E. or Sarasota at 3660 N. Washington Blvd.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.