Butchart Gardens in Central Saanich has hosted a variety of outdoor concerts in its history, including Bruce Cockburn in 2014. (Steven Heywood/News Staff File)

Butchart Gardens in Central Saanich has hosted a variety of outdoor concerts in its history, including Bruce Cockburn in 2014. (Steven Heywood/News Staff File)

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

The Butchart Gardens is hiring, and they are hoping that a higher starting wage will lead to more applications.

On Feb. 20, there will be a job fair at the Butchart Gardens coffee shop (800 Benvenuto Ave.) from 6-8 p.m. Wages will now start at $15 an hour, up from $12.18 two years ago.

Jeannie Christison, director of human resources, said there are openings in the gift store, visitor services and food services (front-line and kitchen positions). They have a few gardening positions open, but Christison said that some prior experience would be required for those.

Many high school students come to job fairs, and they are still welcome, but Christison said that she hoping people of all ages would consider applying.

“More mature workers certainly fit in well here,” said Christison.

Christison said that because visitors arrive as early and as late as they do, university students are finishing or starting school which makes hiring a challenge.

“Our season is extending longer and longer, well into the shoulder season, so we’re needing people in March that can work right through sometimes until October.”

In terms of qualifications, Christison said that attitude was most important.

“We need an outgoing attitude, certainly willing to meet and greet the public with the fresh-faced approach that we hope they all have.”

The total number of hires will depend on who wants to return. Last year, they hired 140 new people for front-line seasonal positions. They have around 300 staff members now, but in the peak period it balloons to around 600.

“We expect a lot from our staff, we train them well and we think they need to be rewarded for the good job that they do,” said Christison.

Applicants are asked to bring a cover letter and resume with them, or they can apply online at butchartgardens.com/employment.