Whistler is one of the most famous resort destinations in Canada, and for good reason. This quintessentially Canadian mountain village boasts some of the world’s best wilderness (more on that later). Every year, thousands of working holiday participants travel to Whistler, but with such popularity, there is more competition for jobs in Whistler with staff accommodation.
Since 2010, we’ve helped over a thousand participants secure their work experience in Canada. We work closely with a number of employers in Whistler and are very familiar with the process of getting a job in Whistler with staff accommodation. In this post, we explain how to get set up with a job in Whistler that offers staff accommodation.
Located two hours north of Vancouver in British Colombia, Whistler Blackcomb is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. The chalet-style pedestrian village is located at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It hosts events and festivals throughout the year and offers a wide apres-ski selection. Whether you are new to the sport or a well-seasoned expert, the diverse range of mountain terrain will keep you entertained all season long.
Whistler is world-renowned for its winter season, attracting skiers and snowboarders from around the world for the incredible variety of terrain on offer across the two mountains. Besides skiing and snowboarding, the area offers snowshoeing, skating, tobogganing, bobsledding at the Olympic Park and much, much more.
Contrary to what many people think, Whistler is just as popular in the summer as it is in the winter. Whistler Village is open all year long meaning they hire for both the summer and winter seasons.
During the summer months, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds Whistler. There are gorgeous hiking trails, lakes for swimming and paddleboarding, golfing, and camping. Whistler is also a paradise for anyone who loves mountain biking. Every August, the Crankworx Whistler Mountain Bike Festival draws enthusiasts from around the world.
Being such a popular tourist destination means there are a lot of tourism and hospitality-related jobs. Many of the resort’s world-class facilities, hotels and restaurants were established in 2010 when Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Another big draw for working in Whistler is the opportunity to meet lots of people who, like you, are solo travellers looking to have a fun experience (read: prepare for some epic nights out).
In British Columbia, the minimum wage as of June 2022 is $15.65 CAD per hour. When you look for a job in Whistler, you must take more than just the hourly wage into consideration. This is because monthly rent and overall cost of living in Whistler is very expensive. Finding a job in Whistler might not be that complicated, but finding accommodation is. In fact, finding accommodation in Whistler should be your top priority if you are planning to spend a season working there.
Let’s say you find a job where you will earn $17 per hour, but with an employer that does not offer subsidized accommodation. This means you will be paying up to $1,000 – $1,300 per month for a shared room, plus utility bills. Additionally, when you begin renting in Canada you are required to pay your first month’s rent, plus half a month’s rent as a damage deposit. So while $17 per hour will provide you with a nice paycheque to start your working holiday, you will spend more than 50% of it just paying off your housing expenses. And that doesn’t include your food and other personal expenses.
On the other hand, you could get a job that pays slightly less – around $15 per hour – but provides subsidized staff accommodation. Subsidized staff housing in Whistler will cost you around $600 to $800 per month. That’s almost half of what you would pay by sharing a room that you had to find on your own! Ultimately, you will save money and time by finding a job in Whistler that provides staff accommodation.
Another advantage of staff accommodation is that you will be living with other staff from your company, which is a great way to meet new friends. Plus, your employer will make it easy for you to get to work. If your staff accommodation isn’t within walking distance of your job, a free shuttle will be provided for easy transport.
In a nutshell: getting a job in Whistler with staff accommodation will guarantee you a great location and value for money – which, quite honestly, is like gold dust.
Each employer in Whistler has its own way to recruit new staff each season. Unfortunately, there is no magic rule to ensure you can secure a job and accommodation on your own. The most important thing is to be ready to apply for these jobs on time, otherwise, you risk missing the opportunity.
We recommend trying two different approaches. Each one depends on whether you want to secure your job before or after travelling to Canada.
Larger employers typically have their own career page where they list current and upcoming openings each season. Applying via this method allows you to try to find a job before departing for Canada. If you are applying to a hotel or restaurant that belongs to a larger corporate group, they might share their employment platform between the various business locations. In this case, you need to make sure you find the location you would like to work for so you apply to the right one.
It is important to make sure you complete your application properly so the hiring managers receive your resume. If an online application is not completed correctly, you risk having the software reject your file before someone from the human resources department gets to review it.
At Stepwest, we send your application directly to the human resources team. First, we tailor your resume for the hospitality and tourism industry in Canada. Then we present your file to the employer, explaining your profile, the positions you are looking for, and highlighting why you would be a good fit for the role on their team. Finally, we prepare you for the interview by giving you tips and recommendations for successfully receiving a job offer from them.
If you try applying through the employer’s career site but don’t receive a request for an interview, you can travel to Canada and continue your job search. Some employers host in-person job fairs in Whistler before the start of each season. Here, you can speak with hiring representatives directly and pass them your resume. However, just like applying online, it is difficult to make yourself stand out as a candidate. The employers speak with hundreds of interested candidates each day at these hiring fairs.
Be ready to present yourself to the potential employer. This means bringing copies of your resume with you along with your references. In Canada, references are key to getting hired, so before your trip to Canada make sure you have prepared at least two reference letters from your country of citizenship. They must be written in English.
Top tip: you will have limited time to present yourself to the employer at the job fair, so be sure you know exactly what parts of your resume to highlight that will be relevant for the position.
If you take this approach, bear in mind that you will need to find accommodation in Whistler until you have your job and housing sorted. This is not a cheap option, so you will need to have a good budget for the first few weeks (or longer) while you look for a job.
Hotels that provide staff housing in Whistler are limited, so keep in mind that even if you successfully land a job at a fair, you may still need to find your own housing. This is where the real challenge begins. By the time you have arrived in Whistler and found a job, many of the decently priced housing options for rent near the village will already be taken. If you wait too long, you may get stuck with having to pay an exorbitant price for rent in an unideal location.
Of course, we don’t recommend getting your housing arranged before you receive a job offer. This is in case you don’t have any success finding a job in Whistler and need to try Vancouver instead.
We know how important it is for working holidaymakers to secure staff accommodation in Whistler. It saves you time, money, helps you meet people, and makes your experience in Whistler so much better! That’s why we only work with hotels that offer staff accommodation. So you can enjoy the experience of getting set up in Whistler, stress-free.
Check out our Whistler Working Holiday Programs, to see how we can help you get set up with a job in Whistler with staff accommodation.
Fill in the form below with your questions and a member of our team will be happy to get back to you as soon as we can.
“My adventure with Stepwest was just perfect! If you want a good experience in Canada you should go with them. They were very helpful in getting me to Whistler. I am very happy and I really thank them!”
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“If it wasn't for Stepwest I wouldn't be in Canada right now, they helped me with everything from getting my visa application started to getting a job here in Canada...”
“Fantastic experience with Stepwest ... they were extremely friendly, quick to respond and offered very helpful advice throughout the whole process. Thank you!!”
“My experience with Stepwest was amazing... I would recommend Stepwest to anyone that wants to have a great experience in Canada.”
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