Hire WISEly in 2022

At WISE, we review A LOT of job postings in our industry. Over the years, we have seen it all, from ones we considered applying to ourselves, to some of the more, ahem…cringeworthy examples. From years of observations, we present a few best practices.

The Position. Have we reviewed our current team’s strengths and where there may be some opportunities? This is a great time to design our dream team! Before we even post, think about your 2022 goals, and who you need on your team to make it happen. Imagine a ‘blank sheet’ of paper – if starting from scratch, what would the dream team look like? Then, given what we’ve got, what’s aspirational or can move us in that direction by hiring for that position?

The Description. Now that we have in mind the position we need, let’s take a fresh approach to the job description, and more importantly, the job ad. The ad should be brief, and full of reasons why someone would want to join our team. Remember, now more than ever, candidates are looking for jobs that will encourage their growth and personal fulfillment. Many people are leaving unfulfilling jobs in droves, and looking for things they are passionate about. How lucky we are to be in an industry people want to join! But often times, job ads read like a list of not-so-great duties and reasons not to apply. A realistic expectation of the day to day is critical, but highlighting the good stuff is important too! Don’t forget to think outside our bubble – we offer many benefits that we take for granted that candidates would love to know about (free/employee-priced wine, logo wear, guest houses, restaurant partnerships with perks, etc.) This is our best way to entice candidates, so the job description is beyond important.

The Compensation. Speaking of highlighting the good stuff…if the description entices potential candidates, then the next step is to find a ‘hook’ to get them to apply. We have heard plenty from industry leaders that are offering mid-market rates without offering extreme signing bonuses and they are finding great candidates. This is due, in large part, to offering an environment that is positive and rewarding, a place where people WANT to work, and a compelling job ad that promotes the benefits to working there. Think about it, what type of candidates will we attract if we offer a high signing bonus compared to the candidates we will attract with the promise of growth opportunities and a positive work environment? That’s not to say we shouldn’t pay fair and competitive wages, but would you rather have someone with short-term-financial-gain motivation or someone growth and fulfillment driven? Let’s find ways to inspire employee longevity.

The Gardening. Ideally, our job description and compensation package will have us getting many applications… but how do we ‘weed’ through to get to the good ones? Get to the great candidates quickly by having them answer a questionnaire. This is a great way to see how their written communication skills are, and if they have the same standards as you do. One of our coaches recommends having candidates watch a five-minute Ted Talk about hospitality, and answer a few questions. Many candidates will not go through this, which is fine. They just made the process easier for us!

The Team Strength. Have existing team members engaged in the process. Do we have an employee we wish we could clone? Ask if they have friends! Do we have an employee with a strength of reading people? Have them host candidates for a tasting and get their opinion. This is a great way for the candidate to ask questions, and ensure they are a great fit for your team. It also makes our team members feel valuable and fulfilled. They will appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the team-building process, especially since they will likely spend many hours with this new hire.

The Turn-Around. Check those references and do that background check! But do it quickly. Ask for references before the interview and proactively call them. We are hearing that some wineries are making same day offers. In this environment of difficultly hiring, we wouldn’t want our favorite candidate to be snagged by someone else. What processes can be reevaluated to streamline the hiring so there are no delays in making offers and onboarding them?

The Start. Start on the right foot! Imagine the ideal first day, complete with a two-week training agenda, business cards, name tag, and short welcome party at the end of the day. Our new employee will KNOW they made the right choice and be ready to give 110%! Showing we thought through the process and made it welcoming sets the stage for longevity with employees.

This is a great time of year to rethink our hiring process. Need more help? Contact us! We are here to help.