Recruitment is never an easy task. Regardless of position, the process is usually a long one in order to ensure that you are filling said position with the best possible candidate available. The obstacles that can get in the way of easily finding the perfect fit can include, but aren’t limited to, any or all of the following: available talent pool, logistical alignment and compensation negotiations. This post came about because we are having a hard time filling our Western Washington Market Manager position. See, way back in March we had to let one of our cousins go due to some irrevocable differences due to discrepancy of skill sets and requirements of the job. He is a bright guy, who we still miss, but alas we had to go a different direction.
Initially, after the position opened up, there wasn’t a huge push to hire someone quickly, because we were selling all the beer we could due to delayed expansion that limited the beer we could produce. Days turned into weeks, which turned into months, blah, blah, blah. In June, we formally posted the position on various job boards and our website. From this group we narrowed it down to three people and started the formal interviews. Quickly we realized that each of the three candidates, however awesome they were, still created some concern. More specifically, the final pool consisted of people that already worked for a distributor of ours.
Are you ready for some insider information? Poaching is commonplace in our industry as breweries identify people who kick ass (usually specifically for their brewery) and try to steal them away. As you can imagine, distributors hate this as they have to start all over with filling the gap created (not to mention spending more money on training). Almost as bad, by taking that awesome distributor rep out of the market, the brewery eliminates one of their top advocates in that market. We like to keep our distributors happy, for the most part, so this has never seemed like a viable option to us. We did debate it, but ultimately decided to reopen the search. Fast forward a couple of months and we were very close to moving a former (i.e. not poached) employee of a distributor to Seattle. All was rosy until some personal obligations brought about cold feet and we were, once again, back to square one. Okay, all caught up.
One question. Have you figured out yet that this post is basically a way for me to vent about the last few months, while simultaneously attempting a different form of recruitment? Since the venting has concluded, it’s time to, hopefully, explain what kind of person we are looking for so i’ll lay it out by requirement/quality (notice the bullet points to really ram home the notion that this is a shameless job posting). In no particular order, as they are all important…
- Experience: Selling some sort of alcohol to retailers (If you’ve sold any of the hard root beers you will need to explain yourself, as well as what the fuck hard root beer is). Training is hard enough, and having to explain the finer parts of selling alcohol seems almost untenable at this point.
- Personality: Wood blocks have a hard time convincing people to buy our beer.
- Fit: The above referenced personality has to mesh with our group. Please don’t take this as meaning you need to sacrifice yourself in order to assimilate to the hive. We value criticism, differing opinions and the ability to argue right up to the point of being a dick.
- Honesty: Duh, liars are stupid.
- Work Ethic: Again, duh. Selling beer consists mostly of unsupervised work so the ability to manage your time and be productive is extremely important.
- Intelligence: We like autonomy, and it’s hard to give it if the person is an imbecile.
- Physicality: Still can’t believe that is a word, but it works here because beer comes in containers that are heavy so the ability to lift 50 lbs up off the ground for more than a second is crucial.
- Stamina: The ability to work long hours on certain days/nights. See work/life balance note below before you get scared.
So if you fit all of these requirements and actually want to work at a brewery selling beer in western Washington, email me at email@example.com. We pay well, have great benefits and you get lots of free beer. Oh and we actually believe in work life balance in practice, not just as something to spout off to make others think you care about the human condition. See if you work too much, you become less happy and less productive. We don’t like that, so we do our best to ensure that our people don’t get to that point.