How Recruiting for Wines & Spirits Has Changed
We at ACCUR Recruiting Services have spent many years recruiting for the Wines & Spirits industry. It’s a highly specialized and highly regulated industry, therefore it requires a special approach to recruiting. However, technological trends and burgeoning interest from the private equity world has sparked major changes in the industry and how we recruit for it. Below, some of the key changes we’ve seen in the past few years.
Roles We Recruit for in Wines & Spirits
Common titles we recruit for in Wines & Spirits include: CEO / Chief Executive Officer, CMO Chief Marketing Officer, General Manager, VP Sales and VP Marketing.
Traditionally, Wine & Spirits companies who retain ACCUR Recruiting Services are looking for executive positions overseeing marketing and sales, traditionally a major engine for these companies, whether they have a sales force that covers multiple territories or brand managers who focus on rolling out new brands nationally through television and digital media campaigns.
As the wine industry grows into more niches, we are also seeing a number of positions related to Wine-making and Quality control positions, which often require advanced degrees and expertise in lab management practices including, but not limited to, chain of custody, lot control, method validation and verification, QC charting, microbiology evaluations, documentation, record keeping, and error analysis.
The Role of Private Equity in Wines & Spirits
We work with Private Equity in Wines & Spirits companies in a variety of ways including:
- Succession planning in the case of a family-owned business acquisition, which often means rapid changes within an organization.
- Funds that are looking to expand into new areas such as digital delivery and subscription services.
- Find candidates who have cross-functional skills in winemaking, innovation/growth, operations, corporate strategy and corporate communications.
Digital Skills are Increasingly Prized
As more and more consumers want frictionless ways of enjoying their favorite products, wine clubs and wine subscription services are becoming more and more popular. These new sales channels require a sophisticated understanding of customer acquisition vis channels like email, social media, and other digital tactics.
These digital executives are further required to interface with departments like Customer Service, Marketing, Sales and Distribution to make sure their digital offering is of the utmost quality. In other words, digital in the Wine space requires a unique and multi-talented individual.
We are also seeing wine companies contemplate a complete DTC model, which is a radical departure from distribution models of the past.
We are increasingly asked to look for “Director of Winemaking” or “Director of Production” positions. Once a position shrouded in mystery in family-owned businesses, today’s Winemaking professional often has an advanced degree in Enology, Viticulture, Microbiology, Chemistry, or related field.
They further need to be fluent in the language of revenue-generation, up on the trends in wine-making like organic and biodynamic wines, and able to communicate well with their colleagues in operations, management, marketing, sales and distribution.
The Overlap Between Wines & Sprits and Hospitality
As the economy rebounds from the pandemic, we’re seeing an increased demand for hospitality professionals who have an expertise in wines & spirits and can service higher end establishments such as fine dining restaurants and five star hotels.
We also are increasingly asked to find candidates who can understand the role of a wine or spirits brand in a luxury setting, whether that’s a taste room of a fine hotel.
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