A business is nothing without the people who make it possible, especially in a relationship-based industry like that of beer. So when determining whether a new hire will be able to sell import and domestic craft beer and help grow your business, here are some essential qualities to look for.
The importance of first impressions are undeniable, usually forming within seven seconds after first meeting. When you meet a potential candidate, keep in mind that the impression they give you is likely to be the same they’ll give to each customer when representing your business and products.
Can this person look you in the eye and speak in a confident, comfortable manner? Do they make you feel at ease? Are they energetic? Are they inviting, fun and full of personality? If yes, then they are going to be more likely to successfully sell beer and build relationships that lead to repeat business.
Passion and creativity are also highly desirable, as they indicate a mindset attuned to growth and improvement over time. A candidate who is engaged with the world of beer will be able to speak passionately about products with ease and will be driven to solve problems, continue learning and expand their relative skill sets. Knowledge is extra important when selling imports and local craft. An employee that can explain why a La Trappe Trappist ale is different from a domestic pilsner, or why De Proef Brouwerij is like the Wonka chocolate factory of breweries is far more likely to make a sale.
Energy and excitement for beer will translate to charisma and will encourage positive customer interactions. Over time, a passionate employee will be more likely to grow with the company and take on more responsibility, minimizing your turnover rate and maximizing revenue while laying the foundation for management you’ll need to scale your business.
A candidate’s responsiveness is an indicator of courtesy and respect. If they consistently and appropriately respond thoughtfully when addressed and greet others courteously, they will likely do the same with customers and peers once hired. These social graces can make all the difference when interacting with clients and will bolster their team’s ability to effectively work together.
Beer is serious business, but it’s also fun. After all, the act of drinking is centered around friendship and celebration. A candidate with a sense of humor indicates emotional intelligence and self-awareness. These candidates will be more likely to bond with others, whether fellow employees or customers, and will possess the empathy required to diffuse difficult situations.
An emotionally intelligent candidate will be better equipped to read a room and gauge the needs of customers, ultimately increasing the odds of a positive experience or a closed sale. Shmaltz Brewing Co. is a good example of a company that has incorporated humor into its culture without sacrificing professionalism.
This one will depend on the culture of your business, but it’s a no-brainer. In this 2015 Deloitte study, 87 percent of companies involved cited culture and engagement as a critical challenge.
If a potential candidate’s personality and attitude don’t jive with the environment you have created, they are less likely to remain engaged and ultimately more likely to quit or be fired. Even if not, their performance will suffer. Know your culture and yourself, and you’ll know what to look for in a new hire. Remember also that culture is a living thing that must be continually maintained. Your culture can change over time, and so can your employees, so it’s on you to remain aware of these workplace dynamics.
On the plus side, the generally more relaxed workplace environments with breweries and retail establishments means you’re able to look past certain elements that might detract from a candidate’s employability elsewhere.
Tattoos, beards and piercings, while potentially hiring deterrents in an office role, do not necessarily reflect a candidate’s intelligence or ability to perform. The beer industry is famous for its ability to attract workers from all backgrounds and walks of life, leaving room for both scientists and artists, and offering first and second chances to people who may truly deserve them.Choose the personnel with suitable interests and personalities based on the environment you want to create.
On the Owner
As previously discussed, those in charge set the tone. Identify your core values and extend those to the hiring process. If you want your employees to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic, you’ll need to lead by example and foster an environment where knowledge and enthusiasm are encouraged.
Creating that environment means staying emotionally attuned to your workplace environment and the needs of your employees. Encouraging and allowing for employee education and growth is essential to retainment, a key factor in the overall success of a business.Also, identify your demographic and hire with it in mind. Good employees facilitate communication on all levels, so you want to increase the odds that any two people who interact in your establishment will get along and be able to clearly communicate.
Lastly, hire flexible people. Businesses must adapt constantly, and so must the people behind the business. Adaptability applies to both professional skills, roles in the workplace and the day-to-day ability to roll with the punches. Choosing candidates who indicate a lack of ego in the workplace will increase the odds they will handle workplace stressors with aplomb and that they won’t mind taking out the trash every once in a while.
At the end of the day, you’re looking for relationship builders who will develop connections. It starts with customers but ultimately applies to every tier of the beer business from production to distribution.