3 Early Hires You Should Consider

Of course your brewery began small. It may have been just you or you and a partner. The hours are long and the jobs are all yours. But in growth, developing a key hiring pattern to help facilitate and maintain growth is paramount as well. ​Solid interdepartmental logistics are crucial for success​, said Aslan Brewing CEO Jack Lamb.

“Your brewery isn’t just making beers and being a manufacturing facility; the company is slowly also becoming a ​ wholesaler​ ​and retailer​ as well,” he told Brewer. “There are many key positions needed to keep things running smoothly.”

Here are three important considerations a young brewery should think about when it comes to developing a hiring strategy.

Sales Representation

​There is only so much networking you can do as an owner, so you need someone out there telling your story full time​ Lamb said.

Tim Snell of JDubs said to look for a passion for craft beer. “A thorough knowledge of brands and styles is most important and naturally comes with this passion for craft beer,” he said. “Also the candidate must fit the culture not only of this industry but also this brewery. As craft beer salespeople we are among the most blessed sales force in all the world.”

“We learned pretty quickly that you need to hire more qualified employees, and it takes much more stress off the business,” added Trevor Davies, the Director of Sales & Distribution for New Glory Brewing, “even if you have to pay these employees a bit more money.”​

READ MORE: Creative Ways to Acquire Talented Sales Reps

Warehouse Management

Whether it means preparing orders for the distributors or ensuring the restaurant is stocked every day, Lamb told Brewer a warehouse manager makes sure the beer is where it needs to be.

“Aside from typical brewers and cellarmen, a warehouse manager was key ​for the brewery ​to ensure what was being produced was ready for the next step,” he said.

Lamb said he has learned he needs to have solid written expectations in place before setting employees loose. He always first looks in-house for opportunities. If there is someone ready and able to move up within the company, Lamb said he tries to make it happen.

Social Media & Marketing

To really develop that fan following, this can’t be a part-time/sometimes job, pointed out Rob Day of Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers.

“Someone has to be thinking about it all day, every day. It’s essential in today’s marketing environment,” he said.

The main thing that the Framingham, Massachusetts brewery’s social media manager brings to the role is a volume of communication and perspective. Hiring for that spot meant taking a step back and understanding the type of person and the qualifications needed to be successful in the role along with being able to build the brand in this space. Look for desire to do well; an eagerness to create and communicate; and a natural curiosity to learn more and do better.

With every hire, you fine-tune the search mechanisms​, noted Smog City co-founder Laurie Porter.

“Everyone wore a ton of hats in the beginning​,” she said. ​“It was fun and satisfying but ultimately not sustainable. So we had to make changes to how we hire.”

Photo courtesy Aslan Brewing

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