Cover Story Notebook: Finding the Right People in Growth

In a ongoing series, Brewer will take a small note from interviews of some of the cover stories it has run and give a small tidbit that didn’t make the issue, but is still worth diving into.

Making a mis-hire happens. In times of growth a candidate may look to be the best fit, but perhaps it didn’t work out. Knowing the mistake was made, correcting it and moving past it is key.

That was something that Bryant Goulding touched on during the cover story interview Brewer did with him for the September/October 2018 issue. Goulding pointed out a hire during a chat about finding the right people and keeping them for the long haul

“We hired someone from MillerCoors to run packaging back in the early days and that was about to be a mutiny within two weeks,” he recalled just days after celebrating the brewery’s fifth anniversary. “I think one of their quotes was, ‘I’m not paid to make people happy.’ I was like, ‘Whoa, it’s a whole lot easier if they are.’

“While that may be true, it’s kind of not.”

But the Cincinnati brewery has, for the most part, built itself from within. A few key hires from the outside have helped, but, for example, Goulding pointed out that the brewery’s HR Director used to be a driver but had a background in social work.

“We have a finance director and I won’t really touch that part of our organization but I was on his interview because culturally there’s just a real sense of: Is this person going to play well and take care of people,” Goulding pondered.

He also said that he and fellow co-founder Bob Bonder have a certain “commonality” in the brewery’s leadership group.

“We meet as a leadership group each month now,” he said. “It’s to learn from mistakes. [You] just have to be kind of open with each other and cross pollinating through departments.”

That trickles outside the leadership group. Goulding mentioned how some groups, like packaging could get lost in the shuffle since they don’t get to wrap their hands around the outcome of branding.

“We want to make sure they feel like they’re not just lost downstairs,” he said. “Go down, high-five them, bring in pizza lunches and that’s been a lot of the structure in our culture where we’re just trying to make sure we’re cross pollinating and introducing people properly from one team to the next.”

Goulding pointed out that a lot of breweries would consider Rhinegeist overstaffed.

“But that is what kept us moving and kept the quality high,” he said. “A lot of people are here that care about what they do and they don’t get burned out and cut corners.”

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