Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

Tomorrow I'll be attending the annual wine industry meeting that is held here in Sacramento. The meeting is always very informative about the state of the industry, the status of different winegrowing areas and varietals, forecasts, and the winery of the year. I've been going to Unified for over 10 years now, and it's always a great time to connect with old colleagues and gives me a chance to meet new faces.

This year I am interested to see what the wine industry's take on the economy is. Litening to the news it seems that everyone has jumped on the recession bandwagon. Back in 2000 and 2001 I worked not only in the wine industry but also in IT. All of my IT clients were scaling hiring back and planning on a long slow recovery. Talking to my winery clients they were almost unaware that the tech sector had suffered a setback, and didn't think it would greatly affect them. But soon the auctions weren't bringing in the dot com dollars of years past, and people were spending less of their money on dining out and on wine. So, what will Unified have to say about the economy tomorrow? I'll let you know.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wine Industry Job Hunting: Timing

Happy New Year Everyone:

It's been a hectic yet exciting holiday season here at WineTalent, and I've been lax at getting postings up for you. For you wine industry job hunters, if you don't know by now, this is the season to be looking for a new position. Production positions including winemaking and enology are typically filled from now until May, with emergency fills being put in at the last minute prior to harvest in the fall.

The hiring season occurs because wineries have finished the harvest push and have taken stock of what positions they need at the winery. Also several wineries have their fiscal year begin in January, so they are aware of the anticipated headcount they need for the year. Additionally, wineries make staff changes after harvest to address any inadequacies they have in their staff.

Take stock of your job situation, and start putting feelers out if you are interested in making a change. Timing is everything.

Questions to Ask in an Interview

Looking over several recruiting websites recently I have noticed several listings of helpful questions to pose your interviewer. It is always good to have some questions for the interviewer. Asking questions shows that you are interested in the opportunity and thinking about how you can help the prospective employer. I have culled the following list of questions from the web:
What type of growth and advancement opportunities does this position offer?
What would my first project be?
Does the company offer educational assistance and/or continuing education/training?
Who will I be reporting to?
What are the job responsibilities?
What is the timeline for hiring this position?
Can I contact any other employees about the position?
Should I follow up with you about this position?
These are just a few. Plan on having some thought up before you show up for your interview. It will show that you are serious.