Friday, May 10, 2013

Be a Poser: Learn something from Wonder Woman and Amy Cuddy.

I was sitting at my Cardiologist's office last month and got a clean bill of health.  I just gotta cut back on the espressos.  He also prescribed to watch a TED Talk about posture.  Hmmm, was this going to keep my ticker ticking?  Well, doctor's orders, so finally this morning I filled that prescription and took a look at Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

Amy Cuddy did research on "faking it till you make it", which studies how our nonverbal posturing affects how others perceive us.  The idea was that if you exhibit a power pose people will think of you as more powerful.  Her studies showed that test subjects hormones changed based on their posture.  Power posers were found to have high testosterone and low cortisol (that dreaded stress hormone).

Furthering her research, she had test subjects go into an interview, where the interviewer had absolutely no emotional feedback during the interview (the interviewer was deadpan for the 5 minute interview).  This is thought of as one of the most stressful business situations most people may ever encounter.  During the interview the subjects were either exhibiting a power posture or a nonthreatening pose.  Later the interviews were screened for various factors.  The results were that the interviewees who were exhibiting power postures were found to have great presence and thought of as very competent for the job.  It wasn't about knowledge or talent, strictly about the pose they took during the interview.

Cuddy's recommendation is for you to embody a power pose.  Strike a pose like Wonder Woman.  If it is in the bathroom before the interview--great, do it.  If it is while you are on a phone interview with a potential employer, do it.  Amy Cuddy recommends everyone to do little tweaks to their posture to get big results.  Think about what pose you strike when you are interacting with others--and find out how to make it a more confident one.

And for all you future interviewees out there, another recommendation I love is this:  Before your next interview, with a thick marker, write on your underwear "I AM THE BEST".   (Read Dan Ariely's full advice here.)

Go Get Em!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Beware the Blind Box Ad

Are you a successful wine industry professional who is gainfully employed but maybe just a smidge unhappy?  Are you passively looking for a new job, needing to keep your interest in changing jobs very, very confidential?  Well, BEWARE the blind box ad.

Yes, it looks innocent enough.  Calls out all of your strengths and says all of your weaknesses are personality characteristics that they crave on their team.  It is located 5 miles from your front door, and allows you to travel as much or as little as you desire.  It spells out the company's commitment to making hand-crafted, magical wines that are accessible to all, fly off the shelves and provide you with a handsome bonus.   And the pay is more than you thought possible.

So apply already.  What's stopping you?  Oh, yeah, maybe that blind box ad is really posted by your current employer.  It might be a bit awkward to explain why you were looking at the job boards when you should be  working diligently for your boss.  Well, mistakes can be made and your boss will slap you on the back and say "We can always laugh about this later."  On the flip side, she may see your resume come across her desk and not tell you she knows you are looking--and quietly plan on replacing you.

Well, that would be bad.  So beware job seekers, and think before you hit send to a blind box ad.  I would recommend not submitting your resume to the position and instead see if you can find out who is looking for a new employee.   Talk to your trusted friends in the industry to see if they have heard about any new jobs out there.  Look on the websites of the companies you think it might be.  Although they posted a blink box ad, they may have the same opening on their job board.  Job postings on and other sites are very public postings, so sometimes companies put a blind box out there so they can quietly screen through candidates without any direct phone calls or other distractions during the hiring process.  While hundreds of people look at daily, probably a handful of job seekers will go to each individual winery's website job listings.

Employer Anonymity:  For the employer a blind box does offer a lot of anonymity.   But is that really what you want.  Haven't you built up your reputation over time and made your company a place people want to work.  So how will someone know that when they see a blind box ad.  You may be missing a lot of great talent who won't consider applying to a company they don't know.  If you can handle the publicity, list your company in the ad.

My Circumstances:  Ironically, when I post an ad WineTalent gets top billing, but my client's information is kept confidential.  As a recruiter, a service I provide to my client is to handle all of the candidate communications at the beginning of the search process.  I want to talk to as many people as possible for each job, and that's what my clients expect.  But all too often, when I have permission to list my client's name on a public job posting, a sly job seeker will  have the brilliant idea of contacting the client directly.  Unfortunately, this never moves that brilliant candidate to the top of the list, but instead to the bottom of the wastebasket.

Double Agent, But Not Doublecrossing:  You might ask, "If WineTalent is keeping the client confidential, what happens if I apply to a job with WineTalent that is actually for my current employer?"  All communications between WineTalent and either my candidates or my clients are confidential between the two of us.  I put my pledge of confidentiality on my website, and stand behind it.  I want your interactions with WineTalent to benefit your career, not adversely affect it.  And I want my clients to feel comfortable discussing their unique situations without fear of others finding out about them.   It can be a delicate balancing act, but an act that provides the best outcome for everyone.

This post could become a plug for recruiters.  We help job seekers keep their search confidential, and we provide confidentiality to our clients who are needing to bring in new talent.  Maybe that's why we recruiters are still needed in today's world, and most likely tomorrow's as well.  Happy Searching Everyone!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WineTalent Job Posting: Controller for St. Helena Winery

Job Title:  Controller
Employment Type:  Regular, Full-Time
Salary:  Dependent on Experience
Job Location:  St. Helena, CA

Job Description:  WineTalent is conducting a search for a Controller for a Napa Valley winery.
Reporting to the President, the Controller will be responsible for the financial reporting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and other general accounting functions for a winery group in the Napa Valley. This individual will interact closely with the President and other members of the management team, as well as outside auditors.  The Controller will follow generally accepted accounting practices, adhering to the policies and procedures of each of the legal entities. The Controller will manage a team of unit accountants, providing service and support for all business entities. 

Responsibilities Include:
·         Preparation of monthly financials including handling the month end-close process.
o    Post all required monthly journal entries, reconcile inventory in multiple locations, reconcile other balance sheet accounts as required, and perform overhead allocations.
o    Report on any significant budget variances.
·         Manage daily accounting tasks including: Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Payroll, Bank reconciliations, daily banking tasks.
·         Manage all accounting aspects of Human Resources for the winery including PTO tracking, EDD reporting, workers compensation management and policy development
·         Running commission and bonus reports and providing data for payroll
·         Monitor, track and report on all required external compliance including wine compliance, water system compliance, TOT reporting, sales tax returns, etc.
·         Assist in providing information for the budgeting/reforecasting process and the cash forecasting process.
·         Manage and be responsible for timely and accurate monthly, quarterly and year-end closing cycles
·         Preparation of financial reports for quarterly board meetings. 
·         Evaluate, recommend and implement policies, procedures and systems related to company efficiency, productivity and internal controls
Experience Required: 
·         Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Business Administration.  MBA desirable
·         A minimum 5 years of industry experience in Finance and minimum 2 years’ experience at a Controller level or higher
·         CPA Preferred
·         Advanced MS Excel skills
·         Extensive experience with QuickBooks required.  Prior experience implementing new accounting software system required. 

Application Process:  Please email resume to  

Monday, May 6, 2013

WineTalent's Upcoming Webinar: WAGES & WINE: Making sure your blend of pay practices complies with California law.

Next week WineTalent will be teaming up with Attorney Barbara Cotter, Partner of the employment law firm Cook Brown LLP to present a webinar about pay practices in the wine industry.  We will be presenting an overview of roles in the wine industry, discussing classifications of employment (salary, hourly, executive, management, consultant, contractor) and providing some case studies from real world situations.  If you are hiring or managing employees or consultants in the wine industry this webinar will provide you with useful information.  Stay on top of employment issues and up to date on new legislation.  We will also be having a question and answer session at the end in case you have specific issues you need addressed.    I hope you can join us.

WAGES & WINE: Making sure your blend of pay practices complies with California law.
Join us for a webinar on May 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM PDT.

Attorney and Cook Brown LLP partner Barbara Cotter teams up with wine industry recruiter and WineTalent President Amy Gardner in discussing compensation issues confronting the wine industry employer. Attendees will be provided with a convenient checklist, a primer on wage and hour law for the wine industry, and a common sense guide that will answer a multitude of questions such as:

1. How do you classify employees correctly under California law?
2. What happens to an employer when an employee is misclassified?
3. What constitutes a salaried position? An hourly position?
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Are You a Winemaking Consultant? You May Want to Read this Article

Over the years I have been involved in lots of wine industry roundtables, seminars and networking sessions, and have learned that people don't like to talk money.  This was evident a few years ago when I sat in on a winemaking consulting session at the Unified Symposium, and while everyone was talking about how to be a consultant and why companies would hire a consultant, when the issue of consulting fees came up, the group was silent.  There wasn't any information about consulting rates, how fees were structured, or how to bill customers.  And if you've read this blog before, you know I think people should know what things cost out there and the value of their own time.  So, if you are a winemaking consultant, you need to read this article in the Wall Street Journal.  Hope it is helpful.