This article first appeared in the January 2017 issue of Wine Business Monthly

By Karen Alary and Linda Higueras, The Personnel Perspective


Wherever you go these days, the “help wanted” sign is a ubiquitous plea for workers. When the unemployment rate is low, there is always a shortage of qualified workers for open positions, and the competition from different industries is fierce. Just drive around and notice all the signs outside restaurants, apparel shops, cafés, medium- to large-sized companies, and
even the United States Postal Service.

The ongoing quest for talent means that the wine industry will continue to face many of the same, as well as industry-specific hiring challenges. These include more competition for an increasingly smaller pool of available and qualified workers, competing industries that pay higher wages, a high cost of-living, inadequate public transportation, scarcity of affordable housing and tremendous uncertainty regarding immigration laws. Hiring locally is becoming more difficult because it is expensive to live in the North Bay. As a result, commuting hours are getting longer as employees travel longer distances to arrive at work.

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