A few weeks ago, we developed educational resources and tools for the Bay Area Brewers Guild with the goal to facilitate good hires and make the local beer industry more inclusive in its hiring. 

SFMade’s Director of Workforce and Hiring, George Colón, was contacted by the Bay Area Brewers Guild in July 2021. After initial conversations George had had with the HR team at Fort Point Beer Co, the Guild and their DE&I team reached out for help connecting Bay Area breweries to a more diverse workforce.

Employers can often make the mistake that terms such as “competitive pay” and “good company culture” will be viewed by job seekers and employees as the benchmarks of a good job, but these terms are ambiguous. A good employer that’s offering good jobs should be transparent, have systems in place to support employees, and always be ready and willing to adapt/improve.

George and the Bay Area Brewers Guild put together a workshop with the goal to introduce local breweries to these concepts, in an effort to start them on a path to becoming better employers — all thanks to planning help from breweries like East Brother Beer Co, Drake’s Brewing Co, Humble Sea Brewing Co, and Hella Coastal.

The workshop that George presented to 32 breweries on September 20th focused on:

  • What being a good employer means, what systems to put in place to support employees, and how to be transparent and to keep adapting/improving practices

  • What tools/systems need to be put in place to support a more diverse workforce

  • How to find, connect, and partner with workforce organizations that are most local to each brewery’s areas of operation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Transparency starts with a skills-based job description, being detailed with pay/compensation packages, and continues throughout employment by providing a clear path to advancement.

  • The systems implemented to support and recognize staff should be inclusive and considerate of individual needs, outline training/upskilling opportunities, and include reviews that recognize achievement/improvement, and address opportunity in a respectful and supportive manner.

  • A willingness to adapt/improve should be constant, proactive, and progressive. An employer that actively recognizes the value of their staff, genuinely seeks to be informed by them, and employs real empathy will see retention.

The workshop deck and recording have been distributed to the entire Bay Area Brewers Guild membership, but this workshop is just the beginning. The workshop is intended to provide a guide toward taking the next steps to becoming more broadly appealing, welcoming, and supportive employers. SFMade will continue to work with local breweries to connect them with local workforce organizations so that talent pipelines and partnerships can be created. We will also provide them with a Skills-Based Hiring Training early in the new year, in order to give these businesses the tools and systems they need to continue this work successfully and sustainably.

“It was a pleasure to work with the BABG and the local breweries that they support.” said George Colón, Director of Workforce & Youth Programs at SFMade. “This is exciting, as there is real potential for breweries that understand, implement, utilize, and adapt through these procedures to become a model not only for other breweries, but for other businesses. We’re eager to continue this important work and assist businesses to face new challenges in a way that supports their success, as well as the success of their current and future employees.”

If you are interested in this topic, George would be happy to present a similar workshop in a group setting: don’t hesitate to email him here.