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Hiring for Success: How to Hire and Retain Top Performers

Bill Sciambi of Verity Wine Partners Explains How to Hire the Industry’s Top Sales Talent


Bill Sciambi, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board at Verity Wine PartnersWithin the alcohol beverage industry, it is not enough just to have an inventory of high-quality products. You also have to hire the types of top sales performers who can ensure your company’s ultimate success. With that in mind, Bill Sciambi, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board at Verity Wine Partners, has a lot to say about exactly what companies must do if they plan on winning the war for talent within the alcohol beverage industry. At the upcoming 2019 ABID Conference, Sciambi will outline the key steps that go into hiring and retaining top performers.

It all starts, says Sciambi, with a carefully crafted and positive job culture. This is what helps to breed innovation and improve overall sales performance. Why people work is more important than what they do. The “why” of your organization is your brand and says more about you than any product or service. Employees join your company because of your brand – if they leave, it’s because of your culture. Thus, the starting point for improving sales is taking a closer look at your organization’s own culture.

The next step is reevaluating how you hire talent. You have to hire right in the first place, says Sciambi. The goal is not to just hire people who will do a job, it’s to hire people who believe what you believe and will give you their best performance. In order to find the right people for your organization, you have to ask them “why” they want to work for you. It’s not enough that they have the qualifications for the job. It is important that you define the core values of your company and then compare prospective hires to that standard.

Learning to assess talent, motivation, and skill is also important. These three traits combine to make a great hire and a top performer. Learn to distinguish between these three key traits and which is most important. Along the way, says Sciambi, it is important to get some insight into motivation-based interviewing and how Challenge/Action/Results based questions can give you insight into how prospective hires might perform.

It is also important to identify and recruit top performers. You will need to identify which key trait is the most accurate predictor of future job performance and achievement. Learn why it is so important to understand how effectively, or ineffectively, a person responds to obstacles or difficult challenges.

At the end of the day, talent is your best asset. Retaining good salespeople is a positive investment in your company. Even in a tight labor market, compensation and promotion is not the driving factor in why your best people choose to stay. It goes back to culture – people stay when they believe what you believe and they are invested in your culture.

As a result, management needs to take responsibility when things go wrong. It is axiomatic that “people leave managers, not companies.” Leaders must understand that it is management’s duty to direct and coach employees to success. It is irresponsible to sit by and watch them fail. Every time you have to fire an employee, it is just as likely to be a failure of management as a failure on the employee’s part.

Whether you are an established company in the alcohol beverage space, or an upstart trying to gain market share, talent needs to be a primary concern. You want to retain the best people in your organization, so make sure you’ve made the right choices in the first place.

Ineffective managers have a tendency to rush through the process of hiring in order to fill a position which is, no doubt, causing them to work overtime and losing them revenue in their sales unit. This is never a good idea. If you think you’re busy now and can’t afford to take the time to properly research and interview the best possible candidate for the position you’re looking to fill, then just add up the time you’re going to waste over the next twelve to twenty-four months trying to fix the problems this bad decision may create.

2020 ABID super early bird offer is now on! The event is on May 26-27, 2020 in New York. Register here to book your seats at the lowest price. Offer ends August 31, 2019.