Case Study: Jackson Family Wines

Whether you know it or not, if you’re a wine lover, you’re probably familiar with Jackson Family Wines. The wine production company owns over 35 wine brands in North America — including its namesake, Kendall-Jackson — as well as throughout Italy, France, Chile, Australia and most recently South Africa. While the company is family-owned and run, Jackson Family Wines boasts an employee base of over 1,400 employees worldwide, with a variety of roles ranging from production and viticulture, to marketing and consumer-facing sales.

Jackson Family Wines’ recruiting team works hard to build a quality, talented team, but pinpointing talented candidates in such a niche industry has proven difficult. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA — a more rural area approximately an hour north of San Francisco — the company can have a hard time recruiting employees in a smaller community. Plus, after years of reliance on an outdated applicant tracking system (ATS), the recruiting department faced sluggish processes and lack of automated outreach that slowed down hiring efforts and prevented progress.

In 2013, Jackson’s recruiting team decided they were ready for a more advanced solution and began conducting research. After an industry contact recommended Jobvite ATS to a former recruiting manager, the company put the applicant tracking system to the test— and was sold almost immediately. According to Recruiting Specialist Kristina Kearnan, “Before Jobvite, we used a less effective ATS for our recruiting needs, but it just didn’t get the job done. It wasn’t clean or user- friendly, and we needed something that all of our hiring managers could maneuver through without problems. With Jobvite, it’s been like night and day. It has exactly what we were looking for.” Now, with increased productivity, better social integration and advanced hiring data reporting, Jackson Family Wines is poised for major success — starting with its employees.

Shedding an Outdated Process

For Jackson Family Wines, Jobvite’s automated approval process sealed the deal when it came time to make their ATS decision. Before implementing Jobvite ATS and Onboard, the recruiting department relied on a paper-based system, where hiring managers would transfer forms between a minimum of three to four employees to gain approval and receive final sign off. Throw multiple offices across four different continents into the mix, and the process grew incredibly difficult and time consuming.

Today, Jobvite ATS and Onboard’s automated approval capability has streamlined Jackson Family Wines’ entire hiring workflow. As Kearnan explains, “With our previous ATS, getting the correct approvals in a small window of time was a pain. Now, employees and hiring managers don’t have to call and ask about the status of requisitions. Instead, they can go into the system and look for themselves. Our requests to hire actually get approved more quickly than they ever used to, which is something that we’re all very grateful for.” Jobvite has even cut Jackson Family Wines’ time-to-hire by an average of two months. With newfound time savings and enhanced team productivity, Jackson Family Wines has been able to increase its focus on recruiting top talent to fill its international job opportunities and staff its offices with the best in the industry.

Garnering Attention in a Niche Industry

Another challenging aspect of Jackson Family Wines’ business? Situated a considerable distance from any major cities, Jackson’s recruiting team is faced with a smaller talent pool than your average wine company. Furthermore, the winemaking industry isn’t large, so locating candidates for very particular roles takes a unique set of tools. “Hiring at our company can definitely be tough, because we’re outside a major city that draws talent away from us,” says Kearnan. “It’s a bit of a struggle being located where we are.”

To tackle this challenge head on, the Jackson recruiting team looked to Jobvite to help leverage external networks to bring in fresh talent. With Jobvite’s Publisher tool, Kearnan and her team are constantly connecting and sourcing, and can push hiring updates to their personal networks. “Our former applicant tracking software had no social media capabilities whatsoever, so being able to reach out to individual social media networks is huge,” Kearnan explains. “That capability has earned us numerous interviews and even several successful hires made specifically due to the power of our social networks. To date, we’ve filled over 200 positions via referrals thanks to Jobvite.” By leveraging Jobvite’s social publishing component, Jackson Family Wines has been able to increase the scope and reach of its own networks and successfully support a revamped employee referral program to expand its talent pool.

Tapping Into Exclusive Data

With an increase in socially referred candidates and productivity, growth measurement became an important third pillar of Jackson Family Wines’ recruiting strategy. As the company prepares for even more impressive growth in the coming years, tracking progress is essential for understanding what works and what doesn’t when it comes to recruiting. However, Jackson Family Wines’ previous ATS didn’t allow for much reporting on this important data. “Our old system had very basic reports, with no customization capability whatsoever,” says Kearnan.

With Jobvite, the Jackson recruiting department has been able to actively measure progress and track success much more easily. According to Kearnan, “Jobvite gives us another way to report to our department — and company as a whole — all of the success we’ve seen. It’s important to make others aware of what’s going on in our department, so everyone is on the same page.”

As Jackson Family Wines follows it’s path of impressive growth and expansion, its hiring and recruiting departments will continue to leverage Jobvite as a partner in talent sourcing and acquisition. Thanks to its social integration, simplified approval process and advanced reporting capabilities, Jobvite has enabled Jackson Family Wines to fortify an already excellent talent base and will continue to do so with quality hires in the coming years.

Jackson Family Wines Evolved their Global Process.

Jobvite’s Evolve Talent Acquisition Framework helps TA teams deliver world-class results. From initial assessment to specific action plans, Evolve empowers TA leaders to identify and prioritize areas for improvement so that no effort is wasted. Teams, processes, technologies, and strategies are optimized over time, and organizations emerge stronger, more efficient, and better able to adapt to the needs of the ever-evolving talent marketplace.

The Evolve framework offers four levels of talent acquisition maturity. Companies like Jackson Family Wines have leveled up from a level 1 to a level 2 by automating their processes, integrating their HCM platforms and using analytics to monitor progress.

About Jackson Family Wines

Jackson Family Wines is an innovative, family- owned company, with a strong belief that quality is paramount. One of the few family-based wineries of its size in the United States, a rare distinction, Jackson Family Wines has a steadfast commitment to an outstanding pedigree of cool, coastal vineyards and artisan winemaking practices.