How Sierra Nevada Simplified Their Process with JDXpert
Food & Beverage
Overview: The Client
With over 1,000 employees, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is a leader in craft brewing and has maintained steady growth in the food and beverage industry for the past 40 years.
The Problem: Access, Versioning, Inefficient Workflows
For Sierra Nevada to maintain a high level of craft brewing innovation and global sustainability, they need to recruit and manage team members at the top of their game. The fact that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is family-owned and operated makes this especially significant as they have a legacy to protect.
Sierra Nevada’s Human Resources team realized they needed a system to create, maintain and manage their job descriptions—something that would integrate job descriptions with their other HRIS systems. They needed a user-friendly platform that would simplify and streamline processes while supporting and encouraging collaboration between users.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Creates a single source of truth for their job descriptions
Allows recruiters to pull accurate job postings every time
Transmit vital job data to their other systems (ATS, HRIS) more efficiently via integration
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi in Chico, California. Their Pale Ale is the second best-selling craft beer in the United States, and Sierra Nevada is in the top 10 craft breweries in the United States by production.
Before discovering JDXpert, Sierra Nevada had been using Microsoft Word documents passed back and forth in emails to manage their job descriptions. This workflow represented myriad challenges, in that Word and email inhibited them from storing jobs in an accessible, central, and secure application. As a result, it was challenging to identify the most current approved version of a job. Plus, their previous process provided no clear format or structure, nor did it provide managers with the tools and guidelines needed to make the revision process transparent and efficient.
The implementation of the new program went almost without incident, and stakeholders were embracing the process. Job descriptions were being updated, and employees were viewing their job description in JDXpert, feeling more empowered and knowledgeable about their responsibilities. Having accurate, updated job descriptions also helped the company as it went through its next performance review cycle and merit process. And even during an audit by the DCAA, auditors went as far as to rave about the process and JDXpert.
But the honeymoon phase ended abruptly when a class action lawsuit was filed. To everyone’s surprise, the FLSA classification of a job was being questioned. An employee from one of the company’s smaller outlets claimed that his job, and that of his co-workers in similar jobs, had been inaccurately classified. He alleged that these jobs, classified as exempt, were actually non-exempt positions, qualifying them for overtime pay. He and a number of his co-workers asserted that this was not an isolated occurrence, but something that was affecting similar jobs throughout the company. These employees went on extended business trips and would sometimes go on trips that would result in longer hours. They believed their jobs to be non-exempt positions because they routinely performed low-level tasks like pulling network cables. As a result, they felt that they were owed compensation for additional time worked. However, these employees were highly-skilled engineers who were paid market-based wages. It was now up to the company and their legal team to argue the legitimacy of their claim.
The Solution: Simplified and Fully Integrated
It was clear that Sierra Nevada’s current process was unsustainable. They needed to establish a more systematic and standardized approach.
A job description management system was identified as a critical component of their HR strategy; not just because of the clarity and structure it injected into the job description maintenance process but also because it allowed them to transmit vital job data to their other systems more efficiently.
In the past, they were constrained by the limitations imposed by Word documents and shared drives and had to enter job data into their HRMS and ATS manually.
After implementing a new HR system and updating their compensation structure, they established that the only way for their systems to align with their processes was to find a solution that integrated with their other HR systems.
JDXpert was discovered to be the most robust tool available. Plus, it integrated seamlessly with their other systems, which made it an easy choice. They appreciated JDXpert’s ability to meet their current needs and valued its flexibility and ability to grow with them as their needs changed.
The HR and Recruitment teams at Sierra Nevada have been thrilled with JDXpert and the new efficiencies it offers. The team especially loved the search library, workflow process, template configuration capabilities, and commenting features.
The content library provides hiring managers with a starting point for job description creation. The momentum gained with the job library continues through the workflow and wraps up with integration with their ATS, moving Job Posting automatically at the finalization of a workflow.
JDXpert provided a single source of truth for their job descriptions and allowed their recruiters to pull accurate job postings every time. The recruitment team can identify components of the job description, knowing that the information is valid and up-to-date before forwarding that information to their ATS. This feature excites the individuals recruiting for a job and contributes to a good candidate experience and job appeal.
The HR team also delights in how easy it is to make changes to the job description template as needed. When job descriptions are written in Word, a change to the format of one job description does not translate to another, resulting in an inconsistent look and feel. JDXpert automates this task so that the system administrator can cascade that change across all jobs or individually chosen jobs when a template is altered.
Another favorite among Sierra Nevada’s managers is the ad-hoc workflow capability. This feature allows reviewers to be prompted via email that a job is awaiting their review. They click on a link, review the job, and submit their feedback to administrators. This structured approach to workflow makes it easier for editors. It also provides HR with a way to ringfence versions by tracking changes and giving administrators the option to accept, reject or comment back to the reviewer about their changes.
The Sierra Nevada HR team has big growth plans and is preparing to roll out a leveling matrix soon. They aim to incorporate that information into JDXpert alongside competencies, which will allow them to pre-populate data based on career levels—a huge time savings!
They also hope to implement an employee acknowledgment feature so that employees can sign off on their job descriptions and will assess other potential changes to their performance review process as well. They look forward to growing with JDXpert and are confident that the system will continue to bring efficiencies to their HR processes.
From the Client
“The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. HR team is really happy to be JDXpert customers. We’ve finally found the platform we need to reduce complexity and achieve much-needed efficiencies in HR processes. Thanks, JDXpert, for solving so many issues!”
Lisa Bentz, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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