What it does: Diverse portfolio of premium wines
Staff stats: 18,500 within Pernod Ricard globally,with around 1700 at Pernod Ricard Winemaker
The good bits: Extensive training, benefits of working for a large international
The not so good bits: Some weekend and after hours work
The Pernod Ricard Winemakers story
Pernod Ricard is created from the merger of two French anise-based spirits companies: Pernod, founded in 1805, and Ricard, founded by Paul Ricard in 1932. Over the last three decades, Pernod Ricard has been on a global shopping spree. Among many others, this saw it snap up Orlando Wyndham (maker of Jacob’s Creek) in Australia. Since 2010, Pernod Ricard’s Global wine division has been known as Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Elsewhere in the world, Pernod Ricard now owns Mumm, Absolut, Beefeater, Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, Havana Club, Kahlua, Malibu, Seagram, Stolichnaya and Tia Maria. In 2016/17, Pernod Ricard achieved global net sales AU$13,436 million and was the No 2 worldwide in wines and spirits.
One of the five ‘Core values’ that Pernod Ricard regards as crucial to its business model is, “Promote diversity and relationships based on mutual trust and respect.” The company is “committed to promoting diversity of gender, age and origin within the Group”. It believes “diversity and differences as a valuable source for enriching creativity”.
The focus at present is improving gender equality. The company has embarked on internal initiatives such as setting up gender equality committees to dive improvements work in work/life balance and non-discriminatory hiring and promotion practices. It has also joined external organisations, such as Catalyst, that aim to expand women’s opportunities in business. Some of the other core values Pernod Ricard prides itself on, especially in the graduate program, include Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Sustainability and Conviviality
Pernod Ricard makes a significant investment in promoting responsible drinking. It tries to dissuade pregnant women from imbibing and “make young people aware of the risks linked to excessive or inappropriate alcohol consumption”.
The company has ambitious environmental aims. These include promoting sustainable agriculture, preserving biodiversity, conserving water resources, reducing its energy consumption and mitigating climate change. In Australia and New Zealand, Pernod Ricard Winemakers support the Conservation Volunteers (an environmental organisation).
One of Pernod Ricard’s core actions is to “Contribute to the development of our local communities”. It attempts to do this by enhancing economic development, improving social and sanitary conditions and promoting entrepreneurship.
In Australia, the company sponsors the Leaders Institute of South Australia and Barossa Future Leaders program. The company also offers horticulture traineeships and viticulture and winemaking scholarships.
The recruitment process
Pernod Ricard offers a graduate wine ambassador program. This is open to those with any degree but you do need a driver’s licence. It’s also expected that you’ll be open-minded, interested in foreign cultures, convivial, proactive, innovative, entrepreneurial and have a genuine passion for wine. Unlike many grad programs, you don’t need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (as long as you have a work visa). Being bilingual (or multilingual) will count in your favour.
Applications have to be made between the start of March and the end of May. When filling out your online application, you’ll be required to upload an application video of no longer than three minutes. The next stages are a pre-recorded digital interview, a day at an assessment centre, psychometric testing and a final video interview. (This involves senior staff based in the country you’re applying to work in).
If you’re accepted into the program do five months training in Australia, New Zealand, Spain or the US. Following this, you’ll be assigned to “one of [Pernod Ricard’s] global markets” for up to two years.
During the initial training period you can find yourself spending time at wineries, vineyards and offices in Sydney, the Barossa Valley, Marlborough (in New Zealand), San Sebastian or La Rioja (in Spain) or California. No prior industry experience is required and gaining a WSET Level 2 qualification (which explores the major grape varieties and important wine regions in which they are grown) is part of the training. At the end of the training period, you’ll have accrued lots of sales and marketing experience. You will also have developed excellent presentation and project management skills.
Graduates are put on a fixed-term contract and offered “a competitive remuneration package”. (What this consists of is only revealed during the recruitment process.) Pernod Ricard Winemakers also pays for flights, visas and relocation costs if you need to move interstate or overseas.
Those who complete the Wine Ambassador program are not guaranteed a position once they’ve completed it. But given the small number of people selected for the program in the first place (there were only eight in 2017) and the fact the company expects those who’ve done the program to have “a successful future career with Pernod Ricard”, grads can be confident about being offered a permanent role.
The company wants “our people to develop their talents and become tomorrow’s leaders”. To encourage this, staff are offered “global and local development initiatives, best practice sharing and participation in cross-functional projects”.
The vibe of the place
Pernod Ricard puts in a lot of effort into recruiting and retaining staff who are entrepreneurial, ethical, passionate and respectful of diversity. It claims this results in a “friendly and fun work environment that’s honest and filled with conviviality”.
Star rating: 4.4 stars
From the Employer:
"Are you passionate about wine?
Make your dream job a reality.
Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Graduate Wine Ambassador Program is a once in a lifetime opportunity to kick start your career in the global wine industry. The program is driven by passionate wine industry professionals; keen to share their knowledge with the future vintage of talent.
During four months of training, you will gain globally recognised industry qualifications; vintage, sales and marketing experience; presentation and project management skills.
Following training, you will be placed in one of our international markets as a Wine Ambassador; representing world-famous brands such as Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo, George Wyndham, Stoneleigh, Brancott Estate and Campo Viejo, for up to two years.
Learn more about the Graduate Wine Ambassador Program on our website.
Follow the adventures of our Graduate Wine Ambassadors on Instagram @prfuturevintage"