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10 Questions | Neil Solari, Intertwine Group, Inc.

10 Questions: Napan puts two together for wine/spirits industry

From the Napa Valley Wine Insider Digest: Nov. 13, 2021 series
Neil Solari, Intertwine Group, Inc.

Neil Solari, Intertwine Group, Inc.

Neil Solari’s job is all about jobs. Recruiting, that is.

Solari is the president/CEO of Intertwine Group, Inc.

“We are a recruiting firm specific to the wine & spirits industries, dedicated to connecting sought-after, world-class talent with our employer customers,” said the company website.

"I’m proud of what I do,” said Solari, who is also a Napa native.

“There’s not a better feeling,” than finding a great career for someone, “and having a company be thankful for putting great people in their organization.”

1. What was your childhood ambition?

To be a doctor.

2. What job would you like to try/not try?

Try: General manager of a professional sports team (like the 49ers).

Not try: Jackhammer operator.

3. How did you get into the recruiting industry?

Luck. No one studies how to be in recruiting. We all kind of just fall into it.

In my case, I met a gentleman named Alan Boris who had been doing financial recruiting for decades with Bob Half, founder of Robert Half International. Alan became my mentor and taught me everything I know. I am forever indebted to him for bringing me into this industry I am so passionate about.

4. What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?

The obvious answer would be the current pandemic, especially when hiring came to a standstill in early 2020. That said, I believe our current biggest challenge is twofold.

1. Current staffing, especially in the hospitality space.

Most of our clients are struggling to restaff to pre-pandemic levels. Tasting rooms are short-staffed and the jobs are aplenty.

Filling them, however, is a challenge. Many professionals who were in the industry either moved on to other careers or simply moved away during the pandemic. Clients are turning to Intertwine for tasting room managers/supervisors and tasting room associates.

2. It seems a new job board or online resource for career searching becomes available daily.

Some of the clients we work with start in this arena to source talent. There is a general hesitation to pay a recruiting firm’s fee when all these other resources are so prevalent. What many of our clients have found is that our fee vs. the cost of making a bad hire + the time spent sourcing on their own is vastly less.

Additionally, Intertwine greatly opens the pool of candidates by giving access to those exceptional professionals who are looking passively, not on the job boards. Our solution to the fee hesitation is that Intertwine does not charge a fee until we make a placement.

In short, we work for free until a hiring decision is made and throughout the entire process, there is no binding commitment to work with us. We take the pressure off the client and put it squarely on ourselves to perform. 

5. What’s on your to-do list?

Grocery shopping, call my grandmother, water the flowers, order Nespresso pods, follow up with three candidate/client interviews from this morning, pick up my son from school at 2:30, book a rental car for Sedona in November, find some time to work out.

6. Who do you most admire in the business world?

Elon Musk.

7. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?

Writing a true crime book and a screenplay.

8. If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?

The perception is that recruiters are not professional or honest and are only in it for one placement. Most of my peers in this business are good folks who work hard, have impeccable ethics, are in this business because it is honorable, enjoy helping people, and are committed to long-term business relationships, not the one-time placement.

9. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?

I am a living kidney donor of 13 years. I donated one of my kidneys to my best friend who is thriving today in the wine industry and has a beautiful family.

10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

Walking on a tropical beach with (significant other) Seaneen and all five of our kids (boys ages 7 to 14).

Solari can be reached at neil@intertwineinc.com

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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