What Growers Should Look for When Hiring
As the California legal cannabis market prepares to open up, state officials promise that the kind of marijuana shortage seen in Nevada won’t be replicated in the golden state. As many as 20,000 growers may be seeking licenses, and a hiring boom for upstart cultivators is already underway get ready to meet legal demand.
For people looking to get into cultivation, hiring may bring new challenges. Many hiring principles for other industries apply to the cannabis industry, but there are some special considerations. Here are some tips for those looking for new cannabis industry hires:
Consider the cost of the hire
The cost of an employee is easy to underestimate. Employees are long-term investments, and offering the right level of pay to ensure they stick around can be a challenge. Make sure you factor in benefits, training, and potential overtime costs, as well as recruiting, screening, and interviewing expenses.
While doing your cost-benefit analysis, think about why you need the employee. If it’s because you need someone to monitor the plants, weigh other potential investments, such as automated systems.
Get the right applicants
Unless you want to get a flood of unqualified applicants, stay away from popular job boards such as Craigslist or Monster. Instead, consider networking at industry events such as trade shows or hiring a staffing agency that specializes in cannabis. Professional references about a potential candidate’s skills or work ethic are much more valuable than anything on a resume.
When comparing resumes, look for traditional red flags, such as gaps in employment. Jobs that only lasted a few months might a bad sign too, but may become more common if California issues a lot of temporary licenses next year. Check your applicants’ social media channels to make sure the level of professionalism on their resume carries over to their personal brand and fits in with your company culture.
If you want to narrow it down even more, consider an extra step in the application. A short online survey makes sure applicants are willing to put in a little more effort for your business.
It’s all about skills
A history in the legal cannabis industry is a good sign, but it’s not everything. Skills are the most important part of a candidate profile, and skills picked up in other industries can carry over into cannabis.
For growers, workers in the horticulture industry could have the sensitivity needed to identify plant problems and ensure growing conditions are right at all hours. For dispensaries, retail or food service workers with a knack for customer service are perfect to head up the counter, where relationships are key.
Cannabis is unique in that there are a lot of workers from the black and grey markets looking to get into the legal business. Also, compliance is one of the most important things in the cannabis industry. Being out of compliance can quickly get your license revoked.
States have rules that require background checks for cannabis workers, but if you want to go beyond state requirements, you can purchase background checks that look at past financial issues, lesser criminal convictions, and more. These additional measures can cost a little extra, but considering the importance of compliance in the legal cannabis industry, they could be a worthy investment.
The interview is your opportunity to understand the candidate’s personality and “bud-side manner.” Ask open-ended questions, but also ask them to provide specific examples of how they’ve handled high-stress situations or difficult customers.
Be wary if the interviewee talks too much about their experience growing at home. Remember, you need an employee that understands the importance of compliance and can remember and follow the rules at all times.
A new hire is a big investment for any business. But, if you can find the right person, they are worth every penny. You should also consider investing in the highest quality plastic sheeting to protect your crop.
Don’t skimp on the essentials! Whatever your growing needs, Americover is here to help with the protection cultivators need for aquaponics, greenhouses, and light dep.