SOURCE: MG Magazine
Date published: June 11, 2020
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Conducting interviews face to face and concluding a conversation with a handshake once were staples of the hiring process. Now, through the lens of COVID-19, these seemingly innocent gestures feel like unnecessary risks—relics from a way of life we quickly had to abandon.
The cannabis industry—considered an “essential service” in many states—has become a popular destination for those seeking work during the pandemic, and with massive unemployment numbers, the workforce has more qualified candidates available than ever. Normal hiring processes, however, have been completely upended, leaving job seekers and employers scrambling to find solutions.
Keegan Peterson, chief executive officer for Würk, has been putting a lot of effort into keeping the spirits of his team high. His employees are working remotely at the moment and he feels consistent communication can help maintain a sense of normalcy.
“We want to emphasize the importance of staying in touch for positive morale and to build our sense of community,” Peterson said. “We carry out weekly all-hands calls, have Zoom activities like happy hour, and are rolling out a one-on-one interdepartmental lunch for people to get to know each other or re-engage with one another.”
Peterson recommends that companies, more than ever, have a solid online presence. Being transparent about company culture and vision is useful for new candidates who may be seeking employment in cannabis.
There may be no easy time to find a quality job, but current circumstances mean candidates must network and hustle even more than normal to identify potential openings. “Candidates should tap into the cannabis network via phone calls, email, LinkedIn, and virtual roundtables since face-to-face interaction and in-person events are limited,” Peterson said.
Peterson identified some areas where he has seen new opportunities for those trying to join the industry or for members seeking advancement. As dispensaries operate but try and practice social distancing, he has seen a rise in the need for delivery drivers and a need for employees to coordinate curbside pickup. He has also seen opportunities for those already working in cannabis.
“A number of companies experienced a reorganization, where lower-level employees had to step into managerial roles quickly,” Peterson said. “In these situations, we’ve seen a rise in demand for virtual onboarding procedures that allow for both social distancing and ease in the training of many people at once.”