In the cannabis industry, a talent acquisition war is taking place. Competition for the most desirable talent has intensified due to rapid growth by operators in states transitioning from medical to adult-use, and start-ups luring away top talent with more compensation and benefits. In addition, the industry is proving to be recession-resilient during the pandemic, which only exaggerates the competition.  

Cannabis companies seeking to recruit quality professionals now compete on a fast-paced 'battlefield.' Faced with a scarcity of highly skilled talent and rapidly increasing market demands, a significant number of cannabis companies may be forced to merge or sell unless they adapt quickly and change how they recruit personnel.  

The Recruiting 'Game' Has Changed 

The recruiting process has permanently changed. 'Just in time' recruiting is no longer a practical and sustainable option. Cannabis companies receive many resumes for open positions, but the interviewing process is time-consuming and becomes frustrating when the candidates do not meet the job qualifications and expectations. Extended open roles can be costly and have a significant negative impact on revenue and the staff's morale. To avoid these issues, growing cannabis companies should implement continuous recruiting strategies and initiatives. Although this strategy may defer traditional approaches to recruiting and related profitability, it can make companies less vulnerable to turnover. This approach can also help cannabis companies meet the challenges of servicing new, as well as retaining current, customers and patients. 

A Modern Approach to Recruiting 

Continuous recruiting means constantly sourcing qualified candidates who are not actively seeking a new opportunity but are willing to discuss the possibility of joining the company in the future. Once a candidate has been sourced, a recruiting or department manager should develop a relationship with the candidate over an extended time. 

Recruiting must be a continuous process to win the battle for top talent. It is no longer a cost-effective strategy or a viable option to wait until a position opens or to receive an influx of new patients or customers before beginning the recruiting process. Qualified cannabis industry professionals are rare and usually have well-paying jobs with quality companies. It will take time to "sell" them on why they should join your cannabis company. 

Cannabis companies must plan to add employees for actual or anticipated growth, especially in states transitioning from medical to adult-use. This contemporary approach to recruiting requires building a pipeline of qualified candidates who can quickly fill vacancies and remaining in continuous contact with them. By having a pool of talented prospective candidates, operators can prevent hiring mistakes caused by rushing to fill open positions quickly. Hiring mistakes are very costly and can significantly damage morale. At many companies, HR professionals spend a portion of their time recruiting and, unfortunately, an even larger percentage of their time managing recruiting mistakes. 

For continuous recruiting to be successful, it is essential to develop, build, and nurture long-term relationships with the best-qualified candidates over time. Relationship building is the same method that successful marketing and business development professionals use to target and convert leads. 

Cannabis companies should develop a pipeline of qualified candidates by using a variety of industry sources, including: 

  • Online job boards 
  • Social media networking 
  • Current employees and alumni 
  • Industry events 
  • Other industry and business colleagues and referrals 
  • Industry associations and organizations 
  • Traditional recruiters and staffing agencies 

Implement a consistent recruiting strategy with an easy-to-manage system 

Continuous recruiting allows cannabis companies to control the recruiting process instead of being controlled by it. Starting from scratch every time there is an open role or rapid growth caused by new patients or customers is ineffective and unproductive. Building a pool of qualified candidates requires time, resources, and finesse. As operators develop candidate pipelines, it is critical to keep prospective candidates' information organized.  

Wurk helps operators make better recruiting decisions, protects cannabis businesses from bad hires, and minimizes HR professionals' time on administrative details. Wurk's Applicant Tracking System allows operators to seamlessly recruit, hire, and onboard new employees all in one platform. Wurk's hiring solutions reduce costly administrative tasks with a centralized workflow that automates: 

  • Managing job postings 
  • Collecting applications and responses 
  • Filing resumes 
  • Performing background screening 
  • Communicating with applicants 
  • Creating comprehensive audit trails 

In addition, managers can easily share interview notes, match applicants to key job criteria, and fine-tune hiring profiles to the qualities and skills of your most valuable employees.  

The old recruiting model doesn't work anymore, and the time to change is now. Recruit, onboard, and manage top talent using a simple and intuitive software and one platform: Wurk's all-in-one solution for Human Capital Management. Contact Wurk to schedule a demo and get started today.

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