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Cannabis Recruiting Tips: How to Attract the Best Talent


  • Recruiting in the cannabis industry requires a specific approach compared to traditional industries.
  • Considering transferable skills, offering competitive salaries and benefits, and working with an experienced HR partner are key to building a strong team.
  • GreenLeaf HR streamlines your recruiting process, helping you attract top talent and navigate benefits and labor laws. Contact us for a free HR consultation today.

The cannabis industry is experiencing explosive growth in the U.S., fueled by increasing legalization, mergers and acquisitions, multi-state expansions, and new licensing opportunities.  But this boom presents a challenge: attracting and retaining top talent.

Finding reliable, qualified, and passionate individuals, who are enthusiastic about the cannabis industry is crucial. But how can cannabis business owners attract the best talent? This article provides essential tips and best practices to manage the cannabis recruiting and hiring process effectively.

Let’s dive right in!

Consider Transferable Skills when Interviewing Potential Candidates for your Cannabis Business

Cannabis Recruiting Tips & Best Practices

Using the same old methods on generic job boards won’t attract the top talent your cannabis business needs. Rushing through the hiring process just to fill a vacancy quickly can lead to high turnover and poor employment fit.

It’s time to rethink your cannabis hiring process! Follow these tips and strategies to find the best talent for your cannabis company:

1. Define Your Ideal Candidate

Before posting a job, take a step back. What skills and personality traits are essential for the role?

For instance, a Budtrimmer thrives with attention to detail and enjoys hands-on work. In contrast, a Budtender needs strong customer service skills and a passion for cannabis knowledge.

Match the job description to your ideal candidate. Be clear about what the role entails and what you expect from the new hire. This transparency attracts the right people and sets everyone up for success.

2. Review Job Descriptions

A job description should be clear, concise, and packed with information that attracts the right people. Here’s what to include:

  • A quick overview of your company’s mission, products, and culture.
  • Clearly outline the responsibilities and expectations of the position.
  • Describe the skills, licenses, and ideal personality traits for the job.
  • Highlight the compensation, benefits, and perks you offer.

3. Look Beyond the Industry

The cannabis industry is still young, and finding experienced candidates can be tricky. Don’t limit yourself to just cannabis resumes! Consider transferable skills and similar industries to expand your search.

The obvious choice is to target commercial agriculture for growers. But not-so-obvious is to look to highly regulated industries like banking and finance or even pharmaceuticals for sales and customer service roles in retail cannabis operations.

Some other skill set matches include:

  • Social Worker > Budtender
  • Medical Administrator > Budtender
  • Science or Laboratory Roles > Extraction Technician
  • Culinary or Food Services Roles > Edibles Chef
  • Horticulturist > Lead Cultivator

4. Recruit From Multiple Channels

Don’t rely on just one source to find your ideal candidate! Here are some effective channels:

For small businesses, creating a job description and managing the application process can be cumbersome and time-consuming. If that’s your case, consider partnering with a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) that can help you handle everything:

  • Posting to relevant job boards
  • Reviewing and screening applicants
  • Identifying top candidates for your interview process

5. Get the Most from the Interview Process

Interviews aren’t just about picking a candidate. They are also about potential candidates having a first impression of your business and management style.

Here’s how to make the most out of this part of the process:

  • Be responsive. Show respect for candidates’ time by promptly replying and being on time for interviews. A bad first impression can make them lose interest.
  • Be clear about your company’s mission, values, and culture. What makes you unique? This helps them see if it’s a good fit for them too.
  • Be detailed when explaining their role, daily tasks, and expectations. This ensures they understand the job and avoids attracting those who aren’t a good match.
  • Use open-ended questions to assess their personality and work ethic. Are they passionate about the industry and the job, or just looking for a paycheck?

6. Offer a Competitive Salary and Benefits Package

While keeping costs under control is important, offering minimum wage or the bare minimum salary for every position can backfire. This approach might save money upfront, but it often leads to high turnover and a workforce that’s disengaged and less productive.

High employee turnover rates can cost your business a lot of time and money. After all, replacing an employee can cost as much as 50% of their salary.

Here’s how to attract and keep top talent:

  • Competitive pay: Research salaries for similar positions in your area. Offer wages that match the skills and experience you need.
  • Benefits beyond pay: If you’re a smaller business, consider perks like discounted products, training opportunities, or flexible work options. These benefits can make a big difference to potential hires.

7. Perform Pre-Employment Screenings

In an industry as highly regulated as cannabis, thorough background checks and employee eligibility verification are essential. Non-compliance with HR labor laws can lead to fines or even closure.

Partner with a screening service to verify eligibility and qualifications and keep your cannabis business protected. A good pre-employment screening typically includes:

  • Criminal and civil records search
  • Social security trace
  • Professional license investigation
  • A restricted party search
  • A search through the National Record Locator
  • A search through the National Sex Offender Registry
  • Previous compliance issues for past cannabis industry workers
Offer a Competitive Salary and Benefits to Attract Talent to Your Cannabis Business

Feeling overwhelmed?

Building a stellar team for your cannabis business takes time and expertise. But you don’t have to do everything on your own. Partnering with a cannabis HR specialist like Greenleaf HR can streamline your recruitment process.

We’ll guide you through everything, from crafting irresistible job descriptions to attracting top talent in the industry. Contact us today for a consultation and discover how we can help you unlock your cannabis recruiting strategy and build a winning team for your business.

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