5 Tips to Find and Keep Employees in the Cannabis Industry

This is a guest column by Karson Humiston, Founder & CEO – Vangst

The cannabis industry is expected to reach $50 billion by the end of 2021. Companies are growing at a rapid pace, but In spite of all the growth, many companies this year are losing employees while struggling to find and retain talent. In the face of this “Great Resignation,” how can companies in the cannabis space build happy, successful and effective teams?

Here are a few tips your organization’s human resources department can apply today:

Tip #1: Clearly Define the Outcome You’re Looking for in the Role

By far, the biggest mistake most companies make when hiring is being too vague when writing the job description. It’s not enough to just list the requirements and day-to-day tasks that you expect from your candidates. Instead, start with the outcome in mind. For example, if you’re looking to hire a salesperson, you could say something like “We’re looking to increase our sales by 20% next year, and in order to do that, we need a salesperson to get us 100 new customers.” By starting with the outcome, candidates know exactly what is expected of them and can judge for themselves if they have the skills to help your company reach its goals.

Tip #2: Make It Clear What Success Looks like in the Position

After defining the desired outcome for the position, it’s important to then show your candidates a roadmap on how they can get there. To stick with our example of hiring a salesperson, you could say something like, “In order to help us get 100 customers, you will need to make X amount of calls a day, and out of those calls we expect Y many closes.” Again, here you’re making it clear what the job will entail and how the position adds value to the business. You’re also demonstrating transparency right off the bat, which reduces turnover.

Tip #3: Cast a Wide Net

In order to find the best talent, you need to make your job posting as widely available to applicants as possible. Posting on Vangst is a great start (especially if you’re a cannabis company), but you should also post to several other reputable job sites. Many companies will start interviewing and find one person they’re happy with and call it a day. We don’t recommend this approach. Even if you really like one candidate, keep in mind the candidate may also be entertaining other jobs and offers. There’s no guarantee that they will accept yours. We recommend you find three people with whom you would be happy to work. This way, you have viable options in case something doesn’t work out with your frontrunner.

Tip #4: Have an Intentional and Clear Onboarding Process

You’ve finally hired an amazing candidate, and they’re now working for your company. Your job as a recruiter is over, right? Wrong. Finding talent is only the first step in this process. After hiring a new employee, you’ll want to do everything you can to get them up to speed and set them up for success. This means having a conscious and straightforward onboarding process. You’ll want to set expectations with your new employee and give them all the tools they need to thrive. This way, your new employee knows what they’re doing and feels they’re being supported every step of the way.

Tip #5: Maintain Good Communication and Give Clear Feedback

As your new employee gets settled into their role, it’s important to keep the line of communication open and establish regular check-ins for the first 90 days and beyond. Make sure your new employee is getting helpful and clear feedback from their manager, so they can improve. You also want to give your new hire a chance to give their manager feedback.  It’s important for managers to communicate with employees about where the company is at currently, their role in it, and how that role might evolve in the future. Establishing regular check-ins from the get-go will ensure new employees and the company are always on the same page.


We’re aware that 2021 has been a tough year for many companies when it comes to recruiting though, but if you follow these tips, your company will be armed with the tools it needs to find and retain top talent.

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