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By now, the term “The Great Resignation” should be as familiar as “Covid-19.” During the peak of the pandemic, the world was forced to recognize the possibility that life – and employment – would never be the same. As a result, a large portion of the workforce realized that they were not happy returning to their usual daily grind, and instead quit their job in search of more fulfilling opportunities. This chain of events has landed us in a job-seeker’s market. 

engin helps companies hire in a job seeker's market illustrationAs one may see in the housing market, when the demand for decent property exceeds the supply of sellers, the suppliers have the upper hand.  Sellers can manipulate prices, conditions, terms, whatever they want, and someone will be willing to capitulate. We’re witnessing something similar within the job market, except in this case, the job-seekers have the upper hand. More than ever before, applicants can leverage the demand for quality candidates and negotiate for better benefits such as higher pay or more flexible office hours.

With an overabundance of job opportunities and a limited pool of experienced workers, how do you secure top-tier talent?

Employers have to produce an opportunity – and the perception of the opportunity – that’s appealing. A meager paycheck isn’t going to cut it anymore. Here are some things to consider when approaching cannabis talent in a job seeker’s market.

Cannabis is alluring for a growing number of job seekers. If you’re working in the cannabis industry currently then you might have found that statement humorous or even ironic. But there are solid  reasons you still work in the industry. It’s because cannabis is powerfully fascinating in numerous, and sometimes mysterious ways. There is still so much to discover about the plant, let alone the commercial activity of it.

And then there’s the actual cannabis industry. Still very much considered a new, emerging industry, with an ever-increasing number of people pushing forward against misconceptions, misinformation, and the disastrous legal legacy that destroyed so many lives.  And with a large majority of talent in the space coming from younger generations, far fewer negative associations or stigmas impact the industry. And prior generations are taking notice, too, and impacting the success of the cannabis industry by incorporating leadership and transferable skillsets.  These  professionals migrating to cannabis from other established sectors are accelerating the industry’s scalability and durability. 

Even as the market faces challenges and growth pains, when promoting an opening at your company, many candidates will need to be about what makes the opportunity of working in cannabis so singularly attractive and fascinating.

Okay, the talent is already interested in working in the cannabis space, what now? Consider the competition in your space; not the sales data of your product versus another. Rather, compare the benefits your company has to offer to other cannabis companies. The common foundational benefits a company should look at offering are:

  • PTO (paid time-off)
  • Sick-leave policy
  • Medical benefits (including dental and vision)
  • $401K (retirement plans)

This list can be overwhelming and expensive to integrate, but it’s a must, as most companies are offering them as standard. Recall this, though: job-seekers are searching for a more meaningful life. As an employer, you can offer some creative benefits that help your employees feel more fulfilled working for you. 

“Employers must do more to address burnout.”

As we were learning about The Great Resignation, mental health awareness messages picked up momentum and now has a major seat at the table, becoming extensively discussed then Olympic gold medalist Simon Biles confidently chose to withdraw from an Olympic event due to her mental health.

At the end of the day, we’re all human. As much as we want to be successful in our careers, we also all have lives and human moments in those lives. To show that you’re a compassionate company, you can invest heavily in the well-being of your employees without having to spend an arm and a leg to get there. Consider the following list and how you may be able to integrate some or all of them into your benefits package:

Disability benefits – consider paying an employee X amount of their salary while on medical leave for X amount of weeks. Use the supplemental percentage to hire temp workers, whose purpose it is to fulfill a finite role.

Life insurance – as previously stated, a large portion of the cannabis workforce is young. In most cases, youth are not concerned about having a life insurance policy until they’re older, or have people that rely on them. Introducing a life insurance policy shows the company’s care for the important people in an employee’s life, and may help teach them the importance of gifting having funds prepared in the event of such a tragic circumstance.

Stipends – get creative with this one! Have a budget that can be gifted to employees as a bonus, such as $50 a quarter, and label it as a “Lifestyle Stipend” that they can put towards workout equipment, massages, yoga classes, therapy, etc.

Training and development – there are plenty of companies now that offer affordable packages that will train your employees on intangibles such as management styles, or hard skills like Excel such as LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, etc. – this shows you’re investing in their skills not just for the short term (to benefit your company) but the long term as those skills are theirs to keep!

Remote work flexibility – being in-office has its pros such as collaboration and social integration for improved well-being. However, we learned through the pandemic that having a flexible policy such as a hybrid schedule works two-fold. It shows the employee that you have trust in them and validates the work ethic they’ve shown you, while also gifting the opportunity to reset and not waste time on commuting–or changing out of their pajama bottoms! Additionally, this benefit can work out for you in the case of not forking over the same amount of rent, utilities, break room, office supplies, etc.

Employers have a golden opportunity to create opportunities. A thrilling new industry deserves a thrilling workplace.   

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