5 Reasons Why Traditional Recruiting Doesn’t Work in Cannabis Industry

Jul 28, 2023

Today we are going to talk about our favorite topic: traditional recruiting. An antiquated process that is best likened to the home buying process. In other words- dated, ripe for disruption, and a tax on your business

Cannabis is a thriving industry and if you are experienced and skilled, a cannabis career can be quite lucrative. However, flaws in the recruitment process can make getting a job a less than pleasant experience for both candidates and businesses. 

The root of these challenges, of course, lies with the foundation of traditional recruiting. Let's explore further, but first a quick clarification- at EzHire we don't believe recruiting/recruiters should go away. We believe it should be appropriating aligned with your business objectives to serve as a value-add vs. a gatekeeper of all things hiring. Technology has rendered the full-service staffing agency significantly less valuable- thus their compensation model is no longer valid - much like a realtor in 2021 where most of the buying process takes place independently online. 

The overall feeling is that the recruiting industry has become outdated and ineffective, especially for this industry. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Let's dig in to the five ways the cannabis recruitment process is breaking down and what can be done to improve it! 

The Contingency Based Model Promotes Subpar Work

In most instances, recruitment services work on a contingency basis charging candidates a percentage of their salary when they successfully find a match. Therefore, the higher paying the job they are able to land the candidate, the more money they will get. And if you work in a lucrative industry like tech cannabis, this can really add up. 

  • In the meantime, what are recruiters actually doing to make more money?
  • Does it require more effort for them to land a $60,000 a year job as it does to land one with a $70,000 annual salary? 

The truth is many recruiters are lazy. They send out resumes without considering if candidates are a good fit. They are just hoping something sticks. They are not transparent with candidates and often don’t communicate with them unless it’s to tell them they found them a position and to pick up a paycheck. 

Their commission serves to reinforce this behavior. 

It’s a Numbers Game

Most recruiters get a candidate in their database and see this as a cue to race to the finish line. They focus on speed and get resumes out as soon as possible without taking time to consider whether the candidate is a good fit for the job. 

This process can lead to hiring mistakes that can be a waste of time and money for both the employer and the candidate. 

Issues like these can be avoided if recruiters take some time to review the skills and attitudes that will lead to success in the positions they are submitting for and by making sure their candidates fit the bill. 

Hiring Expenses Don’t Account for Poor Recruitment

When organizations are looking to hire, they account for expenses including interview costs, recruiter expenses, employee referral services, advertisements costs and agency fees. Therefore, they may go with recruiter services that charge the least amount of money and they may make hasty hiring decisions to cut down on recruitment costs. 

What they don’t consider is that the biggest expense comes into play when they make the wrong hiring decisions. Hiring an unqualified employee can add up in time and money spent in training. If the employee is not productive or makes any costly mistakes that can further increase costs.  

A highly paid employee working in the cannabis industry can make as much as $150,000 annually. Making a bad hiring decision in this space can cost a company $1.5 million or more. It’s wiser to invest time in the hiring process than to incur this kind of loss. 

Treat Hiring Like an Assembly Line Process

Most companies have a process in order when it comes to tracking expenses and overseeing other day to day activities. But when it comes to hiring, no systems are in place. 

Companies can improve their hiring system by documenting their current processes including interviewing and training. This will help them make improvements, so they are less likely to waste money on bad hires. 

It Doesn’t Focus on People

Digital means are often incorporated in the hiring process. This dehumanizes it making companies forget that they are dealing with a person. 

Instead of taking a cold approach, try thinking of candidates as customers. Use empathy by role playing with a colleague to see how you feel when you are being asked your interview questions. Think about the answers you come up. 

Then turn things around by interviewing your colleague. This will help you practice your interview skills, but it can also provide a different perspective when it comes to how you judge your candidate’s responses. 

The recruitment process has a lot of issues in the cannabis tech space. But companies and recruitment agencies can work together to fix them.

A thorough review of skills can determine if a candidate is a good fit for a job before they are submitted. Taking time with the hiring process can reduce expenses down the line. Humanizing candidates will be beneficial in helping each potential employee shine. 

Hopefully these improvements become more commonly practiced in the recruitment process to make a change for the better.

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