Jason Reposa is the Founder and CEO of Good Feels, a cannabis-infused beverage maker out of Massachusetts. Below he shares his perspective on hiring as the business and team grows.
Jason Reposa recently asked the LinkedIn community for thoughts on how many salespeople are needed to cover an entire state, particularly Massachusetts. With it's unique landscape from the edge of the Appalachian mountain Berkshires, east to Provincetown on Cape Cod, the post sparked many comments and reactions and led to this more general Q & A interview on when, why, and how to hire for a growing cannabis brand.
As a founder, when do you stop trying to "do everything yourself" and decide to bring others on board?
Jason Reposa: We're a pretty lean operation, so it's resource-driven at the moment, but as we are able to expand our strategy it will be more skills driven.
How do you go about the recruiting process?
JR: I sought out interesting people. I posted in a few spots, but nothing too crazy.
If you speak with passion and believe you're changing the world for the better, people will follow you.
Are you willing to hire someone with less experience, but someone you identify as a better culture fit vs. a more skilled/experienced person?
JR: Absolutely. Cultural fit in cannabis is a lot of it though. We're too small of a team to have clashes.
Experience does go a long way in this industry, but it's not everything.
Is there a particular prior experience, a certain function or industry that aligns itself well for people who want to shift into cannabis?
JR: In short, no.
I like to hire passionate people. After all, we are a bunch of high-functioning misfits collectively building the future. I put a lot of trust in everyone on the team. It's more important that they can build something beautiful and they see beauty in their work. We are creating experiences not beverages.
What are some other best practices around hiring, employee engagement, and retention?
JR: Passion. We're building the future. It's hard not to be excited about that.
For hiring: My first rule of hiring is that you always hire people smarter than you.
For teams: Not everyone is going to see eye to eye. I'm a big "translator". I've always been good at seeing the pros and cons of both sides of an argument. You have to bring key people along for a ride so we have a shared view of the world. It's really easy to make a decision when everyone is aligned.
Also, I'm a big believer in explaining why we make the decisions that we make.
Thanks to Jason for offering his insights. Check out Good Feels cannabis-infused beverages at your local dispensary.
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