How Cannabusinesses Can Have Rockstar Human Resource Departments
When it comes to any successful business, it always boils down to the people. Employees are the shakers and movers of your business, and without them you’ll have to do all the work. What’s even worse is that if you hire the wrong people, you face the risk of losing money.
This is true even in the cannabis industry. Hiring the right people means more than just looking for someone who knows the difference between sativa and indica. According to the Marijuana Business Daily’s Marijuana Business Handbook for 2016, cannabusinesses in the US are now hiring 100,000 to 150,000 people so you can bet that there is a need for these companies to take Human Resource seriously!
Here’s what you can do:
Do your homework about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Classifications. The FLSA is the set of guidelines for employment standards and covers minimum pay, record-keeping,overtime and other matters. These are important matters to understand especially because cannabusinesses need jobs that are completely new - such as budtenders and trimmers, and it’s only normal that some companies still won’t understand how to classify them. Should your bud trimmer be exempt from overtime pay? Who is qualified for overtime pay in the company? These are some matters that you should take into consideration so that you can clearly set rules and have happy employees while being fair! It’s also beneficial that you understand what the law says about medical leaves and disabilities.
Don’t hire your friends, go for people that you don’t know but have a proven professional background. It might be tempting to give weed jobs to your friends at first, but this can backfire later on especially if your friend starts asking for special time-off benefits or his skills aren’t actually as good as it was on paper. Business owners should look to create a diverse yet talented team that values different perspectives and cultures while bringing something to the table.
Be clear, not glassy-eyed, when creating your job descriptions. Maybe go smoke a good sativa first while hashing out job descriptions for your future employees. Just like with any other business, it’s so important to be clear with what you are expecting out of each person you’re hiring. This is especially true for staff whose work will require them to touch the plant since they will need to follow stricter laws, so make sure that you’re hiring people who can follow directions otherwise they can cause your business to go up in smoke.
Make use of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. Under Federal law, all new employees need to complete this form. As a business owner, this form makes sure that your employee is being honest about their identity and their ability to legally work in the country. Don’t eat too many brownies and forget about this step: doing so will mean serious consequences especially if your company gets audited.
Offer good greens, and not just the plant-kind. Good compensation packages will make your business more attractive to the best talent. Offer them good benefits too, like health insurance and other perks.
Work closely with staff and have joint communication because this can reduce turnovers. Create an organizational chart that can help your team visualize growth in the business, and have an employee handbook which clearly discusses rules for time-off, overtime pay, work hours, and other critical issues. Engage them in conversation regularly and also schedule regular performance reviews. Invest time and money in the proper training because you also play a role in employee development.
What has worked with you when it comes to hiring for your cannabis business? Share your tips with us in the comments below.