There is a tight labour market for cannabis retail store managers. Looking in the right place for candidates is important to tap into the talent pool that does exist. Searching for candidates is mainly done online today and websites catering to job-seekers are also a crowded space. Building out your job posting so that it is attractive to cannabis candidates is important to stand out among the competition.
Finding Promising Management Candidates
An obvious place to look for a manager for your store is within the industry. We have had cannabis retail in Canada for many years so there is an established talent pool. You could canvas other stores in your geographic area to see if there are individuals with cannabis retail experience that would be suitable candidates. The upside to hiring from the industry is the candidate will be familiar with the nuances of cannabis retail and the regulations, which will decrease the learning curve when they join your company. However, I think it’s safe to say that not all cannabis retailers run organized businesses and you will want to look for candidates with a track record of success.
Outside of the cannabis industry you can look for individuals who have run other consumer packaged goods (CPG) retail operations. The benefit to candidates from these backgrounds is they may have worked for more mature companies with established systems, processes, and metrics, and can bring that knowledge forward to your store. The challenge here is to find people who have a passion for cannabis and are a strong culture fit for the customer base and team.
Recruitment is largely done online these days and there are a few sites that are the most utilized including Indeed, LinkedIn, and company career sites. Indeed and LinkedIn are highly trafficked—candidates and recruiters are all looking in the same place for talent and opportunities. This makes it particularly important to have your job stand out among the competition.
Make Your Position Look Attractive
There is a lot of competition for cannabis retail managers, especially in communities that have a lot of retail stores within a region or neighbourhood. To increase your chances of success in attracting the right candidate, you should put the time and effort into building out your job posting to explain the benefits of working for your cannabis company. Your job posting can contain the basic responsibilities and qualifications that we commonly see in job advertisements—and you can spice it up with some additional detail. These details should be authentic and give the candidate a ‘realistic job preview’ of what’s to come.
It is important that you are paying competitively for retail managers.
Competitive Wage and Perks: As a starting point, it is important that you are paying competitively for retail managers in your geographic area. If you offer additional benefits or perks you should list these because there is a good chance they will make your job stand out. If you’re unsure what a competitive wage is, you can do research on Indeed as some companies post the wage on their posting. Engaging a retail-focused recruitment agency can also provide insight into compensation and reach into candidate pools.
Brand Differentiation: There are a lot of cannabis retail stores and many lack any real differentiation. Explaining your brand story and how that impacts your customer and employee experience can excite a candidate about your company. Especially if you are targeting candidates who are already gainfully employed, you will need to spark their interest with a unique proposition.
Location and Volume: Paint a picture of the community you’re located in and serve. What about your location is good for your customers or for your employees? Perhaps it is located close to other interesting shops or on a major road that is easily accessible. You can also describe the volume of customer traffic that the store experiences—does your store tend to be fast paced, steady, and predictable? These descriptors will provide context for job seekers that can help them to identify the opportunity as one that will match their preferences.
Provide an example of the vibe of your culture.
Team Strengths and Culture: Take a moment to describe your team and culture. The cannabis industry has been through ups and downs and this isn’t lost on candidates. Many are cautious about joining or remaining in the industry. Describing the strengths of your team and providing an example of the vibe of your culture will demonstrate that these elements of the business are considered and prioritized.
Leadership Requirements: What are the leadership requirements that are particularly important for you in making this hire? List a few of them with a short description of why they’re important. This will hopefully attract candidates who bring these attributes to the table and help others rule themselves out of the process if they don’t have the applicable leadership skills.
Relationships with Owners or Corporate: It can be helpful to describe who the store manager will be reporting to, and how closely they will work together. This varies depending on if stores are independently owned or part of a corporate chain.
Candidate Experience Matters
Once you have a list of candidates who you are speaking with and screening for the role, remember that the candidate experience matters. Communicating with candidates in a professional and timely manner will continue to reinforce a positive experience with your company that they can get excited about.
Throughout the selection process the candidate will be imagining what it would be like to work in your company. You want to create an experience for the candidate that is consistent with what you described in the job posting. You will have opportunities throughout the interview process to continue to demonstrate your strengths. Remember, in a tight job market you need to sell the opportunity in an authentic way to the candidate. You are selecting them, but they are also picking you—and they have options.
Hiring great cannabis retail managers is challenging today given the tight labour market. Being explicit about the strengths of your brand, team, culture, location, and compensation package will go a long way to making your job and interview process stand out from the competition. Taking this approach with cannabis and CPG retail candidates will give you a strong starting point for your store management recruitment.