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4 Things You Need To Know Before Hiring Croptober Workers

The main harvesting season is right around the corner. Here's how to hire the best workers.

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With COVID-19 creating massive waves of unemployment nationwide, the number of people applying for each job has been increasing. It's more important for those in the cannabis industry to hire the best possible people to help you ensure a successful Croptober yield. Fall is the critical season for harvest, so there’s no room for a second chance to get it right. Here are some tips for finding the best employees. 

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Related: This Is How Your Cannabis Is Grown

1. Act now

It may be early September, but you know the season is around the corner. So do potential short-term employees looking to explore their options in location, job description, and of course, compensation. It’s easier than ever for workers to leverage online tools to cast a wide net. The longer you wait to post your open positions, the smaller the candidate pool becomes. While selecting and training may be time-consuming and work-intensive, you can get the ball rolling relatively quickly. And doing it today means better options in the future.

2. Write a killer job description

Your next priority is creating a compelling listing. Whether you include start and end dates or actually list a title that contains the words “seasonal,” “temporary,” or “short-term,” make it clear that it’s not a long-term position. Of course, the job will be more appealing if there's potential for it to become full-term, so by all means, mention it if it’s honestly a possibility. It's the go/no-go differentiator for many people, even if it's not a sure thing. When someone is aiming to prove themselves to land a full-time gig, you often see better performance. Everybody wins.

One common mistake we see crop up in the marketplace during heavy temp seasons: Unclear, overly general job descriptions for temp positions. Now we’ll be fair; we sometimes see temporary workers open to doing, well, anything. But with this generation of workers (many of them Millennials), temporary work is often a first-choice way of life, not the last resort. That’s a big change—and a big deal.

Your ideal temp staffers are often looking for variety, clear definition, and a level of job satisfaction they can value. As such, you’ll get a higher caliber employee when you’re specific in the tasks and responsibilities involved so that both you and they can decide whether it’s a good match. This clarity will also help to assess their performance once they begin, as you can determine whether their activities match the job description. Yes, you may still find individuals who are flexible and ready for anything but take that as an added bonus when it happens.

Related: Cannabis Chemistry: What To Know About Evaporation Post-Harvest

3. Lean on your connections

So where exactly are you going to find this Croptober workforce? Just as you prize third-party validation from customers who recommend your products to their friends and colleagues, you should absolutely use that same dynamic in hiring. Everyone has friends and relatives (or friends of friends or relatives of relatives) who may be interested in the positions you have to offer. Not only can you save time in creating and managing employment listings to send out over the open web, but the people you find through your existing connections will already have an endorsement from those who brought them in. These connections can come through current employees, business partners, or even through your social media network. 

If you do choose to take the online approach, look for cannabis-specific platforms designed for the communities and types of positions you are offering. They attract the most appropriate potential pool of employees. LinkedIn and other networks can also be useful, but it's all a matter of efficiency—especially if you don’t have a dedicated HR Department doing this work full-time.  

4. Clearly define the job

Now let’s assume you’ve found some great hires, and they show up for their first day of work. As discussed, an employee with a clear job definition will perform better to match expectations. During the onboarding process, then, it’s critical to define their responsibilities clearly, introduce them to others in their department who might be useful along the way, and give them the feeling that they are actually part of your team – even if for just a little while. 

Make them realize that it’s worth asking questions and even making suggestions for improvement, and you’ll see productivity soar as they feel part of the team. Oh, and it should go without saying, but make sure to review safety procedures, as many measures that a permanent team may take for granted may not be obvious. The last thing you want is a safety audit, in which the authorities penalize you due to an inexperienced temporary employee.

What's sometimes confusing (to both employers and employees alike) is that, while one the one hand, a temporary worker is, by definition, going to be treated differently than a full time one, you are hoping for the same professionalism put out by your full-time team. 

At the end of the day, you want them to be prompt, productive, trustworthy, and an asset to you and their colleagues—not someone to worry about. Treating them and their work in a serious way, and making sure they know it, will lead to a direct, measurable upside to your business.

Related: How to Grow a Cannabis Farming Business in the Blazing Marijuana Economy