The Talent is Winning
With the cannabis industry in full swing, companies are pushing hard to build out their business. To put it bluntly: This means hiring. Unfortunately, most leaders do not realize the herculean effort it takes to hire, and by the time you do, well…
It’s called ‘Talent Acquisition’ for a reason. The adage, “If you build it, they will come” does not necessarily stand true. You need to create a purpose for people to join your organization and that takes commitment and work. And from my experience the hardest question most companies and leaders fail to answer is, “Why you?”
If you want to land the ‘best of the best’ for your organization here are some key tips:
Attraction – Do you have a plan in place to attract key personnel? Or is just another copy and paste post of your job description on Indeed or LinkedIn, hoping that candidates find your job and your company in the crowded market? Do you have a go to market strategy? Just because you have an open door doesn’t mean the right people will come in.
Create your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – Sit down with your team and ask them “Why Us?” Be open and honest and DON’T exaggerate! This is your chance to set yourself apart from the crowd and your competition. For example, if you host weekly town halls where everyone can get involved in corporate decisions…tell the world!
Hiring Committee – You need to be willing to look beyond just yourself as a solo hiring manager. A hiring committee can be a great start. If you’re hiring leadership positions a committee that know the company values can go a long way in finding the right candidate.
A committee allows and promotes thoughtful discussions on what is important to the business and not just an individual. Furthermore, a committee can identify key stakeholder initiatives that can easily be overlooked by a busy hiring manager left doing this on their own. But, do ensure you appoint a committee Chair, so that if there is a deadlock, the Chair can push for an answer. More voices can give depth to how you promote yourself to the market, but the executive decisions require a soloist and not a choir.
Write an incredible Opportunity Profile – A well-crafted Opportunity Profile speaks to your desire to look for the best people in the market. This is your chance to sell “why us” vision! It doesn’t need to be the next great Canadian novel, but it’s your chance to showcase your company’s unique proposition.
Career Dialogue – Throughout my career as a recruiter, whenever I interview a candidate, especially someone who is working at managing their career, the ‘A’ players all ask a similar question: “If I sign with ‘X’ company, what’s next?” 90% of the clients I have worked with all struggled with their answer. Some avoid it altogether, while others gave soft answers like: “In 7 years you might be promoted to a Director role… maybe.”
Here’s the thing, everyone wants talented and aspirational people on their team, but everyone also seems to forget that these people tend to be (surprise surprise) talented and aspirational! They have something to offer and aren’t the type to see middle management and a slightly larger office half a decade from now as the most attractive carrot on a stick.
If you want to attract ‘A’ players, you need to have a career dialogue with every candidate you meet. You want prospective employees to see the upward potential your company has to offer. If you aren’t willing to have this conversation with a potential new employee, then why should they join your company?
Compensation – The previous points can help set you apart from competitors, but at the end of the day it always comes down to compensation, right? I’ve been doing executive searches for 13 years, and it’s surprising at how difficult these conversations are with clients. Working for a prestigious company and getting a lavish job title can certainly entice a few prospects, but what pays the bills will be what makes or breaks a successful search.
Be current with salary & market changes and be prepared to fight to hire amazing candidates. If you want to hire a S.M.E. (Subject Matter Expert) with 7-10 years of experience but only want to hire them at a lateral salary, perhaps its not the market that is wrong?
Use of an Agency – An often dubious question to ask is whether to use an agency? My answer is a resounding YES! If you work with professionals, you’ll get professional results. Your business relies on people to make it work, so you can’t skimp out on the core of your company and its future potential just because you didn’t want to spend the extra money.
If you are not prepared to alter your talent acquisition strategy with a winning formula, you will always end up losing the battle for talent.
Author: Maurizio is the Vice President of Talent Acquisition at Cannabis Compliance Inc. He has been in Executive Search for 13 years and has helped companies with single, one-off hires and also built out full divisions. He is an advocate for hiring to be done right and to treat candidates as people and not commodities. Contact Maurizio Calconi: Maurizio@cannabiscomplianceinc.com