MJBizMag May-June 2022 - 14

HEMP NOTEBOOK Kristen Nichols
Rethinking Retention
Hemp business owners aren't immune from the Great Resignation,
so identify ways to keep your best hires from leaving
C
BD and hemp can make a lot
of conditions better. But job
satisfaction isn't one of them.
Americans quit their jobs in
record numbers last year, launching
an event now known as the Great
Resignation. And even as the
pandemic (hopefully) recedes, the
pace doesn't seem to be letting up.
Business owners are seeing
intense competition to recruit and
retain talent, especially in industries
designated " essential " because
of their importance to protecting
public health and safety in a
pandemic. Those essential workers
experienced some of the most
challenging conditions from the
past two years.
So, it blows my mind how many
hemp and CBD business owners
seem to believe this industry is
immune to staffing problems.
Cannabis jobs are cool, the thinking
goes, and people love the plant so
much that the Great Resignation
is driving people to the hemp and
CBD industries as they flee other
lines of work.
There are a couple of problems
with this line of thinking.
One, there is no evidence that
any of it is true, making it odd that
business owners with a huge thirst
for data don't seem interested in
figuring out how the hemp workforce
is changing.
And two, hemp and CBD owners
who aren't seeing retention
problems might be tempted to
skip the hard work of developing a
talent pipeline that will keep their
companies healthy long after the
14 May-June 2022 | MJBizMagazine
" Expressions of support for diverse hiring
practices from white-owned companies
ring hollow when those expressions come
from an overwhelmingly white and male
management team. "
industry matures and working in
cannabis is no longer an interesting
topic at cocktail parties.
In short, hemp business owners
who aren't watching resignation
trends are putting their very
businesses at risk.
That's because recruitment and
salary, the focus of this double
issue, are just the first steps to
building a healthy talent pool.
Consider: Employees don't care
about pay and " life-work balance "
nearly as much as employers think
they do. According to a multiindustry
survey published by
McKinsey & Co. last year, employees
are much more interested in feeling
valued by their employers and
seeing opportunities to advance
their careers. Pay raises without
career-development opportunities
can seem overly transactional, the
report concluded.
A new survey by the Pew
Research Center of people who quit
their jobs in 2021 found that 57% of
them felt " disrespected at work. "
Inclusionary language doesn't
cut it anymore. Expressions of
support for diverse hiring practices
from white-owned companies ring
hollow when those expressions
come from an overwhelmingly
white and male management team.
A recent survey of 800 recruiters
found that 44% had candidates turn
down an interview or a job offer
because of a lack of diversity in the
company's workforce.
I know the hemp and CBD
industry has a deep pool of talent,
and I'd love to hear about the
strategies hiring managers are using
to grow talent and avoid employee
turnover. I'm guessing the paycheck
is just the beginning.
Kristen Nichols covers hemp
for MJBizMagazine. She
can be reached at kristen.
nichols@mjbizdaily.com.

MJBizMag May-June 2022

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