Why is Your Dispensary Staff Turnover So High?

We are currently facing the tightest labor market in decades, living through the Great Resignation, and dispensaries are not immune. Ensuring that staff does not get recruited to one’s competition or take another retail job is on the mind of dispensary owners throughout the country. Both large MSOs and independent dispensary owners are facing the same challenges and trying to minimize employee turnover. This article highlights mistakes your hiring team might be making and what they can do to help curb your employee attrition.

Your hiring team assumes that retail staff turnover is always going to be high –that’s “just how it is.”

This attitude and mindset from the top down can negatively affect recruiting efforts and outcomes before they have even started. While we know that retail turnover is typically higher than many other sectors, it does not mean that it is impossible to hire high-quality, long-term employees. Communicating a strong mission and culture will allow employees to feel part of a team and that they are working toward a goal. Having management with a clear vision can make a positive impact with little financial investment.

Your team assumes that hiring a cannabis “enthusiast” would make a good employee.

Just because someone loves cannabis, doesn’t necessarily mean that they would be a good cannabis employee. First, while it might seem wonderful that a prospective employee has prior cannabis knowledge and/or experience, if it is through personal experience and/or the legacy market, it may not always translate into a successful, well-educated employee. Ensuring staff has up-to-date education and training on new products, effects, legislation, and standard operating procedures is more important than ever. When hiring professionals with experience, it is essential to ask detailed questions about their willingness to learn, ability to provide an outstanding customer experience and to see what their motivating factors are regarding why they want the opportunity to work for your dispensary.

Some questions to ask, include:

  • Are you receptive to company training and how do you learn best?
  • What current training have you done independently?
  • Are you willing to continually learn about new products and able to adapt to a fast-paced, changing environment?
  • Do you support a culture of compliance –following company and state rules and protocols?
  • What is the most difficult situation you have had with a customer and what were your take aways?

Your hiring team is stretched too thin, and interviewing is not the priority.

Not underestimating the importance of your dispensary staff is critical to the success of your operation. Dispensary staff is often “the face” of the business and customer relationships are especially important in the cannabis industry for many reasons. First, there is intense competition for business. If most dispensaries are selling the same products, why should they come to yours? What sets you apart? Answer: your staff and the customer experience they can provide. Second, the unique nature of the cannabis culture demands it. Many customers are excited about legal cannabis and are looking to build a relationship with a trusted advisor for product feedback and recommendations. Third, as alluded to above, your dispensary staff holds a lot of responsibility when it comes to compliance –they can literally make or break your business. Staff that doesn’t operate within the necessary culture of compliance can at best cause headaches for the company, and at worst, cause major fines or even the revocation of licenses.

It is worth a recruiter’s time and effort to find the best talent possible. Just because dispensary jobs are often entry-level positions, doesn’t mean that you should hire “just anyone.” Dispensary staff should be viewed as stewards of your company.

Having a thoughtful hiring strategy and interview process is what sets a great dispensary apart from those that are just middle-of-the-road. And, again, reducing turnover saves time and money in the long run. As a general rule of thumb, the cost of employee turnover is 5X the salary of that hire. If you are interested in working with a recruiting partner with an extensive network and interested in GROWING your team, please contact us at: sina@growingtaledev.wpengine.com or visit www.Growing-Talent.com

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