Top 4 Insights from a Leading Cannabis Executive Recruiter
Looking for a job in the thriving cannabis industry? Set yourself up for success and learn what it takes to shine among hundreds of other applicants.
Michelle Whitmore, Founding Partner of H2 Talent, presents this guide to understanding the ins and outs of available opportunities and scoring a career in one of today’s most growth-oriented markets.
Between the multiple state elections and being declared an essential business during COVID, there’s no doubt that cannabis is having a memorable year. You might be thinking that this is the time to explore opportunities and see where your experience and skills might be applied as current companies are maturing and new brands are coming online in recently legalized states.
Education & Experience Matters
We’re quickly moving past the time that simply knowing someone who works in the industry is your way in. Today’s cannabis companies are much savvier about the skill sets and experience they require to be successful, and relevant degrees — be it in plant science or chemical engineering or business — are increasingly required.
Soft Skills Matter, Too
This industry’s fast pace and rapid change require nimble professionals with the ability to contribute at all levels. Your comfort level with flexible, creative, start-up environments cannot be stressed strongly enough. Your ability to creatively meet objectives, oftentimes without large budgets, is key.
This is one industry in which you keep your sleeves rolled up and constantly press forward.
Do Your Research
It’s not enough to express an interest in learning more or trying it out – start your homework today. Learn about the plant, its history, the life cycle of the industry, the categories of products available, the terminology we use. Do your research on the larger players and what makes them stand out among their competitors. There are so many terrific (and free!) resources that there’s no excuse for showing up without this basic knowledge.
Know Your ‘Why’
This industry isn’t for the faint of heart. The people in it with the drive to push forward each and every day are those who know why it’s important to them. Perhaps you, or someone you love, have had their quality of life improved by the medicinal impact of cannabis. Others may be called by the frenetic pace and constant iteration that you only find in rapid-growth, entrepreneurial industries — the ones that allow you to creatively contribute to every aspect of the business. It’s no longer enough to say you merely want to be a part of a growing field. Know your own ‘why’ — and be able to articulate it to decision-makers.
Put It All Together — And Stand Out
While this all sounds straight-forward, now you need to pull it all together – on your resume, while interviewing, and in networking conversations. You need to be very comfortable with your previous successes, and be ready to demonstrate how your previous experience can be shaped into something relevant and effective within cannabis.