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What is the Value of Being Connected in the Cannabis Industry?

everything is connected

In any industry, it’s about who you know. And cannabis is no different. In fact, when you work in cannabis, it’s more critical to be connected. There’s a high cost of not being dialed in… As a new industry that’s so highly regulated and changing by the minute, there’s a lot of roadblocks, detours, and lessons to be learned.  

If you’re operating in a vacuum, you’re exposing yourself to a lot of risks. Companies that operate naively to current events have a narrow set of insights and risk making mistakes that others have already made. As a cannabis business owner, you must learn from other people’s mistakes to be successful.

Always having your finger on the pulse of the cannabis industry is imperative. When you’re well-connected, you gain a broad-spectrum of insights to apply to your own business. You learn from other people’s mistakes. You learn from other people’s wins. You find your people. You build a strong team. You lift each other up. You make calculated decisions. You thrive.

But being connected is extremely time-consuming… And your time is your most precious resource. How can you be constantly connecting with people and building those crucial relationships, all while making critical day-to-day business decisions? 

At Hunter + Esquire, each of us lives full-time, fully-immersed the industry. We literally eat and breathe the industry. We’re constantly building relationships. And it pays off for us, our clients, and our hires.

As well-connected cannabis recruiters, we are building the industry

Being well-connected by speaking with people, making connections, and growing our network is essential to do our job well. Too often do recruiters simply push paper, robotically ask screening questions while hiding behind a screen, and simply try to just match resumes to job descriptions. This approach doesn’t allow the recruiter to fully understand the company goals and culture nor the actual person that is the potential new hire

To us, understanding the whole person and the culture of a job is a critical ingredient to knowing if a relationship will work. 

When we bring an employer and a new hire together, we want them to marry and blossom into a long-term relationship that flourishes and brings success to everyone involved. 

So what sets us apart from other recruiters? Intentional conversations.

The hours we put into having intentional conversations make us like a human cannabis industry database.

Every day, we’re learning copious amounts about the industry from speaking with people like you. Engaging like real humans on a real level to build those connections. We’re constantly being educated and educating others. We love it.

In an inch-wide, mile-deep niche, we carry information from one call to the next, from day-in to day-out, with our finger constantly on the pulse.

We know who’s who in cannabis

This constant intentional conversation means we know what’s going on. We know which businesses are using certain software platforms and how it’s working for them. We know that good talent exited their roles because the CEO treated his/her employees poorly. We know where good work culture exists and where the bodies are buried. We know that this potential hire fits with you on paper, but your personalities and values are wildly off.

When you work with us, you get full transparent access to our database of insights on talent. We speak candidly with you about talent availability in the market, where the top talent is for the role, associated cost, time to attract, successful route to acquire, etc.

Having real-time, real-world insights is valuable. Mainstream media often gathers their information from unknown sources with ulterior agendas that can’t be trusted…

To us, the industry feels small. There are no secrets. And we’ll share our insights with you.

The benefits of knowing people in cannabis

Constantly connecting with people, like you, brings us knowledge, information, and the power to bring the right people together. It’s critical to have talented and skilled people working with you. But you will bring your company to the next level if you’re working alongside people who fit your company culture and recognize your company’s vision. The right people can see the company’s vision and manifest it successfully.

When we learn from you, we can help place the right people with you to help strengthen and grow your business. We help each other, and in turn, we strengthen the industry. Everyone wins.

Our tentacles are out throughout the industry to help us navigate the minefield. We use “real-world reporting” to know who’s just a good actor and who’s full of it. We use our knowledge and intuition to know who’s in it for the right reasons and who will help make the industry better.

That’s why we focus on cannabis

Our focus enables us to have that inch-wide, mile-deep commitment. We’ve made a pledge to this industry and are in it for the long-haul. 

This means we must operate in a world of extreme transparency and candor since it’s all about building the deepest amount of trust in a narrow niche.

It’s a long-term commitment. We’re not dabbling, we’re building.

Our cannabis industry knowledge is valuable to a hiring business

We help you make better hires while sharing information to help you make more informed decisions to grow your business. We consult and share our knowledge from the beginning to the end. And oftentimes, we become great friends with our clients. Which results in a long-term relationship of success.

We help you make better cannabis hires

When we help you make a hire, we consider the time, the role, and the person. We put a lot of work on the front end of our relationship to ensure your new hire sticks long-term.

The right role. You may be looking to hire a new chief marketing officer, but what you really need is a sales director to actually bring in those new clients. We can help you recognize your true needs and hire for the right role.

The right time. You’re feeling excited about your business plan. So you’re ready to hire your new sales director in January. But the isolate you’re selling won’t be ready for delivery until August. That’s too much time for your new sales director to figure out their attack plan. This poor timeline is wasteful for you and the new hire. We know this delay may make him/her unhappy and leave the job. So we’d advise waiting to hire your sales director until a time that makes sense for both you and the hire.

The right hire. This sales director’s resume matches beautifully with your job description. But they have to move their family across the country to work for you. And their personality does not match up with your company culture. We can bring you someone who doesn’t match as well on paper, but the “whole person” will fit much better with the role, timing, and company culture.

We are your cannabis business consultants

In an industry that’s constantly changing, learning from other people’s mistakes is essential for optimal growth. There are too many hurdles to blindly jump alone if you’re looking to conquer your goals. We can be your personal informant and share other people’s wins and losses to help you learn from mistakes.

Sales strategy. Has anyone else tried this strategy before? Did it work? If you’re considering a sales strategy, we’ll tell you if we’ve seen it succeed or fail. With our intel, you can make more educated decisions.

Team strategy. Do you have the right positions to meet the needs and goals of your company? You might be better off hiring a human resources manager instead of putting tedious responsibilities on your CFO. We can help you strategize how to make your team more productive and efficient.

Compensation package. Are you attracting the right talent with your compensation package? Is your compensation package competitive? If you have an unattractive compensation package, you’re never going to find someone who will effectively support your team. We can tell you what your competitors are offering and help you create a compensation package that will bring you the best talent.

Culture. Once we get to know you, your business, and your team, we have a deeper understanding of the culture that exists in your business. This will help us place people who actually fit into your company culture. For example, if your company is all prim and proper, then someone who’s used to wearing shorts and a t-shirt to work may not adjust well to your culture, despite how well his/her skills match on paper.

International Intel. We have clients all over the world. This means we know what the industry is like in Latin America, Europe, and Canada. You might be looking to expand internationally. Or you might be looking to relocate. We have insights into these markets.

Funding. You have some great expansion ideas, but you’re looking for funding. We just heard that our friend is launching a private equity fund next month. We love making these connections as well!

“White-glove” fits some businesses but not all

We know there are a lot of other cannabis search firms out there, but each one is different. We’ve carved out our niche in the space—no one else is like us. We’re the perfect fit for some companies. But other companies might not want to work with us—it all comes down to the brand.

We’re purposeful with who we partner with. Who will benefit from partnering with us? Who will we benefit from partnering with? Ultimately, our relationship should fit like a glove and we should lift each other up.

We choose to work with people who we believe in. People with a long-term plan. And people we can have a long-term relationship with. 

As much as we want your business, if we don’t think we’re a good fit for you, we’d rather put our efforts into a relationship that fits like a glove.

Our cannabis industry knowledge is valuable to the employee

As someone looking for a new job position, we want to see you in a position that fits you. We want to place you where you fit well, a place that fits well with your life, and connects you with other people who can help you. Our ideal is becoming friends with the people we place in new jobs, and then cultivating that relationship for the remainder of their career!

Is the cannabis industry a good fit for you?

When you work in cannabis, there’s a lot more risk and fewer benefits. Many people are so excited to get into the industry, but they don’t realize the risk that goes along with it.

For example, if you’re a vet living off a pension and you decide to work for cannabis, the feds could threaten to pull your pension. If you’re living here with your family on a 5-year visa that you’re planning to renew in three years, you may not be eligible to renew the visa and may be forced to return to your home country. Are these risks you’re willing to take?

Recruiters who are not dialed into the ever-changing laws and regulations of cannabis are not preparing hires for the reality of working in cannabis. There are many watch-outs to consider, so it’s beneficial to have someone in your corner to help you make a well-informed decision about whether or not the grass really is greener on this side for you.

Skills needed in the cannabis industry

Beginning a few years ago, we felt a big push by cannabis companies seeking candidates outside of the industry. People outside the industry were valued for their abilities to professionalize a startup after it went from 0-60 and were seeking help going from 60-100. The people already in the industry had a wealth of knowledge on the plant and culture, but that alone was not enough to scale effectively.

Now, just a few years later, there are enough people that have it all. It’s much easier now to find someone who’s been an accomplished leader in a blue-chip company in a mainstream industry and more recently in the cannabis economy.

There is less of a learning curve when someone has business experience, knowledge of the product, and understands (and fits into) the cannabis culture.

How to know if a company is a good fit for you 

If you bypass a recruiter and go straight to the company, you may be running the risk of not learning the real and full truth about what you’re in store for. 

The hiring company’s interview team may choose not to, or be capable of, fully advising you on all of the good and otherwise of what you’re in store for if you join their team. So we confidentially help you fill in the blanks. Having a recruiter is a benefit for both parties if the goal is to have a truly successful win/win match.

We’ll help you know if a company is a good fit for you by sharing the realities with you. We’ll share the downside of working for a company so that you can decide for yourself if it’s a deal-breaker.

How to find a mentor in the cannabis industry

One of the best ways to succeed in any industry is finding a mentor or someone who can provide insights into what you’re doing and plan to do.

Having someone to turn to for advice that’s been through it before is unbelievably productive. And we’ve placed hires in almost any type of position you can think of. So when we place you, we may know the perfect person to connect you with. 

If you just got placed as a marketing director at a company that has a similar structure to another company, we can connect you with their marketing director. Together, you may be able to brainstorm and lift each other up.

The industry is a 5000-piece puzzle and we put the pieces together

During our daily conversations, our antennas are always up and light bulbs flashing in our never-ending mission to connect people and opportunities.

A good recruiter is like a good grower. What are the right seeds to purchase and where do we cultivate them? We’re not spraying and praying. We’re calculating, visualizing, planting, and cultivating. Placing people in the right places makes for a strong industry.

We love this business, this industry, and this life. We’ve made incredible, life-long friendships in cannabis. We wish you a happy birthday and write you a note on the holidays because we care about you and we want to check-in. We look forward to meeting you and collaborating together.


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