Top 8 Cannabis Career Kickstarter FAQsHannah Holmgren / Mar 11, 2021
Ever attended one of Vangst's Cannabis Career Kickstarters? If not, you're missing out on direct access to the Vangst recruiters. Any questions that you have on finding a career in cannabis, we are here to help answer.
We compiled the top 8 questions asked by job-seekers and the answers from our recruiters. Not seeing your question on this list? Register for our next Career Kickstarter here.
1. How do you get into the cannabis industry?
The million dollar question for anyone looking to cross over from another industry. Crossing over into cannabis is not as difficult as it sounds once you know where to start.
That's where Vangst can help. Creating a profile on our network and taking in our existing resources gives you a leg up on the competition.
Peep some of our top resources:
- Crossing Over to a Career in Cannabis
- Top Six Translatable Skills to Add to Your Cannabis Resume
- The Cannabis Crossover: Building and Becoming the Workforce of Tomorrow
More top-notch resources to check out:
- Want to Work in Cannabis? These 8 Women Can Tell You How from Refinery29
- How to Get Hired to Work in the Cannabis Industry from Leafly
- How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry from Green Entrepreneur
2. What is the difference between plant-touching and ancillary roles?
Plant-Touching "At any point, if you touch the plant, look at the plant, water the plant, move the plant, chop the plant down, put it into an extract, sell the plant... anytime you are moving that process from seed to sale, that is plant-touching." - Robb Adamski, Vangst Candidate Success Associate
Ancillary In cannabis, ancillary jobs are those that do not deal with the handling of the plant. Think roles like sales, marketing, tech and IT, executive leadership, and even recruiting.
3. What are the differences between working in cannabis versus a traditional industry?
Lead Talent Manager, Kelsey Barton, describes the 3 main differences:
- "The pace of change is much higher than in a traditional industry. The cannabis industry is maturing alongside its companies so you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable and not having all the answers."
- The culture in cannabis tends to be more laid back. You won't want to walk into a job interview wearing a suit and tie and a full corporate outfit. Look nice and professional but try and match that company's culture. Check out their Instagram and see what type of environment it looks like.
- The industry is very relationship-driven. Start to build up your network now and understand who the players are in the different states. I recommend setting up Google Alerts so you can keep an eye on companies entering your specific market."
4. Is it normal to take a pay cut when entering the industry?
The answer here is: it depends. Are you starting in an entry-level plant-touching position like trimming or budtending? Or are you starting in a position comparable to what you did in another industry? Where are you located? These are the questions that make it difficult to provide you with a black-and-white answer.
Our best resource here is to look over the annual Vangst Cannabis Industry Salary Guide. We survey hundreds of companies on what they pay their staff for over 25 roles in the industry. Our guide gives you a spectrum of what it's possible to make in each of these roles depending on years of experience, education, and location.
5. Do cannabis companies offer benefits that are comparable to other industries?
Here comes in the Vangst Salary Guide again. Of the companies we surveyed, 90.6% offer some form of benefits to employees. 72.7% of those companies offer medical insurance and 82.8% offer some form of paid time off, ranging from 5 days to unlimited.
While not as common, there are still companies who do not offer any benefits. This is information you should inquire about with any companies you interview with.
6. What's the best way to network with people who work in the industry?
COVID made networking more difficult. Industry trade shows and other networking events were either eliminated or made virtual. And we all know virtual events are a whole other beast.
The best place to find and connect with cannabis professionals is the Vangst network. Create a profile and use our search tools to find people with industry experience. Start by searching for your favorite cannabis companies and have fun spelunking from there.
Another emerging tool for networking is Clubhouse. Many cannabis companies and enthusiasts schedule networking events on a regular basis.
7. How do I find hiring companies near me? Or how do I find recruiters to work with?
Finding Companies Come up with a list of at least 5 companies near you that you want to work for and see what positions they're hiring for. Find out who posted the job(s), connect with that person on either Vangst or on another platform. Even if the role they posted is not one you're interested in, introduce yourself. Tell them you're interested in working for that company and why. Tell them the types of positions you're interested in. The goal here is that one day, when a position like that becomes available, that person will remember you and reach back out.
Finding Recruiters "If you're going to be a successful job-seeker and you're willing to use/work with recruiters, there are 3 types you should look for... an industry recruiter specific to cannabis, a location-based recruiter, and a function-based recruiter." - Spencer Peters, Vangst Lead Talent Manager
Vangst works with job-seekers all around around the world finding their perfect roles in cannabis. And we cover the bases of being industry-, location-, and function-specific.
- For plant-touching roles, can being a home-grower give me an advantage over the competition?
Having any type of cultivation experience can help you find a plant-touching role. The important thing to remember here is that home-growing is different from large-scale.
For Robb Adamski, it’s important to know what type of working environment you’re walking into. "There's a million ways to grow. Everyone thinks they grow the best bud in the country, they have the best way to do it. What I always tell people is that it's great to go into an interview with that cannabis education. But every company you interview for is going to do it a different way. They may use cocoa vs. live soil, they may use different pesticides vs. straight organics. All those have a different way of affecting the plant and it's going to come down to the Head Grower."
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