8 Best HR Practices for Your Cannabis Startup

What are best HR practices for your cannabis startup? This guest post from ZipRecruiter’s Amy Klimek reviews 8 HR concepts that any-sized cannabis company can use on their path to profitability.

This is a guest post from Amy Klimek, VP of HR at

Startups cannot run their businesses the way established companies can. Established companies leverage their name and stability to attract the best talent in the industry. Your startup does not have an established name or track record of stability, but you do have other principles at your disposal that can help your HR department. Use these principles to hire the best talent away from the larger companies around you.

1. Creating Something Great

You must appeal to new hires that you are building something great. The people that come to work for you should come because they want to be able to say that they were there from the beginning. They want to have the satisfaction of knowing that they helped build a company from the ground up. Appealing to new employees in this way allows them to see their own potential in light of the jobs you have posted. There is more room for them to grow, and there is more reason for them to stay as your business becomes more successful.

2. A New Office Environment

Your office environment does not have to be like the stodgy offices of old. Established companies have office environments that likely have not changed in decades. Your new employees will feel more comfortable in a place that is modern in its feel. Casual dress, flexible work hours and more understanding managers will draw people away from companies with strict rules.

3. Stock Options and Futures

Your new business may not have stock value today, but your new employees can be some of the first people to receive stock options from your company. These employees may end up very rich if your company grows as much as you want it to, and they are more inclined to stay because they helped to create that growth. You are building a business together with your employees, and you should appeal to them as creative creatures. Employees want to be a part of something rather than a cog in a machine.

4. Access to The Top

Your new employees are going to work closely with you as soon as you hire them. They will spend all their time at your company working with the people who manage everything. Employees who have worked for much larger companies know that they may never meet the executives or board of directors. Your employees work for the executives, and they may be invited to board meetings. You want to make your employees feel included to distinguish your business from other businesses in the industry.

5. Creativity

The biggest companies in the world are not as creative as startups. Large companies are repackaging their biggest products many times over to make money. Your business must start on the ground floor to create new product and services. Your employees are invited to be a part of the creative process, and many employees will get project management experience that they may never have had with a larger company.

6. Bonuses

You need to use the venture capital you have acquired to pay bonuses to your employees. You need to give them incentives to come work with you, and you want to give them performance bonuses when you can. Larger companies often reserve these bonuses for people in the upper management sphere, but you can give bonuses to everyone in the office.

7. Including Everybody

You must make every person in your office a part of the team. These office workers want to be a part of something big, and they should have the freedom to participate in the growth of your company. The receptionist should be included in planning meetings just as your engineers are included. You need to revolutionize the office with your inclusion of all employees to improve their morale. Your employees will love coming to work because they know that their opinions matter.

8. No Generational Gaps

Your company will not be defined by generation gaps that exist in other businesses. The executives at other companies do not understand the young people they hire, and that gap can cause creative problems in the office. You must emphasize to your new employees that they are understood in every way. You are their age, or you are not that much older than them. You have a clear understanding of how their generation feels about the work you do, and you must let them know that you care about how they perceive the world around them.

Using these tips will allow you to recruit the best talent in your industry without any falsehoods. You are presenting your business in a completely different light, and your employees will see that difference when they come to work on their first day. This is a much wiser hiring plan and it allows you to hire people who want to stick around.

About the author:

Amy Klimek is an experienced HR recruiter and VP of Human Resources for ZipRecruiter, she was employee #7 at, where she first worked with ZipRecruiter’s founders. Her philosophy on human resources infuses the company culture: “To create an open, enriching environment by hiring the best, keeping the rules to a minimum and making it fun.” She’s married and has three active children for whom who she enjoys playing chauffeur.

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