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How to Improve Internal Mobility in the Cannabis Industry

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One of the biggest thrills, struggles, and benefits of working in the cannabis industry is strategizing how your business can keep pace – and foresee what’s ahead – with the rapid growth pace of the cannabis industry. 

One way that companies can keep pace is through strategic hiring. But hiring in the cannabis industry can be challenging. Finding the right person with the right skill set to take your company to the next level can feel like a shot in the dark without a good understanding of how to hire.

Something we suggest is to set up your team to grow with you by increasing the internal mobility. Too often, companies jump to hiring an external team member for a higher-level role. Best practices are to train existing employees to move into higher-level roles, then hire externally for lower-level roles.

While theoretically, we’re suggesting a strategy that means you’d be hiring a recruiting agency like FlowerHire less often, we’re committed to advising you on the most beneficial hiring practices for your company. It’s why we started the FlowerHire Advisors practice. We are here to set you up with a hiring strategy that fits you long-term.

According to Business News Daily, hiring internally helps decrease turnover and provides:

  1. Better organizational knowledge as employees are already accustomed to workplace culture and policies, which leads them to get up to speed in a new role faster.
  2. A faster hiring and onboarding process helps the company save time and resources.
  3. Stronger employee engagement shows other employees there are opportunities for growth, encouraging increased effort from other employees.
  4. It’s less expensive to hire internally because external hiring requires expenses like advertising, background checks, and recruiting agencies.

The downfalls of a high turnover rate

The cannabis industry has struggled with an above-average turnover rate. The high turnover comes with high overhead costs, including:

The massive cost of staff overturn. Source:
  • Travel and time spent interviewing candidates
  • Time spent checking preferences
  • Time spent administering pre-employment tests
  • Signing bonuses
  • Relocation expenses
  • Recruitment expenses
  • Onboarding and training
  • Preparing training materials
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Administrative processing
  • Accommodation costs (i.e. special equipment or supplies)
  • Low production rate during training

If you’re struggling with a high turnover rate, it’s time to change that. Because you can’t increase internal mobility with a high turnover rate. 

FlowerHire is a cannabis recruiting agency that finds employees who are a long-term fit. We specialize in both executive search and recruitment. If you’re looking to increase your internal mobility by building a strong team, reach out to our cannabis recruiters.  


Hire the best

FlowerHire is a cannabis recruiting agency that finds employees who are a long-term fit. (Building a strong team increases your internal mobility.) We specialize in both executive search and staffing. Reach out to our cannabis recruiters today.

5 ways to decrease turnover and increase internal mobility in the cannabis industry

Here are five actions you can take to retain your talent in cannabis, keep your employees long-term, and decrease your turnover rate.

1 Consider your long-term plan and develop a relationship with candidates early.

If you are looking for candidates outside of your organization, build a relationship early to make sure they fit into your long-term plan.  

  • What is your one-year plan? Three-year plan? Five-year plan?
  • What do you expect your organizational chart to look like in each of those time frames?
  • What type of skill sets do you need for each of those roles?
  • What type of person do you want for each role? 
  • What are your priorities for the role?

Once you’ve answered those questions, start networking! Start connecting with people who could be potential candidates for that role. This will benefit you in two key ways:

  1. If you start connecting with people early… then when the role opens up, you know exactly who you want, they already know you, and you can fill the role quicker.
  2. As you connect with more people for the role, you’ll gain more clarity around the vision for the role. This will help you prioritize which skills and qualities are the most essential.

2 Hire for long-term fit rather than technical mastery of a role to increase internal mobility 

Consider the cost of buying new skills by hiring versus developing new skills by training. Since internal hiring is more cost-effective than training external hires, hiring for a long-term fit is critical for internal mobility. 

Teams inspire. A hire that’s a good cultural fit will more likely want to stay with the company long-term. If a person is a good cultural fit, they’re less likely to just clock in and clock out every day. And they’re more likely to be: 

  • Excited about brainstorming new ideas
  • More fearless about sharing their innovative ideas
  • Committed to the company

Questions to consider:

  • What is the culture of your business? What type of person fits into your company culture?
  • What are the foundational skills needed for the role you’re hiring for?
  • How well does this person fit with your brand persona?
  • Does this person have the DNA of a good cannabis hire?

Someone who is a good hire for the cannabis industry typically has these skills:

  • Has love for the cannabis plant – whether or not they’re a consumer – and appreciates how it can help people
  • Is comfortable working in a startup-like environment or has experience with hyper-growth
  • Feels fortunate to be involved in such a pivotal time in history
  • Has humility and an understanding of the history of the plant

Keep in mind that your hire represents your company and your brand. How well does this person fit in with the brand of the business? Would you want this person to be the face of your company when they’re out in public? Read more about the importance of employer branding in cannabis from our partners at engin.

Employee retention strategies for small business owners. Source:

3 Partner with a third-party cannabis recruiting agency to find qualified talent

Hiring is more than just picking the right person for the role. You’re dealing with real human beings with real lives. It’s your hires that will bring your company to unforeseen success. They are your best asset. Invest in them.

It takes a combination of experience, knowledge, and intuition to know who will bring your company to the next level.

Do you feel qualified to make that decision? If you’re not sure, hire an expert.

When you hire a third-party cannabis recruiting agency, you’re hiring expert judgment. Expert cannabis recruiters will bring you qualified talent, and then tell you which person to choose, the criteria for choosing that person, and how that person will help you reach your business goals.

Partner with cannabis recruiting agency, FlowerHire, to find qualified talent that will increase your internal mobility

4 Clarify goals and career development paths during the interview to be sure internal mobility is possible

Where do your new employees see themselves in three years, five years, and ten years? Do they see themselves in a role that your company will support and need? Will this employee support your plan of increasing internal mobility?

What types of skills are your new employee hoping to gain as they progress through their career? Are those skills that your company will need? Are those skills you’re willing to train them in?

Talk this through with your candidates. Consider their desired career path and future potential. Create a clear career path at your company for your employees so they can look ahead and envision themselves there.

5 Offer competitive cannabis compensation and benefits

When all is said and done, if the compensation doesn’t align, then you’ll have a hard time retaining employees. As you’re developing your compensation packages, monitor trends both in cannabis and outside of cannabis. Download the Cannabis Compensation Guide

It’s more cost-effective to pay your employee a higher salary and increase your internal mobility than to lose the employee and hire someone new. 

You’ll end up paying more for expenses like onboarding expenses, new employee training, and the time it takes for your new employee to get up to speed. (Refer back to the list above of overhead costs associated with a high turnover rate). 

Simply not paying an employee what they’re worth can also demoralize other staff members and have them wondering when they should exit. The industry is at a point where salaries are competitive with other industries. If salaries are not competitive with other industries, then cannabis employees may be tempted to, not only leave your company but exit the cannabis industry.

Paying people is only one part of compensation. Prospective employees are also interested in opportunities for learning and future career development. To support future career development, consider partnering with a higher-ed program to help craft the skills needed to hire from within and increase your internal mobility. Many cannabis businesses, universities, colleges, and community colleges have partnered with cannabis curriculum provider Green Flower


Do you want to increase your internal mobility so you can increase your ROI? Benefit from our expertise and passion – reach out to cannabis recruiting agency FlowerHire today. 


Download the Cannabis Compensation Guide.

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