How Do You Hire Great Budtenders?

How Do You Hire Great Budtenders?

If you own or operate a cannabis dispensary, this is a question that you have asked yourself. 

You asked this question before you opened your doors for the very first time. You asked this question when regulations changed, and you were able to host multiple customers on your sales floors at once. You asked it again when the pandemic struck and staffing needs, operating procedures, and point of sale interactions were virtually re-designed. You ask it now as unemployment is incredibly low and millions of people around the country are leaving their jobs for careers and passions that they want to explore.

“How do I hire great budtenders?”

This question matters for a number of critical reasons. 

First, it’s essential to all business success that isn’t fully automated. Finding trustworthy, effective, and reliable individuals that are a good fit for your company culture is vital to your success in both the long- and short-term.

Second, the search for great people is ongoing. No matter how much you succeed with a given cohort of employees, or how great your budtender retention rate is, your staffing needs will change and grow as your cannabis business evolves and grows. Struggling businesses also rely on having a pool of quality employees and candidates, albeit for different reasons.

And finally, the number of people who are excellent fits for what you do is incredibly small, and everyone in the industry is competing for them. As anyone who has done extensive hiring knows, finding amazing employees who are ready on day one to thrive just isn’t that common.

But take heart, because just like quality cannabis, great budtenders are almost always grown, not found.

In today’s blog from Learn Brands, the leader in online budtender training and cannabis product education, we’re discussing how to attract quality candidates, and grow them into great budtenders who are fulfilled in their work as dynamic assets to your dispensary.

Offer Competitive Compensation

In the vast majority of cases, competitive, motivated, successful people are seeking opportunities that allow them to leverage their dedication and talents into the best deal possible for themselves. After all, in some ways, every employee is their own small business - offering up their time and services for a price.

In order to appeal to intelligent and reliable budtender candidates, you need to offer competitive wages, benefits, and incentives.

People who care about doing good work, typically want to be properly compensated. Make sure that you offer wages that are in line with, or above, what the typical budtender in your area receives. 

Benefits are a great place to get creative and look for simple, but meaningful perks that go beyond the run-of-the-mill full-time benefits such as profit sharing, flexible schedules, PTO on birthdays, and other benefits that make your budtenders feel seen and cared about.

For many driven and successful long-term employees, incentives provide dynamic reasons to train, achieve, and grow within a company. Vendor-provided incentives like trips and entertainment, developed through strong relationships and sales numbers, as well as paid training and professional development, can all appeal to budtenders looking to turn jobs into careers.

So, once you hire strong candidates, how do you grow them into great budtenders?

Establish A Strong Leadership Corp

At the heart of most successful organizations, you’ll find a cadre of well-trained, passionate, and long-tenured professionals who act as leaders - both officially and unofficially recognized - that provide the long-term stability required for a business to continually grow.

This team of managers and trainers is what gets your dispensary through when there are waves of illness, frantic hiring sprees, new location launches, fresh product lines to introduce, and unforeseen challenges to overcome.

But more importantly, they are the beating heart of the day-to-day culture of your business in regards to both internal affairs and customer interactions. When the leadership corp of your business is dynamic and committed, not only will your business grow, but the number of leaders in your team will grow as new hires turn into great budtenders and great budtenders turn into your future leaders.

Build momentum within this cadre of your employees, and you are well on your way to becoming a more resilient and healthy business.

Implement An Effective And Standardized Onboarding Process

Returning to the cannabis analogy of the best budtenders being grown, not found, consider that the best cannabis is also the outcome of a rigorous, scientifically-proven regimen of nutrients, light, humidity, and curing processes. To get another harvest of top-notch cannabis, you simply repeat the process with care and diligence.

Growing great budtenders isn’t any different.

First, you start with quality candidates and you provide consistent, meaningful, and effective training. It helps if this training is engaging and developed using educational principles and psychology that are scientifically proven to help people learn. A university-grade online training platform for budtenders, brands, and product knowledge — like the one developed by LearnBrands  — is an excellent way to ensure consistency in your process and will yield consistent and quality outcomes, time and time again.

While we already work with more than 250 brands across 20 states to offer brand and product training at an elite level, one of the most powerful and amazing aspects of the LearnBrands cannabis learning management system is that you can partner with us to create your own unique training programs, modules, and quizzes that align with your dispensary’s needs and culture.

Invest In Ongoing Training and Incentive Programs

Base-line budtender training and cannabis education are critical to establishing a knowledgeable team that can address the needs of your customers while keeping your business safely compliant. But, stopping there is stopping short of creating a work environment that empowers your employees to truly thrive and grow as professional budtenders within your organization.

Doctors and teachers are all required to complete regular, rigorous, and reviewed professional development in order to continue to serve in their roles as care providers and educators. But, it’s about more than just checking a box. For many of these people, these ongoing education opportunities provide meaning, fulfillment, and a sense of certainty that they are continuing to do their jobs with integrity and efficacy over time.

Your budtenders will likely feel the same way when they see that you are investing in them and their skills to the benefit of everyone.

With custom budtender education courses, brand sampling, incentive programs, and lots of other options and offerings, LearnBrands can help you continue to grow your team of budtenders into the best on the market.

Collect Feedback From Customer And Employees

And this is the point where you ask the next most important question: “So how do I actually accomplish all of this?”

Thankfully, this answer is pretty simple, too, because a good rule of thumb for discovering what people need to feel accomplished, happy, and loyal is to simply ask them.

Understanding what your customers want from the team of budtenders serving them helps you gather data on how best to meet the demands of your local market.

Understanding what makes your budtenders tick, what products they love (and why), and what kind of opportunities motivate them will help you create dynamic training and gather data on how best to retain the best budtenders on your rolls.

LearnBrands Can Help

LearnBrands can help with this, too. Our online budtender education platform provides simple-to-use, yet robust, tools to help you gather the information that will empower you to hire and retain great budtenders, and so much more. Think we’re just blowing smoke? Let us know how we can help you by contacting us and letting us show you what sets us apart and how we can help you do the same.

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