Awwww, look at the lion in the tree! Adorable isn’t it?! Except it isn’t a lion at all. It’s merely a common house-cat disguised as a lion. No harm done seeing as the ruse is obvious and no adult would mistake this for an actual lion.
We use this image to illustrate a point: Labels and appearances are often deceiving. And what you don’t know can, in fact, hurt you and your business, especially where staffing/recruiting professionals are concerned.
Thankfully for consumers and business owners, many of the business consulting professions, like law and accounting, are well regulated to help the general public distinguish the actual lions from pussy-cats in fancy pajamas. It’s easy to verify whether your accountant is a Certified Public Accountant in good standing or if your attorney has in fact passed the bar in your state. Matter of fact, there’s a whole host of services that lesser legal and accounting professionals are barred from providing due to the risks an absence of such regulations would likely have on the general public, not to mention the reputation of the professions themselves.
Make no mistake, Staffing, Recruiting and Human Resources is a serious profession in the world today, spanning every single industry imaginable. Which is why top-tier professionals in this field typically make as much, and sometimes more, than your average attorney and CPA, because they’re so important to the enterprises who depend on their services. Just as no business can afford to go without adequate legal and accounting advice, nothing can thwart the growth and success of an enterprise faster than employing inferior talent. Which is why every last company in the Fortune 500 takes their staffing, recruiting and human resources needs VERY seriously. And if you plan to not only survive, but thrive in the white-hot competitive business environment of the emerging cannabis/hemp industry, you’d be wise to do the same.
There’s just one problem: Unlike law and accounting, there is virtually nothing to help the general public distinguish a seasoned professional in this field from someone who is brand new or a complete hack, seeing as anyone can legally hold themselves out as a “recruiter” or a “human resources professional” even if their knowledge and skill is so lacking that they’d be hard-pressed to land even an entry-level job in the field. Which would help explain why we are currently witnessing a cottage industry of entry-level to completely inexperienced individuals starting their own staffing and recruiting agencies in the hopes that the average ganjapreneur is too ignorant to know the difference. In other words, house-cats posing as lions.
This situation would be bad enough if unsuspecting business owners were merely getting duped into paying market rates for sub-standard services (and they are). But when these same “professionals” lack even the most basic understanding of employment law, much less the skills necessary to source, screen and vet qualified candidates, they are likely to land their clients in a mess of legal trouble as well. As if the cannabis industry wasn’t a legal mine-field as it is! Not to mention the added expense of replacing poorly skilled staff. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employee turnover costs range from 30%-200% of a worker’s annual salary,”underscoring the value of getting it right the first time. Add to this the risks posed by employee theft, disgruntled former employees bad-mouthing your business in the community or revealing trade secrets to your competition; It simply isn’t worth it to cut corners or wing itwhere your staffing is concerned.
So before you engage the services of a company or individual holding themselves out as a staffing/recruiting firm or human resources consultancy, be sure to ask them what qualifies them to provide you with such advice or services and how they justify their rates. For starters, do a little vetting and background checking of your own and find out just how many years experience they have in human resources, staffing and recruiting. As a rule of thumb, anyone with 3 years experience or less is considered entry level; 3 to 6 years is considered mid level; 6+ years is approaching senior level and 10+ years are principal/executive level, who typically bring down well-over six figures, because they are that valuable to their clients/employers.
As a general rule, nobody with less than 10 years experience is qualified to head up a large human resources department or has any business operating their own staffing and recruiting agency. Senior level (6-10 years) is a stretch, depending on what types of services they are providing and how much they’re charging for them. But you should be extremely cautious about engaging the services of any recruiter or HR consultant with less than 6 years of experience, unless they are under the direct supervision of a senior professional. If you do, be aware that you’re gambling with your business’s future. In such a case, you’d be better off saving yourself the added expense and do it yourself. At least you’d be taking the responsibility upon yourself as opposed to depending on someone who can lull you into a false sense of security while knowing just enough to be dangerous.
We started Viridian Staffing to provide state-of-the-art staffing, recruiting and HR consulting services to the cannabis/hemp industry because most enterprises are likely to struggle unnecessarily, land themselves in hot water and/or fail without such support. So when your company is looking for a strategic partner where your staffing, recruiting or HR needs are concerned, be sure you ask the right questions so you can make an informed decision. You can’t afford to mistake a house-cat for a lion.