1 hr 15 min

#008: Tackling The Cannabis Conundrum On Talent Acquisition - Hunter + Esquire The Jedburgh Podcast

    • Entrepreneurship

Building a business is tough. Building a business in the yet-to-be-defined cannabis economy is even tougher. One of the biggest conundrums in the cannabis industry is talent acquisition and culture clash between legacy cannabis purveyors and formalized business structure. 

In this episode, Fran Racioppi lights up the challenges and opportunities in this fast-moving industry. He's joined by Bryan and Jessica Passman, Founders of Hunter + Esquire, a leading cannabis executive search and consulting firm, to discuss how cannabis companies recruit, assess, select, and retain top talent. They also highlight the barriers preventing elite talent from entering cannabis, the preconceived notions around the industry, the cultural challenges faced by operators, and the paths to becoming a successful founder in the industry.

Read the full episode transcription here and learn more on The Jedburgh Podcast Website.


Highlights: 

-The opportunities and risks the cannabis industry offers to potential employees.
-The legalization of cannabis in different states and at the federal level.
-How legalization is affecting the growth of the market and companies in the supply chain.
-Combatting stigmas and perceptions of the cannabis industry; equating cannabis to prohibition.
-The barriers preventing top talent from entering cannabis.
-Structuring a talent management cycle in an industry that has both former drug dealers and wall street executives.
-Overcoming the lack of industry experience in cannabis and how the legacy players are accepting new talent in the market.
-The culture clash between legacy and new cannabis purveyors.
-The business cycle of cannabis and where the major companies lie (existence, survival, early success, rapid growth, maturity, decline/re-launch).
-The role of founders in start-ups and how entrepreneurs accept when it is time to step aside as the leader but still contribute to the vision of the company they created. 
-Positive effects of COVID on cannabis and the designation as an “essential service.”


Quotes: 

-”Your human capital is your most valuable asset, if not your only appreciating asset.”
-”She is a CEO. Not a She-CEO.”
-”We focus our recruitment process on education.”
-”You need the cannabis OG’s and the suits.”
-”You do not have to be a consumer to be an effective leader in the industry, but you must respect other people’s consumption.”
-”The existence of the illicit market keeps costs down for consumers.”
-”If we want to properly monetize this thing, we need to level-up.”
-”Open your ears and listen. If you have that self-awareness.” 
-”Be sure you are clear on what skill gaps you are filling.”
-”There has been a huge push for diversity,  women in leadership roles.”
-”There are companies focused on optic hiring. They are choosing to hire a woman for the sake of hiring a woman.”
-”None of our clients want a slate full of the ‘pale male’ candidate.”
-”We have clients who doubled revenue and headcount (through COVID).”


Bryan’s Three Daily Foundations of Success:

-Get up early and get organized 
-Communicate candidly and with transparency 
-Act - be in motion

Jessica’s Three Daily Foundations of Success:

-Make your bed, wash your face, get dressed
-Get up early and get organized 
-Make a list of tasks

Building a business is tough. Building a business in the yet-to-be-defined cannabis economy is even tougher. One of the biggest conundrums in the cannabis industry is talent acquisition and culture clash between legacy cannabis purveyors and formalized business structure. 

In this episode, Fran Racioppi lights up the challenges and opportunities in this fast-moving industry. He's joined by Bryan and Jessica Passman, Founders of Hunter + Esquire, a leading cannabis executive search and consulting firm, to discuss how cannabis companies recruit, assess, select, and retain top talent. They also highlight the barriers preventing elite talent from entering cannabis, the preconceived notions around the industry, the cultural challenges faced by operators, and the paths to becoming a successful founder in the industry.

Read the full episode transcription here and learn more on The Jedburgh Podcast Website.


Highlights: 

-The opportunities and risks the cannabis industry offers to potential employees.
-The legalization of cannabis in different states and at the federal level.
-How legalization is affecting the growth of the market and companies in the supply chain.
-Combatting stigmas and perceptions of the cannabis industry; equating cannabis to prohibition.
-The barriers preventing top talent from entering cannabis.
-Structuring a talent management cycle in an industry that has both former drug dealers and wall street executives.
-Overcoming the lack of industry experience in cannabis and how the legacy players are accepting new talent in the market.
-The culture clash between legacy and new cannabis purveyors.
-The business cycle of cannabis and where the major companies lie (existence, survival, early success, rapid growth, maturity, decline/re-launch).
-The role of founders in start-ups and how entrepreneurs accept when it is time to step aside as the leader but still contribute to the vision of the company they created. 
-Positive effects of COVID on cannabis and the designation as an “essential service.”


Quotes: 

-”Your human capital is your most valuable asset, if not your only appreciating asset.”
-”She is a CEO. Not a She-CEO.”
-”We focus our recruitment process on education.”
-”You need the cannabis OG’s and the suits.”
-”You do not have to be a consumer to be an effective leader in the industry, but you must respect other people’s consumption.”
-”The existence of the illicit market keeps costs down for consumers.”
-”If we want to properly monetize this thing, we need to level-up.”
-”Open your ears and listen. If you have that self-awareness.” 
-”Be sure you are clear on what skill gaps you are filling.”
-”There has been a huge push for diversity,  women in leadership roles.”
-”There are companies focused on optic hiring. They are choosing to hire a woman for the sake of hiring a woman.”
-”None of our clients want a slate full of the ‘pale male’ candidate.”
-”We have clients who doubled revenue and headcount (through COVID).”


Bryan’s Three Daily Foundations of Success:

-Get up early and get organized 
-Communicate candidly and with transparency 
-Act - be in motion

Jessica’s Three Daily Foundations of Success:

-Make your bed, wash your face, get dressed
-Get up early and get organized 
-Make a list of tasks

1 hr 15 min