“The type of talent that we were trying to attract in 2017 wasn’t interested (in the marijuana sector). Now, they’re banging down our door,” said Joey Muehlstein, director of talent acquisition at Green Thumb Industries, a Chicago-based multistate operator that in 2020 hired about 1,300 people, roughly doubling its workforce.
Green Thumb received more than 700 applications for a recent job listing for a regional retail director. “We get to be very selective in who we speak to and who we’d like to interview,” Muehlstein added. “The bar is raised.”
In this type of environment, Kara Bradford, CEO of Seattle-based Viridian Staffing, advises companies to take advantage of the availability of the talent while continuing to practice prudence.
“Companies have pulled back from hiring as aggressively as they would have because of COVID-19—and being conservative in your hiring strategy for 2021 is recommended,” she said. “But I don’t think that they need to be as conservative as they were in 2020. Companies that have been holding back a little might be able to take some calculated risks that they weren’t taking this past year.”