One of Canada’s leading producers of Cannabis announced recently that they're currently experiencing difficulty meeting the growing demand for cannabis, primarily because they can't find skilled workers for their production facilities.
TEMP AND TEMP-TO-PERM STAFFING A POTENTIAL SOLUTION FOR THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY TO MAINTAIN STAFFING LEVELS
“Producer Aphria Inc. said it disposed of 13,642 plants after “a lack of qualified local labour” for greenhouse jobs slowed harvesting.” (Source)
If we look at the situation closely, the problem comes into specific relief. Many companies want to focus their hiring efforts on permanent placements in order to help"build a solid working culture." These same companies believe that the transitory nature of temps wouldn’t contribute to the building of the work culture they are striving for.
It’s an unfortunate point of view, however, as there are many excellent benefits to hiring temporary and temporary-to-permanent staff.
Hiring temporary staff fills in the gaps, without sacrificing culture
The issue for many organizations is that they see hiring as a zero sum game: you can’t have a solid culture if you have temporary staff in the mix. But the reality is that you won’t sacrifice employee culture by bringing in temps.
Instead, companies need to look at the use of temps to fill the production gaps, which will help maintain a satisfactory work environment for the permanent staff. A large part of culture and employee satisfaction is intertwined with not being overworked. For example, if a production facility is considered to be fully staffed with 100 people and the number of permanent staff is currently down to 80, for a variety of reasons, bringing in 20 temporary employees to fill that gap ensures that the other 80 maintain a high level of satisfaction. It’s this 80% that maintain and grow the company culture; closing the production gap in the meantime just makes good sense all around.
Try before you buy
By hiring temps or temp-to-permanent staff in a skilled work environment, you have a tremendous opportunity to test their abilities, work ethic, and cultural fit, before committing to a permanent hire. The advantages can be tremendous as hiring mistakes that lead to turnover of permanent employees are costly in terms of time wasted, effects on company culture and employee morale, as well as the bottom line of dollars and cents.
There is also a huge cost savings, both in terms of effort and money, that can be gained by outsourcing your payroll. Without having that as a huge overhead line item, you can realize greater results quickly: you are only paying for what you receive, instead of all the other costs associated with a permanent hire.
Converting temporary to permanent is an effective employee stream
Temporary employees create an steady stream from which to bring new staff in, eventually turning some of them into permanent placements. Rather than hosting a job fair or other relatively expensive technique to bring them in the door, you can hire temps who can help your company keep up with production while at the same time demonstrating their employability.
Consider it like a trial work opportunity: you can evaluate their skills and fit while they are on the job, contributing to your overall production. Then, you can convert those temps to permanent who mirror and fit in with your company’s culture and bring value to the production floor. Not having to commit to a permanent hire up front gives you a great way to evaluate the employees, with less risk and cost.
Work with the right team
Just as you want to have the right team in place in your production facility, partnering with a staffing agency that is committed to providing a customized temp service to the agricultural sector generally, and cannabis production in particular, is ideal. This will ensure a steady supply of skill qualified temps to help your company grow and keep up with production levels, with a minimum of effort. You can spend more time on growing the business and less on hiring strategies.
Cannabis is a new industry and no one company has a long enough track record on which to base conclusions as to what type of production employees will be the best fit. Temp staffing provides the benefit of “try before you buy” without the cost of committing to permanent hires, ultimately empowering production facility employers to build the desired culture with the best possible team.
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David Aplin Group is a private family and employee owned Canadian staffing agency founded in Alberta in 1975, recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished recruiting firms. Our mission is to positively impact lives. Blog author, Jay Edwards, is Aplin's VP of Business Development based in Calgary.