How Cannabis Brands Are Preparing For The Influx Of Gen Zers

By Sean Conner, ForceBrands’ Co-Founder and Chief Progress Officer

Gen Z is about to become the largest working generation in U.S. history.

At 61 million people, they represent an important transition in today’s workforce, bringing new expectations, perspectives, and demands to the ever-evolving workplace. Amid these generational shifts, employers are tasked with revisiting their hiring strategies to ensure they’re effectively attracting and retaining quality talent. In booming new industries like cannabis, where hiring top talent quickly is a leading priority, businesses are looking to the hiring efforts of like-minded consumer brands and are taking notes.

ForceBrands' 2019 Talent Market Report, which examined benefits and compensation packages inside the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, found that employers look to these employee offerings as the top tools for employee retention and acquisition. ForceBrands’ recently released specialized cannabis report found that cannabis employers are mirroring other CPG sectors and are offering employees highly competitive benefits and compensation packages.

According to the report’s findings, the cannabis industry is generous when it comes to compensation, proving that the ‘green rush’ is one to cash in on.

Cannabis companies offered the highest average annual raise percentage in 2018 at an impressive 14 percent — a 4 percent increase from the CPG cross-industry average. When you compare that to the national average annual raise percentage (3 percent), it’s more than quadruple. But raises aren’t the only ways cannabis companies are seeking to gain an edge on their competition and lure talent from other, more established industries, they’re also looking to offer additional monetary incentives if they’re unable to meet a prospective candidate’s desired salary.

When it comes to variable pay, cannabis companies offer individual bonuses (as well as team performance bonuses), commission, stock options, and more. Just 2 percent of cannabis employers don’t offer variable pay incentives.

But money can only go so far in today’s strong labor market and candidate-driven job culture.

Prospective employees, particularly Gen Zers, want more. While cannabis employers are currently enticing candidates with traditional benefits like dental, vision insurance, 401(K), paid leave, life insurance, and medical this year, they’re already looking ahead to new offerings that will cater to the demands of Gen Z — a generation that favors non-traditional benefits like free meals, in-office stress relief initiatives, summer hours, student loan debt payback assistance, and IVF assistance.

Mindful that attracting Gen Z talent requires forward-thinking and future planning, many cannabis employers are already planning to implement a host of these employee perks that cater to this burgeoning new generation.

So what does this mean for Gen Z when it comes to working in cannabis?

There’s an incredible opportunity for rewarding long-term career growth in the industry as it has the potential to be one of CPG’s leading sectors. Already the fastest growing job market in the U.S., cannabis is on track to employ thousands. In 2018, the marijuana industry alone added more than 64,000 jobs, according to industry experts.

For the millions of Gen Zers who are about to enter the workforce and are eager to join a thriving new industry, cannabis is the place to look. And although it’s a new space, employers are quickly adopting some best practices when it comes to employee retention and acquisition ⁠— making it a win-win for both parties.

Photo by Javier Hasse.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted In: CannabisNewsEducationMarketsGeneralForceBrandsGen Z CannabisGeneration ZSean Conner

Benzinga Cannabis Conferences are coming to Los Angeles

Join the Benzinga Cannabis Market Spotlight: California, and unlock the future of cannabis at the premier networking event in Culver City on February 22. Connect with top industry leaders, gain insider insights into the investment landscape, and shape the evolving markets in California and beyond. Don’t miss this chance to be at the forefront of the cannabis industry’s growth and innovation! Join now