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Cannabis Executive Search vs. Contingent Recruiters

cannabis executive search recruiters

No matter what the challenge may be, the cannabis industry seems to find a way to prevail. The future is looking bright, as the essential industry is predicted to grow at a rate of 250% from 2018-2028. However, a talented and creative workforce is still necessary to find success in the industry.

In finding talent, you can use a cannabis executive search staffing firm or contingent recruiters. Some may think the two are interchangeable, but they are quite different. The direction you go depends on the types of open cannabis jobs you need to fill. We’re here to present the two most common cannabis staffing services to help you choose the appropriate option for your needs.  

Cannabis Executive Search Recruiters

A cannabis executive search firm is client-centered, and recruiters work with a limited number of clients at a time to ensure quality. Using cannabis executive search firms, you can expect a variety of candidates from diverse backgrounds, as recruiters have access to candidates not proactively seeking cannabis jobs. Cannabis executive search recruiters are involved in the entire process, including candidate integration. Not only are they more engaged in the hiring process to present you with high-quality candidates, but they also make an effort to forge genuine relationships with their clients. Note that they charge a consulting fee–retainer–for their services. 

Contingent Recruiters

Contingent recruiters in cannabis typically work with many clients at the same time. The main goal in contingent recruiting is to place as many candidates as possible in a short amount of time. Unlike a cannabis executive search and staffing firm, contingent recruiters don’t require any money upfront. They only get paid for candidates they present who end up being hired. Overall, their fees are usually lower, reflecting their reduced efforts in comparison to executive search firms. They specialize in finding and presenting ready-to-move candidates but don’t usually go beyond that type. And they round up a large number of resumes rather quickly. 

Cannabis Executive Search Process

Cannabis executive search recruiters take the time to understand their clients’ business models, pain points, and needs. Their goal is to find the perfect candidates for their clients, and they do so through interviewing based on expertise and experience, assessment of their skills, and 360-degree reference checks. To ensure the candidates are perfect for the cannabis jobs available, they go the extra mile in researching the cannabis company and possible matches. They seek out the most qualified cannabis candidates they believe will fit in with the company culture, as they aim to place talent that will make a long-term commitment to the cannabis organization.

Contingent Recruiting Process

In helping businesses fill open positions for cannabis jobs, contingent recruiters look to find a large number of candidates that fit a company’s preferences. They try to do it in the quickest way possible, using advertising, online databases, and networks. Although they work faster, their attention to detail may not be as focused. Furthermore, they share the resumes they find with their client, who then takes a more active role in evaluating the cannabis candidates. So, if you’re looking for quick hires and want to do most of the reviewing yourself, this may be an option to consider. 

Cannabis Candidates for Cannabis Jobs

Cannabis Executive Search

A cannabis executive search and staffing firm focuses on recruiting for senior-level or C-level positions. The positions they fill are typically harder assignments where the consequences of failure or success are significant. In their approach, cannabis executive search recruiters will reach out to those who aren’t actively seeking new opportunities. Additionally, cannabis executive search firms maintain the confidentiality of their clients, as they browse the opportunities they have in the industry. And they take the time to get to know the candidates, so they can connect them with companies that make sense based on experience, skills, and goals. 

Contingent Recruiters

Contingent recruiters usually gather talent for mid-level cannabis job openings. They deal with a large number of candidates and focus on those who are actively seeking new opportunities. Typically, there are a vast amount of qualified candidates in contingent recruiting, which means consequences of failure or success are not as impactful to the organization. Unlike a cannabis executive search team, contingent recruiters do not guarantee confidentiality, as a candidate’s resume is sent to multiple clients simultaneously. 

Need to Hire for the Cannabis Industry?

CannabizTeam is a cannabis executive search and staffing firm passionate about making the right connections in the industry. We also have a division devoted to temporary employment staffing for companies who need talent on demand. If you’re looking for a cannabis staffing firm for executive search, direct-to-hire, or temporary talent, we can help. Please contact us at

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  1. How do I choose an executive search firm for the cannabis industry? When researching executive search firms, analyze their sourcing process. How do they find candidates for specific cannabis companies and their goals? Check to see if they have a white glove or personalized service, which means they’re making a full effort to cater to your cannabis company’s goals and company culture. Also, check to see if they are knowledgeable of the cannabis industry and have a finger on the pulse of the space. Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt to find out about their performance guarantees.
  2. What is the difference between contained search and contingency search? With retained recruiting, the recruiter is paid upfront for work and will be looking for candidates exclusively. On the other hand, contingent recruiting means that a recruiter will not be paid unless they make a placement. This is described as a “no win, no fee basis.”
  3. What is a cannabis executive search role? Executive search in the cannabis industry means the recruitment is focused on attracting experienced, proven senior management or c-level talent. Cannabis executive search roles include the following: CEO, CFO, and COO.

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