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Ask Erik: RAW! - Employees Part 2: Get Out of the Field and Into My Barn

You can hire grow employees from inside or outside of the field You can hire grow employees from inside or outside of the field

Last time we were together (click here to read Part 1 of this series), we acknowledged that at some point in your growing expansions there is going to be a need for some hired hands because the size of your operation and growing ambitions have expanded beyond merely getting a little casual help from friends from time to time.

We also talked about “head hunting” from your inner circles for help - for example, friends or family members who may have helped you in the past and who might be interested in coming on board for higher potential earnings and greater flexibility in their scheduling.

Now what if this isn't a possibility, and you need to find additional help in order to keep your expanding growing enterprises operating smoothly and providing you with profits after harvest time?

Whether you are hiring through the grape vine or from out in left field, always be sure that there are some references that you can follow up on.

In some growing regions, it's much easier to find outside help, often already experienced, trained, and with references too. If you live in such a place, there are ways you can put your feelers out there in the community. For example, did any of the trimmers you hired to help out at harvest time seem to have the right ethic and dynamic for your growing business? Perhaps they might be interested in steady, full time growing work with you, saving them from the ravages of Carpal Tunnel syndrome overtime. A bonus for you, the prospective employer, is that they are going to be at least somewhat familiar with growing operations, and likely have established a level of trust in the growing community.

Whether you are hiring through the grape vine or from out in left field, always be sure that there are some references that you can follow up on. And their girlfriend, husband or Mom doesn't count either! Make sure that you can find out what kind of track record they have with other employers and what kind of esteem they may hold in the growing community.

Do they show up on time?

Are they prone to drastic mood swings and lots of personal drama that seeps into the workplace?

What is their motivation for working with you - are they planning to save a little money and then go out and start their own operation as a competitor, for example? Or are they going to be in it for the long haul with you?

Can they keep your trade secrets, and not reveal your plans to others, potentially jeopardizing you and your operation?

Do they act professionally, and are their personality or lifestyle choices going to create conflict or friction with you?

Now what about hiring a total stranger?

Some growers would never consider this while there are others who are willing to take such risks, provided that they are calculated risks with some level of assurance that if things don't work out, the backlash will be minimal.

Note that even with total strangers who have not had any contact with indoor growing, you can still do a thorough job of researching their references and background. Professional services are available that can do very thorough background checks of individuals and prospective employees. While the fact that someone from outside of the growing community does not have any growing experience may seem like a problem to you, it can actually be an opportunity in disguise.

Consider the old adage that you cannot add to a glass that is already full. Long story short, you might find those who have a little bit of growing experience are know-it-alls and not really of maximum benefit to you and your growing business. Finding someone with no ties to indoor growing but who has a strong desire to learn and be a part of your operation could prove to be ideal if you are willing to make the extra investment of time and patience. Firstly, they are not coming into things with any preconceived notions of the way things are or how they ought to be; they are essentially a blank canvas for you to create a perfect fit for the needs of your growing operation.

Next time we visit, we are going to look at ways that you can manage your new employees effectively and how to contribute to a happy, healthy and productive workplace. Look for that in Part 3 of this series next week. As a final note on finding good peeps, don't discount you gut reactions, especially if they have served you well in the past. If you have any uneasiness about hiring a particular person, don't ignore it - it could save you lots of troubles and possibly even your growing business.

- Read part 1 of this article here

- Read part 3 of this article here



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Count your lucky stars if your job interviews go this well.
Last modified on Friday, 03 August 2012 18:07

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