By Danielle Rosellison
“I can’t sleep at night, I’m so excited to come to work.”
“I’m ready to quit my other job whenever you want me to.”
“This is my dream job.”
“I will work for free.”
These are quotes from our trimmers. Our TRIMMERS! And the fourth quote was said by several of them. How did this happen?!?!
Employees seemed like a huge undertaking. They needed to be competent, trustworthy, flexible and willing to work for minimum wage without a set schedule. How the heck were we going to make this happen?
After round-tabling ideas, we decided to put an ad on Craigslist. We just wanted to test the waters. We didn’t use our company name, didn’t advertise a specific position, and didn’t send information to or from our personal emails. We asked for a cover letter and a resume. In return, we offered the opportunity “to work for the most awesome bosses ever.”
We received 51 responses in 24 hours and 76 responses within the week. All total, we have a folder of 157 potential employees and more coming all the time. Our SOP is that we are always accepting resumes and cover letters.
Two months later, when we were finally ready to start trimming, we scheduled 20 interviews in two days. Our interview was simple. “Tell us about yourself.” No questions. No experience necessary. Just who are you, while chillin’ on the sofa in our lobby.
You see, our philosophy was that anyone can learn to trim. And the last thing we needed were experienced budtenders telling us, “Well, I used to do it this way.” We were looking for a group of people who could sit in a room for eight hours, day after day, and not kill each other. We wanted to create a family; a community that looked forward to coming to work; a posse that could see the big picture and wanted to grow with us.
We utilized a few more tactics after hiring. First, everyone trims. We don’t care if you’ve grown in the past; everyone trims. Even the managing members were on the trim crew the first harvest. We wanted to show that no one is above anyone else. After the trim party, we selected a few to be budtenders, harvesters and packaging experts.
It’s been more than three months since our interviews and we are happy to report that the feeling of elation seems to continue. Employees come every day with smiles and excitement. They take pride in their work and have made their 90-day reviews a breeze. We are not naive enough to think that we will never have any employee problems, but so far, our hiring strategy seems to be working.
Danielle Rosellison is one of the co-owners of Trail Blazin’ Productions, a state-licensed producer/processor in Bellingham, Washington.