By Dan Walter, FutureSense LLC Recruiters are on the front lines in the competition for talent. When a role is critical, tough to fill,... Partner Blog: CannaCompensation – Are Recruiter Rates Accurate?

By Dan Walter, FutureSense LLC

Recruiters are on the front lines in the competition for talent. When a role is critical, tough to fill, or requires specific expertise, recruiters can play an invaluable role. They have the contacts, the skills, and the persistence to get the people you need right now.

Recruiters are a special kind of farmer. They aren’t picking the low hanging fruit. They are working on selecting the very best fruit. But, quality can come at a premium price.

The cannabis industry now has several strong talent acquisition firms. They know the industry and the lingo. They have contacts, and their connections have contacts. Currently, they are also one of the few sources of compensation rates for many positions in the industry. The pay data they provide is accurate, but it may not be “right.” How can this be?

Remember, the best recruiters target the best talent. They also target people with current jobs. The best talent usually gets paid more than typical, and still perfectly acceptable, talent. Employed people cost more to hire than unemployed people. This can result in recruiter provided pay ranges that are above industry norms.

The top people in any position commonly make 10-20% more than mid-level people. Motivating someone to change companies can take twice the increase as promoting an internal employee. This means recruiter-provided pay rates are often 20-35% higher than a formal compensation survey would indicate. This is fine for critical people, but it’s a ridiculously expensive way to pay an entire staff. This is why formal compensation surveys, like CannaCompensation, are essential to your success.

Compensation is likely your biggest expense – it may eat up as much as 75% of your revenue. Saving even 5% on paying your staff can mean the difference between growth and failure. This type of savings can fund a marketing campaign, purchase new equipment, develop new products, or become the down-payment on new real estate. When you provide your pay data to the CannaCompensation Study, you are building a foundation for future success. Participating is easy and confidential.  

Your recruiters will always remain a vital source of information for pricing your highest priority positions. CannaCompensation will serve as the foundation for your pay decisions. When you combine them, you will be armed to win the battle for both talent and future success.

Join the 2019 NCIA Cannabis Compensation Study, Powered by FutureSense! It’s free, easy, and confidential.

Please visit: or email

Sign-up by June 14 to participate. Data collection takes only 30-60 mins on average.

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MJ Shareholders is the largest dedicated financial network and leading corporate communications firm serving the legal cannabis industry. Our network aims to connect public marijuana companies with these focused cannabis audiences across the US and Canada that are critical for growth: Short and long term cannabis investors Active funding sources Mainstream media Business leaders Cannabis consumers

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