News and Best Practices

How to Prepare a Job Description

August 30, 2016

The important elements of running a dispensary or recreational retail store include customer service, sales, inventory, security, management, marketing, community awareness and legal compliance. The success of each of these elements depends on your people. If you don’t hire the right employees, your business will suffer. But managers often think about a candidate only while reviewing an application or conducting an interview. They may not think about how to reach better candidates before the applications come pouring in.

If you want employees with certain skills, you must specifically seek out those skills. But a job description that explains only the basic requirements of the position won’t bring in the candidates you want. So, preparing a proper job description is critical to finding the best candidates and not spending time on those who aren’t.

The purpose of the job description is to define the position requirements. Ask yourself:

  • What tasks do employees in this position perform?
  • How do these tasks need to be performed?
  • What do employees in this position need to know?
  • What personal qualities are required?
  • What will determine the difference between minimum competence and outstanding performance?

Steps in preparing the job description

STEP 1: Define the position. Think about the position and everything that goes with it: official position title, full-time/part-time, time flexibility, hourly wage or salary, exempt/non-exempt status, benefits, age requirement, physical demands, background check and other information. Include any other basic requirements, such as safety, cleanliness and patient confidentiality. List all of these in the description.

STEP 2: Determine specific skills and abilities: Budtenders, security, front-desk and back-office staff share basic skills, but each position requires specific ones—and there are employees who excel at them. Observe your high-performing workers in the same position and identify what makes them valuable employees. You’ll want candidates who can prove they are dependable, personable, knowledgeable about cannabis, a good communicator, enthusiastic around others, eager to learn, and willing to serve.

STEP 3: Identify job tasks: Consider all of the daily and special tasks of the position, as well as everything the employee should know in order to do the job. For example, a budtender must greet customers, ask about their cannabis needs, listen to what customers say, answer their questions, make recommendations, understand difficult customers, ensure customer satisfaction, complete point-of-sale transactions, and operate the scale, phone, data entry system and other equipment. They must also be able to describe different strains, know the different products available, offer information about a product’s safe use and its effects, observe behavior and conversation for potential red flags, and explain legal requirements.

STEP 4: List necessary qualifications: Think of the qualifications you need in this employee, including what’s necessary and what’s nice to have. Qualifications include level of education, years of job experience, industry background, training, licenses and certifications.

STEP 5: Complete the job description. Now, compile the information you’ve collected, organizing it into different sections: basic information, skills and abilities, tasks, qualifications and so on. Also include required legal language such as equal opportunity employer and affirmative action statements, as well as directions on how to apply.

Finally, ask other managers to review the description, then revise it. When a position becomes available, use the description when writing a job posting. You might think that an exorbitant amount of time has been spent crafting this job description. But remember, if you want your employees to be the right ones for the job, show them that you’ve spent time finding them.


By Kimberly Reichert
Dispensary Management Today articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal guidance or advice on dispensary operations. You should contact an attorney or a qualified cannabis consultant for specific compliance and dispensary/retailing advice.
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