KD Khairah, Founder and CEO CanMar Recruitment

CanMar Recruitment’s founder and CEO KD Khairah joins O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo to address employment trends in the cannabis Industry during and after COVID-19.   As it continues to wreak havoc, the Corona Virus (COVID-19) remains a learning experience. We learned, for example, that in many jurisdictions, newly-legalized cannabis is an “essential service.”This was good news for some in terms of short-term employment, but it left the industry wrestling with how to mitigate the spread of the disease and minimize contact between customers and the service we proudly provide.

A new sponsorship partner with the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo (now rescheduled to Oct 27-29, the International Centre, Toronto https://ocannabiz.com/), CanMar Recruitment is a major player in the placement of workers in the legal marijuana sector. And its CEO, KD Khairah, has an expert eye on how headline events and economic trends can and will affect the cannabis business.

“CanMar and KD is a voice we are proud to add to this top-flight industry gathering, one worth listening to by every attendee,” said O’Cannabiz President Neill Dixon. “KD has a laser-sharp focus on the damage that’s been done currently. And he has a hopeful approach and a wealth of ideas as to how the industry can reassemble and rebuild, partly based on goodwill our operations manage to generate during the crisis.”
Khairah does indeed have a cautiously positive post-COVID vision, saying that the cannabis job market and companies, “should stabilize in the near future, so long as they adapt their operations and processes to cope with the new reality. Teams and business plans will need to be restructured, but the industry will surely rise to new heights with the new ‘norm.’ “This industry has dealt before and will deal with them again. That need not stop growth. It only changes our direction.” Khairah sees several trends emerging from the market correction, including: a freeze in hiring, followed by a hiring surge (which will initially be hampered by a labour shortage created by the freeze).

Some preliminary questions for KD Khairah.

What are some of the negative effects of putting hiring on a halt?
“Stopping hiring completely or leaving vacancies unfilled for prolonged periods can place an excess strain on employees due to increased workloads. Having them pick up the extra tasks without proper training and expertise could lead to knowledge gaps, reduction in sales and poor customer service.”

What struggles are businesses with a surge in hiring and labour shortage facing?
“Businesses are feeling the strain as consumers are expressing a need for products to be delivered to their homes.
“The closure of many retailers and public services are putting added pressure on the companies still operating to meet demands. The only way to keep up with production and produce these products is to grow their team, which is putting a strain on their turnaround time.”

How are companies hiring during the social distancing era?
“Companies are scrambling to adjust to the new ‘norm’ of social distancing. The key to a successful comeback from this pandemic will be preparation. “While the world is at a standstill, companies should be taking a much-needed step back to assess their processes, their pipeline and their future hiring needs. Now is the time to map out the roles that will need filling once the industry picks up. Companies need to ensure their team is ahead of the pack when it comes to ramping up operations and being equipped to supply the increasing demands.
“Video Interviews, virtual onboarding and remote working have all become incorporated in company hiring processes. Companies are trying their best to cope with the changes and communicate and connect as much as possible under the circumstances, to ensure the human touch. Company values must be upheld, even though the times have changed.”

“Cannabis companies will be seeking experienced veterans from the consumer-packaged goods industry to fill the roles of executive level management. This fresh blood should provide fresh insight on future business needs. But this is not where it will end. We will see professionals from the CPG industry at all levels  joining the industry.
“In short, the industry needs to come together and support each other. As a recruitment agency, we are doing our part to connect with clients and to help keep these open businesses staffed. We are also obliged to prepare other companies to re-open and restructure as we all adapt.

“The future is bright, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just need the right tools and resources to shine a light bright enough to break through this darkness.”

To learn more about the complete O’Cannabiz program, to purchase tickets or to exhibit at this year’s expo, visit https://ocannabiz.com.

About O’Cannabiz Conference & Expo
The O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo, voted the No. 1 cannabis event in Canada by High Canada magazine, is the premiere cannabis industry event on the calendar in Canada. Combining business, investors, healthcare, and consumer features, the 4th annual show is a must-attend event for the entire cannabis market. Cannabis in any form is not available at this show. You must be 19+ to attend. The producers of O’Cannabiz have decades of experience producing national profile events and creating global connections between business communities in the arts, broadcasting, media and technology. They have organized trade summit initiatives with governments around the world and have worked closely with sponsors in all levels of Canadian government.