Selecting a new cannabis HR solution from among the many options on the market can be a daunting task. Cannabis HR leaders need a way to sort through the growing choices available to them and identify a solution that will best meet their unique needs. The question is, how do you wade through the clutter of Human Capital Management (HCM) vendor features and functionality — which all sound the same — and make the right choice for your cannabis-specific needs?

Core functionality to meet your specific requirements is a must, but there are likely many systems that can address your core needs in one form or another. All good vendors would advise that immediate access to employee information for simplified reporting and data-driven decisions is important. And industry leaders would suggest the benefit of having your entire HR system on one platform.

Perhaps most importantly, you should be looking for a trusted partner who understands your unique business needs. So how can you evaluate whether a vendor is the right strategic partner for your organization? Five simple questions can help you uncover the DNA of the solutions you’re evaluating and determine a shortlist of vendors who can offer you the level of service you require today and grow with you in the future:

1. Is the technology platform built to meet your current and future needs?

With an integrated solution, you get a holistic view of your employees across HR, time and attendance, and payroll. What’s more, a common user interface (including a mobile application) should offer a consistent experience for all employees in any location or on the go. In addition, an HCM provider that also offers personalized services to assist your complex cannabis HR efforts is imperative. Your HCM partner must match it’s software sophistication with a team of experts in both cannabis and HR in general. 

2. Can the solution enhance the employee experience and support data-driven HR decisions?

Unmatched functionality and industry expertise will win fans among the tech-savvy, but features will be meaningless if they’re not intuitive and easy to use. Powerful reporting and analytics capabilities can help frontline managers and executives make better decisions, but only if the data is accurate and presented in a way that is easy to understand. 

3. Does the vendor understand the specific needs of your organization and its employees?

Rather than choose a vendor that may take a one-size-fits-all approach, choose one with industry-specific expertise who can ensure your solution is built to meet the complex requirements of your organization, especially in the complicated cannabis industry. Many vendors are exploring the cannabis industry right now. But, be aware of out-of-the-box solutions many of these vendors will offer that weren’t designed and built to serve cannabis specifically. Keep cannabis labor laws, 280E deductions, licensing requirements for cannabis employees and many other cannabis-specific issues in mind when vetting your potential HCM partners.

4. What is the vendor’s approach to customer success?

A customer-first business approach extends beyond deep experience and expertise in a specific industry and innovative product features. A focus on customer success is reflected in the vendor’s approach to implementation, technical support, and customer service. But such a focus also reflects the vendor’s ability to help organizations make the most of their people strategy and the vendor’s commitment to serving as your business advocate.

5. What resources are available to help HR reduce compliance risk?

If you’re running a cannabis organization, chances are you don’t have time to chase after information on the ever-changing legislative landscape. But when critical HR and payroll laws and regulations have a real impact on your business, there’s no way around it: If you don’t keep up, you risk costly compliance issues and loss of license. Your HCM vendor should provide optional payroll services that draw on experienced professionals and tested software tools to increase payroll efficiencies, reduce operating expenses, minimize tax reporting administration, and staff resources to focus on strategic priorities.

The Last Word

The HR solution you choose is a critical step toward boosting your organization’s success — but selecting the right HCM vendor to implement that system and support your employee-facing HR processes is equally important. The process of choosing a vendor who will also be a trusted partner can be simplified by asking five very specific questions that get at the heart of what you need to know to ensure your vendor and organization are well-matched.

To continue reading, head here for your free download of our comprehensive guide to vetting cannabis HCM software partners.

In addition, don’t be afraid to lean on industry resources like CUE Cannabis, who exist to support your healthy growth as a cannabis business. CUE has built a leading platform designed to help you ask these important questions and vet your potential HCM (among other) partners. CUE is your first B2B marketplace and your resource for knowledge and cannabis partner vetting.