The Legalization of Marijuana…an HR Perspective

The inevitable has come.  It wasn’t long ago that the thought of marijuana being legal in Canada seemed far-fetched, but reality is that it is here and will likely be one of the hot topics in HR.

Having said that, let’s talk about it.  What is your company’s view and take on marijuana or should I say, “medicinal marijuana” use and its potential effect on your workforce.  It’s not as clear cut as it used to be and HR professionals should have clear guidelines in discussing workplace policy when it comes to this topic.

First, does your company have a policy in place with regard to medicinal marijuana?  Second, if one is not present, should you have one?  Third, if you do have one or at least plan on creating one, how should it be presented?

Our company recently just created a policy on medicinal marijuana and it’s a good idea for companies to have.  Not only are you setting clear expectations and guidelines on your workers, but more importantly will protect your company from any risks and exposure.

The need to create this policy was a necessity.  Because our industry is in the transportation and supply chain one, we truly wanted to be clear in our stance to protect our drivers (which makes up more than half our employees) and also protect public safety.  Our policy clearly states that no driver is to operate a commercial vehicle while under the influence.  It continues and further states that anyone under prescribed medications (medicinal marijuana), must be first cleared by a physician before returning to duty.  We approached this topic from a safety standpoint and clearly maintains an objective tone.  Be careful on the wording as well, and ensure that the policy does not discriminate individuals with an illness.  Every company has the duty to accommodate its employees to the point of undue hardship.

But this does not necessarily mean, that only transportation companies have one; all companies should have a policy in place.  It’s a best practice.

With this said, expect changes to happen with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and in addressing workplace hazards.

So, are you ready?

The Transformation of Recruitment

I’m not really a blogger nor have I taken the time two write about my experiences in either my personal or professional life.  But my youngest sister is an avid writer and suggested that I start writing as I apparently have much to contribute in the world of blogging as it relates to my professional life.

So here goes… as this is my first blog, I wasn’t sure what to blog about?  But my sister advised me to keep it simple and write something about what I’m passionate for or a topic that I am an SME on.  From all the topics I can think of: Recruiting was the one facet of HR that I felt strongly about.

I started in HR over a decade ago and for the most part included recruiting as part of my role.  Throughout this time I’ve noticed transformation.  In all my years and after all the countless resumes (I’ve probably perused over 500 if not more), the process still remains; that is, creating a job ad, advertising the ad, generating an applicant pool, shortlisting your candidates, selecting individuals for interviews, again shortlisting your interview pool, until you narrow down your selection to either top 2 or 3.  From there, you subject them to further screening, perhaps including some sort of tests (i.e. behavioral, cognitive, psychological etc.) to narrow the search.  At the end you hire the successful candidate; put him/her in on an orientation and the the cycle is complete.

Now your typical recruiting function and process have stayed the same for the most part, but recruiting specifically in transportation and logistics which I have worked in for almost my entire career have dramatically transformed.  Your typical recruiter is no longer tied and stuck in the office; rather, they are more like Sales Agents or Salespeople where they must actively be recruiting on the road; meeting with candidates, attending job fairs; visiting truck shops and the list goes on.  Because of the shortage of drivers we are faced with; every single transportation company are all competing for the same drivers.  What must one do to separate themselves from the rest?  You can only do so much.  It’s a driver’s market.  They dictate the terms and you know what?  Either the carriers or companies accommodate those requests or they see their truck sit idle and loads remain in the yard.

Recruiting in this industry is crucial.  Where a Recruiter before was an entry level job; now have become an intermediate to senior level positions.  With this said, compensation for these roles have spiked and I’ve seen many comp packages where it is no longer your typical annual salary, but rather includes a base, recruiting bonus (# of hires in a week/month equates to monetary value if certain targets are met), company car and fuel allowance etc.  In other words, companies are now looking to hire Sales Managers with a recruiting background.  Or those individuals, that can bring their portfolios over; not business portfolios but drivers that will follow him/her to their next employer.

So, do you have an effective Recruiter?  Are you looking for one?  Now you have a small insight into the role and function.

Ramon Calanza, CHRL, CCLP

Now Hiring Sales Manager