Recruitment tips for franchisors
Finding talented franchisees can be incredibly challenging. Bringing individuals into the organisation can be disruptive and requires a great deal of investment on behalf of the franchisor. Consequently, you need to get it right. Here, we take a look at our top 5 tips for franchisee recruitment.
Why is an effective franchise recruitment strategy key to success?
Though a well-considered and efficient franchise model is key to franchise success, it requires talented and hard-working franchisees to implement it. Finding the right franchisees can be a struggle. In many cases, franchisors won’t have access to a highly skilled and experienced talent pool and will have to utilise several different methods to attract the right candidates.
Every franchise requires slightly different franchisees and, more often than not, franchisors will prioritise different skills and abilities. Consequently, understanding what you want in a candidate is almost as important as knowing how to find them. Once you’ve formed a clear picture of the ideal applicant, try attracting them by utilising and combining some of the tried and tested methods listed below.
Offer a franchisee trial
Franchisee work trials are an excellent way of providing candidates with an opportunity to prove themselves, discover more about the role, and begin building a healthy relationship with the franchisor. They are most useful when it comes to testing a candidate’s suitability for franchise ownership. In this sense, a trial is beneficial for both parties.
The franchisee can experience day to day operations and get a feel for the position, while the franchisor develops a clearer understanding of whether the franchisee is a good fit for the company. It also allows both individuals to begin forming a professional bond and establish whether they’re compatible in the business environment.
However, work trials need to be used sparingly. Otherwise, they can quickly become a drain on valuable resources. Trials should only be offered to those you consider a serious contender for franchise ownership or those individuals you would like to bring on board, but who may have reservations about joining the team.
Extend the opportunity to franchisee staff
In many franchise companies, there seems to be an unnecessary and unhelpful emphasis on finding franchisees from outside of the organisation. Long-term employees can make for excellent franchisees – with their understanding of franchise operations and experience of everyday business management giving them an incredible advantage. It also allows the business to grow more organically, with the staff and hierarchy maturing as the franchise does.
Generally, internal promotion instils greater loyalty among team members and makes it easier to form strong working bonds between the franchisor and franchisee, and the franchisee and their team. Finally, long-standing employees have already demonstrated their commitment to the business and can be counted on to stick with the franchise through the good times and the bad.
Don’t always look for new franchisees
Successfully franchising your business depends on growth and expansion. However, growth and expansion do not necessarily depend on finding fresh franchisees every time you open up a new unit. Instead, franchisors can aim to develop their business by offering additional units to successful and capable franchisees.
This approach boasts many key benefits. First and foremost, franchisors can offer new units to individuals they already know, trust, and appreciate. This means that no ‘leap of faith’ is required and the franchising process is far less complicated than it is when trying to identify unknown applicants. Second, it can drastically reduce the resources needed to train, equip, and prepare a new franchisee for unit ownership. This allows franchisors to invest their time and effort in other aspects of franchise management and benefits the franchisee by enabling them to take advantage of economies of scale.
Make the most of SME experience
While you shouldn’t discount applicants because they don’t have experience in business management, it’s often a good idea to search out individuals with some history managing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These types of franchisee have often already developed the required skills and abilities needed to successfully operate a franchise unit and need less assistance and training to do so.
That being said, it’s also vital that franchisors look for individuals who are willing to follow the business plan to the letter. In some cases, those with a history in management will be uncomfortable with the lack of freedom afforded by franchise ownership and will attempt to start doing things their own way. They may believe that they know better than the franchisor, that they can improve on the franchise model, or that the business plan is too restrictive. Unfortunately, these types of franchisee do not tend to excel in the role and can cause more problems than they solve.
Prioritise drive and determination
Finally, it’s essential that you search for individuals with a burning desire to become a franchisee. Drive and determination are two of the most important qualities in any franchise owner, and franchisors need to ensure that they’re dealing with serious, committed, and ambitious applicants before you make any final decision.
To assess a potential franchisee’s level of ambition, it’s a good idea to explore their employment history, conduct a thorough interview, and ask them for evidence detailing the different ways in which they’ve achieved their goals in their past. While some businesses utilise simple psychological tests to assess an applicant’s drive and determination, the vast majority of these tests contain serious flaws, and their use should be carefully considered.
Recruitment is an issue for businesses of all types and sizes. In many industries, finding suitable employees has become so challenging that the entire system is outsourced to recruitment specialists. However, franchisors have a much better chance of identifying the right candidate if they begin to utilise a variety of methods. Our top five tips aim to illustrate how a franchisor can employ several different techniques to find their next business partner. However, these techniques will only be useful if you have a clear understanding of the type of franchisee you’re searching for.