As a human resources business which has been franchising since 2005, we at The HR Dept recognise the vital importance of having the right people with appropriate skills and personality types filling any particular role.
We know that with franchises in particular, it takes a certain combination of qualities to make a success of the business.
I’d be lying if I said we’d got it right every time over the last 15 years or so, but we’ve certainly managed to minimise our risk through thorough processes in both recruitment and ongoing support.
Broadly speaking, there are two aspects to being a good franchisee: firstly, knowledge of what the business is going to trade in, be that products or services; secondly, an understanding of how to run a business.
Franchisors should therefore bear both of these factors in mind when setting up and executing their recruitment processes.
The fundamentals of recruiting franchisees are by and large similar to those used normally, albeit with one major difference.
While employees have the fall-back of management, their colleagues and internal HR processes to back them in times of difficulty, there can be considerable solo pressure in running a franchise business even if a franchisor has good central support structures in place.
So I would say you should bear in mind that resilience, drive, energy and self-sufficiency needs to be higher in franchisees than in conventional employees, and that recruitment should factor in these considerations.
As for the recruitment processes themselves, the following elements need to be covered off.
Firstly, advertising. You need to advertise in right places to hit your target markets, bearing in mind in particular the type of personality needed to be a successful franchisee.
Second, the opportunity description. Make sure that you offer an accurate, engaging and exciting portrayal of the job, focusing on the benefits and the rewards of success.
Next up is the sifting process. This should be fair but also rigorous. Are your potential franchisees qualified to perform the role, as well as being good communicators and able to operate independently?
Then there’s the interview. While bearing in mind that this may be the first time the interviewee has run their own business, the interview should be probing and thorough. Think carefully about the stages of the process has and who from your business will be involved.
Profiling is key, too. Just as with important to be realistic an employee’s fitness for a role, you should assess the potential franchisee’s personality type. Our experience shows this to be a valuable process in securing longevity.
Next, do a credit check. A franchisee’s credit history is a relevant factor in your decision and rightly so. If your business depends on having effective franchisees, then you have every right to expect honesty and stability here.
Then comes the induction. It is vital for the success of the franchisor-franchisee relationship to have a proper, planned induction, so that expected standards are set and support lines established.
Finally, ongoing support. As mentioned earlier, running a franchise can be hard. Offering regular reviews and close attention (particularly for new franchisees) is vital to getting the best out of those contributing to the success of your business.
The risks of not getting franchisee recruitment right are similar as those of recruiting the wrong staff member – there is a cost to the progress of your business, possible legal bills, wasted or repeated recruitment fees and also potential damage to your brand.
So, it is vital to get recruitment right, for all of the parties involved.
Our franchising success has been based on the belief that it is most important to get the right people in, to support them and invest in their success.
Those values have served us well and continue to do so. Especially in today’s environment, where brands can be easily affected by social media reputation, I would advise franchisors looking for sustainability in their businesses to focus on inducting the right people, rather than prioritising profits.