From soft skills to background checks, do you have what it takes to find the right employee for your franchise?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve just bought your first franchise or if you’re a veteran franchisee, finding the right staff for your business should always be a priority. But this can be far from an easy obstacle to overcome. Let’s look at some facts around one of the biggest challenges you’ll be facing.
Three-quarters of franchise units do employ staff and over 30% of UK franchisees employ more than six employees. Out of the 720,000 people employed in the franchise sector there’s roughly a 50/50 split between full-time and part-time workers.
Right now in the UK we’e experiencing the highest employment rate and the lowest unemployment since records began back in the 1970s. For you, this means sourcing talent can become difficult as there are fewer candidates in the talent pool. In fact, most of the best candidates are probably already working somewhere else. So ask yourself why would someone with the right skills for your franchised business make the decision to join you?
A key foundation to making the right hire is based upon good decisions and planning for your business needs. So here are some key things to consider as you find the right people for your venture.
Do you understand the job and what the role you’re hiring for entails? If you don’t, then there’s no way potential recruits will. It’s essential employees understand their duties and responsibilities from the outset. This won’t only help you formulate better job ads but also help you in the interview. You must be able to clearly outline what you expect and answer the candidate’s questions about the position.
Speaking of the interview, ask yourself how you can best assess candidates during the interview process to establish their suitability for the job, evaluate their skills, relevant experience and attitude.
With the vast array of franchise opportunities available there’s no simple answer to what the best interview methods are but the broad guidelines include being structured, following a repeatable format, not shying away from the direct questions, keeping focused on the answers you’re seeking and not coming away from an interview with your questions unanswered. It’s also important to allow the candidates to ask questions about the job opportunity. In fact, it’s a great chance to assess their genuine interest and enthusiasm to be part of your team.
Skills and experience
What are the essential skills and work experience the candidate must have to perform well?
You may have been on a training programme with the franchisor prior to making hiring decisions around your own staff. This means you’re in a great position to understand the skills and experience needed from candidates. Don’t make the mistake of compromising on a person’s talents. The right candidate is out there so be patient.
As a franchisee, you’ll be enthusiastic about your business and believe in the brand, products and services that you’re offering customers. The question is if the candidate in front of you will be an amazing brand advocate too.
These soft skills are critical to making good hires. Not only do you want to be confident that your employees do a good job but also that their attitude and actions generate new referrals which means more sales. Too many business owners spend valuable time in their franchise managing non-performing or disruptive employees. So let’s avoid that by looking for people with a great attitude.
Background and reference checking
There may be a legal requirement for you to undertake background checks on people you plan to employ but don’t forget to undertake reference checks with past employers as well.
Whilst many franchises take formal background checks to verify the eligibility of individuals to work in a sector such as working with children, few obtain references from former employees. Try not to be one of them. This is the single best occasion to speak to people who’ve worked with or employed the person you’re about to spend your cash on and put your trust in. Ask for a telephone number from candidates and pick up the phone. You won’t regret it.
How are they getting along?
Interviews are great but few things highlights a potential hire’s suitability like seeing them in action. Gauge the candidates by getting them to join you for the day as it’s a chance to get to know them and experience first-hand how they handle themselves.
When you were investigating a franchise you may have experienced a taster day. You may now be working in your franchise. People who are seriously interested in the job will, or at least should, be more than willing to give it a go for a few hours before either of you make the final decision.
And here’s the best advice I will give you. Don’t hire this person if you see or feel that there are shortcomings in their performance or attitude. In 26 years of recruitment experience working with employers across the globe, I have to warn you that if you accept these traits in a candidate, you’ll find yourself repeatedly trying to convince yourself that they’ll change if you invest more time in them. Hate to be blunt but no they won’t.
Remember, hiring the right staff for your franchise isn’t all about employing family and friends, recruiting people based on a feeling or hoping that you can change those working for you to fit the job. Every business is a people’s business and you can only scale with the right employees under your wings.