Hiring right can be tough for franchisees

Finding the right candidate for the job is a challenge in any business. But for franchisees there's a lot on the line

Hiring right can be tough for franchisees

Taking the decision to become a franchisee can be daunting for even the most seasoned of entrepreneurs as they are trusted to maintain the reputation of an established brand. As a result, there are often fears of tainting a franchise’s image by making poor hiring decisions. After all, these people are often the front-line staff, the outward-facing representatives of the brand – so they need to look after it.

Having created a successful business and taken the decision to go down the franchising path, a franchisor will carefully cherry-pick franchisees. It’s a process that takes considerable time and effort. After all, these people will represent the brand and its core values at a regional or even national level. But should they also be involved in the hiring and firing within those franchises?

For many, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Through enlisting a franchisor’s support during the recruitment process, the sometimes lengthy and complex process can be simplified and the franchisee will emerge with the perfect candidate. Let’s not forget that the franchisor has been there, seen it and got the T-shirt: they had to staff their own business with exactly the same people you’re searching for.”

What’s more, most franchisors will remember the pressures of starting up. While belonging to a franchise can offer some degree of comfort as it’s a tried-and-tested formula, franchisees will still face many of the challenges as other entrepreneurs. Therefore, franchisors will often be able to tell tales of their own growing pains – including how to get the best people – and how they quelled them.

For some, this may mean an informal chat from time to time. A quick call to HQ after a day of interviews to talk through some thoughts about an array of candidates. For other franchises, it is often the case that there is something a bit more formal in place – they may provide training and information guides for franchisees. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It depends entirely on the industry, size of the operation and company culture. Whilst in the care sector it is often a legal requirement to carry out disclosure and barring service (DBS, replacing CRB) checks on potential employees, that may not be appropriate in a food franchise, for example.

These are all issues that experienced franchisors should be able to offer a steer on. That’s not to say they will have all the answers – but, even if they don’t, they’re very likely to know someone who does.

Safety first

The number one priority of any parent with a child in daycare is that their offspring is safe. They also want them to be in an environment which is caring, nurturing and educational but there is no substitute for knowing your toddler is in a safe pair of hands.”

Tinies, the family owned and managed childcare company with 31 franchises across the UK, puts parents’ minds at ease with its rigorous screening process of all staff. “Tinies have a robust and effective recruitment process at our head office which we’d share with franchisees whenever the time was right to start employing new recruits,” explains Jayne Middleton, franchise manager at Tinies.”

“We provide franchisees with an operations manual which is full of advice and guidance so they know to follow the right protocol and don’t feel alone in a sometimes confusing time…no-one involved in the Tinies business should feel alone at any stage of the journey,” she adds.

While recruitment is very much dependent on the individual franchisee’s business need, Middleton says all franchises should have measures in place to assist with hiring. “A robust recruitment process is essential to any business to ensure that you have identified not only the duties required but also the characteristics for the role and have also taken into account any specific knowledge, experience and checks needed.””

A helping hand

Jo Jingles is one of the biggest music, singing and movement experiences in the UK for children. Its fun filled classes are available in more than 700 centres across the UK and Ireland and it’s also expanding into Australia. “Parents put their faith in Jo Jingles to provide engaging classes for their children and promote positive interactions in the early years. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Jo Jingles take the recruitment process for franchisees very seriously indeed.

“It is important to provide the right training and advice on employing staff and to produce recommended guidelines on interview techniques, recruitment process, employment contracts and ongoing HR advice to your network of franchisees,” says Caroline Crabbe, general manager at Jo Jingles.

She also believes that when recruiting, franchisees have to be very clear and realistic about what potential employees should expect from the role. They must also have a clear idea of the “type of character or personality” of the business in mind and be clear in any communications in terms of what is involved in running and developing the business.”

Jade Saunders
Jade Saunders