For franchise businesses, hiring and retaining the right employees can be the difference between a thriving franchise business and a struggling one. Implementing smart strategies and tapping into the latest recruiting trends can help you find qualified employees for every role.
How can you develop an effective recruiting process aimed at finding, hiring, and onboarding employees for your franchise? Consider the following.
What to consider when hiring employees for your franchise
At first, addressing the task of how to staff a franchise can sound daunting. However, by breaking the process into steps, it can become more manageable. The place to start when recruiting employees is to identify your business needs. You may need to figure out specifics such as:
- Which positions do you need filled?
- How many employees do you need to maintain operations and provide a positive customer and employee experience?
- How will you pay your employees?
- What benefits will you provide?
- How much can you pay them?
- What opportunities are there for advancement and pay increases?
- Are there franchise-specific services that can support your hiring efforts and HR needs?
Franchise recruiting best practices
Consider some franchise recruiting best practices that can help you bring quality team members on board.
1. Leverage hiring materials offered by the franchise
Franchisors want their franchise owners to succeed. Although the level of support can vary depending on the franchise and factors such as size, financial strength, and culture, franchise systems are designed to support their owners. When it comes to hiring employees for franchises, you can often save countless hours by using hiring materials provided for franchises: ad templates, job descriptions, training programs, and other onboarding materials. You may also have access to annual meetings for franchisees, which can give you valuable strategic insights from others that can help shape your hiring practices.
2. Write detailed and clear job descriptions
To attract the highest caliber of talent, make sure your job descriptions are thorough and informative. This can help identify people who lack the experience or drive to fully fill the position, and can help attract candidates with the skills, interest, and experience to succeed in the role. Well-defined job descriptions can also benefit a candidate, who will know what to expect if hired, and can foster engagement starting on day one.
3. Consider hiring from within
Rather than recruiting employees from the outside, an unknown pool, consider looking at current staff within the franchise. This may make the most sense for your business. There are a variety of benefits in doing this. In addition to possibly boosting employee morale and loyalty, existing staff may require less training and already be acquainted with the company's culture. Promoting from within rather than recruiting externally also demonstrates to employees that the franchise values employee commitment and provides career opportunities and advancement over the long term. Recruiting and hiring from within can be particularly smart for management roles, shift leaders, trainers, and other differentiated positions.
4. Incorporate the latest recruiting tools
Recruiting for franchises continues to evolve, and there are strategies that can help you reach top talent more easily:
- Engage in social recruiting by promoting open positions on your social media channels. Customers and followers in your local community are likely to be a good source of potential hires and can amplify your message by sharing your posts on social media. Invest heavily to develop and establish a carefully crafted brand that sends consistent messaging to customers across many types of communication.
- Make the most of the careers page on your franchise website. If you can, update it with lively images and descriptions of what your franchise does to help its employees.
- Use video interviewing to help save time. Getting candidates into the office for a traditional face-to-face interview can take time out of a busy day — yours and theirs. Instead, it may be easier to schedule a 15-minute video conference for a first interview and then bring your final candidates into the office.
5. Develop an interview structure
Establish a reliable and repeatable interview process that ensures consistency and fairness. This process will likely consist of questions and an interview pipeline to help you make your final decisions. Above all, don't rush the hiring decision.
- Questions: Develop a specific set of questions to ask prospects to assess their level of experience. Ensure you are not asking questions that are prohibited by federal, state or local laws. Depending on your industry, experience may not play a major role in your final decision. In this situation, focus on questions that help you determine whether a candidate has the right qualities to succeed if you provide training, such as a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and/or the ability to follow a defined process.
- Interview pipeline: After the first screening interview, schedule a second interview to gain more opinions from others in your franchise. Have promising candidates meet with other qualified individuals within the business to fully assess their level of experience and expertise. If you're hiring on your own, make sure your impressions are consistent across multiple meetings.
6. Check an employee's résumé for franchise experience
Often the most successful franchise employees are the ones who have moved up from the very bottom of the ranks; having performed various jobs within their establishment prior to ownership rounds out their knowledge and familiarity with the unique ways a franchise business operates. Draw from this strategy when recruiting for franchise employees for your business. Look for individuals with experience in different areas, from customer service to shift supervising and inventory management. A strong candidate with demonstrated experience in one area of your business who is also eager to learn new skills is likely to be a strong addition to your team.
7. Screen potential hires for reliability
It's not always just about experience. Perhaps one of the most important prerequisites to hiring someone for a position within your franchise is to look at their level of reliability and accountability. Will they consistently arrive on time? Are they dependable? Can they be trusted with access to money or to complete a task that's critical to your business? Sometimes one of the most valued characteristics of an employee is the fact that they consistently show up, are ready to work, and eager to do a good job. This can ultimately be more valuable — especially in certain roles — than advanced skills or credentials.
8. Seek out a positive attitude
Fostering a positive attitude that encourages everyone to work as a team for the greater good of the company helps attract the best franchise employees. Managers and owners reinforce positivity and engagement by setting a good example and recognizing team members for a job well done, offering training, and listening to employee input. During the recruiting process, you may wish to consider the candidate’s attitude. Does a candidate project a positive and professional attitude? Do they generally speak highly about past employers? Finally, what do their references say about their performance and attitude?
9. Use recruitment technology
If you don't want to search for recruits yourself, options are available. For example, you can use applicant tracking software to help automate key tasks and improve communication with candidates. However, keep in mind that leveraging such technologies is not without some initial investment of time, money, and training.
Retaining top talent
Having a solid roster of franchise employees can greatly influence the success of your organization. Losing employees can be costly, takes up precious time, disrupts operations, and can wreak havoc on team morale.
How can your franchise retain your best employees?
It's up to you to create a high-performance work environment capable of attracting top talent. After that, good recruiting and onboarding is your first line of defense for good retention. Consider the following tactics:
- Provide thorough training. Training gives employees the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Simply put, an employee who received training performs better on the job, and that can lead to increased job satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
- Create a culture of teamwork. Collaboration and cooperation among employees are valuable to an organization's overall culture. A strong sense of teamwork gives employees a sense of purpose to continue improving, but without toxic levels of competition.
- Recognize and reward good work. Everyone likes to be recognized, and rewarding good work nurtures a positive attitude. There are many ways you can get creative about rewards. Everything from a thank-you note, a designated parking spot to tickets for an event acknowledge the value an employee brings to your team. Consider setting up programs that encourage other employees, or even customers, to recognize good work from an employee.
- Incentivize success. Establishing a path of upward mobility, even in small steps, demonstrates to other employees that you're serious about providing growth opportunities in both responsibilities and pay in your franchise for employees who stay the course.
- Encourage open communications with managers. Allowing and encouraging employees to talk to managers openly and freely about any matter strengthens a sense of teamwork and trust — two qualities that are important to employee retention.
- Ask other franchise owners for advice. As a franchise owner, you have a vast network of individuals who are facing the same challenges as you: other franchise owners. Reach out to them to see how they retain employees and learn from their successes and mistakes.
Hiring employees for your franchise
If you're struggling to keep up with day-to-day business needs and don't have a dedicated HR team to stay current with requirements and hiring trends, there are HR services that specialize in franchise solutions, including recruiting and hiring.