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How to ace the franchise recruitment process

How to ace the franchise recruitment process

Franchises are only awarded to the best candidates, so here’s how to shine during the recruitment process

One of the most interesting statistics to come out of the 2018 British Franchise Association NatWest franchise survey was that more and more women are finding the confidence and self-belief to get involved in franchising.

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Having worked in franchise recruitment for over 10 years, I’m passionate about the opportunities and benefits that franchising offers to ambitious women who are keen to steer their career in the direction they want. From full to part-time, the wealth of different franchises now available across a huge variety of industries means there really is something to suit everybody, whatever your passion may be.

I’d like to share with you my advice for what to expect during the recruitment process and how to go about preparing for it.

Initial enquiry
The first stage in the recruitment process will likely be an email enquiry, followed by a telephone conversation to find out more.

To prepare for the telephone call, it’s always a good idea to read the information available on the franchise’s website and social media platforms, as well as specialist franchising websites such as whatfranchise.com. Also, if you’ve been sent a prospectus, have a good read through, as you will find many of your initial questions will be answered here.

While the telephone conversation will be an opportunity to find out more, it’s also a chance for both parties to establish whether they are potentially right for each other and whether it’s worth taking the process further, so expect some questions on your employment and financial background, your motivations and your personality.

Insights for discovery days
If the outcome of the initial phone conversation is positive, the usual process is to attend a discovery day at the franchisor’s head office, where you’ll have the opportunity to meet with key personnel and learn about the support and systems the business has in place.

It’s worth remembering that good franchisors do not ‘sell’ franchises. This is not in their interest, as their financial success and reputation within their industries and franchising is largely based on the success of their franchisees.

Therefore, they are likely to be selective about who they ‘award’ a franchise to. You need to demonstrate you have the necessary skills to follow a franchisor’s model and represent the brand in a professional way.

With this in mind, here are my seven tips to help you make a good impression at a discovery day:

1. SMILE AND BE PERSONABLE
When you take on a franchise, you are buying a brand name and system, but ultimately people buy people, so a franchisor needs to know you are going to be a capable advocate of its brand. Sell yourself, be engaged and confident in order to demonstrate how you will come across to clients.

2. DRESS APPROPRIATELY
You need to appear professional and while it may not be appropriate to wear a suit, make sure your outfit reflects well on you and your ambitions. If in doubt, ask what is expected on the day.

3. MAKE IT CLEAR YOU PLAN TO FOLLOW THE MODEL
The last thing a franchisor wants to hear is that you plan on reinventing the wheel. The company needs to know you understand that the model works and you want to buy into this system.

4. HAVE YOUR QUESTIONS READY
The discovery day is the time to ask more in-depth questions and those that are pertinent to you. Many franchisors, including TaxAssist Accountants, will demonstrate their knowledge and breadth of support provided by different departments with presentations throughout the day.

You can then direct relevant questions to the right team members, who will have an in-depth understanding of their area of expertise. This is likely to be followed up by a one-to-one break-out session, where any personal questions and issues can be discussed. You may find there is time over lunch and during breaks when you can chat to any fellow potential franchisees and perhaps have a tour of the office.

5. BE WELL RESTED
The discovery day is likely to run for the whole day, so ensure you have travelled the night before if the franchisor’s head office is a long way from your home in order for you to be well rested and prepared for the day ahead. It will also mean you are less likely to flag in the afternoon and can maintain your concentration levels.

6. SHOW YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Although franchisors will be providing comprehensive training and support, you will still need to demonstrate that your experience to date qualifies you to take on a franchise. Do your research into the industry in which the franchise operates, so that you appear well informed about the role you are looking to take on and you understand the motivations of the client base.

7. DEMONSTRATE YOUR FINANCIAL ACUMEN
Taking on any franchise is a significant financial commitment. Make sure you have discussed your plans with your partner/family, so that they are fully aware of what you are considering and, if possible, bring them along to the discovery day.

Be honest with the franchisor - and yourself - about your financial position and your ability to raise the necessary funds. No franchisor will want you to overstretch yourself so much financially that you fail. At TaxAssist Accountants, business planning is discussed in depth during a discovery day to ensure you can competently complete the plan before taking it to a bank to raise finance.

Continue your research
After the discovery day, if both parties are still keen, you will need to continue your research and due diligence, including speaking to a number of current franchisees to get an honest appraisal of the franchisor from those who are currently living and breathing the brand. Ask about the support they have received and if financial expectations are being met. A good franchisor will guide you every step of the way, so you know what you need to have done and by when to enable you to successfully make the transition to franchise owner.

Main reasons for not granting a franchise

1. Insufficient capital
2. Performance at interview
3. Lack of business acumen
4. Seemed to be just buying a job
5. Failure to turn up for appointments
6. Poor credit history
7. Inability to complete application forms
8. Lack of sales/marketing experience
9. Not suitable

THE AUTHOR
Nikki Haythorne is the franchise recruitment manager for TaxAssist Accountants

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