John Kutac, VP of franchise operations at Code Ninjas, outlines his top recruitment strategies to not only attract the right people but to also ensure those recruits step up to the plate
Stress in the workplace is an all-too-common occurrence – a staggering 79 per cent of British workers commonly experience work-related stress. With increasing precedence being placed on the value of mental health, as well as the clear correlation between wellbeing and productivity, franchisors are investing more time and resources than ever in supporting their franchisees. A major factor in this is enabling franchisees to source, recruit and retain talented people to help them in the daily operations of their businesses.
Make sure it’s the right fit
Don’t rush into hiring – it’s essential recruits are liked by you and your existing team. Don’t be afraid to go to a second interview and let them mingle with your people in their normal work environment. One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen franchisees make when recruiting employees is rushing into hiring someone, desperate to offset a workload which always feels less manageable than it really is. Although a physical gap has been plugged, these actions can be detrimental in the long run. Remember that if your new recruit is lacking in ability, drive, confidence, skill or attitude then they could take up more of your time than you anticipated, rather than taking work off your plate.
Employing someone who isn’t a right fit for your existing team can be a grave mistake. Whether it be a clash of personalities or a misalignment of working practices and standards, it’s vital that new recruits are given time to mingle with the team before they are hired to gauge whether they are likely to sustain your positive working environment. It’s all about maintaining the balance of team culture and investing your efforts into the people that will ultimately pay dividends.
Select on passion
Finding someone with a genuine interest in what you do often leads to them being a dedicated employee. Passion breeds hard work, as an innate love and hunger isn’t something that can be artificially materialised. The famous quote, “Find a job you enjoy doing and you’ll never work a day in your life”, springs to mind. Depending on your sector, it may be you’re looking for a passion for serving your target market rather than anything else. In many cases, technical skills or operational processes can be learned.
Don’t be afraid to test this passion in an interview. When looking for the best staff that will take pressure off you, you want someone who will solve problems, not create more. Have they done their research on your business and the type of customers they may be interacting with? The more passionate they are, the more they’re likely to have got to know you.
Set clear goals to improve accountability
It goes without saying that the people within your business will show a higher level of engagement when they’re empowered to take accountability for their role within the business. At the end of the day, people take great pride in the work they do when it’s their sole responsibility.
By setting your staff clear goals and targets, as well as areas for professional development, you instantly give staff something to work towards – how can someone be expected to meet targets if they aren’t clearly communicated?
By sharing and encouraging responsibility across your team, you are automatically creating a cooperative environment. If you are a business requiring high-volume sales then this may also generate an element of healthy competition within the team, but if you are looking for fewer repeat-purchase customers then this will help to drive quality in your team’s delivery.
Create a positive work culture
A company’s work culture is more than just words on paper. An organisation’s culture can not only improve engagement and performance but can also be attractive to top prospects. Only 15 per cent of British workers claim to love their job, but by making a conscious effort to instil a positive and professional culture, your employees will feel more motivated and engaged when it comes to their daily roles.
It can be as simple as taking time out of your day to check in with your team members or ensuring everyone takes time out of the business every day to enjoy a well-deserved lunch break. At Code Ninjas, we like to plan regular work outings and social activities to keep morale high and our annual NinjaCon event gives everyone in our global network, from our employees at our head office to the support team in the UK – and not forgetting our franchisees – a chance to come together and celebrate their collective achievements.
Keep developing and engaging
This really aligns with my previous point about hiring those with a passion for what you do. If it’s pre-existing, let it flourish by encouraging it. If it’s yet to be found, nurture it through positivity and rewards. As soon as an employee feels like they have a boss who genuinely cares about their development and career prospects, they will immediately show more respect and willingness to work hard for you.
At Code Ninjas, like-minded people come together – we utilise this by inspiring and teaching our people more about what they already love. They, in turn, put in their all for us.
Build transparent career trajectories
Top talent applicants want to know more than, “What job am I signing up for today?” They want to know what positions, learning and advancement they can receive down the line if they perform well. Companies that build transparent career trajectories for various tenure lengths, complete with clear opportunities and predictable salary increases, are most successful at compelling top talent to join the team.
Leadership comes from the top, if you do the fundamentals properly, it has a trickle-down effect. There is no silver bullet for hiring the perfect person, but at a time when it’s an applicants’ market with more jobs available than people searching, having a clear strategy for recruitment and retention of staff is imperative.
John Kutac is the VP of franchise operations at Code Ninjas. With 400 successful franchises operating internationally, John knows a team that works well without the constant presence of its franchisee is invariably a successful one. He has an expert eye for knowing what type of person will take franchises forward, as well as the type that will hold them back.