The success of your franchise rests on the shoulders of your team, so taking your time to find the right fit is crucial
Opening a franchise is all about forming a partnership with a brand you trust and want to build great success with. The chance to grow your own business under the umbrella of a national brand – with their expert support and guidance – is a fantastic opportunity and the start of an exciting journey. Investing in a franchise also gives you the chance to shape your business with a culture that draws people towards your vision, which is why the people you hire are crucial. Having a great team behind your franchise is the key to success.
So, what sets you apart from the crowd and why should people want to work with you? The key is to become a fussy recruiter to attract the best talent.
1. Don’t rush into hiring, make sure it’s the right fit
When you invest in a franchise, it can be tempting to quickly build a team to hit the ground running, yet this can have the opposite effect. Taking the time to recruit won’t put off serious candidates; after all, candidates that are willing to be patient are looking for the right job, not just a job. You want to define exactly what you’re looking for to attract the ideal person, and only when they meet these requirements should you hire.
The franchisor often guides you through the recruitment process, but the franchisee will have the final say, as they’ll be working with this team on a daily basis. This is why it’s important to define what you’re looking for, so you know when the right person comes along.
Utilise the interview process to discover whether someone is the right fit for your franchise. Ask questions so that you can understand how the candidate ticks, what motivates them, what career and life goals they may have, how they can work for you towards your vision and how you can support the trajectory of their life. Remember, you want to bring people on board that align with your values and fit in with the culture, but also bring diversity to your business whether it’s cognitive, experience or cultural. Take your time and trust your instincts.
2. Hire for attitude
It’s incredibly difficult to train the right attitude, whereas skills, techniques and experience can be trained/ gained over time. Values-based recruitment focuses on the personal attributes that a candidate has to offer. Exploring attitude and company fit is a key way to differentiate between multiple strong candidates. When you focus on hiring the right cultural fit for your team, you’ll benefit from increased employee retention due to alignment with company values and long-term goals.
You need to establish your company values and non-negotiables before the recruitment process begins. If you’ve invested in a franchise, this should already be clear, making it easier to identify the attitude you’re searching for. Once interviews commence, attitude needs to be treated as any other technical skill, with plenty of personality-indicating questions. Your interview panel should be a reflection of your company’s culture, so having a diverse interview team will help analyse who’s the best fit for your franchise.
My experience with competency-based interviews is not positive! I believe that they have their place, but only in the hands of a skilled interviewer who is able to cover the questions naturally within probing conversation rather than a dry list of robotic questions that don’t scratch the surface of what the candidate has to offer and what makes them tick.
When you hire for attitude, the person will want to dive in and learn the skills that’ll help your franchise grow. They’ll demonstrate drive in all the areas that require zero talent enabling you to drive the business forwards as well as supporting their growth and development.
3. Invest in developing your people
The success of your franchise relies on the performance of your team. It’s your job to equip your people with everything they need to succeed, giving them development opportunities and supporting their progress. With so many employees lacking engagement and feeling unfulfilled in their roles, you can set yourself apart by investing in your people.
Conducting regular informal reviews can gain much more accurate insight than formal annual reviews. Focusing more on continuous development and feedback rather than a strict structure works more effectively as it should never be a surprise to an individual that they’re either doing really well or need to develop in certain areas. Encourage your people to take ownership of their personal development journey, giving them time and money to support their growth.
Talented individuals can still fail without the right support in place. Set people up for success with effective development plans and by nurturing a culture of continuous learning.
4. Create a positive work culture
Culture eats strategy for breakfast - it’s as simple as that!
At the end of the day, you won’t attract the best talent to your franchise without a positive workplace culture. Show potential candidates why they should want to work with you and you’ll have your pick from a pool of fantastic talent. A positive culture is the foundation of any successful franchise – productivity, engagement and growth all stem from how valued employees feel.
Franchisees will invest in a brand that represents values they believe in, which is why these values need to be in the very DNA of the culture. When hiring employees, it should be clear that this company trusts its team, invests in development and has open communication and a strong purpose. However, this isn’t about writing down some values and putting them in a job description. It’s about living and breathing them day to day.
Attracting and retaining the right people depends greatly on the environment in which they spend their time. Fostering a culture of growth with a franchise that invests time in its employees is a surefire way of building an unstoppable team.
More than ever, candidates are looking for a business that has clarity of vision and understanding of why it exists, its purpose and just cause. The most engaged people are looking for an emotional connection rather than just a transactional connection.
You rely on your people to represent your business, drive quality, generate growth, run the day-to-day and solve problems, therefore, the very success of your franchise rests on the shoulders of your team. It’s acceptable to be a fussy recruiter when it comes to finding the right people for your franchise and knowing who you’re looking for and taking your time to find the right fit will help cultivate a team of people dedicated to the success of the franchise.
Remember, great employees deserve a great place to work! This is a two-way relationship and you’ll have the privilege of being able to impact the trajectory of someone’s career and life, therefore you have to be able to invest the time and energy into fulfilling this role for your people.
Investing in a franchise demonstrates your dedication to the brand and belief in its success: don’t let the wrong employees stunt your growth and make sure that you’re an employer of choice and don’t stunt your people’s growth and development!
How the wrong hire could impact your franchise
- Domino effect — the wrong attitude of one employee can lose countless customers and be hugely detrimental to smaller franchisees
- Bad staff cost money — losing customers, having to replace employees and poor sales all can be the result of a weak team
- Franchise reputation — a bad hiring choice at one franchise is a bad choice for all franchises
- Disruption — high staff turnover is disruptive for the entire team, damaging morale
Richard Blunden is the CEO of Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries, a market leader in the nursery sector franchise. He has over 20 years’ experience in finance, business management and franchising, centred around the motor trade, having worked for some of the largest and most prestigious brands in the world at their UK head offices.