Finding the right franchisees can be difficult. Often, it’s hard to find skilled candidates that display the right personality. And when it comes to bringing new individuals into a company, the franchisor needs to spend a significant amount of time making sure the process isn’t disruptive. Introducing new recruits isn’t as simple as it sounds, so we’ve created a guide to franchisee recruitment, which should give you a helping hand.
Why is an effective franchise recruitment strategy key to success?
An efficient business model is a major part of the franchising system, but you also need talented and hard-working franchisees to implement it. In many cases, franchisors won't have access to a highly skilled and experienced talent pool and will have to use several different methods to attract the right candidates.
Every franchise requires different franchisees and, more often than not, franchisors will prioritise different skills and abilities. Consequently, understanding what you want in a candidate is almost as important as knowing how to find them.
Once you’ve formed a clear picture of the ideal applicant, you’re ready to start your recruitment activity. We’ve created a list of ways you can attract the best talent. Try combining some of the tried and tested methods for franchisee recruitment listed below.
1. Create a franchisee prospectus
Usually, you’ll get the best results if you approach a task with organisation and enthusiasm. This is true of franchisee recruitment. Once you’ve compiled a list of the attributes you’d like your ideal candidate to possess, you should start creating an applicant pack to give to interested entrepreneurs.
This will provide further insight into the business, helping candidates find out whether your business is for them. If you do this, you won’t end up wasting time and resources on individuals who wouldn’t have applied for the franchisee role had they known more about it early on.
Therefore, you should start creating a business prospectus. Just as a school, university or housing development manager would, include all the details of your opportunity. Note the history of your business, its track record, your experience, details about your workforce, existing franchise locations and your financial projections for future franchisees. You should also add information about available territories and criteria for suitable candidates.
While you do this, remember that it’s in your best interest to keep your prospectus data clear and accurate. There’s no point exaggerating financial projections, as you’ll only end up with dissatisfied franchisees further down the line.
Then, when interested applicants approach you for more information, you can send out a glossy prospectus showing off the best points of your business – and providing enough information to discourage unsuitable contenders.
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2. Create a franchisee recruitment web page on your website
Although it can be tempting to just put up a few details of the franchisee role next to your contact details and hope candidates take it into their own hands to carry out thorough research into your opportunity, it’s not the best option. You’ll attract the best talent by taking the time to promote your franchisee positions properly.
Make sure you have a special page on your website dedicated entirely to franchisee recruitment. It should be easy for website visitors to find, and contain all the information you might want to know about your business and the opportunity you’re offering. Add clear contact details, such as a phone number that is always manned by your business’ recruiters.
Also, consider boosting the page’s visibility by doing research into the types of words and phrases that are commonly used by prospective franchisees. Once you know what they are, work them into your online content, including any blog and social media posts. By doing this, you should ensure your website rises up the rankings on search engines like Google and Bing. This, in turn, will mean more candidates discovery our opportunities and get in touch.
3. Don’t always look for new franchisees
You’ll need to grow and expand if you’re to successfully develop your business. But growth and expansion do not necessarily depend on finding fresh franchisees every time you open up a new unit. Instead, franchisors can develop their business by offering additional units to existing franchisees, as long as they’re successful and capable.
This approach has many benefits. First and foremost, franchisors can offer new units to individuals they already know, trust and appreciate. This means that you won’t need to make a leap of faith, and you dodge many of the obstacles that crop up when recruiting in the traditional way.
Secondly, you can save the resources you would ordinarily use to train, equip and prepare a new franchisee for unit ownership. This allows franchisors to invest their time and effort in other aspects of franchise management and enables franchisees to take advantage of economies of scale.
4. Extend the opportunity to franchisee staff
In many franchise companies, there seems to be an unnecessary emphasis on finding franchisees from outside the organisation. Many franchisors forget that long-term employees can make excellent franchisees. Existing staff members will have a good understanding of the franchise’s operations, as well as experience of day-to-day business management, which gives them an incredible advantage over recruits from outside the company. Appointing employees as franchisees also allows the business to grow more organically, with the staff and hierarchy maturing as the franchise does.
Generally, internal promotions instil loyalty among team members and increase the likelihood of strong bonds within the business, such as that between the franchisor and franchisees, and between the franchisee and their team.
Also, long-standing employees will have already demonstrated their commitment to the business and can be counted on to stick with the franchise through the good times and the bad.
5. Offer a franchisee trial
Franchisee trials are an excellent way of providing candidates with an opportunity to discover more about the role, get a feel for the position and experience day-to-day operations. But they are also beneficial for the franchisor, who will be able to test candidates’ suitability for franchise ownership. In this sense, the trial is beneficial for both parties. It also allows both individuals to begin forming a professional bond and establish whether they’re compatible in the business environment.
However, franchisee trials need to be run sparingly. Otherwise, they can quickly become a drain on valuable resources. Trials should only be offered to candidates you consider to be serious contenders for franchise ownership or individuals you would like to bring on board, but who may have reservations about joining the team.
6. Make the most of SME experience
While you shouldn't discount applicants just because they don't have experience in business management, it's often a good idea to search for individuals with some history managing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This type of entrepreneur should have already developed the required skills and abilities needed to successfully operate a franchise unit. As a result, they’ll need less training and support to do so, saving you time and money.
That being said, it's also vital that these candidates are willing to follow the business plan to the letter. In some cases, people with a history in management will be uncomfortable with the lack of freedom afforded by franchise ownership and will attempt to start doing things their own way. They may believe they know better than the franchisor, that they can improve on the franchise model or that the business plan is too restrictive. Unfortunately, these types of franchisees do not tend to excel in the role and can cause more problems than they solve.
7. Prioritise drive and determination
Finally, you should look out for individuals with a burning desire to become a franchisee. Drive and determination are two of the most important qualities in any franchise owner, and franchisors need to ensure they're dealing with serious, committed and ambitious applicants before making a final decision.
To assess a potential franchisee's level of ambition, it's a good idea to take a look at their employment history, conduct a thorough interview and ask them for evidence detailing the different ways in which they've achieved their goals in their past. While some businesses use simple psychological tests to assess an applicant's self-motivation, the vast majority of these tests are flawed, so they’re not always the best way of evaluating candidates.
Recruitment is a key part of business management, no matter how big or successful the enterprise is. In many industries, finding suitable employees has become so challenging that the entire process is outsourced to recruitment specialists. However, franchisors have a much better chance of identifying the right candidate if they take advantage of a variety of methods.
This guide should illustrate how a franchisor can employ several different techniques to find their next business partner. Bear our tips in mind when initiating your next franchisee recruitment drive, as they can make all the difference when it comes to hiring people who will have a positive influence on your business.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©