FASA hosted the annual International Franchise Expo recently and franchisee recruitment is top of mind for most franchisors at this time of year. When consulting to franchises, we often find that franchisee recruitment happens on an ad-hoc or unfocused basis.

Here are some pointers to streamline your recruitment process:

1. Do you have a well-defined franchisee profile?

Surprisingly, many franchisors don’t have a clear profile of the ideal franchisee. It’s especially difficult to be selective in the beginning stages of a franchise, as the brand may not be well-known and finding franchisees could prove to be difficult. Franchisors may then fall into the trap of selling a franchise to any prospect that has funds available.

Some aspects to consider:

  • Does the franchisee need a specific skills set? For example, in business-to-business franchises, the ability to sell is very important.
  • What is the culture of the franchise? This is difficult to define, but a franchisee should fit into the organisational culture of the franchise and share the same values as the rest of the network
  • Does the franchisee have a support network? If a franchisee has a family, they should be supportive of the decision to buy a franchise. Owning a business can be tough and the franchisee will need support from friends and family.
  • What are the energy levels required to run the franchise? If the franchise is in fast food for example, a franchisee should be fit enough to be able to work long hours.

2. Are you doing effective marketing?

The marketing of your franchise opportunity should suit your recruitment objectives. If your opportunity is skill specific, eg in education, the marketing should be focused on people in that industry and you could consider using trade magazines or events to target them.

These days, most potential franchisees search for opportunities online on portals such as whichfranchise.co.za, which offers franchisees a wide variety of tools to aid them in their search such as informative articles, a self-assessment and access to many opportunities in one spot.

3. Do you have a clear recruitment and selection process and has this been communicated at all levels in head office?

The franchise should have a step-by-step recruitment process to minimise time spent on prospects that don’t fit the bill. Such a recruitment process could entail the following:

  • Prospects submit an application form with their personal information, references and financial information.
  • Pre-screening must be done to check the candidate’s credit record, funds available and references. The credit record is important as the franchisee will most likely apply for bank finance and an adverse record may prove problematic. It’s also an indicator of the level of financial discipline a franchisee has, although each case should be examined to determine the circumstances.
  • Conduct a psychometric assessment. This could be very helpful in determining the strengths and weaknesses of a potential franchisee, which will assist the franchisor to conduct a meaningful interview. Franchising Plus offers the E test in conjunction with NeuroCapital. This assessment has been proven to be a useful tool in franchisee recruitment.

4. Are you conducting effective interviews?

There is quite an art to conducting effective franchisee interviews. Having the results of the E test can help a lot, as it gives the franchisor an overview of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, which can be probed at the interview stage.

It’s also important to avoid leading questions and to focus on aspects that will be challenging for franchisees. Outcomes based questions can be useful, where candidates are asked about specific examples of work related behaviours based on their past experience.

5. Will the franchisee have the opportunity to work in an outlet?

McDonald’s is famous for their 9 month “interview”, where franchisees attend training and physically work in stores until they are deemed to be qualified. Giving the franchisee the opportunity to work in an outlet can prove to be the acid test indicating their ability to adapt to the franchise environment.

In a tough economic environment, the competition for good franchisees is fierce. Having an effective recruitment process can go a long way to award franchises to good candidates that will add value to your network. Franchising Plus has the experience and tools to help. Contact us for more information.