Effective Franchise Recruitment
Franchise recruitment can be a rewarding yet demanding role, and with an increasing number challenges facing both recruiters and prospective franchisees it is becoming more competitive than ever. Finding the right fit for your franchise brand can be difficult among a sea of prospective business owners, and then qualifying them as a suitable candidate in terms of experience and resources can narrow the playing field.
Instead of viewing recruitment in the same way as selling a product, it is important to approach it as the beginning of a long-term relationship between the franchisor and franchisee. Taking this into consideration, it is not just the franchisor that needs to be selling their franchise model, but the prospect that needs to be selling themselves as an ideal franchise owner.
People looking to buy a business are more educated than ever, with more information readily available online before they even engage with a franchisor for the first time. This means that prospects may self-qualify themselves out of an opportunity based upon information they have found themselves before recruiters even get the chance to have a conversation. Because of this, a franchise brands online presence and reputation is the most important tool in their recruitment toolkit and can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of prospects you encounter.
Making a great first impression is vital for both parties, meaning that as a franchisor you want to ensure your online recruitment information is up-to-date and accurate, and backed up by glowing reviews from existing franchisees who are finding success within the network. This can be achieved by investing in a recruitment website that gives all the information a prospect may want to find and provides them an easy pathway to enquiry.
Negative reviews from franchise partners can have a remarkable influence on the likelihood that a lead with proceed with enquiry, so the best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to maintain positive relationships with existing franchisees. The franchisor team should also monitor and address any scathing online reviews.
Lead Qualifying and Nurturing
If a potential franchise partner does choose to begin the process by enquiring, they must receive a prompt response. The lead pipeline is at the heart of the franchise recruitment process and nurturing the prospects at all stages of the pipeline will boost conversions and minimize lost leads. This means no matter if they are just exploring their options, or are seriously invested in joining the network, recruiters must focus on building a connection and progressing the relationship.
Finding quality franchisees is the key, and by focusing on relationship building recruiters can gain an authentic understanding of who the prospect is and what they can bring to the network. Recruiters should look beyond just what is written down on paper such as past experience and financial position, and dig deeper into what their passion is and why they want to join the network, get an idea of how committed they are to the business, and work out if they are a good cultural fit for the brand.
However, given how competitive the marketplace is it is important for recruiters to rule out unsuitable leads quickly and effectively before progressing any further. This can be achieved by using a set of qualifying questions at the initial enquiry stage, some which focus on hard skills and tangible assets, and some that explore soft skills and personal motivations. Here are some examples:
Hard Skills and Tangible Assets
- What does your work history look like and how does this relate back to our franchise model?
- Do you have any prior experience owning or managing a business?
- What resources do you have available to help open your franchise business, including financial resources, family support, and professional advice?
Soft Skills and Personal Motivations
- Why are you interested in joining our franchise business?
- What do you want to achieve through the business?
- What do you thinking owning a franchise within our network will be like?
Sealing the Deal
If based upon these questions the prospect seems like a good fit, it is time to progress them through the pipeline and get down to the nitty gritty. Each franchise brand has their own recruitment process and shares different information between parties at different stages, however the overall concept is fairly consistent across the industry.
It is important that as prospective franchisees progress through site selection, accessing finance, and partaking in training days that the recruitment team, along with the rest of the franchisor team, continue to nurture and engage. Even if the franchisee hits a snag securing finance and there is a bit of a delay, the prospect must continue to receive regular communication and feel connected to the network.
If a prospective franchise partner begins to disengage or distance themselves during the recruitment process, the recruitment team should have an open and honest conversation about why. If the lead is making the choice to step away from the opportunity, valuable insight can be gained as to why and how it can be avoided in the future.
No matter if your franchise brand is well established or still actively growing their network, the recruitment process is a vital part of any brands success. Having an in-depth understanding of the process and the tools to effectively qualify and nurture leads will make all the different in the networks ability to source and secure quality franchise partners.