How to hire your first employee: 5 tips for new franchisees

By Sarah Stowe | 07 Jun 2018 View comments

Inside Franchise Business: easy tips for hiring your first employeeHiring staff could be crucial as a new franchisee – here’s how to do it.

As you get nearer to investing in a franchise there will be more clarity about the operational aspects of running your own business. And staff might well be a high priority.

Too many people forget that the number one resource to help you become a success is great employees. It’s vital to get this part right- the adage ‘hire slowly, terminate quickly’ needs to now become your mantra. Read on for some top tips to remember when hiring staff for the first time….

How do I hire someone?

The job.  What is it?

Ok, so you either have an existing role to fill or a new position to fill a gap.  First take note of exactly what your business needs and write up a position description for it. (If it is an existing role, this can be the perfect time to revisit it and see if it needs to change somewhat before you advertise).

Make sure that you have classified the position correctly – is the role part time, full time, or casual?

Check that you a) know what the correct award is and b) that you have know what the entitlements of the position are, so you have enough funds to consistently pay the salary and any other additional costs if need be, such as penalty rates, superannuation and so forth.  It’s a good idea to compare your job description against other roles on job sites, this way you can see if you have covered all you need to, maybe get job title inspiration and get a general sense from the market as to candidate availability for the type of role you are recruiting for.

2. Advertise the job

Next you need to advertise the job.  The best job sites at present are Seek, LinkedIn Jobs, Jora, Indeed, Career One and even good old Facebook.  Check out these sites to see if there are comparable jobs on there and find the one that best works for your business/industry.  Make sure you have time available after the cut-off date to go through the applications, so you can get ready to screen the applicants and make interview times in a relatively short period –  if you take too long your candidate may well have found another position.

3. I need someone…yesterday!

Applications

If an application doesn’t grab you after you read the first few lines – put it to the side.  An application should maintain your interest, especially as it should fit within the guidelines that you are looking for.

Don’t waste your time reading them just because they are there…. but, having said that – if for some reason an application does appeal to you but doesn’t fit your criteria – consider if there is another role, or meeting with that candidate anyway.  Sometimes gut feeling should be listened to.

When you have managed to pull out two or three that look promising – ensure that you screen them well before they come in to meet you.  The screening process which can be done over the phone is the first part of the interview, and you can save a lot of time if you feel this person doesn’t sound “right for the job”.

4. The interview

Don’t hire out of desperation

Hiring quickly can be a huge mistake and very expensive to fix. Don’t jump at the first person who you interview, especially if you are short on candidates. If you have a gut feeling that the candidate isn’t “the one” – go back to the drawing board and re-write your job ad and perhaps look at other ways/places to advertise.

Think broadly when interviewing

When it comes to interviewing – you must be open minded. Really listen to how the person speaks and what they have to say.  Will they fit in with your team? Are they understanding what the job is? Are they able to concisely and accurately answer your questions?  Do you feel they are telling you the truth or just selling to you to win you over?

One important thing to keep in mind in any interview, for any position: Technical skills can be taught, attitude cannot.  It is very easy to show someone how to use the business CRM, or other software for example, but it is very hard to teach someone how to be a team player if it is not in their makeup.

Time and again we see employers being too rigid with the technical requirements of a position. Technical skills are important, but attitude and behaviours are true indicators of success.  EQ (emotional intelligence) studies show that someone with a higher EQ may well be in the long run a far better fit in a team than someone with a high IQ, as they have the empathy and ability to read people’s signals better than someone who may just be very smart and have the technical knowledge.

5. Do your research

So, you have narrowed it down to your top 3- how do you decide? Reference checking is still a vital component to any successful recruitment. With past behaviours indicating future performance, it is essential to complete at least 2 current reference checks on your future employees. Asking the referee questions such as “what do you feel are the candidate’s top strengths?” along with “Could you comment on any areas of improvement you feel would benefit the candidate?” will ensure you get some good information to help you pick the best person for your business.

6. Have the paperwork ready to go

How many people have started a job, so excited for their first day, only to arrive and be met with unorganised people, no employment contract or induction to speak off or worse yet, nowhere even organised for them to perform in their job? Don’t be that employer.

A professional Franchise will have things organised from the get go- employment contract already sent or organised to go through on the first day, working area clean and organised and any business equipment (computers, phones etc) all ready to go and a formal induction process where you have a checklist to tick things off will only benefit you and the employee in the long run.

And a PS: Don’t forget existing employees

Promoting from within, even if it requires some investment in training/development, is a very smart and cost-effective recruiting strategy.  These guys know your business, have been trained in your way of doing things know and obviously fit in with the culture.

It is a great time to consider an employee that may be looking for a change or promotion.  Plus, you save money on advertising, selecting and onboarding! It’s an all-round win win!