What’s your franchisee recruitment rule?

By Sarah Stowe | 16 Nov 2016 View comments

Should you recruit a franchisee if you have doubts? Image: plancess.comHairhouse Warehouse franchise development manager Peter Fiasco shares his recruitment process and number one rule.

Recruiting the right franchisees can be a difficult task for any brand, and the truth is, no brand gets it 100 percent right.

However, it is important to have some clear processes in place to help with the task. The process that a brand puts in place is there not only to assess the suitability of the candidate to become a franchisee in the brand, but also for the candidate to be able to self-assess themselves.

For this reason it’s important that the process is clearly defined to a franchisee candidate very early in the recruitment process.

It should all start with the first screening phone call. Ensure you have a question guide ready. This phone call is all about providing some information to the person enquiring, without giving finer details. More detailed information should only be provided once they have signed a Deed of Confidentiality.

Once you complete the phone call, if you have asked the right questions and they have also asked the right questions, you will get a feel about the candidate.

If the vibe is positive, you’ll want to put them through to the next stage.

This is when you should send an application form and a Deed of Confidentiality out to the candidate. The speed with which they complete this document and return to you can tell you a lot about the candidate’s enthusiasm about proceeding. Someone who is eager will not waste much time in filling this out.

Once you get their application back, it is at this stage that you should do a face-to-face meeting. Sometimes this is not possible, so you may opt to do a Skype meeting.

Again, have a set of questions ready that you can use to guide the meeting. Ensure that you provide the candidate with information about your brand, and that you are open and transparent.

This is the most crucial meeting in the process, as you will get a true feel for the candidate. Ensure that if it is a couple, you meet with both partners.

This is the crunch time that allows you to confirm or reassess your early observations. This is a big decision, so you want to get it right. Are there any niggling doubts?

If you move on to the next stage, include several steps in your process that allow the candidate to do their own forecasts and their own research. This should include them contacting existing franchisees in the network.

Ask them to provide you with the list of questions they asked current franchisees and to document any further questions or queries that they may want to ask you as a result of these calls.

You should also have some kind of profiling that allows you to rate the candidate, such as the Nathan Profiler.

Your recruitment process should be robust and ensure that you end up with a candidate who is fully informed to make a buying decision about your brand, but also that you as the franchisor, are comfortable with and confident in.

You need to be assured that this is candidate is the right fit for a franchisee in your brand. There’s a lot at stake – not just for you as the franchisor, but for the franchisee and their family.

Of course there can be the temptation to overlook any concerns for commercial pressures – particularly in young brands who need the numbers to build the network.

But if you are sitting there after several touch points and thinking, “maybe if we do this they will be good, or maybe if, or just a plain maybe, then you should consider that “If it’s a maybe, it’s a no”.