There is no bigger challenge for up-and-coming and developed franchisors than franchisee recruitment. You’ll be surprised to hear that franchisee recruitment is not as simple as placing an advertisement in the newspaper or posting a vacancy online. There are several things to consider and do before this. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain the elements and factors you need to consider when recruiting franchisees.
The franchisee’s knowledge and experience
While the franchisor will offer training and support, there are certain skillsets and knowledge that you should be looking for in your franchisee. This depends significantly on the industry you’re working in – if, for example, you’re in the food industry, then you’d expect your franchisee to have some customer relations, management and organisational skills. It’s always easier to train up people who have some previous experience than a person who has no experience at all.
Once you’ve established what skills you’re looking for in your franchisee, you should make a list of them so that when you’re reviewing applications, you can refer back to them. You could even include them in adverts so people know what skills you’re wanting from the start.
Personal qualities and characteristics
This is more difficult to measure and establish. Someone’s character can’t be determined by their CV alone. Questions you need to ask yourself are: Is this a person who copes under pressure? Are they business and sales orientated? Are they a team player? You could make this process more objective by asking the candidates to fill out a psychologist-approved questionnaire that takes between 15-20 minutes – the questionnaire can be made up of either open-ended or close-ended questions, depending on the type of answers you’d prefer. You can even keep the identity of the candidate unknown during the decision-making process.
Referrals from within your franchises
While you could take time to explore franchisee recruitment websites or spend money on a digital marketing campaign, you can also look for and find franchisees by getting referrals from your current members. Did you know that most franchisees are, in fact, selected every year from referrals instead of through marketing channels? For this method to work, however, your existing franchisees need to be happy with their role (which will be explored in-depth in the following point).
Don’t neglect your current franchisees
A comfortable and content franchisee is a franchisor’s most powerful marketer as they’ll recommend franchises for sale to other people. Franchisees who are happy in their position, enjoy their job and role, have a connection with the brand, and care about the success of the franchisor will be huge advocates for you. The relationship between a franchisee and franchisor is important and any issues which arise can have huge ramifications, so be sure to resolve any problems quickly. You may even benefit from having a dispute resolution plan in place.
Be willing to offer potential franchisees a trial period
Should you be open to offering a trial period, or feel more comfortable doing it this way, don’t hesitate to provide a prospective franchisee with the opportunity to work with you for a month or so. Not only does this benefit them as they gain experience and insight into the demands of the role, but you also get a chance to see their capabilities and skills for yourself. It’s always easier to see what the franchisee will be like long-term when they’re actually working in the field. You’ll get an insight into the way they handle pressure, deal with conflict and whether they’re an ideal fit for your franchise.
Your prospective franchisees may also appreciate the opportunity to get to know you personally and carry out their own due diligence. This will help your franchisee-franchisor relationship from the start, which will set you on a good footing for the future.
Invest in a franchisee website
As a franchisee often needs to invest a large amount of money upfront, they may have some questions for you before they proceed. Although you will have a customer-facing website, you may want to design a second one specifically for franchisees which includes all the information they’ll want to know about working with you. However, make sure there is a way for them to contact you directly as well because many people will prefer to talk to a real person, especially when it comes to investments.
What information should your franchisee website include?
- Statistics about your franchise.
- Your business’ unique selling point, which has given you an advantage over your competitors.
- Advantages of being a franchisee for your brand.
- What you, as a franchisor, are like to work with.
- Why being a franchisee is a beneficial short-term and long-term investment.