People talk about finding and recruiting the right people for their business, but in reality most sit back and wait for them to turn up on their doorstep.
Businesses may advertise for staff, but that’s often the only proactive move they make and given these lacklustre efforts it is not surprising that so many end up hiring staff that are inappropriate for their operation.
This seems both a strange and ineffective way to operate when it is generally accepted that staff are a firm’s most valuable asset and having the right people on the team sheet can make the difference between success and failure.
This is particularly true in a franchising model where it is simply imperative to handpick people for particular attributes and make sure that those awarded a franchise are capable of unlocking the potential in the business and developing, rather than dampening its existing culture.
A franchisor cannot be on site at each and every location and so they must be able to entrust their brand into the hands of franchisees with confidence. If they pass over control to the wrong people, they will ultimately destroy their business from within.
So how does a franchisor go about finding the franchisees they need and what sort of proactive recruitment can they engage in to make the process run effectively?
The CV is the axle around which the world of recruitment turns and so it is a pretty good place to start. An advertisement will doubtless bring some CVs into the postbag, but in most situations it will not deliver the perfect candidate.
Instead, a franchisor can take control of the situation and buy the rights to a CV database for a certain amount of time each month.
This immediately gives the franchisor access to people that are active in the labour market and a simple process of elimination will let them filter out all but the most potentially attractive candidates.
What is the business looking for? What sort of franchisee would work best? Whether it is technical, sales or communication skills that a business needs, it is possible to go through a CV database and quickly formulate a shortlist of those that are potentially suitable.
Thereafter, the franchisor can take it upon themselves to contact these people, provide them with some information on the scheme and invite them to request more if they are interested.
Finding the right franchisees can be a timely business, but losing patience and awarding contracts to unsuitable candidates will either scuttle the ship or see it operate at way under its potential. Neither of these options are attractive.
Proactively buying, sifting and then marketing to active job seekers enables a franchisor to spread their net as widely and selectively as possible, generating potential candidates that are suited in theory to the business, even if they don’t ultimately make it through the selection process or show willingness to take a franchise on board.
This approach will also help franchisors develop a very clear idea of the type of person they want, the type of skills they are looking for and why these attributes are so important to the business.
Buying access to a CV database on a monthly basis will also help make the process a regular operation and working in this continuous manner will generate consistent leads and the best long-term results. Certainly it is a lot less hit and miss than simply advertising over and over again.
Proactive CV marketing is only one ways in which a franchisor can take active control of the search for the best franchisees. Other proactive options include networking, PR and employing the services of a recruitment company to search out individuals on the firm’s behalf.
Networking is a time consuming affair, but if a business owner cannot make the effort to sell their firm, its ethos and its potential to others, then who can?
Networking also allows individuals to pick and choose the people they meet and control the information they give out about the franchise. Again this should help filter out inappropriate contact from people who are interested in the opportunities available.
Similarly, PR will make sure a controlled message is released into a targeted arena and help attract the right people to the proposition. A scattergun approach may make the telephone ring, but it will also waste a lot of time in handling what essentially turn out to be little better than nuisance calls.
Control in the recruitment process is key if businesses are to find and recruit the people they need to succeed. In the franchise model there is no room for error given that franchisees will be responsible for the look, feel and delivery of the business and its services in the territory they are awarded.
This involved and more time consuming approach may seem difficult when trying to grow a business, but finding the right people for the franchise is not something anybody should be prepared to take shortcuts on.
Hamish Robertson is Managing Director of robertson technologies.