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So, you bought a franchise – now what?

A simple guide to hiring and managing franchise employees.

Part 1: 5 Tips for hiring your key franchise employees

You bought a franchise, built out your office space, and have all of your marketing materials printed. But now you need a team. How do you know who to hire, or what you should even be looking for? Hiring can seem daunting given everything else you have going on, but these five tips will help you get started without pulling your hair out.

1. Leverage your Franchisor (and your fellow franchisees)

Purchasing a franchise brand has many benefits, but one, as it relates to hiring is that they can advise you on which employees you will benefit from hiring first, and the qualifications that they have found to be the most valuable in their star employees. Your franchisor will likely already have some job description templates you can use as a guide to start from.

Being part of a franchise family also has the added benefit of having other owners that have been exactly where you are right now – at the beginning. Ask around, meet other owners in the network, and even meet with some owners that are close to your territory. If they have employees that are moving and would like to stay within the company, you’ll benefit from being able to bring on an employee that not only has a working knowledge of how your company works, but also comes with a recommendation.

2. Create accurate and compelling job descriptions

As mentioned above, your franchisor will likely provide you with a starting template for the primary positions you’ll need to hire first. It’s important that these job descriptions aren’t just accurate, but also detailed. Make sure to fully read the description, determine if there are qualifications or requirements that are missing, and update it to reflect those changes.

Next, put yourself in the position of the applicant. If you were applying for that position, what would you search for? Take those keywords or phrases and make sure to include them in your final job description. This will help your description not only stand out to the applicant but will also stand out to search engines. Often, having multiple versions of the same description, but with a different job title, will help you attract a broader base of candidates. Hint: Hyrell’s applicant tracking software has built-in versioning and optimization to make this even easier.

Make it stand out from other job descriptions by touting any out-of-the-box benefits you offer. This can include anything from flexible work schedules, monthly company outings, or even weekly office lunches.

3. Plan your interview strategy

It’s important to know what you are looking for in a candidate, beyond simple qualifications. Does the position require them to think on their feet or be creative in the way they approach customers? If so, consider asking them some thought-provoking questions like “Other than leather, what would you make a football out of?” It may come across as a little off the wall, but it will give you insight into how they think on their feet.

Additionally, make sure you are only interviewing the best candidates that apply. Your time is valuable and wasting it on candidates that don’t even meet minimum requirements will only cause frustration and loss of time. If there are requirements that need to be met, or questions that need to be answered by every candidate needs to meet, consider utilizing a platform that performs virtual interviews to pre-qualify and rank applicants. This will help you to prioritize which resumes you review first and save you time finding the best applicants for your team.

4. Be very deliberate (and respond quickly) in your communications

The interview and hiring process isn’t just stressful for you as a franchise owner, but also for the applicants. It’s important to respond to anyone who has submitted a resume to your business in a timely manner. If they aren’t a good fit (or didn’t pass the virtual interview stage) – let them know right away. If they are still in consideration, let them know that as quickly as possible too.

The way you deliver good or bad news to applicants is also important. Be deliberate and succinct in your communications so that the candidate knows exactly where in the process they stand. Use templates for these communications whenever possible to cut down on the time needed to respond and leverage a recruiting platform that has an interview scheduling feature. This will allow you to effectively manage your calendar and reduce the number of emails flying back and forth between you and the candidate.

5. Shout it from the rooftops!

Our final tip when recruiting to your franchise is to let everyone know you are hiring! Don’t rely just on job boards or search engines to do the heavy lifting for you. Share your open positions everywhere and as often as possible – social media, friends and family, and industry-specific forums.

It doesn’t matter where you share it, as long as you are getting it out as many places as possible. Applicant tracking software will do most this legwork for you by publishing to the largest job boards around with the added benefit of historically strong search engine rankings.

If you are in an industry that does a lot of hiring, keep the applicants flowing in all year round so that only the best of the best are at your fingertips every time you need to hire.

Did we miss an important tip? Feel free to leave it in the comments below!