What’s involved in recruitment?

Investing in the right franchise is a big step and it is in the interests of the franchisor to have a process in place to help them find the right candidate for their opportunity

Franchising has proven itself to outstrip non-franchise business start-up with regards to success rates. But there are reasons behind this: you are buying into a business that has already been proven to work, the brand is already in existence and possible highly recognised, you are trained on how to run the business, and you are supported continuously to help you succeed. This is a package of benefits you simply don’t get if you start from scratch. These many benefits, however, come at a cost to the franchise owner. However, many forget the great cost here that is also taken on by the franchisor in developing everything in the first place. This is where the quality of people is a major factor as any franchisor needs to make sure this investment in not wasted.

Just because you recognise the success of franchising, find a network that you want to join and have the money to do so, it doesn’t mean you can. You will need to satisfy the checks of the franchisor, as much as the franchisor’s business would need to satisfy all of your checks and investigation to ensure it is right for you.

Think of it in these terms: a franchise is a network of individual business owners, all running their businesses under agreement and according to set conditions and methods set out by the franchisor. It is set up like this so that all of the businesses are operating in the way that is proven to work and create better success for everyone. However, even though the system is protected, supported and policed by the franchisor, the brand could still be damaged if one of those businesses felt that they would ignore the system and do things their way. They shouldn’t want to, as this could mean they risk losing their business, but it could still happen. To minimise the chance of this ever happening, the franchisor would want to only recruit franchise owners who have the right aptitude and attitude.

Consider that you approach a franchise and with little or no questioning they welcome you in with open arms just because you’re carrying a cheque – what does that say about the quality of the network, or the chance that someone in the network could damage your business?

Today there are well over 850 different brands in the UK who franchise and the market continues to grow, offering a wider variety of options every year. When it comes to recruitment and what they look for in people they will all be different, although you can bet that they will be certain core values they will all want and certain similarities between their processes. You will need to expect to go through a structured recruitment process when perusing an opportunity to join a franchise.

This is not a job interview, but there are some similarities along the way. For example, there would be a part of a meeting which would look at the capabilities and competencies you have acquired and what you are like as a person. As part of this process, you may also be asked to attend a meeting with your spouse, if you have one. This is because a franchise can take a major role in your life and you want to make sure that those around you support you in your ambitions.

The recruitment process can take a significant length of time and several meetings with some businesses, so try not to get frustrated with the timescales. It should also not be one sided. You should be just as keen to use this opportunity to interview the franchisor and if you don’t they may think less of you. Be sure that you find out as much about the people in the business, as the business itself, as these could be your new business partners.

Unlike a job interview you are not looking to work for someone, but instead work with them. However, you are still going to have to follow certain rules and procedures. This is a fantastic opportunity to ask about any concerns or confusions that you have with the structure, support or everyday running of the franchise. No question is a silly question, if it means you can move forward with more confidence.

Written by Tom Endean, of the British Franchise Association