How do franchisors select their candidates?
The process of recruiting franchise candidates is a hybrid process, located midway between attraction and selection. Franchisors must proceed methodically to ensure that the future franchisee has the profile to succeed within the network.
For teams responsible for developing a franchise network, selecting good candidates can be a major challenge. Poor recruitment can destabilize the entire network, jeopardizing its balance and its cohesion. Given the level of investment that the heads of networks must devote to it, it is strategic to identify suitable profiles very early on and to carry out this approach to the end of the process. What are the steps to follow in order to select franchise candidates who will know how to get involved in the long term?
1- Identify the types of profiles being sought out
Depending on the stage of development of its network, a franchisor does not select the same profile of candidates. A young franchisor will need to rely on profiles of franchisees who are entrepreneurs at heart, with a pioneering spirit, who are keen to co-construct a model that is not yet fully completed. Conversely, a network that is already well established will look for profiles of franchisees who are less "adventurous" and ready to apply the recipe of a model that has already proven itself many times.
2- Set up an adapted communications strategy
To attract the right profiles, you must then define a recruitment and communication strategy adapted to your objectives. On which media to communicate? Which trade fairs to participate in? What speech to put forward? For example, a new concept is more beneficial to start with local actions in order to recruit candidates within a well-defined scope, before launching a national communication.
The franchisor must also consider the supports and actions to put in place: create his own franchise website, subscribe to a franchise portal and/or recruitment sites, go through the services of a headhunter... Similarly, the arguments to put forward in the presentation of the franchise should not be defined only casually: what are the values at the base of the network, the history of the concept and its founder, the points of differentiation compared to the competition?
3- Train teams dedicated to recruiting candidates
The recruitment of candidates to the franchise is a very specific process. It requires both knowing how to promote the concept and the network, while having a keen eye on each candidate to know if he will make a franchisee involved and competent. Dedicated teams must therefore have the right attitude and the right discourse, halfway between selection and sale. They must know how to identify the essential criteria and the secondary criteria: does the candidate, above all, need to have managerial and commercial skills, good interpersonal skills, the makings of a business leader...? A concept in the sale of B to C products and another in B to B services do not require the same skills, nor the same qualities.
4- Formalize a recruitment process in stages
The selection of candidates is a structured process that cannot be done according to contacts and opportunities. It is a journey of mutual discovery, then selection, which at each stage must leave the door open to a "no go" on both sides. Various people from the network or outside are brought to intervene in the process: the founder, the network director, the person in charge of the animation, certain franchisees... It’s better for the candidate to be made aware of the various stages which will mark out their path. This will reassure them and put them in a dynamic of maximum commitment from the start.
5- Carefully validate the different aspects of the candidate's profile
Recruiting a franchise candidate is not the same as hiring an employee. Many variables must be taken into account to be sure to make a good choice:
- the psychological aspect, interpersonal skills: many networks go through external firms that carry out fairly thorough psychological tests to check the candidate's entrepreneurial profile, ability to be independent and to integrate into a network, to work a lot...;
- the financial base, the borrowing capacity: a good candidate profile who does not have the means to finance a franchise project and to obtain a bank loan can pose a real problem if you have not identified this at the beginning;
- the competencies required: franchising certainly offers unprecedented possibilities for retraining, thanks to the initial and continuing training that the head of the network delivers to its franchisees. But technical skills and previous professional experience may be essential in some sectors.
It’s up to each network to put the cursor in the right place. The candidate selection phase should not be taken lightly in order to establish long-term relationships with its franchisees and sustainably build its network.