Staffing Tips for New Canadian Franchise Owners

Jun 23, 2017 | General

While starting a franchise business isn’t exactly the same as starting an independent business, it obviously has a lot of similarities. For one, you have to have a reliable and enthusiastic staff to help run your business. Even if you start it as a sole proprietorship, you will need to hire staff eventually once it grows.

Here are six tips for staffing your franchise with the best possible people.

Know What Help You’ll be Getting

Your franchisor will likely be able to help you with staffing to a certain degree. They may be able to place the ads for you and they might offer management training for higher up positions. Your franchisor might even take care of some of the things you would normally need to hire for, like administrative work. Ask what, if any, assistance they provide when it comes to staffing and take full advantage of it.

Start Early

You should start looking for staff before you need them. Waiting until you actually require staff is a bad idea because you’re more likely to hire unqualified people if you’re desperate to fill positions due to overwhelming demand. If your business has a busy season, start looking for seasonal workers long before that season arrives. 

Sometimes you can be caught off guard with the demand for your service and the speed of growth (a positive problem to have, obviously), but you should still try and take as much time as you need to make sure you’re hiring the right person. A bad hire can kill a young business, even if it has the backing of a franchise.

One good way to gauge the expected growth of your business is to talk with fellow franchisees in similar markets. Every market is different, obviously, but you may be able to gain some valuable insight into how quickly your business will grow by talking with other franchisees.

Write a Detailed Job Description

It’s frustrating for employees to be tasked with job duties outside of what they were hired for, so make sure your job descriptions are detailed. Chances are you’ve performed the job you’re hiring for at some point, so think about everything that you had to do and make sure it’s in the job description. If you’re hiring more people for a position that you already have employees doing, ask them for a list of all the duties they perform. You may be surprised that you didn’t even know about all of the duties the position requires.

Know How Long You Need them For

Not all staffing is the same. Sometimes you need people for just a few weeks or months, sometimes you need them permanently, but just for a few hours per week and sometimes you need them to be there all the time. 

It’s important when looking for employees to be upfront about what type of position it is:

 

  • Casual
  • Seasonal, Part-Time
  • Seasonal, Full-Time
  • Permanent, Part-Time
  • Permanent, Full-Time

 

The type of people who are looking for casual or seasonal part-time work probably aren’t the same as ones looking for permanent full-time work. By knowing what you need to hire for, you’ll be attracting the type of people you need.

Be Formulaic with Your Interviews

Try to conduct your interviews in the same way each time, so you’re not unintentionally playing favourites. It’s a good idea to conduct a preliminary interview over the phone to completely take away any biases you might have and only call in people who gave the best answers for in-person interviews.

Stick to asking the same questions and try to keep all the interviews approximately the same length. Although you want to hire people who fit with your culture, keep in mind that it’s their past accomplishments that should carry the most weight. Don’t focus so much on skills because these can be taught. An aptitude for learning and a demonstrated work ethic are more valuable than if they already possess the skills needed to do the job. In fact, it may be better to hire people who don’t have the requisite skills because you can teach them your way of doing things and you won’t have to un-train them in case they’ve picked up any bad habits from past jobs.

Have a Comprehensive Training Program Set Up

For entry-level positions, you will likely have to train the employees yourself. Again, your franchisor might be able to help you with this by providing materials or they may have an online training portal for you to use for new employees. 

If not, it will be up to you to train the new people you hire. Don’t just have them follow you or someone else around to watch. Actually have a system set up for showing them what to do and getting them to do it so you can observe and critique their performance. 

Hiring staff is one of the most important aspects of starting a new franchise, but it need not be difficult. Once you get those first few people hired, you’ll have the process down and it should go smoother during subsequent hires. To start on your franchising journey today, sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation.