A Franchise Expert’s Guide to Hiring Franchise Employees

A Franchise Expert’s Guide to Hiring Franchise Employees

Let’s talk about hiring franchise employees. Establishing a profitable franchise doesn’t happen by chance. You have to carefully follow the proven business model. Recruiting is an essential component.

Here are three critical tips for hiring franchise employees.

1. Learn Recruitment Best Practices

Forget gut instincts. You can’t wing it when it comes to hiring. Learn from experts. Avoid recruiting mistakes that could threaten the survival of your business.

Your franchisor probably has resources to help you. Read the hiring information carefully. If they don’t have hiring resources, consult other franchise owners. Take advantage of the collective wisdom of fellow franchisees who have built successful franchise businesses.

A common reason franchises fail is because the franchisee doesn’t follow the formula. Recruiting best practices are part of the formula!

Pay special attention to your manager position. This is your most important employee. You can’t operate without an effective manager. Fill this position first with a seasoned manager. Your manager can then help you evaluate applicants for the other positions.

All of your employees should have experience with your type of business. If you can find people who have worked at your specific franchise, you will save time on training.

Offer a wage a bit higher than your competition if necessary. One experienced, competent employee can often do the work of two entry-level employees.

For guidance on every aspect of hiring, consult our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee series. It includes articles and graphics to help any franchise owner find the employees who will ensure success.

2. Educate Yourself on EEOC Laws

In 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received over 76,000 charges of employer discrimination. Many of these involved franchises. (Note that this doesn’t include any state or local cases.)

For example, here is a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee who was fined $30,000 for discrimination.

EEOC laws are periodically updated on both the federal and local level. Don’t assume the franchisor’s compliance guidelines are current.

In addition to understanding the laws yourself, make sure your manager and anyone else on your hiring team agree to follow them. Include them in your employee handbook and use e-signature for verification.

In the first section, we mentioned structured interviewing. Creating a compliant script will help you avoid illegal interview questions.

3. Use Advanced Recruiting Technology

An applicant tracking system (ATS) automates franchise hiring processes. It’s never been more important to leverage technology. You simply can’t compete for the top franchise talent in the current labor market.

If your franchisor offers an applicant tracking system—use it. If not, get your own. You’ve got to staff an entire business before you can start turning a profit. You need the best tech tools. They will allow you to move multiple applicants through the process simultaneously.

Onboarding software is also important for franchise employees. The first few weeks and months are critical for long-term success.

Turnkey Software for Effective Franchise Hiring

Let’s elaborate on Tip 3: Use Advanced Recruiting Technology.

You’ve invested a lot of money. You want to get up and running quickly. Turnkey business software saves time for franchise owners while providing all the tools you need.

Franchise Employee Applicant Tracking

ApplicantStack is the applicant tracking system of choice for franchises. It’s ideally suited to staff an entire franchise business as quickly as possible.

  • Food and Beverage
  • Home Service
  • Fitness Centers
  • Salons
  • Pet Stores
  • Real Estate
  • Automotive
  • Financial/Insurance
  • Healthcare

Let’s explore the ApplicantStack tools that streamline hiring franchise employees.

Where To Advertise Franchise Positions

Job applicants search for franchise jobs on Monster, Indeed, Craigslist and college job boards. Franchise owners also find job applicants on company social media sites and the careers page of their website. Depending on the type of franchise, there are also niche sites that target specific industries.

It’s tedious and time consuming to post one job position to each site manually. Posting all the positions for an entire franchise launch is exponentially more time consuming. As a new franchise owner, you have to staff your entire company while dealing with all the other stuff. Like learning how to run the business.

Without ApplicantStack, you have to remember your account passwords for each job board. After taking the time to post to each site manually, you start receiving applications and resumes from the various sites. Without applicant tracking software, it’s an organizational nightmare.

Job Description Templates

ApplicantStack works like a busy franchisee’s capable hiring assistant. Create job description templates for each position. ApplicantStack stores them for you so they are ready when you need them. If you have multiple locations, you can create a template for each one. Include the geographic keywords to attract online searchers. ApplicantStack’s job posting tools make franchise hiring a breeze.

Single Signon Job Posting

You will need to post to multiple job boards simultaneously to build your team. With ApplicantStack, you can post to several job boards using a single signon.  Remember, you are competing with the other businesses in your area. You need a large pool of applicants because you will filter many of them out. That leads us to our next section.

Pre-Screening Questionnaires

Let’s talk about the importance of filtering. ApplicantStack automates this process as well. Create custom screening questionnaires in ApplicantStack. Applicants complete the questionnaire online when they apply. This quickly isolates the candidates who have the necessary experience, skills, and availability.

This ensures that you won’t waste time reviewing an application for a candidate who can’t work the necessary shifts. Pinpoint necessary job skills or certifications. Don’t take time away from marketing your business to review an application for a high school student who is too young to serve alcohol, for example.

Franchise experts use automatic filtering because there is no better way to find qualified employees quickly. With manual filtering, you might have to postpone your grand opening because you haven’t staffed your business in time.

Franchise Job Applicants Prefer Texting

ApplicantStack allows you to communicate with job applicants by email or text messaging. With the increasing popularity of texting, franchise experts take advantage of this immediate, highly personalized channel of communication. It not only speeds up the hiring process, it demonstrates that your business is on the cutting edge of technology.

Franchise Workforce Management

Once you’ve hired your team, you need to manage them efficiently with advanced software. Employee time and attendance software handles shift clock in/out, franchise employee scheduling, and PTO tracking.

TimeWorksExpress is a turnkey employee timekeeping system from SwipeClock. It only takes a couple minutes to create an account. Enter your franchise team in a few minutes. They can start clocking in and out today using a smartphone, work computer, or tablet.

Franchise Employee Self-Service HR

TimeWorksExpress allows franchise employees to check their schedule, request time off, and monitor their PTO balances. One of the keys to franchise employee job satisfaction is hassle-free Human Resources.

Give Your Manager Advanced Tools

Franchise managers love TimeWorksExpress as well. They can approve time cards and time off requests from their smartphone whether or not they are at work.

Previously, we discussed how critical it is to have a competent manager. Managers need smartly-designed tools to perform well. TimeWorksExpress will help your manager efficiently run your business and your staff, both of which are equally important.

Franchise Shift Scheduling

Franchise shift scheduling can get complicated. Many businesses need multiple part-time shifts of varying lengths. Spreadsheets don’t cut it anymore. TimeWorksExpress can handle complex team scheduling with employee shift drag-and-drop and schedule templates.

ApplicantStack and TimeWorksExpress

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or spend hours researching software. ApplicantStack and TimeWorksExpress will help you find quality, experienced employees for your team and manage them efficiently going forward. (Click the links to try either product for free.)

Franchise experts know this is the key to recouping your investment and achieving long-term profitability.

New Business Owner? Avoid 3 Hiring Mistakes That Can Doom Your Startup

New Business Owner? Avoid 3 Hiring Mistakes That Can Doom Your Startup

Recruiting professionals understand how critical it is to avoid hiring mistakes. Especially right after launching your business.

Assembling a capable team can mean the difference between success and failure. Your new hires create critical foundational processes. You need employees with the skills, experience, and ideas to execute your vision. Your startup team will mentor future employees. They shape your company culture—for good or ill.

Clearly, you’ve got to avoid mistakes beginning with the first hire. Unfortunately, new business owners are tripped up again and again by common hiring pitfalls.

If you are a new business owner, follow our expertise to avoid these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not Having A Structured Hiring Process

We get it. It may seem unnecessary to create a process at first. You only need to fill a couple of positions, right? You’re busy getting your company going. Who has time to outline a recruitment process?

You hope your business grows rapidly. If you are fortunate and that happens, you aren’t going to have any more time down the road.

A lack of process becomes the de facto norm. It contributes to a haphazard, disorganized company culture. Most importantly, it won’t be effective in finding the employees you need.

Model a process after established companies 50 times your size. That’s what you’re aiming for, right? Begin with the end in mind.

The Solution: ApplicantStack

ApplicantStack applicant tracking system (ATS) helps entrepreneurs avoid newbie hiring mistakes. It is designed for both recruiting professionals and new business owners. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never used hiring software before. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never used any type of business software before. The tools and interface are straightforward and intuitive. And we provide excellent support.

How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee

Our How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series shows you how to set up a hiring process. Then we walk you through each step. Our series explains the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of recruiting.

It’s critical to start out with the best business software. When it comes to applicant tracking systems, you can’t do better than ApplicantStack. It will help you incorporate recruiting best practices from your first hire. It will grow with your workforce—from one employee to hundreds.

ApplicantStack is affordable and fits any budget. Investing in the top ATS is the smartest thing you can do when launching your company.

Mistake #2 Hiring Bias

Our brains are wired to seek people like ourselves. Though we don’t realize it, our brains are saving time—they don’t have to process as much information.

When we meet a job candidate we identify with—background, ethnicity, age group, personality traits, values—we feel at ease. We subconsciously assume there are more commonalities as well.

Legal issues aside, if you don’t actively combat this phenomenon, you can make many bad hires.

Have you ever noticed that successful partnerships are often comprised of two extremely different people? For example, one might be a persuasive salesperson and face of the company. The other might be a behind-the-scenes tactical thinker.

You don’t need a team of people who are exactly like you. In fact, you need people who have strengths you don’t possess. Maybe organization isn’t your strong suit. If you are looking for an administrative assistant or office manager, organization skills are critical.

The Solution: ApplicantStack Hiring Guidance

Our knowledge base is full of valuable guidance. Review our blog posts on hiring bias. The first step in mitigating bias is to understand it. Then you can use tools in ApplicantStack for the specific purpose of preventing bias. These include structured interview scripts and hiding EEOC data in questionnaires.

Types of Unconscious Bias in Hiring
6 Tips for Avoiding Hiring Bias

Mistake #3: Weak Job Descriptions

It’s common to focus on the skills and experience you’re looking for in a job candidate. This is important. But you can’t ignore the other part of the description: outlining exactly what the position entails. This is just as critical.

New employers don’t always understand job roles. Or they gloss over the negatives in the hopes of attracting more applicants. This is counterproductive. If the candidate doesn’t understand the nature of the position, they are more likely to quit when they realize the job wasn’t what they expected. You might think your awesome team will make up for any initial misconceptions. Don’t count on it.

Some entrepreneurs need to fill positions that haven’t yet been defined. Or they need someone to pitch in wherever they are needed. Be upfront about this. You want to target candidates who value this type of unpredictable, highly varied work. Some people are excited about shaping a new position. Look for applicants who have helped build companies from the ground up.

The Solution: How To Hire Your Perfect Next Employee Series: Job Descriptions

You aren’t the first new business owner to write a job description. Best practices are well-established and universally accepted. They have proven their worth. Our post on how to create a job description contains a step-by-step guide.

Take as much time as you need to write detailed, exhaustive job descriptions. It may take several paragraphs and many drafts to get it right. If you need to modify it, that’s easy. Your job description template is stored in ApplicantStack. You won’t have to start from scratch.

ApplicantStack Will Help You Recruit An Outstanding Team

Our recruiting expertise and smartly-designed hiring software is your formula for success. On behalf of the recruiting professionals at ApplicantStack, we wish you success with your new company.

How Manager Feedback and Interview Evaluations Improve Hiring in 2019

How Manager Feedback and Interview Evaluations Improve Hiring in 2019

You currently have a mission-critical position to fill and a fairly tight deadline to hire a qualified person to do the job. You have posted the position on your website and other outside resources like Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed and Craigslist.

What comes next is a stack of resumes. Followed by the interview process. In 2019, you’re competing with many other companies to find the best talent. You can’t afford a slowdown in your process. The top candidate could be hired by your competitor. But you need to proceed strategically so you don’t hire the wrong person.

The Interview Feedback Review Process

You pick up the first resume and encounter some mission statements like…

  • “Motivated individual seeks challenging position for personal and professional growth”
  • “Industry expert and thought leader available to implement revenue-ramping methodologies.”
  • “Professional guru with proven track record of driving key performance metrics seeks next challenging opportunity.”

…and you then proceed to read through four more pages of the resume. Buried in the resume amid the industry keywords and buzzwords is the information that is relevant to your open position. After reading about 10 of these resumes, you can’t remember which candidate had which qualifications. It’s a good idea to organize the applicants into categories like “Unqualified”, “Potential” and “Top Prospect” as you are reviewing the resumes so you can focus on the shortlist of more qualified candidates when you revisit them.

The next step in the process is to make every effort to forward only the best applicants to your manager for review, so you don’t waste the manager’s time and earn his/her confidence that you understand the critical needs.

Obtaining Interview Feedback

One of the most challenging aspects of the hiring process is about to occur… obtaining useful feedback from your staff during this review process. No matter how many employees you engage in the hiring process, it’s important that you gather the feedback in a consistent and meaningful way. One of the best ways to standardize feedback is to create candidate evaluation forms and request that they are filled out by your managers and staff during the review process.

Candidate Evaluation Forms For Interview Feedback

What is a candidate evaluation form? It’s a tool that allows members of the hiring team to rate applicants based on the same criteria.

How Does a Candidate Evaluation Form Improve Recruiting?

1. It ensures each interviewer is thorough in their evaluation
2. It speeds up the interview feedback process
3. It helps prevent bias in job interview evaluation
4. It measures hard and soft skills
5. It simplifies collaboration among your hiring team
6. It helps differentiate candidates with near-identical qualifications
7. It saves time when first-round rejected candidates are considered for future positions
8. The systemized scoring increases the usefulness of your talent pipeline database

Standardize Interview Feedback

Utilizing multiple choice, ratings or scale questions when requesting feedback may prevent receiving vague reasons they are not interested and emails that are difficult to interpret. While you will find feedback questionnaires helpful during the review process, you will find them even more necessary after the applicant has been interviewed.

When each member of the hiring team contributes to the interview feedback form, you elevate the entire process. Each person’s perspective and expertise improves the scoring. The result? You will find best-fit employees quickly.

Job Interview Evaluation Comments Samples

Here are some examples of effective interview feedback evaluation forms. You can modify them as appropriate for the specific position. For example, if the position requires additional skills not listed here, add the skills to the first evaluation sample.

Interview Feedback Examples (Pre Interview)

Very often the manager reads the candidate’s resume and uses a gut feeling to determine if the candidate should be considered. They may even make a judgment based on the resume format, the number of jobs and where they went to school. If you ask the manager exactly what it is they liked or didn’t like, you will receive more meaningful information and can make a more informed decision about whether you should invite this candidate in for an actual face to face interview.

Pre interview questionnaire

Examples of Effective Manager Feedback Questions (Post Interview)

The feedback you receive from the staff involved in the face to face interview can also be based on more fair and factual information if guidelines for evaluation are distributed. It is recommended that the skills or competencies needed to be successful in the job are listed so the interviewer can explore these areas during the interview and rate each candidate effectively. Please note the two different examples below.

Negative/Positive Interview Comments Example #1

Post Interview 1-1

Post Interview 1-2

Post Interview 1-3

Negative/Positive Interview Comments Example #2

Post Interview 2-1

How Job Interview Feedback Fits in the Applicant Journey

Job interview evaluation influences other applicant touchpoints. As such, it can help you improve job descriptions, interview scripts, and other candidate communications.

It also helps members of your hiring team become better at evaluating candidates. It’s a key best practice for any company that is serious about improving hiring outcomes.

Benefits of a Structured Interview Feedback Process

  1. Avoids typical evaluations of candidates that may be filled with ambiguity, superficial statements, and generalizations.
  2. Your hiring decision is based on objective information that the candidate’s skills match your job or project requirements—not because they are an excellent resume writer.
  3. The standardized evaluation questions point out the different opinions of the interview/ evaluation staff and help raise any red flags about the candidate.
  4. Ensures your hiring process is in compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  5. Helps avoid costly hiring mistakes.
  6. Using multiple selection methods helps to ensure you are choosing the best candidate–No single technique on its own can predict on-the-job performance and success.
  7. Streamlines the process and ensure a better, fit—increasing employee retention and productivity.
Identify Your Wish List When Evaluating ATS Tools

Identify Your Wish List When Evaluating ATS Tools

There are plenty of sophisticated hiring and onboarding platforms. If you are shopping for an applicant tracking system (ATS), it’s helpful to identify which ATS tools are important to your company.

Here are 6 ATS tools to consider.

1. Pre-Screening Questionnaires

Improving time-to-hire is only possible if you automate repetitive hiring tasks. Pre-screening questionnaires perform first-level filtering with knockout questions. Knockout questions eliminate unqualified candidates before anyone on your hiring team spends time reviewing an application.

Pre-screening questionnaires filter out hundreds of applicants. You are left with a manageable pool of qualified candidates. Then your hiring team can concentrate on the candidates that matter.

2. Scheduling ATS Tools

A hiring process that is humming along can slow to a crawl when it’s time to schedule interviews. ATSs that integrate with widely-used calendars such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Office 365 eliminate this slowdown. Applicants are already using these tools, so scheduling with them comes naturally.

This is how it works: your interviewing team indicates their availability before applicants choose a time slot. You email a calendar link to the applicant. The applicant opens the calendar and chooses a pre-approved time.

3. Bias Minimization ATS Tools

Recruiting and hiring an inclusive team helps your business succeed. Inherent bias (both conscious and unconscious) shrinks your applicant pool. This, in turn, can screen out the most qualified candidates.

Your ATS can help you prevent or minimize several types of bias. The first way an ATS minimizes bias is by allowing you to create a structured hiring process.

The pre-screening questionnaires discussed previously filter based on qualifications, not snap judgments or ‘gut feelings.’ Keep in mind that you have to write the questions carefully as well.

Additional bias minimization tools include structured interviews and blind resume review.

4. Advance Auto-Emails + Texting

Most ATS’ have email templates. Actions such as hiring stage changes that trigger auto-emails increase efficiency. Many recruiters are using texting as well. Do you want to incorporate recruitment texting as an additional communications channel? It is most effective when done from the recruiting platform. The software keeps a history of conversations that would otherwise exist on personal mobile phones. Multiple people on your hiring team can text from the same number, preventing confusion on the part of the applicant.

5. Video Interviewing

Video interviewing brings a host of advantages. You can interview out-of-area applicants easily. Decision makers located away from the main office (or traveling) can participate in the interview from wherever they are working. Members of your hiring team can review recordings of the interview as many times as needed. And there are significant costs savings as well.

6. Document E-Sign

HR is a document-intensive department. When applicants and new hires can sign forms online, you can process them much faster. Electronic copies are automatically stored and can be accessed with a quick search. Did you know that 5% of paper documents get lost?

There are environmental benefits to electronic documents as well. You decrease your company’s carbon footprint by using less paper.

Last but not least is the cost savings. When you account for paper, copying, and administrative expenses, it costs up to $25,000 to fill a filing cabinet. (Source: LinkedIn)

Free Trials Let You Test ATS Tools

When you are shopping for ATSs, take advantage of free trials. They allow you to test drive the software before you buy. We offer a free trial of ApplicantStack so you can experiment with the most popular ATS tools. Our software helps you source, qualify, and hire quality candidates while saving time and money.

5 Best Practices For Recruitment Texting: How To Maintain Professionalism

5 Best Practices For Recruitment Texting: How To Maintain Professionalism

To text or not to text?

Recruitment texting is an ideal way to connect with applicants in many circumstances. But not all circumstances—and only if done right.

Are you planning to start using texting for recruiting processes? Have you been texting for a while without any formal policies?

Save yourself a lot of trouble by creating guidelines for you and your team to follow.

Though texting is more informal than emails and paper correspondence, it can’t be a free-for-all. Business texting should be far different than texting in your personal life.

Create A Policy For Texting Etiquette

It’s important that your team understands and agrees to follow your texting policies. It takes a conscious effort to follow a formal policy if you are used to shooting off personal acronym-filled texts all day.

5 Best Practices For Recruitment Texting

1. Always Be Professional

Use complete sentences. Pay just as much attention to spelling and grammar as you would in an email. Never, ever use emojis.

Restrict your messages to the recruiting process. Even if the applicant shares something personal, don’t respond in kind.

2. Only Use Texting For Brief Messages

Email is better suited for more than a couple lines. You can use a text message to notify the candidate of an email that includes all the details. One of the best uses of a text message is to confirm an interview appointment.

3. Tell The Applicant Who You Are

In addition to basic professionalism, you need to provide context. Remember that a candidate may have several applications in progress. Include your name, company, and the position you hold. Do this for every single SMS. As mentioned before, this requires a conscious effort because we don’t do this in our personal texting.

4. Pay Attention to Timing

The best time to send a text message is between 9:00 a.m. and noon. The next preferable time is in the afternoon during business hours. Never text outside of business hours except when initiated by the candidate. For example, they might need to cancel an interview appointment the night before it’s scheduled. If they text you at 9:00 p.m. and say ‘Sorry, I have to reschedule the interview tomorrow. Let me know that you got this message,’ it would be appropriate to confirm receipt.

5. When Not To Text

Never offer a job or relate interview results with a text. And never reject an applicant through a text. Discontinue texting if the candidate doesn’t respond to your text messages via text.

If a texting exchange becomes lengthy, suggest moving the conversation to a phone call or email. Long messages are confusing and often get split up on the receiver’s end. Don’t risk a misunderstanding.

Texting Is Not Universally Accepted

In a survey on recruitment texting, Software Advice found that only 35% of respondents consider texting ‘professional.’ By comparison, 34% deemed it ‘unprofessional’ and 31% had no opinion. Another interesting finding is that age of the respondent had no bearing on the results. In other words, job seekers under the age of 35 had similar views on texting as older candidates.

Use An ATS For Recruitment Texting

Some applicant tracking systems (including ApplicantStack) include a texting tool. ATSs with texting help recruiters follow the best practices outlined previously.

An ATS stores a history of all conversations—texts, phone calls, and emails. It also allows any member of your hiring team to text within the application.

An ATS lets you type text messages on any connected device. Many recruiting professionals prefer to type texts with a conventional keyboard. It can make it easier to maintain proper grammar and correct typos.

When hiring managers use their personal cell phone for recruitment texting, there are many potential pitfalls. Some hiring teams have discontinued the practice because it did more harm than good. If you want to incorporate texting in your recruiting, we recommend using an ATS with a texting function.