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.

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.

ApplicantStack Now Has Texting!

ApplicantStack Now Has Texting!

ApplicantStack has exciting news. We now offer texting!

Sign Up For Texting Now And Get July Free

Send unlimited texts for free during July. Just sign up before July 8.

How Does ApplicantStack Texting Work?

  • ApplicantStack users can contact candidates via text message in addition to email
  • Texts can include links to questionnaires
  • Complete conversation history is retained and can be viewed by any user

Affordable Texting For All Users On Your Account

Unlimited text messaging is only $25 per month. All users on your account can text any applicant in your account for one low monthly price.

Why Is Texting A Must-Have For Recruiting?

Consider the following:

  • 98% of text messages are opened. By comparison, the email open rate is 20%.
  • 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes—most in UNDER 5 SECONDS! (source: Forbes, Slick Text)
  • The response rate for SMS is 45%. Email response rate is 6%. (Source: Gartner)
  • People respond to text messages in 90 seconds. It takes 90 minutes, on average, for an email response. (Source: CTIA)

Any way you measure it, texting reigns supreme.

Connect With Applicants Immediately

You can send a text instead of an email any time you need to communicate with an applicant:

Easier For You And Easier For The Applicant

Once you text an applicant, they can text you going forward. Any user on your hiring team can respond. The applicant will always see the same number.

This is the natural way for applicants to communicate. If they have a question or need to reschedule, they can send a quick text while they’re thinking about it.

Shorten Time-To-Hire

Because of the near immediate response rate, texting can shorten time-to-hire considerably. Stop waiting for email responses. Eliminate a common process bottleneck.

Texting Adds Even More Value To ApplicantStack

When you add texting to your ApplicantStack account, you extract even more value from the top ATS on the market.

Using texting in addition to email sets your company apart. Companies that connect via texting are up-to-the-minute technologically. Adopt texting now and enjoy a competitive advantage.

Our new texting feature is available to new and existing direct sale customers. Although this feature isn’t available during our free trial, you can see why thousands of recruiting professionals use ApplicantStack. For more information, contact ApplicantStack.

Source for texting statistics: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/33045/email-vs-sms-battle-of-the-heavyweights-infographic