There was a time in the world of work when there was little possibility of too many people applying for a position. Often, companies advertise several times and get no applicants at all. And then the recession of 2008 hit! Suddenly hundreds of thousands of people were made redundant with very little notice. Organisations became inundated with applicants. One position for a school janitor received 700 applications. The recession also caused a lot of those people to consider buying a franchise – the hope being that they could buy a secure future.
The challenge then becomes sifting through those hundreds of applicants to find the best potential franchisees.
The Cost Of Franchisee Turnover
There are wide variances on the estimated cost of turnover. In the case of an actual emplolyee, expert opinions vary between a starting point of around 75% of the annual salary for that position up to a staggering 24 times that person’s salary! In the case of franchisees, consider the reputation of having high turnover – and the challenge of the perception in the marketplace that this is a franchise that can’t keep people!
In the recruitment game, whether it is recruiting staff or franchisees, the key principle always is - Skill vs. Attitude what I call the 80/20 Principle (20% of your franchisees will give you 80% of your grief).
Did you know that if you have one negative person in your team or organisation, it will take approximately five positive people to overcome their energy!
Yes, we need a person with the skills to do the job, or at the very least the ability to learn the skills for the job – but we absolutely need the right skills plus a great attitude.
Uncovering the Potential Bad Apples
Always ask candidates to complete an application form. Yes, invite people to send in their CV’s, but mail or fax or email an application form to them as well.
Here are some general questions which will encourage people to open up:
- What are the things that stress you, and how do you manage those stressors?
- What motivates you to do your best work?
- What aspects of your previous jobs did you like the most?
- What management style are you most comfortable with?
- What are the qualities you believe you bring to this job?
- Tell me about the worst co-worker you have ever had and why were they so bad?
- What excited you about this position?
- When glancing through a newspaper or magazine, what type of articles usually leap out at you?
- What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your life?
- What has been your greatest achievement?
- Who has inspired you the most during your life?
Ending The Interview
It is often worth ending the interview with a light-hearted, more relaxed question. Questions like these will often tell you much about the interviewee’s values. But ask only one:
- If you could spend a day with a famous person (living or dead), whom would you choose?
- If you won $5 million, what would you do differently?
- If you were elected prime minister, what would be the first thing you would do when taking up office?
And my personal favourite:
- What would your best friend say is your most irritating trait?
I have often found out more about a person by asking this simple question than all the other questions put together.
Take time with your recruitment process. As a franchisor seeing someone sitting in front of you with a hot cheque is a very tempting situation - but remember that 80/20 principle and think about the COST of hiring a bad apple and the cost of then getting rid of them.