Hiring Employees: Hire Smart and Avoid the Headaches
By Kerry Pipes
In many ways, the face of the franchise is its employees. They are the ones who meet and greet customers, provide the products and services, and represent the brand daily. Some franchise concepts require more employees than others, and there's a wide range of the types and skills sets of employees needed. But chances are you will need to do some hiring and, to some degree, it will remain an ongoing process for your business.
Whether you're just starting out or your business is quickly growing beyond your ability to keep pace with your existing staff, there are some fundamentals when it comes to identifying and hiring good employees. Smart hiring practices can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Desperate hiring practices can be costly mistakes. Here are some tips that will help you hire better, smarter, and more consistently:
High Standards and Qualified Candidates - Remember, this is your business and your reputation, so you want employees who will do the job well. Be cautious with placing general "help wanted"-type advertisements because the quality of candidates you get may be all over the board. Ask your current employees if they have friends who might be interested in working there. When you get resumes or applications, be very thorough in your review process. Keep your standards high. Take the time necessary to match candidates with the specific positions you have open. Putting the wrong person in the job will just cost you more in the long run.
Screening Process - You're only interested in qualified and motivated job seekers. As you review applications, dispense with the ones that don't meet your qualifications. Once you've chosen the best applications you can prioritize them from "most promising" on down. Try to narrow your list to fewer than 10 candidates. Look for people who have written neatly, clearly, been thorough, and completed all questions and sections. Watch for grammar and spelling. These can be very good indicators of a person's work ethic and attention to detail.
Set Up The Interview - This is another benchmark where you'll have a chance to screen the candidates even further - some will screen themselves right out of the process because they've already found another job or are simply not interested in the opportunity. Call each candidate to arrange an interview and make note of how they speak to you, the kinds of questions they ask, and their overall eagerness at the prospect of working for you. If you have to leave a message, note how quickly they respond. This is where you can begin to get a sense of their attitude.
The Meeting - You'll want to arrange for a quiet and professional place to meet with the candidates. A private office or conference room is a good choice. You want to create an atmosphere that is professional enough to signal what you're business is like and intimate enough to allow for open discussion (and note-taking) with each candidate. Depending on your brand or concept, you may want to dress in a particular way that will communicate to the candidate what will be expected at your business.
Next time we'll look at how to stage a successful interview that will help you land the top employees.
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