This past spring Franchise Update held its annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference in Las Vegas. Numerous sessions covered a variety of topics and expert panelists shared their firsthand knowledge and experience in many facets of operating successful franchise businesses. One perennial topic that affects nearly every operator is finding and keeping great employees.
Dan Burrell is a Jersey Mike's Subs multi-unit franchisee and area developer and he moderated a session at the conference entitled, "How to Retain and Grow Your Best Talent." Three of the panelists were Metri Lutfi, a Jack in the Box multi-unit franchisee, Jesse Keyser, a Sport Clips, Little Caesars, and Oxi Fresh multi-unit franchisee, and Greg Thomas, a multi-unit franchisee for Great Clips and Smoothie King.
"Hiring is an ongoing process. We try to do it even when we have employees and we're fully staffed and overstaffed," said Lutfi during the session. "Being prepared for the worst is something that I learned very early on." That's why his organization conducts weekly open interviews and attends job fairs at area colleges. "Recruiting an individual is more than just looking at somebody's application and seeing whether or not their hours work with you. It's about finding the right personality and seeing somebody who could fit within your business and within your culture. I think once you find those people getting them to grow and teaching them becomes a lot easier."
Keyser shared some of his insight on how his company spots winning employees. "Once we go through all of our training process we're looking at the first week, two weeks, and month of a new hire," he said. He looks for how employees do on their key business metrics used to evaluate on an individual level. "We can tell how many technicians are upselling, what their customer survey scores are. Our standard is your first week on the floor whatever you're doing with us you need to meet the minimum, basically the average of what the company is doing." He says it gives them a sense of how effective the hire was and how effective the training was in their first week or month on the floor. "Are there numbers consistent with everyone that's been there as a veteran? Now there's always room to grow, right, but we're looking at the average for that team."
Thomas explained that helping employees better understand his specific business operation helps distinguish his company from their competitors. "We have to educate them (new employees) about what Great Clips is and what makes Great Clips the number one brand."
He said they talk about the pros and cons of the competition. "We also talk about what makes us a better franchisee than another Great Clips franchisee. We have to really educate the employees on why we can offer something better to them."
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