What Franchisors can Learn from Traditional Recruiters
by Steven Frost
Franchisors frequently cite a lack of suitable franchisees as a significant
barrier to their growth. Steven Frost, Franchise Consultant at Smith &
Henderson, explains what they can learn from traditional recruiters to help
The idea that the best talent is concentrated among people not looking for
jobs has become widely accepted in the recruiting community. Dubbed,
“Passive Candidates”, these are people satisfied with their current position,
who are highly engaged and most importantly, many are high flyers accomplishing
great things. They are not actively seeking a new opportunity and do not
spend anytime trawling through job boards or reviewing job advertisements in
In contrast, ‘Active’ job seekers are those who are not satisfied with their
current situation. Many of these are driven by ‘push’ factors – unhappy
and de-motivated, and often average or poor performers. It’s estimated
that less than 15% of the population are Active Candidates and it is these who
are likely to be identified through traditional advertising.
Because the best candidates often aren’t seeking work, traditional
recruiters invest time and resources reaching out to them. Most
franchisors however, do not. In fact, the traditional ways of recruiting
franchisees through advertising in the trade press, online directories and
franchise exhibitions all share a fundamental flaw - they only target people
actively pursuing franchise opportunities.
Reaching passive candidates can be quite challenging. The approach a
franchisor takes should depend on its unique requirements and the franchise
profile. The tools available include:
- Referral Programs – encouraging staff and existing franchisees to identify
and refer suitable potential franchisees. These could be friends and
family, or weaker ties such as people they have worked with in the past.
Referrals can be the number one way to identify potential franchisees as well
as establish contact.
- Converting Customers – happy customers are advocates for what you do and
tell their friends and family. Best practice franchisors build awareness
of their franchise opportunities and convert these to future franchisees.
- Social Media – these channels allow franchisors to build awareness of
their brand, increase candidate pull and strengthen relationships with
potential franchisees. With sites such as LinkedIn growing by 100,000
users each week if used effectively, these offer franchisors unrivalled
opportunities to reach hard to find talent.
- Specialist Talent Finding Partners – franchisors that benefit from
specific skills and experience can appoint a search consultant to proactively
seek out the best match franchise talent. They should think carefully
about this and only work with a partner with a strong understanding of
franchising and who they believe can represent their brand appropriately.
For more information, please contact
Smith & Henderson are a leading firm of Franchise Recruitment and Development
specialists, and British Franchise Association Affiliate Members. They
specialize in helping leading franchisors radically improve how they source,
select and manage the very best franchise talent.