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5 Tips for Hiring the Right Staff Members for Your Franchise

Hiring for personality can go a long way.

You’ve got your franchise location, and you’ve got your site manager. Now to fill the rest of the spots with the people who will be interacting with your customers on a daily basis.  

Hiring staff members for your franchise is no easy feat, but thinking outside of the box and paying close attention can find you solid candidates in the most unexpected places.

Here’s some advice from the franchise pros who have been there and done that.

Never stop hiring

“In a service-based industry like moving, finding, hiring and retaining quality employees is a constant struggle,” Little Guys Movers chief development officer Joseph Barnes told 1851 Franchise. “Our employees are our product and providing a high quality product means hiring top-notch individuals.”

One tip he has for franchisees is to never stop hiring.

“Always be on the lookout for your next great employee,” Barnes wrote. “If I'm out in the community and am impressed by a server, cashier, volunteer, etc., I will give them a card and let them know we are hiring.”

Hire for personality

Firehouse Subs franchisee Omar Shaker, who owns four locations, urges franchisees to hire staff members for personality and then focus on training them on what they need to know. The staff members, he noted, are the ones who interact with customers and are the face of the restaurant.

“When looking for the right staff member look for what I like to call the 'untrainables,'” Shaker said, adding to look for a nice smile, polite conversation and an all-around genuine personality. “This is the restaurant industry. I can teach anyone how to recreate a recipe or how to clean a lobby or stock inventory. We cannot teach personality.”

Barnes looks for people who have a personal drive and a passion for life.

If someone cares deeply about something outside of work it's a good sign they will care deeply about the work if given the right environment,” he wrote.

Get creative

Don’t limit yourself to job boards. Shaker, for example, has had great success tapping the mom clubs at local schools for new employees. He’s passed out flyers and ended up hiring moms who he said had some time on their hands and decided to work during their children’s school hours.

“Another place is to check out your local churches and libraries,” Shaker said. “Seek out the clubs that meet during the day in those institutions because most likely these people don’t have a job and might want to fill some of their free time with a job nearby.”

Keep the future in mind

A huge mistake in franchising is “not looking ahead and anticipating your staffing needs,” Barnes said. “This can leave you scrambling to catch up on hiring and prevent you from making the best hires possible.”

Barnes also cited “not maintaining a culture of excellence and allowing bad hires/employees to stay too long” as something that can become a major issue.

Don’t hire out of desperation

Low on staff? Desperate to fill space? If so, franchisees should still resist the urge to hire, Shaker said.  

“Hiring employees that you don’t feel good about just to get some bodies in the restaurant can actually do more bad than good,” he said. “I would rather have wait times build up while an employee is offering superior customer service versus on-target wait times with an employee providing negative customer service. Customers will forgive an occasional long wait time if they had great customer service but they won’t come back if they were treated bad.”