The Importance of a Well-Defined Hiring Process
Want a record year for your franchise brand? Start with the right hiring practices that will increase your chances of finding the right candidates and save your business time, money and resources.
By Adam Robinson
The future of your business is dependent on your hiring practices. Every new employee will either contribute positively to customer satisfaction, growth and profitability, or contrastingly have a negative impact on the business.
By adopting a structured and comprehensive hiring process, you’re taking the first step in positioning your business for success by attracting the right talent. The type of talent that will help build the company culture, drive sales and ultimately position the company as a leader in the industry. Failing to instill the right hiring process will do the exact opposite, resulting in underperforming employees and wasting resources, time and money.
A well-defined hiring process is cost effective and will streamline how you find and qualify candidates. A comprehensive hiring process is comprised of the following key steps:
- Define, create and identify the role to be filled.
- Source, market and promote your open position and receive applicants.
- Select, evaluate candidates for the position and company culture.
- Verify, follow up with ideal candidates to confirm the skills and information they’ve represented.
When creating or rebuilding your approach to hiring, start by developing a basic understanding of the four-step hiring process. From there, follow these best practices to optimize the hiring process:
Clearly Define the Position
Some employers take the easy route, posting a brief description of a job opening online to cast the widest net possible, resulting in a large number of applicants flooding in and then manually weeding out the good from the bad. Conserve your time and resources by clearly listing and explaining the job responsibilities, desired qualifications and work experience. Additionally, include a few sentences describing the company, the work life, and culture and goals so potential applicants have a clear understanding of the position and company. Clarity early in the hiring process will narrow the field of applicants and improve candidate quality.
Promote the Job
In a competitive job market, promoting the positon is arguably one of the most important – yet frequently overlooked – aspects of the hiring process. Research where the best candidates are searching for similar roles. For franchisees, this likely means publishing jobs to Craigslist, relevant job boards, and social networks. LinkedIn can also be an effective tool for employer branding and driving applications. The social network already has a groundswell of activity. The 2014 Franchise Development Report found that 40 percent of franchise sales through social media originated from LinkedIn. For franchisors looking to fill executive positions, attending trade shows to recruit top talent can be beneficial as well.
Treat Candidates as You Would Prospective Customers
When you begin receiving applications, be responsive and enthusiastic. If a highly-talented individual doesn’t sense that you care, he’ll quickly move on to find a company that does. When connecting with prospective employees, your attitude should be reflective of the company culture and values. Use yourself or your hiring manager as an example of your business’s core values.
Don't Go with Your Gut
Think about five of your closest friends. Considering they are your friends, you likely connect with them and enjoy their personality; but does that mean you’d like for them to work for you? Chances are the answer is “no.” During the interviewing process, remember that you are interviewing for a fit for the company, not a new friend. Your emotional feeling about an employee based on a resume, quick phone call, or short meeting can be extremely misleading and result in a costly mistake. Go beyond first impressions and resumes by understanding candidates’ past experiences, degree of accountability, culture fit, and attitude toward work.
Even with a strong hiring process, you may still face an array of challenges hiring the right people. During your hiring process, be cautious and mindful of the most common but avoidable mistakes:
One of the most prominent issues for franchisees is consistency. When operating a franchise business in multiple locations, consistency is vital for maintaining quality and compliance. Reinforce a structured hiring process and support collaboration with a purpose-built hiring platform that allows hiring efforts across distributed hiring managers and locations to work from the same workflow and job content.
Failing to identify the right time to hire
A second common issue is identifying the correct time to hire an additional employee. It’s challenging to balance the need to hire enough people to fill necessary roles while avoiding too much hiring and overspending on payroll. Hire only when you need to, but be aware of the early warning signs when that time is coming. Pay attention to feedback and conversations by both employees and customers. If you begin hearing complaints from either regarding increased wait times, subpar service or other issues, then it might be time to evaluate a staffing adjustment. From there, identify the specifics of the gap on your team. Do you need a full-time employee, or is this a seasonal addition? Will an entry-level candidate do the trick, or do you need someone with a substantial amount of experience?
Moving too fast
Rushed decisions are a frequent mistake seen among hiring managers that tends to lead to subpar results. If an employee leaves unexpectedly or business is booming, you may feel a sense of urgency to immediately fill a position. While the sense of urgency is a legitimate concern, this does not mean you should forego conducting a thorough background check and full interview process. Hiring a poorly vetted candidate will likely lead to hiring an employee lacking the necessary skills and attitude to thrive. We all want to make hires quickly but manage everyone’s expectations by remembering the following rule of thumb: Allow at least six weeks to account for the time needed to properly find and vet a qualified candidate.
If you want 2016 to be a record year for your franchise brand, start by implementing the right hiring practices. Doing so will increase your chances of finding and retaining the right candidates to effectively fulfill any openings, saving your business time, money and resources as well as poising it for long-term success.
Adam Robinson is the CEO and co-founder of Hireology. Find him at fransocial.franchise.org.