How Franchise Owners Can Recruit Top Employees

Use recruitment best practices to make your franchise a long-term success.


Recruiting employees for a franchise location can be challenging. For franchise owners, hiring and retaining the right employees can be the difference between a thriving franchise business and a struggling one. Tapping into the latest recruiting trends and implementing the right strategies can help you find top, qualified employees for every role.

How can you implement an effective recruiting process that helps you find, hire, and onboard the right employees for your franchise?

What to consider when hiring employees for your franchise

The task of staffing your franchise can seem daunting. Breaking the process into steps makes it more manageable. Start at the beginning by addressing your business needs. These include addressing questions such as:

  • What positions do you need filled?

  • How many employees do you need to operate fully while providing a positive customer and employee experience?

  • How will you pay your employees?

  • How much can you pay them?

  • Are there opportunities for advancement and pay increases?

  • Do you have access to HR and hiring services provided by your franchise?


Franchise recruiting best practices

Because all franchise locations need employees to succeed, there are tried and true best practices.

1. Leverage hiring materials available from the franchise

Franchisors want their franchise owners to succeed. Therefore, franchise systems are designed to support the success of their owners. Franchises will often provide hiring materials to help their franchisees save countless hours, such as ad templates, job descriptions, training programs, and onboarding materials. Check on materials and insights from franchise meetings that can help you shape your hiring strategy.

2. Write detailed and clear job descriptions

To attract the highest quality talent, your job descriptions should be thorough and informative. This will help you determine which candidates have the right experience and drive to help you run your business. When you clearly detail the right skills and experience needed, it will help weed out those without the right experience. Well-defined job descriptions also help candidates understand the expectations and skill levels needed, so they can get up to speed and make a positive impact as quickly as possible.

3. Consider hiring from within your franchise organization

Before going straight to outside recruiting of unknown candidates, it’s a smart practice to assess current staff within the franchise. This way, the candidate is already familiar with the operation. There are a variety of benefits in doing this. Not only does it boost employee morale and loyalty, but hiring from within cuts down on training time and adjustments to the culture. Employees who are promoted from within will feel a stronger sense of commitment and long-term success. This strategy is particularly helpful when hiring for management roles, shift leaders, and training staff.

4. Incorporate digital and social recruiting tools

There are many other recruiting tools that can help you reach the right candidates quickly. These include:

  • Promote open positions on your social media channels. Customers and followers in your local community are likely to either have an interest, or willing to promote the positions to their network. It helps to ensure your messaging is on brand with your franchise, as consistent messaging is more likely to garner attention and action. Using as many communication channels as possible will help you reach a larger audience, so use all of your social media platforms and digital means!

  • Leverage the careers page on your franchise website. Incorporating compelling images, employee testimonials and descriptions of the “day in the life” help candidates get an idea of all you have to offer them.

  • Consider video interviewing to save time with scheduling. A traditional face-to-face interview can take time out of a busy day for both you and the candidate. You can get a great feel for the candidate with a 15-minute video on Zoom or other conferencing software. Then, invite the final candidates in for an in-person interview.

5. Keep organized with an interview structure

Consistency is king! By sticking to a reliable and repeatable interview process, you’ll get a fairer assessment of your candidates. Remember, it’s a process, not a rush. Getting it right is also an investment in your business.

  • Questions: Have specific questions to ask candidates to assess their level of experience. It’s important to make sure these questions adhere to federal, state or local laws. Meaning, the questions must reflect experience and skills, versus personal information. It’s possible that a candidate’s experience is not your biggest priority. If so, focus on questions that help you determine whether a candidate has the right qualities to succeed if you provide training, such as a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and/or the ability to adhere to the processes of the franchise.

  • Interview process: After the first screening interview, you should follow up with a second interview to get feedback from others in your franchise. This will ensure you get a well-rounded assessment of their level of experience and expertise. If you're hiring on your own, make sure you’re getting consistent answers to your questions, and that the candidate is asking questions that show interest and capabilities.

6. Check résumés for franchise experience

Many of the most successful franchise employees have started at the bottom and moved their way up through various jobs within a franchise. Someone with franchise experience will be more familiar with the unique ways in which a franchise business operates. Look for individuals with experience in different areas, ranging from customer service to shift supervising and inventory management. A strong candidate with franchise experience in one area of your business and is eager to learn new skills could be a strong addition to your team.

7. Screen candidates for reliability

Experience is important, but equally important is when hiring someone for a franchise position is to assess their level of reliability and accountability. For example, you want someone who will consistently arrive on time, is dependable and can be trusted. If this position will have access to finances or critical tasks, it’s important to see they can demonstrate those qualities. You can gain insights on their reliability by asking relevant questions and also by checking references.

8. A positive attitude goes a long way

A positive attitude helps overall morale and teamwork, which helps the greater good of the franchise. Managers and owners reinforce positivity and engagement by setting a good example and recognizing team members for a job well done, offering training, and listening to employee input. During the recruiting process, try to get a feel for their attitude. Does a candidate project a positive and professional attitude? Do they generally speak highly about past employers? Finally, what do their references say about their performance and attitude?

9. Use recruitment technology

Searching for recruits on your own can be time consuming, and there are applicant tracking systems that can help. These systems automate key tasks and improve communication with candidates. However, they do require an initial investment of time, money, and training.

Retaining top talent

Having a solid roster of franchise employees can greatly influence the success of your organization. Losing employees and dealing with turnover is costly, time-consuming and can have a negative impact on overall morale.

How can your franchise retain your best employees?

It's up to you to create a high-performance work environment capable of attracting top talent. You can keep up retention and morale through training and simple onboarding. Keep in mind a few tips to retain top talent:

  • Provide thorough training. Employees need ample training to gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Better training leads to better job performance. This in turn, leads to increased job satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

  • Create a culture of teamwork. Collaboration and cooperation among employees are valuable to an organization's overall culture. Teamwork forsters purpose and desire to improve, whereas a fiercely competitive approach can lead to toxicity and turnover.

  • Recognize and reward good work. Everyone likes to be recognized, and rewarding good work nurtures a positive attitude. Get creative about how you reward your employees. It can range from a thank-you note, a designated parking spot, a plaque on the wall, or a performance-based bonus. Setting up reward programs keeps employees focused and motivated.

  • Incentivize growth and success. Establishing a clear path of advancement demonstrates to other employees that you're serious about providing growth opportunities. Those who are rewarded with more responsibilities and pay will get a sense of your commitment to your employees, and will help with their commitment to your franchise.

  • Encourage open communications with managers. Allowing and encouraging employees to talk to managers openly and freely about any matter strengthens a sense of teamwork and trust. This will help with employee retention.

  • Leverage your franchise network. Ask other franchise owners for advice. As a franchise owner, you have a vast network of individuals who are facing the same challenges as you. Reach out to learn about success stories and mistakes.