How do franchisors recruit?

Insights and tips on franchise recruitment from retail and service business franchisors.

At a breakfast seminar in NSW held by the Franchise Council of Australia, a panel of franchisors discussed how they approach franchise recruitment.

On the panel:

  • Lauren Long, national franchise and commercial manager, Pandora Jewellery
  • David Paulson, senior manager UK and international franchise development, The Tax Assist Group
  • Joel Davoren, franchise director, Re/Max Australia
  • Greg Tiddy, leasing and development manager, Foodco Group


1. Identify the right buyer

Lauren Long, Pandora:

“We work quite far in advance, we’re very prescriptive and identify the sites. We have a very high calibre of franchisees and we build a structure to develop the person along the Pandora journey.

“We call for expressions of interest from among our database. In regional areas we try and recruit incumbent multi-unit jewellers.

“We want to know how they are going to run and market the business. Who have they identified in the local community who they can build a rapport with? Customer service has to be number one.”

2. Look for customer service attributes

Greg Tiddy, Foodco:

“We find the site first and recruit second. We target existing franchisees but running multiple sites can be a challenge.

“Our strategy is around people thinking about leaving their jobs who could buy a business because most people start out with a broad idea of what they want to do.

“Number one for us is to recruit franchisees who share our customer service attributes and have lots of personality.”

3. Know the skills you want

Joel Davoren, Re/Max:

“We adapt our language to suit our geographical targets.

“We have to invest heavily in our franchise sales staff. We’re running a different race, we want to get the best sales people, not the most listings.

“In the application process, getting them to fill out a template gives us a good idea of their understanding of real estate expenses. Do they have the capacity to keep the door open?”

4. Why are franchisees joining?

David Paulson, Tax Assist:

“It’s about getting to know the top franchisees, finding out why they had joined, were they unhappy in the job? We tap into the message, the ‘leaving pain’.

“We run group discovery days early on so we can observe prospective franchisees; do they interact?”

Expanding single owner operators into multi-unit franchisees

Joel Davoren at Re/Max says “A lot of people are good at business because they can manage money and a team. That’s who we look for when considering multi-units.”

Pandora has a refined process for identifying franchisees likely to manage expansion.

“We track expandibility criteria: leadership, financial acumen, current operations, delivering KPIs, business structure and employment,” explains Long.

“We find out how they would set up a new business and who has developed a successful succession plan.”

Six recruitment tips

  1. Understand who your ideal franchisee is
  2. Set out clear criteria
  3. Identify the best message to reach franchise buyers
  4. Look for customer service skills
  5. Use a template to evaluate financial acumen
  6. Try discovery days

You can check out upcoming franchisor events in the FCA calendar.