How do other franchisors recruit?

Franchisors in Australia spend about $50m* on recruitment advertising each year so it is imperative that the investment is generating enquiries from the appropriate franchise buyers. So how do you best approach recruitment?

As these franchisors reveal, there is no one way to achieve results, rather the task is to match the process to the particular needs of each franchise.

LookSmart Alterations works on a philosophy of head-heart-hand when selecting franchisees. “If the franchisee is not in the right frame of mind, doesn’t have an entrepreneurial spirit, and doesn’t have the passion, they won’t get results," says founder Abraham Hatoum.

For Andrew Benefield, who heads up cookie business Mrs Fields, the main way the company recruits new franchisees is through the conversion of existing cafes to the Mrs Fields brand, and referrals from franchisees already within the network.

Melissa Wharton at MadMex believes you have to find ways to adapt to a mobile-centric landscape and to employ a different approach according to the channel being used to communicate. For example,messaging works if it’s the right message to the right generation, she says. If you want to use video, her advice is to focus on educational posts.

What's your strategy?

Hatoum emphasises the need for the appropriate strategy. “If you don’t have the right recruitment policy, it’s a big challenge. It can take years to recover.”

The recruitment strategy could be to outsource the process. That’s Steven Plarre’s preference, as the CEO of Plarre Foods explains here:

“Using a quality, dedicated franchise recruitment partner, in my opinion is a great way to go. They give you scale so whether you land 1 or 20 franchisees in a year, they are more equipped to handle the load. A good one will give you invaluable feedback about your franchise and how competitive it is in the market.”

Look at your own business

Hatoum puts an equal focus on the business culture and franchisee support.

“Put people first, the rest will follow. We never terminate, and we never go to court," he says.

“Work on your brand, work on your service, work on delivery of service. What is more powerful than financial contribution is to support your franchisee and make them successful.”

[*based on data from the Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence survey Franchising Australia 2012]