In this exclusive Franchise Chatter Q&A, we learn about Hireology, the nation’s leading integrated hiring and talent management platform that helps franchises across the country streamline and improve the hiring process. Adam Robinson, CEO and co-founder of Hireology, teaches franchise owners how they can conduct an effective job interview.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What are some of the biggest hiring challenges you see franchisees face?
Adam Robinson (AR): Franchisees face similar challenges to many employers at the local level, including competition, lack of applicants and high turnover rates. Depending on the position, a franchisee may have few applicants, or an abundance of underqualified candidates. With countless brands all searching for the same talent, franchisees are hard pressed to recruit for their locations.
High turnover, particularly in the food and retail sectors, puts a constant strain on operations. Franchisees invest significant time and money to recruit, hire and train new hires to replace those who have walked out the door, only for them to do the exact same thing – often within the first six months.
FC: Do you have any suggestions for franchise owners to decrease their turnover rate?
AR: If you’re a franchise owner faced with a high turnover percentage, you need to start doing exit interviews to learn why your employees are leaving. There may be some controllable factors driving your employee turnover that you can address.
But the single best preventive measure for turnover is to improve your hiring process to ensure you are properly screening and attracting the right candidates to begin with. Like any employer, franchise owners should set clear expectations with their employees and be completely transparent with them. A positive work culture and environment inspires productivity and results in longer-lasting, loyal employees.
FC: What’s your favorite question to ask job candidates and why?
AR: I like to use a technique called the trial close. This is a sales tactic that uses a targeted question to determine the likelihood your potential hire is going to get the job done. I always recommend my customers use this throughout the hiring process, but strongly encourage it if a job offer is imminent.
For example, if I believe an applicant is a mutual fit, I inform them we will begin pulling an offer package together, then explain that package to them. I then ask the key question: “Is this a position you would feel comfortable accepting?” This question allows franchise owners to know exactly where they stand – before they make an official offer.
I have always had a candidate respond “yes” immediately, leading them to accept the offer. If they take a moment to think about it, then you can assume something is wrong. Now you have to dig deeper to figure out why they hesitated. Perhaps you should look closer at your hiring process to determine if something could have been done better or differently that caused the potential hire concern.
FC: What questions should franchisees be asking job candidates?
AR: I always urge Hireology customers to follow a structured interview guide to maintain a consistent interview process. Franchisees should ask every job candidate four questions, each of which provides insight into their personality and true motivations for wanting a job at your franchise location:
1. Where do you see yourself in five years?
2. What is the biggest misconception people have of you?
3. What three words would your last supervisor use to describe you?
4. What were your best and worst moments during high school? What would you do differently if you could go back?
FC: What are some hiring best practices you see among franchisees?
AR: A smart, proactive staffing strategy is one factor that most successful franchisees have in common. Adopting and following a proven hiring process is key to their overall success. Their front-line employees not only ensure daily operations run smoothly, but also represent their brand to the local community. They are key players when it comes to attracting and retaining customers.
Another best practice would be having a strong online presence to attract top talent. Their website and social media platforms should give candidates a good sense of their work culture. Employee testimonials posted online are also ideal. Potential hires should be able to imagine what it’d be like to work for their brand by looking at their local website and social sites.
FC: Are there any questions franchisees and their teams should steer clear of when conducting an interview?
AR: Obvious questions to avoid would be asking about political party affiliations or digging into their personal lives, such as relationship status. Questions throughout the process should be designed to reveal professional experience and skills sets required for the job, as well as provide a glimpse into what their personality is like.
Stick to offering up situations that a potential employee might encounter on the job and ask how they might respond. That will help you learn how a potential employee might act with actual customers or fellow team members.
There’s no need for “trick questions.” Your goal in an interview is to get the candidate to relax so you can gain insight into what they might be like should they become a member of your team – on the front lines dealing with customers and impacting your bottom line.
About Adam Robinson
Adam Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Hireology – the integrated hiring and retention platform that empowers multi-location, owner-operated, and independently owned businesses to build their best teams with confidence. He’s the author of “The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring” available at www.TheBestTeamWins.com.