In this video, we discuss recruiting for franchisees and franchisors.

(Andrew) Good morning! Andrew, here again from My Franchise Partners, and I’m joined today by Krista Wright of Recruiting Concepts in Burlington, Ontario.

We’re going to talk about recruiting issues, in business in general and with franchises in particular.

We will look at some of the trends and habits of the past, where we’re going in the future, potentially, and tap into Krista’s wealth of experience.

So good morning Krista! Thanks for joining us today.

(Krista) Thank you for having me! Good morning Andrew!

(Andrew) Thank you very much!

Maybe you can enlighten us a little bit this morning about some of the current trends as you see them from your perspective, in the recruiting sector?

(Krista) For sure, yeah, I’ll just start off with maybe a little bit of an intro in terms of my business and kind of a few things of what I’m offering—what I’m doing, and then I’m happy to answer that question because here’s a lot to that question.

So first off, I have a business called Recruiting Concepts, which is an executive-style search that I’m offering companies that have both in-house HR and those that are owner managed and go without an internal HR.

There are plenty of complexities these days when it comes to hiring for those businesses. And then additionally, I have a new service offering, I am the Canadian partner of a company called Jobilla.

We are introducing a digital head-hunting solution that helps companies tap into passive candidate markets. That is a new service.

So what’s going on in recruiting? To put it simply, it is very much a candidate-led market, and it has been for some time, and it’s predicted to continue to be so.

So what does that mean? It means very simply that it is the candidates who have the choice—they have the power, they are somewhat in control, because the opportunities are plentiful.

And if you are a skilled person with an interest in a new opportunity, there are opportunities with a lot of companies.

(Andrew) One comment I found very interesting in there, and thank you for that by the way, was about the passive market.

Over the years I’ve written many operations manuals for a number of Independent Business owners and franchisees and franchisors as well.

And I always discuss a passive market. From my perspective, that could be older people, some are bored being retired, it could be students, it could be a housewife, house husband, whatever, who has some spare time.

Doesn’t want to commit too much but have some time to spare to get out of the house and do some work. Is that how you identify that as well? Or something?

(Krista) Yeah, if we look at our employee workforce right now, I can tell you the portion of it that are actively and decidedly job searching, shockingly is only about 15% of our workforce

(Andrew) Really?

(Krista) Yeah!

(Andrew) I am shocked.

(Krista) Yeah, so 15% of folks are actively on job boards, are hunting around, are promoting themselves as people that are seeking a new opportunity. And the reasons that they may be actively job searching can be a number of things.

They’re bored, they’re feeling like they’re driving too far to their work, they don’t like their boss, or they’re unhappy with the circumstances of their company and management and so forth.

Or they don’t feel as though they’re leveling up as rapidly as they would like to see so for themselves both in job level—in level of responsibility, and of course, on the money side.

So a passive candidate, and we have kind of the other parts of the job force, and what we know now, is about 52% of our workforce may be employed.

But what we would describe as passive candidates, because they may not be job searching, but if the right opportunity comes along, they may be persuaded, and they may be open to a change.

So in my executive recruiting business, through Recruiting Concepts, these are folks, in let’s call it simply office-based roles, that I have for many years, been able to engage with on my head hunting side,

Head hunting is attracting people that typically are employed. But you know when I have an opportunity, to tell them a little bit about my client and their opportunity, interest happens, and they may be folks that turn into an applicant and a candidate. from that conversation.

So passive turned into active

(Andrew) Right! Okay, is there a difference in how you deliver your services depending upon the industry?

(Krista) There is a little bit of a difference on what I’m doing with the Jobilla side to what I’m doing with Recruiting Concepts.

Recruiting Concepts, I provide executive style search, and it’s A through Z. So I’m assisting companies with the design of the job, the look and feel of that, how we want to create a job description, how we want to market it.

And then, I have a series of steps that I go through to source, vet and identify good people to connect my clients to, and then proceed right to the end, where I’m helping negotiate offers, putting together offers, and providing a guarantee.

On the Jobilla side, this is really where I’m working with companies that have volume-based hires, and have exhausted their efforts on job boards that are not meeting their needs.

They’re not sourcing candidates for them, so we’re introducing a new solution to the problem of marketing to passive candidates, through a very unique tool that taps into social media.

(Andrew) Interesting! So you know in the franchise world, one of the questions I’m asked by people I’ve worked with who were entertaining investing in a franchise, is about staffing their business.

They want to invest in a franchise business, and most franchisors, the good ones at least, will help them recruit maybe the first pass of staff.

Maybe they’ll help them, a job description. That’s not really help but that’s what many call help in finding a manager and key staff. But they’re really at odds with how to proceed after that.

So the HR component of what you do, job descriptions etc. will be very valuable to people who are looking at starting an independent business, or buying a franchise business. 

(Krista) Oh for sure, and you know, no easy task for our franchise owners to manage this staffing, and I’m going to call it an issue. Because I’ve been speaking to franchise owners quite a bit lately.

It’s no easy task to hire for your company, regardless of the franchise.

Our strength comes from our employees, and recruitment as an issue isn’t just a bottleneck to us growing our business but it’s often a bottleneck for us to just run our businesses.

This is echoed in the conversations I’m having with franchise owners. We had difficulty in a competitive marketplace of hiring people for frontline customer-facing types of roles, for which a lot of our franchise owners need to fill to run their operations.

So super competitive. There is a wage conversation going on. Certainly, that feeling of a labor shortage, skill shortage, is an issue for a lot of our franchise owners.

Some of the other conversations I’m having with franchise owners is that they have exhausted every effort. They have run job boards, or excuse me, job fairs.

They’re using job boards—they’re not even getting candidates now. And talk about major issues, and again franchise owners and business owners are finding that the positions they’re hiring for, it’s so competitive, they’re losing candidates left-right, and center.

And even the candidates that may accept an interview time are not showing up for the interview, or even workers are not showing up for the first day of employment. It’s just crazy-crazy times.

(Andrew) Yeah, in my younger days, showing up at 11:05 for an 11 o’clock interview meant the meeting was over.

They just say “I’m sorry you’re late for the meeting, it reflects poorly on you, we wish you the best of luck in your continued search.”

But now, to your point, when I place franchisees across Canada and the U.S, I tell them exactly what you’re saying.

What we’re looking at now is “Is the franchise business labor intensive or not?” And many people who really like a certain business model, will walk away, go somewhere else— a different model because of the labor issues.

If they need to have say 5 to 10 people on board, versus 2 or 3, they’re saying I’ll take the 2 or 3 person model instead and have less headaches.

(Krista)  I see!

(Andrew) What about training, do you find training getting more prevalent as a sort of expectation of new employees?

(Krista)  Yes, training, smart onboarding, support to the oncoming employees, so they know what they’re doing right from the get-go and have expectations.

They know what’s expected of them, they have clarity. And you know, the whole candidate experience is something that I’ve written about and blogged about a great deal.

And it’s a very important component in such a competitive landscape of hiring these days. That you create a very positive experience for the candidate that you’re interviewing.

You’re inviting them into your organization, what you’re demonstrating is a great place to come and work. You’re competitive in your wages, you are adapting your process, in such a way that you’re capturing the interest of people that you may have overlooked in the past.

You have a whole audience that could be your ideal people for the job that you just haven’t really considered in the past, maybe not intentionally, but perhaps just through your marketing and the way that you have posted the position in the past.

So you know lots of considerations for that for sure. But training, yes 100%, you can lose good people quickly if they’re floundering.

(Andrew) A 100%! Years ago there’s a president of a company in the Toronto area they had a very high churn of employees. You know these were skilled people, educated people with degrees and masters.

So it wasn’t just sort of a call for mass labor positions, and I brought in an onboarding program. It had a full in-depth graded program over the first 3 to 5 years and I’m surprised that the management team weren’t interested.

I put it in place regardless, our churn dropped.

They knew what to expect when they walked in the front door. Expectations were laid out for them. what to expect, how to track and measure expectations. That worked very well.

So I think if you’re doing that with clients of yours, independent owners or franchise owners, I think that there is an exceptional demand for that.

You now have a tool to present that goes beyond just wages and benefits. It’s sort of a career management tool.

So in a sense that’s what you do for clients you work with. Businesses and franchise orders, etc is to give them that valuable tool that’s well thought out.

(Krista) We sit down and map out the process. It takes quite a bit of time because, you know, we’re certainly talking a little bit about the requirement, the position, and what does that look like, so I can have a clear idea of how I am marketing, how I’m going to be speaking to people, who I might be speaking to.

Those conversations are super valuable for me, as you say because there’s a coaching element to that. If I want to help companies hire successfully but also retain employees,

These are fuller picture conversations, who are they reporting to? What is expected of them? How will they develop within the organization? And what type of timeline and how will they know that they’re meeting expectations?

And the design of the recruiting plan comes from these really inclusive conversations. And that’s really part of the job that I enjoy the most.  That’s where most of the engagement happens.

And it’s funny because, if I really think about it, that’s where I come away with an Avatar. When I’m having those conversations, I understand what it is they need to hire for, how they’ve handled it in the past, what have been their challenges.

It often becomes quite clear who it is that I need to connect with, for them, and on their behalf just from those in-depth conversations.

(Andrew) Is there a preferred sort of Target, speaking of Avatar, a preferred target client for you? Like sales or locations or whatever employees that you think is sort of a home run swing type area?

(Krista) Great question! So a preferred client for Recruiting Concepts, that’s companies that need to hire professional office-based positions to senior level is ideal and that can be across any industry.

I am a generalist, so I’m the person that works either with the HR person, hiring manager, or often if the company’s owner-managed, the company owner themselves.

And my job is to understand who it is they need to hire, bet clear on that, and go off and do that work. So that they then are alleviated of the whole process until such time as I need them to interview my people.

And now that I’m introducing Jobilla Canada, I’m able to speak to companies. In various sectors that historically, I have not done a great deal of work for.

So for example, restaurants, retail at all levels of hospitality, construction, production, industrial distribution, all of that where they need volume-based hires, and the job boards are not working for them.

So that’s a great conversation and a lead-in for someone like me as well. So it’s kind of end to end really now.

(Andrew) As I mentioned the last time we spoke, I could usually spend a couple hours talking with you.

You have a wealth of knowledge which I greatly appreciate. Years ago in the private sector, I would get calls all the time from headhunters.

It was as a candidate, and as the person doing the hiring. And one thing I noticed was it was always a sales call “I’m here to call X number of people to close some deals, make my commission and move on”

What I got from talking with you, is that it’s more holistic than a sales call.

You’re engaged, as you mentioned in the process, the target employer right? So I find that particularly attractive in your approach.

It’s holistic, it’s engaging, it’s in-depth but with understanding and education, and building processes. So I find that very attractive.

(Krista)  Well, I greatly appreciate that. I would say that it’s always been very clear to me that this needs to have a personal touch.

The service, whether you’re the job seeker and I’m working with you, or you’re the company that needs to hire and I’m working with you.

No matter what, you can’t take emotion out of that situation, on both sides. It’s a very personal service, and it’s intended to feel personal to people, because it’s their lives, it’s their livelihood.

And if you’re the company, you know, a lot rests on hiring the best people for your company. I’ve always tried to make sure that people don’t feel like a number.

I am interested in them genuinely, and you know I knew from very young that I was probably going to have an element of matchmaking.

I originally pursued social work and I pulled some of that social work into my job because it has to have a human touch and it has to feel personal. Because it is!

(Andrew) When I work with a franchisee and franchisor clients, I like to refer them to partners. It could be an accountant, a lawyer, a marketing agency, whatever it might be.

And I have no problem referring you, in your business, to the people I work with as well. Because I think that partnership isn’t a one-off. it’s about understanding the business, and here’s a resource for you.

Education is a key part of success, and a lot of owners and managers today need that partner. Somebody they can lean on.

(Krista) Yeah, I really get that, and I can think of that in the context of somebody that owns a business, they can’t do everything with perfection.

And there are other people that have better expertise in certain areas that we can lean on to help us be more efficient so that we can focus on the areas that we have the gift and where we excel.

It’s too much on the franchise owner to have to tackle absolutely everything on their own.

But you know I think irregardless when you lean on somebody else professionally to support your business, it is a personal relationship, and there has to be a connection there.

So I greatly appreciate the fact that you would be willing to refer folks to me, that means a great deal

(Andrew) The business owners who, for whatever reason, embrace the Superman syndrome, are destined to failure. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

It’s sort of when you’re the Jack of All trades, as the saying goes you’re the master of none. It is important to have professionals such as you in our back pocket to call on as needed.

I’m going to wrap it up for today, but we’re going to talk again about a variety of topics. Hopefully, you’ll let me do it with you again.

So in closing, if you don’t mind please give your name, your company name, and how best to reach you to our listeners, if you don’t mind.

(Krista) Sounds good, Krista Wright with Recruiting Concepts it’s recruitingconcepts.ca, my website, and then Jobilla Canada on LinkedIn, 905-466-6948 to reach me.

(Andrew) And how do you spell Jobilla

(Krista)  J-O-B-I-L-L-A

(Andrew) Just as I thought! Okay, thank you Krista! We’ll talk again very soon.

(Krista) Thank you very much! Appreciate that!