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Sep, 16 2009

Smart recruitment

Hiring skilled manpower and training them to the level of your business, is one of the most effective ways of improving your franchise business. TFW guides you to develop your franchise business that will be at par with that of your franchisor.

The slowdown has spurred the industry giants to adopt to cost-cutting to keep margins in line with the expectations. While on the other hand, the people working in the beauty, health and vocational training sectors continue to thrive. The industry barons of other sectors may be downsizing, but the entrepreneurs of beauty, health and fashion sectors like are growing immensely, and that too through franchise mode

Skilled manpower

Responsible for building or wrecking a business, skilled manpower is considered to be the biggest asset for growth of any business. “Skilled manpower plays a very significant role in the growth of franchise business, especially in the health and beauty sector. Beauty business is more of a personalised business and one has to maintain personal relationship with the clients for which the staff plays the most important role,” says Naunihal Singh, Director, Strands Salons Pvt Ltd.

Hiring trained or skilled manpower is not easy, whether it is for the franchisee or the franchisor. As a franchisee, the investor may have to spend a lot of time and energy in recruiting staff besides looking after his regular business operations. Even though in the organised sector some franchisors extend help to their franchisees by providing trained staff or hiring suitable staff during the start up phase.

Franchise agreements mostly lay down a condition for franchisees to maintain sufficient number of staff members and their training and orientation to maintain cordial relations   with the clients. The onus of staff recruitment, training, motivation, fixing wage-structure, supervision and conduct of operations rests upon the franchisee.  The selection of staff and their conduct, therefore, should be such that it forms a team of highly motivated and committed force, who view the business as their own.

The first and foremost consideration of a franchisee of a salon, spa or a beauty training institute should therefore be to employ a trained and experience hand from a renowned beauty institute or from franchisor’s end. “Hiring a staff for our saloon, we look for his/her qualification from an eminent beauty institute, personal attributes, such as cheerful demeanour, polite, suave, tactful in handling customers and sense of commitment” says, Pooja Nanda, Franchisee, Shahnaz Hussain.  The franchisee should also keep in mind the cost factor while hiring an employee lest the investments should not exceed the returns. “We prefer to hire staff on our own and then get them trained from our franchisor because, the pay package may differ if we hire trained staff from the franchisor,” adds, Nanda.

Recruitment of the right people for the right job is the responsibility of the franchisee and franchisor both. It is the key responsibility of the franchisor to provide staff to its franchisee and to train them in the art and skill of vocation so as bring them to the level  of brand standards. However, when the franchisor is unable to provide the required skilled manpower, help can be sought from employment exchanges, but the selection should be done under the expert guidance of the franchisor.

A franchisee is actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the franchised outlet but more than him involves the roll of his staff who come in direct contact of the customers. It is therefore, of paramount importance that the staff enrolled are thoroughly professional and deft in customer handling.

Education & training

Many successful franchisors depend on franchisees for a successful business with no business experience of their own. But in the present times, it has almost become  customary for franchisors to provide training to their franchisees and their employees, as how  to operate business successfully and its nuances. The curriculum of the courses should be intermittently updated to reflect changes in the way the business is conducted with the changing times. “The staff at all our centres is recruited along the stringent guidelines provided by our corporate department which means that the staff has to undergo a  rigorous training schedule to ensure that the teaching methodology, curriculum, delivery and transfer of skills are standardised across the country and each centre follows the same parameters and guidelines,” says, Priyanka Khosla, MD, Flying Cats.

Giving your staff a thorough training regarding operation or services is one of the most effective ways of improving your franchise business. Considered as the most important ingredient of franchise business, staff training provides a vital platform for injecting proficiency, dedication and motivation amongst the staff, who would eventually provide  services to the clients at the cutting edge.

“Before recruiting any trainer for our own gym or franchised outlet every trainer has to undergo a certified programme from Gold’s Gym University. This is mandatory to maintain the uniform standard across the world,” said Istayak Ansari, Vice-President, Gold’s Gym India. The training of the staff is more important than the training of the franchisee, because to run a business which incorporates ‘services’ becomes more of a personalised business, wherein the client has direct involvement with the staff. It is in the hands of the staff members to retain the client. Therefore, one should prioritise staff training than the franchisee training. “It is not the franchisee, but the staff who is responsible to sell and promote the business, as they are in direct contact with the clients. Whereas, the franchisee needs to be trained regarding the business systems and processes,” says, Sandeep Ahuja, CEO, VLCC.

There are other players in the industry who do not provide training to the franchisee’s staff, but prefer to train the franchisee, especially the one who is a fresher. It  is important that the franchise is well versed in  the working of its parent company, so that he can further impart training to its staff. “We do not provide staff or staff training to the franchisees. However, if there is a special request by a franchisee, we may recommend students from our own beauty institutes. If the franchisee requests, staff training, it is provided at our beauty institutes on payment of normal charges / fees,” says, Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson and Managing Director, Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies.

The kind of training imparted to the employees should not be limited to one time exercise only, such as, at the time of opening the franchise outlet. The staff members must be updated with the new technologies and new launches on a regular basis. This will help the franchisee to maintain the standards and to be at par with the parent company.

Training checklist

Cost & time

Before initiating staff training, the franchisee should weigh the cost of training and extent of time required to complete the specified training.

Audit report

Auditing will make it easier for the franchisee to discern, which of education and skills are required to be incorporated in the training schedule of its staff.

Consult employees

Consulting employees is very important. Before deciding into the training part, it is important to discuss with the employees as to what aspects of vocation they would like to be trained in.

Help and advice

The franchisee can solicit support of franchisors trainors. The trainors in turn can render advices on training packages required, and how best to manage the training programme within your business module.

Technical, managerial training

Training at both ends is necessary, as if the staff is good at the technical end but lacks at the managerial end or vice-versa, it can hamper the business growth.

Add–on qualification or specialised courses

Qualification matters. In the organised sector all the franchisors look for a qualified staff. Moreso, in the present times, it has become obligatory for all the franchisors to provide training to franchisee’s staff, and in some cases with proper diploma courses.

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