INSTRUCT TO GROW
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Apr, 19 2010

INSTRUCT TO GROW

To avoid any hassles while running a business, appointing qualified faculty members and imparting training to them is necessary. The following is a guide on how to recruit and train the staff under stringent rules of the franchisor.

To avoid any hassles while running a business, appointing qualified faculty members and imparting training to them is necessary. The following is a guide on how to recruit and train the staff under stringent rules of the franchisor.

RECRUITING the right faculty for pre-schools, creches, schools, abacus training, coaching and tutoring classes, multimedia education, test preparation, animation, IT, English speaking, aviation, beauty training and vocational education for employment opportunities will differ from one to the other level. And, educational and professional qualification of staff will also differ as per the requirement of the franchisor and the type of franchise in the education and training he/she owns.

“Some of the basic challenges a franchisee generally faces while running his centre includes recruitment, retaining people, raising capital, training the staff and introducing new products,” reveals N. Subramanian, Country Head  Operations, Cadd Centre.

To get a qualified staff with high knowledge is the biggest challenge for any franchisee. Expressing his opinion, Mathai Chackochen, CEO, Interworkz, adds, “It is the franchisor's job to help the franchisee to get their staff trained at the corporate office. We encourage staff at a lower level to join us so that they get trained and they are motivated to study further to go to the level of training.”

On the other hand, Deepanshu Khurana, CEO, i360 Staffing & training Solutions, says, “While there are a lot of administrative challenges, I feel that the biggest challenge is to get the right manpower for the centre and if the staff owns a centre, I believe that a lot of the worries can be addressed smoothly. We are on continuous lookout for such people and are building up the team.”

Other challenges include, maintaining the standardisation at all the franchised centres which plays a key role in portraying the franchisor's image in the customers' mind. “To tide over little discrepancies that crop up in delivery, we regularly conduct technology assisted live lectures by experienced teachers from our head office. These sessions are transmitted real time to all our franchise centres and serve to fill any chinks in content delivery,” considers, Aman Bansal, Business Development Manager, Top Careers and You.

Training plays a significant role in surmounting initial hiccups in the business. From taking up a franchise of a well-known centre to recruiting and rendering training services to the faculty members for accurately managing the franchised centre is quintessential for the success of any business other than education sector.

Hiring & training the faculty

In the education sector it is your institute's faculty that reflects your brand and who comes in direct contact with the customers. It is considered necessary for the franchisor to select and recruit the right staff with utmost precision. The franchisee hires the staff for his/her institute on the basis of their educational background and professional experience in the education or any other sector. Moreover, it is not only franchisee's sole responsibility to recruit and train the newly-hired faculty members but the franchisor also plays a prominent role in providing the training to their faculty members at their corporate offices and instructing them through different learning systems to effectively educate the students.

Whether it is a franchisee or a franchisor, recruiting the workforce for your centre operations is not a child's play. Besides managing the day-to-day operations of the business, the franchisee remains on his toes from hiring to training and building strategies to retain the staff. In most cases, the franchisor lends a support to the franchisee by recruiting the staff for his centre during the start-up phase.

“We help the franchisee in choosing the right candidate for his centre requirements (final i/v/screening is done by us) and then, we help by providing the initial training to all the key staff including, centre head, faculty and counsellor to understand our products and positioning. Refresher training is also made available at costs,” elucidates, Radhakrishnan Nair N, President, Toonz Academy.

IndiaCan's key criteria for recruitment of its faculty members includes, prior experience in handling training assignments, excellent platform skills for teaching and domain knowledge as required by SME.  Commenting on providing staff training to faculty members of the franchisee, Ravinder Goyal, Director, IACM, SmartLearn Ltd, elucidates, “IACM provides faculty training which will impart technical and teaching skills requisite to train the students. This includes orientation to course methodology and maintenance of IACM quality standards while conducting the programmes. The batches are formed twice every month. The venue of the training remains in New Delhi. The pre-approved faculty is trained for approximately eight hours a day, for a period ranging from 5 to 25 days. Lodging and boarding of the team is borne by the franchisee.”

Besides giving instructions to the faculty on product and services of the company, staff is rigorously trained on new course contents. Shemrock provides its regular training to staff to keep them up-to date with the growing industry and it also provides a positive work environment that gives them on the job freedom. “The faculty is given an initial training on all aspects of schools management to help them maintain the organisation standards. Regular time-to-time trainings are provided to all the branch heads that helps them further train their faculty,” adds Amol Arora, MD, Shemrock Group of Schools.

Updating curriculum

In a franchised set-up, the franchisee is entitled to follow the same curriculum the way it is followed by the franchisor.  From time-to-time, the franchisors keep on updating the curriculum and course content as per the newest developments in the industry. The staff at the centre must be informed about the latest modifications in the curriculum and if required, he/she must be trained so as to maintain the standardisation as per the strict guidelines of the franchisor. On upgrading the curriculum of the courses offered by Cadd Centre, Subramanian says, “The curriculum and course completely gets upgraded with the release of a new version of the software. At that point, the course curriculum and courseware is completely re-done and all the required training is provided to all the staff members. There are exclusive training programmes for both the technical team and the sales team to enable efficient customer service.”

“Our material and courseware is refreshed and updated every year; there are many refresh cycles during a year. Additional support material is also provided to the students locally as well. Proprietary faculty selection and recruitment tests and tools have been developed and are deployed,” reports Sanjay Shivnani, CEO, Career Launcher.

On the other hand, Chackochen says, “Since, we are an authorised CISCO training partner, our curriculum changes when CISCO changes it globally and introduces the same in to our country. We get this immediately and we train our franchisees and their staff trained quickly. We give in-house training to sharpen their teaching skills. Based on this, we also keep changing the manual accordingly from time to time.”

Talking on providing faculty training during the introduction of a new curriculum, Santosh Kumar Choubey, Chairman and MD, AISECT Ltd, adds, “Once a franchisee is registered within the AISECT network, we support him through course content, faculty training programmes, corporate and university tie ups, year round advertising and PR support and assistance in student placements. His faculty list with qualifications is also checked to ensure the right faculty is appointed.” At AISECT, the course curriculum is reviewed by a panel of academicians and updated as per changes in the market and industry. The training manuals for franchisees and faculty are updated every year and given to them during the renewal process.

“Our curriculum is upgraded on a regular basis and we ensure that students always get the very best and the latest to learn. We pay extra emphasis to ensure that our staff represents the finest band of educators in the animation and visual effects industry and undergo a continuing skills up-gradation and development program,” updates Naveen Gupta, CEO and ED, Frameboxx Animation and Visual Effects Pvt. Ltd.

Duration of staff training

The duration of training programme generally depends on the type of franchise that is being run by the franchisee in the education sector. For instance, Toonz Animation gives two week tech/faculty training at its head office in Trivandrum. The duration will also depend on the background of the particular candidate. And the centre management/counselling training will be for three days.

Overcoming staff crisis

The biggest threat that education providers in specialised categories, like animation, Cad and I-T training, face is the lack of trained staff.  For instance, it would be pretty easy for the franchisor and franchisee to get the right staff in tier I city but in terms of tier II and III cities, the franchisee sometimes faces a staff crisis. Retaining teachers with good talent and brand satisfaction has nowadays become very difficult for the franchisee. As per strict guidelines of the franchisor, the franchisee is entitled to employ desired/minimum number of staff in his/her institute. When it becomes intricate for the franchisee to maintain the desired number of staff members in his institute, in that case, the franchisor comes in action to give the required support to the franchisee. On this, Nair says, “We support the franchisees by rotating our staff from the head office on a need basis, while scouting for new permanent trainers.” According to Hiren Trivedi, franchisee of Jetking, “It is the responsibility of the centre owner to hire the spare faculty in advance to deal with the situation of staff crisis if it crops up/occurs due to any of the reasons.” To be on a safer side, staff retaining strategies must be employed by the franchisor at the grassroot level.

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