Franchises: Custom Hiring Processes

Imagine you are in the process of hiring for both an Operations Manager and a Technician. Each candidate makes it through an assessment step, a phone screen, an in-person interview, and each are extended an offer.

The hiring process is one of the most important strategic plans your company can develop, but does evaluating these two candidates using the same hiring process actually help you make a better hire? These two positions require different skills and experience and as a hiring manager, you would most likely have more success evaluating the two candidates separately with their own unique screening and interview process. These employees will take thousands of individual actions on your behalf and you need to approach your hiring decisions strategically.

At CareerPlug, we work with a variety of clients and each one has the ability to create their own custom hiring process. Typically the process looks like this:


While the overall flow might stay the same, a client might have additional actions in each one of the steps. A client like ServPro hires a very specific type of candidate and to ensure they make the right hires, they might have multiple levels of interviews and recruiting sessions in their hiring process.

 Operations Manager  Technician
Prequalify & Review
View resumes and filter by responses to pre-screen questions.
Personality and Cognitive Assessment Technical and Skills Assessment
Evaluate candidate assessment scores against assessment scores of your current top performers to identify the best matches. A technical skills assessment can reveal insight into whether an applicant has the knowledge needed to perform the role.
Phone Screen
A phone screen gives you the chance to ask high-level questions and expose some of the intangible qualities about the applicant.
1st Round Interview
Schedule a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager to go over the specific role and responsibilities.
2nd Round Interview  Technical / Shadowing  Interview
Use an additional interview round with other team members (other managers or colleagues) to meet and evaluate the candidate. Your opinion matters but it is only a quick snapshot so increase your chances of finding a good hire by asking for those other opinions.  This in-person interview with the hiring manager can include a chance to go out into the field with a current technician to go over the specific role and responsibilities. A role-play or simulation out in the field can differentiate the candidates who have the necessary skills.
Finalize the process with a step to confirm work history, performance, personality, and insight into whether they would rehire a candidate.

Customizing Franchise Workflows

Within your ATS, you can create these custom, but still consistent, workflows to ensure that you are building a repeatable process that can lead to better hires.

We make it easy for franchisors to create a default hiring process for franchisees. Franchisees have the option to use that process or opt into customizing their own. This way the franchisee can establish and manage their own hiring process and franchisors will stay compliant with joint-employment regulations.

Becoming a true talent evaluator can only happen if you have a consistent hiring process. Developing a role-specific hiring process can help you avoid the costly setbacks of a bad hire and can help you identify your top performers efficiently. Better employee hiring leads to an increase in company performance so invest your time in developing your approach and you will see results!

Franchises: Brand Standards & Employment Brand

When it comes to how much brand freedom a franchisee should have, franchisors have mixed emotions. While some franchisors feel that it is necessary to set stringent standards on how a franchisee displays their brand, others are okay with giving their franchisees flexibility to slightly deviate from the franchise model provided. So what is the best way to balance regulations that protect your brand, while still supporting the goals of your franchisees?

IFA’s stance on franchisor/franchisee relationship

Collaboration between franchisors and franchisees is necessary to ensure “franchisees are given a regular role in the strategic direction of the system,” according to the International Franchise Association. This open flow of communication, however, doesn’t mean a franchisee’s opinions override the brand manager – franchisees taking this role wouldn’t be effective within the franchise model. It does mean that franchisees should be able to provide feedback from the micro view of the franchise relationship that can be considered in the “macro managing of the system” by the franchisor (IFA). According to the IFA, franchisors should ultimately be responsible for the direction of the brand and any changes made to it.

Franchisors providing clear brand standards

Franchisors should provide clear brand standards for their franchisees in the franchise disclosure document to maintain franchisees uniformity in this respect. One important brand standard  is the use of the franchise’s logo. Consistency is paramount and helps leverage brand power and awareness. The type of marketing collateral, such as taglines, that franchisees use should also be made clear by the franchisor. Marketing collateral ensures the brand is presented and received in the way the franchisor intends.  A franchisee should be consistent and recognizable with the corporate brand since too much variance of these brand standards may be confusing to customers and possibly job applicants. Because a misrepresentation of the brand can be harmful to the whole franchise system, franchisees should only use corporate approved trademarks to maintain the integrity of the franchise. Best practices by the franchisor – such as conveying how beneficial any changes will be to the franchisee’s business and slowly phasing changes in – can help secure franchisees from being blindsided by any new brand standards as well as give them time to adjust.   

Franchisees shape their own employment brand

While franchisors should set forth clear franchise brand standards, franchisees should take charge of their own employment brand.  A good employment brand is what makes people want to start working for you and continue working for you. A franchisee can foster a good employment brand by engaging in good business practices, such as offering fair wages, a healthy company culture, and creating a recruiting/hiring process that improves the candidate experience. Employment brand standards can lead to an environment with higher employee productivity, morale, and retention, and ultimately a great recruiting point for new employees. Franchisees that promote a strong employment brand can be very successful, especially if they are empowered with the right tools by their franchisor.

How CareerPlug can help

Careerplug can help franchisees build a strong employment brand by helping them develop a structured recruiting and hiring process to consistently bring on employees who will add to the success of their franchise.

To learn more about how CareerPlug can help empower your franchise, contact us today!

Franchises: Set Franchisees Up for Hiring Success

Franchisors have valuable data, insights, and best practices to support franchisees with almost any area of the franchised business model, but one area tends to be more ambiguous than others – employment. Many franchisees make their own employment decisions: designing their own recruiting process, controlling their hiring decisions, and compiling an employee benefits package. This level of franchisee independence is critical to avoiding joint-employment on behalf of the franchisor. However, the franchisor often has insight into industry recruiting trends, pitfalls, and effective hiring practices. As we mentioned in a previous post, franchisors can avoid joint-employer implications, while still delivering value, by offering optional resources to franchisees. This post will go into detail on a few resources that can provide tremendous value to franchisees:

Careers Page Portal

The franchise brand is the most valuable asset to a franchisee – attracting customer and job seekers alike. Franchisors who provide a branded, central careers portal for their franchisees are capitalizing on this brand power and setting their franchisees up to attract quality candidates. The franchisee maintains the direct relationship with the partner (a job posting platform or applicant tracking system) while the franchisor website acts as conduit, hosting the careers page and aggregating all franchisee postings. Since all active job positions from all franchisees are in one place, job seekers can apply through the brand directly to any franchisee.

Encourage Hiring Education

Many franchisees have little to no experience with HR or hiring practices. From writing compelling job descriptions and screening applicants to asking the right interview questions, it’s easy to for new business owners to feel overwhelmed when navigating the world of hiring. Referring to the experts is the the best guidance a franchisor can provide.  Encourage franchisees to educate themselves on hiring guidelines and employment law, as well as to seek out reputable HR resources.  With a deeper understanding of making great hires, franchisees can institute best practices to grow their business and help build a trusted franchise brand.

Preferred Partner Relationships

Franchisors can provide value and even a competitive edge by recommending partners that have proven success for other franchisees. For example, a franchisor might partner with an Applicant Tracking System provider like CareerPlug to offer an option to franchisees for distributing jobs and managing the hiring process.  This can allow franchisor to incorporate brand standards while the franchisee-partner relationship is managed independently (an important distinction in relation to co-employment).  With this setup, both franchisor and franchisee benefit: franchisees from having expert hiring resources and franchisors from the success that follows when franchisees make better hiring decisions and grow their business.  

Next Steps

Evaluate where your franchisees struggle with their employment processes and consider how you can provide resources and expertise as a franchisor. When your franchisees hire great people, grow their businesses, and increase their revenues, everyone wins. To learn more about the ways your franchise system could benefit from this optional, resource-based approach to franchisee support, contact our team!

To learn more about hiring best practices that you can offer your franchisees, download our free ebook today: How To Build A Talent Magnet

Please note: The information in this blog post is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but none of the information herein should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.

Franchises: Structuring the Recruiting Process

Franchise Recruiting Issues

Franchises know it best, employing the right people can mean the difference between success or failure in any line of business. Even though franchisees’ intentions are to hire great employees, an unstructured recruiting process often leads to bad hires and, consequently, employee turnover. Restaurants and retail stores comprise some of the largest franchise systems and have reported employee turnover rates at approximately 66 percent, up from about 56 percent in 2010. Constantly back-filling employees can be one of the most stressful and expensive tasks in the operation of a franchise.  A bad hire can lead to a loss of valuable time and definitely unnecessary costs incurred by the franchisee. This doesn’t have to be the case. While franchise systems should not mandate any recruiting processes, franchisees should strive to educate themselves on the structure of a successful recruiting process that can lead to endless benefits for their business.

When a franchise recruiting process is structured, franchisees can achieve higher quality and consistency of hires. Our experience with franchises has helped us identify the most vital procedures for a franchisee’s recruiting process.

Create an Accurate and Compelling Job Description – Attract the Best Talent 

A clear definition of requirements and day-to-day responsibilities is essential for attracting the most qualified candidates and discouraging those who are unqualified from applying. Creating a job description that exaggerates any facet of the job can be troublesome since applicants are typically searching for positions that are similar to their previous experience. Also, be sure to include any benefits or perks the franchise offers to strengthen the opportunity’s value to top talent.

Include Prescreen Questions – Identify Great Candidates & Save Time

The use of prescreen questions is helpful for both candidates and franchisees. Applicants get a better understanding about the requirements of a position, while franchisees are easily able to filter out the unqualified applicants and focus their attention only on people who meet the necessary requirements. Including this step can save franchisees hours of time while moving in the right direction of a more efficient and effective recruiting process.

Send Assessments – See Beyond the Resume

Sending assessments to candidates who have met the initial requirements of the position gives franchisees the ability to evaluate certain soft skills – such as sales potential or integrity – as well as cognitive ability. With an ATS like CareerPlug, franchisees can even compare applicants’ assessment scores to those of the current best talent at the franchise.

Customize Interview Guides – Develop Consistent Processes

Creating a interview check guide ensures a uniform interview experience for all candidates, and makes it easier to compare each candidate to each other. CareerPlug’s ATS provides customizable interview check guides to give franchisees the ability to objectively evaluate applicants and make the best hiring decisions.

CareerPlug Can Help

Structured and consistent recruiting and hiring processes help franchises take the right step forward in making the best hires for their business and reducing employee turnover. CareerPlug’s easy to use Applicant Tracking platform encompasses all the necessary recruiting and hiring processes in one centralized platform to help franchises attract top talent, make informed hiring decisions, and save time and money doing it. To learn how to get started on the right path today, send us an email!

Franchises: Providing Employment Resources Without Being a Joint-Employer

Defining the Franchisor-Franchisee Employment Relationship

At the beginning of a franchise relationship, franchisors spell out the conditions of franchising in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). These conditions affect most areas of the franchisee’s business, but one area that can lack clarity is with regard to hiring and employment decisions. There are good reasons why franchisors typically avoid directly providing hiring guidelines to franchisees, the primary reason being to remain agnostic to the franchisees hiring practices and, by doing so, avoid being considered a joint-employer to franchisees. However, franchisors have a tremendous amount of insight and value to provide franchisees on hiring and recruitment – so how can franchisors surface these insights to their franchisees while staying out of employment decisions? Let’s start with a background on co-employment.

What is Co-Employment Regulation?

Co-employment regulation put forth by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) all comes down to the question of who is employing the employee. Recent NLRB decisions have obscured the answer for some franchisors and their franchisees. We hear from franchisors all the time, wondering how they can support franchisees with hiring best practices and software without encroaching on their freedom to make independent employment decisions. Typically employment decisions, such as offering 401(k) or health care benefits, are made independently by the franchisees. A franchisor would only have a hand in employment decisions if it was a joint-employer with its franchisees. For the most part, franchisors have little interest in being joint-employers with their franchisees, but they are likely interested in avenues to improve franchise success and support. Ignoring franchisee employment success is short-sighted; franchisors should support their franchisees with optional best practices but should not mandate adherence to those guidelines.

National Labor Relations Board’s potential changes of co-employment standard

The topic of co-employment resurfaced after a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to consider McDonald’s a joint employer of its franchisees’ employees, following claims of discriminatory employment practices on the part of a franchisee – a decision that only added to the ambiguity around how franchisors should support their franchised stores. As a result, the industry is becoming more conscious of the risks of co-employment and the effects it could have on the traditional franchise business model (Entrepreneur). Robert Cresanti, Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy at IFA, said the NLRB’s decision could be damaging to franchisees, “because it creates this uncertainty, it creates a questions of who owns responsibility for the employees… So it leaves the franchisee in a quandary of who’s actually in control and what new labor responsibilities they may have” (Franchise Times).

Just this month, however, McDonald’s released a statement regarding the NLRB’s decision, saying that it does not ‘direct or co-determine the hiring, assignment, wages, hours, or any other essential terms and conditions of employment of our franchisees’ employees.” (Fortune). A spokesperson reminded the press that the decision could impact thousands of McDonald’s franchisees who provide millions of jobs, and it could set a precedent for the entire franchise industry if upheld. Other franchisors are also warning of the potential impact of the decision, which the industry at large considers to be overreaching, but franchise groups are not the only entities standing up the the NLRB. State legislatures, such as Wisconsin’s, are joining the franchise joint-employment discussion and passing bills in defense of the franchised business model. Several other states have considered passing similar laws or have already done so following the decision which the franchise community claims upends decades of legal precedent. While the impact of the NLRB’s decision is still unclear, the franchise industry is becoming more vigilant about what it might mean.

Offering optional hiring guidelines without becoming a joint employer

Franchisors are now exploring options on how to stay compliant with joint-employment regulations, while still ensuring their franchisees are set up for success. Offering a careers page portal, for example, is one solution franchisors can provide without assuming liability for franchisees actions. Freshii, a fast-casual restaurant chain, offered its franchisees a careers page portal on their website, but did not mandate any recruitment policies or procedures. They were involved in a case that determined its actions were compliant with the law and were not considered a co-employer under any NLRB standard. By making it clear in franchisee agreements that franchisors will not dictate or control matters of employment, franchisors can offer optional human resources tools and best practices. Franchiors who take this approach can provide value and optional structure to franchisees without infringing on the employment practices of the individual business.


CareerPlug specializes in working with franchisors across industries, from fit clubs to quick serve, and we have compiled several suggestions for navigating co-employment issues:

Franchisors should

  • Clearly define the relationship between them and their franchisees regarding employment policies.
  • Provide best practice insights, but avoid mandating rules related to job descriptions, steps in hiring process, etc.
  • Be able to offer the optional benefit of an applicant tracking system that incorporates brand standards, while preserving independent ownership, management, and configuration by the franchisees.

Franchisees should

  • Educate themselves on avoiding discriminatory hiring/firing and comply with all employment laws and regulations.
  • Establish and manage their own accounts with recruiting and applicant tracking software providers directly, but they should leverage resources/providers that ensure a consistent brand experience and provide best practices when possible.
  • Adhere to to recruiting and hiring practices that they believe will best benefit their business

Next Steps

While the franchise industry is uncertain about how co-employment regulation will evolve, savvy franchisors are seeking to provide proven hiring processes that franchisees can choose to adopt. We know that most franchisees did not get their start in recruitment, and a little help from the franchisor can go a long way in ensuring that stores are hiring effectively. It’s easy to see how consistent effective hires can empower a franchisee to grow and produce more revenue, and, as more franchisors offer optional hiring insights and tools to their franchisees, they can expect to garner the profits associated with efficient, effective franchisee hiring practices. It’s a win-win.

To learn more about hiring best practices that you can offer your franchisees, download our free ebook today:

How To Build A Talent Magnet

Please note: The information in this blog post is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but none of the information herein should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion.



[1] Addady, Michal. Fortune. The McDonald’s Business Model May Be in for a Big ChangeMarch 10, 2016

[2] Kaiser, Tom. Franchise Times. NLRB: McDonald’s Joint Employer of Franchise Employees.  

[3] Taylor, Kate. Franchise Industry Strikes Back at  NLRB’s ‘Joint Employer’ Decision. September 23, 2014

[4] Wisconsin Passes Pro Franchisee Bill.