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Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring Employees

So you’ve decided to get into franchising. Congrats! You’re about to embark on a rewarding and challenging career where you get to chart your own path to success. If you’re a take-charge kind of person, starting a franchise is a viable alternative to starting your own business. The franchise model helps to mitigate the risks associated with starting a new business by providing a proven business model with pre-defined management and work practices, along with comprehensive training and ongoing guidance and support.

The franchise model does not, however, safeguard you from all the risks of owning a business. As a franchise owner, you still need to make sound business decisions to make sure your business succeeds. Some of the most important decisions you’ll make initially are hiring the right people to help you run your business. There’s no room for bad hires in a small business. Hiring the wrong person is expensive and time-consuming and has a negative impact on your work environment. But hiring the right person pays you back a thousand times over with increased productivity, high employee morale, the ability to accomplish challenging goals and an overall positive impact on the work environment.

One of the best things you can do as a business owner is to spend time and effort finding the right people the first time around. As you search for your ideal employees, look for people whose values, views and behaviors align with your own and those of the business. Someone who exemplifies the ideals of your business will likely be a more engaged, loyal and long-term employee.

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring New Employees

Hiring the right employee is often easier said than done. That’s why the interview process is such a critical step in finding someone with the right personality and skills for the job. With that in mind, here are 10 questions franchise owners should ask a candidate before making a hire.

Tell me about yourself.

While not technically a question, this open-ended prompt gives the candidate an opportunity to share a little bit about their background, education, experience and hobbies. It gives you a chance to learn about who the person is, what he or she values and what motivates this candidate.

What would you need from the company to make sure you are delivering quality work and making our customers happy?

A candidate’s response to this question helps you understand his or her values and can help you generate ideas for how to improve your own business practices. It shows that you’re open to feedback and interested in hearing new ideas. Knowing that you value input could also inspire that hire want to work harder.

Tell me about a time you had to learn a new skill to complete a project.

Like small business jobs, positions at franchise locations are often less specialized. Employees need to have the flexibility to handle a variety of tasks and be willing and able to learn new skills. If your business is committed to offering innovative new products and services to meet the needs of your customers, ongoing training is a must.

Tell me about a difficult situation or conflict you had with a manager, co-worker, or customer and how you resolved it.

Responses to this question will help you get a sense of how the candidate deals with people. Since franchise businesses often have few employees and a limited physical workspace, problems need to be addressed quickly and maturely before they become major issues.  

How will you provide excellent experiences to our customers?

This question will help you gauge how much the candidate enjoys interacting with customers and the level of service he or she will provide. The candidate should be excited and passionate about impressing customers and ready and willing to provide great experiences. Since word of mouth is a primary form of advertising for a franchise business, excellent customer service is critical.

What are your pay expectations?

If the pay is set, make sure the candidate is aware of the amount and willing to accept it. If there is room for flexibility, be sure to discuss the candidate’s expectations. It’s best to have this conversation up front to prevent wasted time if expectations do not align.

How would you wrangle a herd of cats?

Unusual questions like this can help you gain a little insight into a candidate’s personality. Depending on the question, it can also help you judge candidates’ reasoning skills, ability to think on their feet and how well they keep their composure when thrown for a loop.

What are your goals for the future?

Responses to this question will help you gauge dedication and longevity. If the job aligns with the candidate’s long-term goals, he or she is more likely to stick around rather than moving on as soon as a better opportunity comes along.

What do you feel I need to know that we haven’t discussed?

This question gives the candidate an opportunity to talk about skills or experiences that weren’t already covered. It also allows time to ask about things that might be important to his or her satisfaction with the job. Bottom line, it gives you peace of mind knowing you allowed ample time and opportunity for discussion.

When you find a candidate who seems promising, it’s worth spending a bit more time with him or her to get a better feel for what it would be like working together every day and how this person would fit in with any existing staff. It doesn’t matter how qualified the candidate is or what skills he or she has; if you can’t build a strong working relationship, it won’t be conducive to business success. Carefully consider all factors and resist the urge to hire a candidate who is most like you just because it feels comfortable. While it’s true it could mean you won’t get any surprises once he or she starts, the goal is to find someone whose strengths are complementary to your own, not the same.