By Kyle Zagrodzky

Hiring is one of the hardest tasks of running any business, but this counts double with franchises. Whether you are a franchise kingpin or a brand new franchisee, hiring is one thing that can make or break your company and your brand. Every franchise needs a variety of people to keep the bus moving, but finding and choosing those people can be extremely difficult.

Hiring in any business isn’t easy, but hiring in a franchise is even more important because the performance of a single unit affects the brand as a whole. When it comes to the hiring process, it’s crucial for every hiring manager to be on the same page. Whether you’re starting a new franchise from scratch or trying to fine-tune the process for units across a region, these hiring tips can help every franchise find the best people for the right jobs.

1. Emphasize Instinct

The best way to hire great people is to go with your gut. Our culture values printable facts, but we often don’t give instincts enough credit. Instincts are those gut feelings you can’t quite explain that are actually based on information we didn’t know we absorbed. Gut feelings are the near-immediate sense you get about someone or something and whether it will be good or bad for you in the end. Too many hiring managers focus on checking off the requirements listed on a job description and don’t pay enough attention to their natural intuition. If someone seems driven but you have a sense that they’re only interested in their own success, listen to that gut feeling. Most employees who didn’t work out showed red flags in the interviews, but the hiring manager didn’t pay attention.

2. Train Hiring Managers to Use the Same Tools

Franchising is about consistency, so make sure you detail a comprehensive hiring methodology in the franchise manual. Some franchisees will have never hired someone before, so giving people a uniform hiring process to rely on is essential. Include venues for finding candidates, interview questions, and core suggestions for what the franchise looks for in an ideal employee. Ideally, your brand culture will also encourage franchisees to listen to that ultimate hiring tool—their instincts.

3. Ask Creative Questions

In addition to traditional interview questions, include questions that will help the interviewer discover more about a candidate’s personality. A worker’s temperament dramatically influences whether they wilt or thrive in a specific role, so learning about who someone is during the interview process matters. Sample questions can be anything from what the candidate’s last social media post was about to what they like to do for fun. Ask about the last show they watched on television and what they liked about it. These questions lighten up the mood and make candidates feel more at ease, and they give the interviewer significant insights into what someone is really like.

4. Make Hiring a Team Effort

Whether you’re looking for another line cook or your next CIO, the interview process should involve the group your new hire will spend the most time with. Letting the team get to know the top candidates and have a say in who they want to work with will have a profound impact on your present and future culture. Bringing employees into the interview proves their opinions have weight and value, and it also means the new hire is more likely to be welcomed into the group. The final decision is ultimately up to the hiring manger, but listening to the staff’s thoughts may help you choose the best from otherwise equal candidates.

5. Consider Offering Bonuses for Referrals

When you’ve put together a great team, that group is actually one of your most valuable recruitment resources. Offer employees a bonus for hired referrals, with a subsequent bonus later on if the person they recommend works out. Think about it: If your franchise relies mostly on high school and college students as a work force and you build a great group, wouldn’t you rather hire their fellow hardworking friends than start from scratch with an advertisement? The same goes for software engineers and CEOs. Consider a referral fee a small price compared to the time and resources you’ll consume finding and meeting people from ground zero.

6. If Experience Is Lacking, Look at the Bright Side

Sometimes you’ll love a candidate, but their experience isn’t robust enough. If a candidate you like most doesn’t have enough experience, don’t discount them completely. When a candidate is hungry for the job and eager to prove themselves, sometimes that makes them a diamond in the rough. A less experienced candidate can be a great opportunity to train and mentor someone who will play a major role in the business later on. If it’s between a candidate with great experience who you only feel so-so about and one you like a lot who is a little shy of credentials, choose the one you enjoy being around. They’re more likely to want to earn their keep and will be a better fit in the brand’s culture.

Kyle Zagrodzky is president of OsteoStrong, a health and wellness franchise system.