While every franchisor has unique challenges with new franchisee recruitment, City Wide stands out with its target ideal candidate. They’re looking for a candidate who can build and operate a $10+ million unit and have less than 100 territories available in the US.
Starting in 2015, City Wide decided to outsource all recruiting efforts to an outside firm relying solely on franchise brokers. The outsourcing was successful during 2016 and 2017, producing a record year in 2017 with 7 signings. However, in 2018 signings dropped off dramatically while the outsourced firm lost interest in City Wide and moved focus to other brands in their inventory. Frustration with recruitment increased. Because of the outsourced solution, City Wide lacked the knowledge and data of what was happening in recruitment. The rapid downturn took City Wide by surprise.
City Wide suddenly felt exposed not having control over recruitment. Darin Hicks, the then COO, noted that the outside recruiting firm they used, “stopped watching their process,” which meant recruitment results fell off a cliff. That turned into a painful year for City Wide in 2018 with no new signings and a dire forecast for 2019.
With approval from founder and CEO, Jeff Oddo, Hicks made the difficult decision to build a franchise development team from scratch and move recruitment in-house. As difficult as the decision was, the projected task to accomplish the migration looked even more painful. Previously outsourcing recruitment meant that City Wide lacked the knowledge and processes while relying wholly on franchise broker relationships with the outside firm. City Wide needed help. They decided to sign on with the Recruitment Operating System® (ROS®) powered by CGI Franchise.
After signing on with CGI Franchise in early 2018, the City Wide team began the ROS® onboarding process. City Wide made the conscious decision to follow the program and guidance provided by the CGIF Team and ROS®. With a fresh, in-house recruitment team, they were eager to learn a proven process that would not only train them in recruitment basics but advanced, repeatable recruitment techniques as well.
Going “all-in” included:
- Attending a suite of training for members of their recruitment team, including executives completing the ROS® Recruitment Management Program.
- Embracing and following the ROS® process for new units and resales
- Hiring the right staff members for the ROS® model
- Embedding the ROS® KPI’s into their management process
- Being coachable and following the support provided by the ROS® Support Team
Looking back, Hicks notes that 2018 was a challenging year in City Wide’s history. Because of using an outsourced recruitment team, it took about six months to get it back in-house, get data and information right, and gain recruitment traction. However, City Wide was confident the process would work and were committed to following ROS®.
The results? In 2019, City Wide had the best year they have ever had by signing 9 franchises and opening 8. “The recruitment team has faith in those steps,” Hicks says, speaking of the ROS® process. “It’s key to have confidence in the franchise recruitment process to focus on other aspects of the company. And ROS® is the key foundational piece.”
After accomplishing the task of migrating recruitment in-house, Hicks notes how profound and massive the undertaking was. And doing so without ROS® would have been risking failure and further frustration. Regarding the future, City Wide says the metrics and leading indicators from ROS® will support 2020 recruitment and beyond. Confidence and excitement have returned to the City Wide team.