Mastering The Four Pillars of Franchise Recruitment.

To increase agreement signings and improve the quality of new franchisees, make sure you’re managing a recruitment system and process with the essential components. I’d like to suggest that you think about building a winning recruitment program using the Four Pillars approach. Success requires proper implementation and execution in all four areas below. To determine where you may need to focus, consider the following elements of each of the Four Pillars.

Pillar #1: Lead generation.

This is the top of the recruitment funnel! Long before any signing, a targeted number of individuals must raise their hands and be a little curious about your franchise brand. To do this most efficiently, you’ll want to know your candidate profile, track the leads-to-candidate ratio, use the best channels, and make sure the messaging and positioning of your brand are extremely dialed-in.

Pillar #2: Pre-discovery.

This pillar, sometimes referred to as “pre-engagement,” is all about turning leads into candidates for recruiters. It’s often the most ignored of the Four Pillars and gets very little, if any, attention from managers. Yet this is a gold mine phase and often delivers huge ROI on time invested. Don’t overlook this pillar.

Pillar #3: Discovery process.

You may have a different name for it, but this is the pillar where an individual agrees to become a candidate, and over weeks or months will “discover” whether your franchise is the right fit—and then decide on becoming a franchisee. Areas to manage are conversion between the steps, understanding the psychology of what’s happening with the candidate, and extracting critical information such as timelines, decision criteria, and their “why.” As the recruitment manager, if you have the metrics and analytics to guide you there shouldn’t be any mystery on how well you’re doing.

Pillar #4: Onboarding.

“Why is onboarding a pillar?” is an often-asked question. The short answer is that a franchise company’s success is not about getting agreements signed, it’s about opening and developing successful units and creating winning franchisees. For that reason, a recruitment team needs to stay close to onboarding results and use that data and information to adjust within the other three pillars. While the recruitment team isn’t responsible for new franchisee performance, a smart manager knows that recruitment is massively less difficult when new franchisees are on track with results.


Managing recruitment without having a strong foundation is like building a house on sand. Under the Four Pillars there must be a solid base. Foundational elements include proper diagnosing, strategy, planning, training, support, key metrics monitoring, best practices, industry trends, budgeting, HR, and more.

Business format franchising is about success through proven, documented systems and processes backed up with training, support, coaching, planning, best practices, key metrics, etc. By sticking with the spirit of franchising, along with using elements of the foundation and paying attention to the Four Pillars, you can improve or build a winning recruitment program.

This article was originally published in the Q2 2019 Issue of Franchise Update.

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