Franchising | August 2012 | By Robert Thomas

The Best Way to Assemble Your Crew

Little Caesars franchisee Vicki Marshall divulges the secrets of hiring, preserving, and managing employees.

Having started as a crewmember at the age of 16, Vicki Marshall has nearly 35 years of experience with Little Caesars. The first female franchisee for the brand, Marshall opened her first unit at age 22, and now owns 23 stores across Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Marshall’s experience with the brand has given her extensive knowledge of how franchisees should assess potential employees, hire the strongest candidates, and encourage them throughout their employment.

Marshall shares her secrets on employing the best crewmembers and ensuring that they’re giving the company their best effort.

1. Investigate the candidate

Personally, I like to find out the character of the applicant first. I remember very little from my initial interview with Little Caesars, but I do remember it being very basic, impersonal questions. It’s nice to know the person first before the in-depth process starts.

Before the interview even begins, treat every resume like an investigation. Every candidate wants their resume to look the best, but seek out what they could have possibly missed, such as small lapses in employment times or long gaps between jobs. Ask questions to seek out that information.

There are tools out there to help, too. We use the Predictive Index (PI) provided by PI Worldwide. It’s a short, 10-minute, two-page survey filled out by the applicant before the interview. There is no right or wrong, and what it allows us to see is the personality traits of the candidate in order to best match them to the position.

Each job has a job description, and if you can match that description with a candidate that will handle that job well, he or she is happier and works better to their potential. This genuine view at the hardwiring of a candidate allows for time-saving, efficient interviews.

2. Match the right person to the right job

Even with tools like the PI out there, franchisees can still make mistakes or go against their better judgment when it comes to hiring. Remember: If you don’t match the employee’s work traits to the job description, you are doing them an injustice.

For instance, if you have a candidate with a sequential “works on ‘A’ before even starting ‘B’” mindset in a job that requires a lot of multitasking and time management, their performance will slowly suffer and it will most likely end poorly.

And that’s just the start for you. Following a departure, you have to seek out, interview, and train all over again. Make sure your description is clear and accurate, too. Anything you can do beforehand will save time for the betterment of your staff.

3. Provide frequent feedback

We conduct performance reviews on a quarterly basis. However, every operation is different; be sure to find the timeline that suits both you and your staff appropriately. Franchisees can either space the reviews out too long or they lack knowledge about what to do during them.

One of the mistakes I made early on was just doing annual reviews, which normally meant an increase in pay or pay staying the same. Although the employee most likely wants it to revolve around money, your reviews don’t always have to be centered on it. People like feedback, and feedback leads to immediate performance changes. Frequent recognition for a job well done, or even a little coaching on what they can do to improve, goes a long way for behavioral maintenance.

As for the methodology behind the review, it all depends on your system. We compile all the information from weekly inspections, operational checks, and monthly detail awareness checks provided by the supervisor, and basically show them a report card on how they’re doing. For some, it’s an educational seminar; for others, a celebration.

4. Use outside resources

Franchisees have a lot at their disposal when it comes to maintaining a positive, behaved, working staff. As a leader in the company, you have utilities out there to better serve your staff, which can better serve your business.

For instance, if we have four or five managers that need interviewing skills improved, we’ll bring in a corporate-level employee to help them with tactics. There might be somebody else that needs help training crewmembers, and we’ll find the person to help them do so.

Other strategies can boost job performance from your staff. Operational checks in our units are a weekly occurrence. Additionally, the monthly detail awareness review takes the supervisor several hours to complete. It touches on all areas of the day-to-day, like maintenance, employee image, and food storage.

Any or all of these tactics maintain job performance, but also keep your employees on point. Integrity is tough nowadays, and your employees might quit on Friday because there is an event that they just “can’t miss.” A good franchisee who employs devices like these can help make the employee’s job feel less expendable.