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5 Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Multi-Location Businesses

It’s no secret multi-location businesses are struggling to recruit and retain quality employees who will work hard and stay at the company long-term. But with over 10 million current job openings, why are companies still facing hiring challenges like high employee turnover? The answer is much more complex than you may think. Whether you’re a business owner, operator, or manager, we’ll walk you through recruitment and retention strategies you can easily implement across all your locations. 

Why Recruitment and Retention are Important

Employees are the foundation of any company, but happy, satisfied employees are essential for growth and overall success. Hiring is expensive; it can cost $5,000 to replace just one employee. Multi-location businesses cannot afford to constantly be thinking about replacing team members and training new hires. Otherwise, they may be forced to close one of their locations. When hiring professionals take the time to focus on effective recruitment and retention strategies, they will be rewarded with passionate, driven employees who are in it for the long haul. 

Why Recruitment and Retention are Often Discussed Together

Have you ever had a conversation about employee retention without discussing how you’ll find and hire people who will work hard and stay long-term? Probably not, and even if you have, it’s rare. Recruitment and retention are often talked about together because they are interconnected — one directly affects another. Recruiting people to work at your business is useless if you can’t rely on them in the long-run.

How Recruitment Affects Retention

When employee retention increases, the cost of recruitment decreases and vice versa. The longer your employees stay at your business, the less time and money hiring professionals spend finding replacements. On the other hand, when workers are quitting left and right employee retention decreases, forcing hiring managers to spend more resources recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new ones.

Challenges Recruiting and Retaining Employees

Let’s take a look at a few common challenges hiring professionals are facing in the hourly workforce: 

  • High Employee Turnover: Employees are quitting faster than managers can hire new ones, resulting in understaffed, burnout teams. In fact, 41% of workers plan to leave their current position. 
  • Competitive Wages: 65% of workers said a salary boost is the main reason they are seeking a new job. Some businesses are unable to increase employees wages.
  • Misalignment of Expectations: Employees want a healthy work-life balance and an actual career. However, some industries are still struggling to figure out how to offer flexible arrangements.
  • Lack of Communication: Neither employers or applicants enjoy being ghosted. Only 4% of job seekers hear back from employers within one day of their application. If a candidate seems like a good fit, take the time to communicate with them as soon as possible — otherwise they could leave your company for a competitor. 

Strategies for Retention and Recruitment for Multi-Location Businesses

1. Centralize Hiring Functions 

Consistency is key if businesses want to create efficiency and maintain brand standards across your locations. If you haven’t already, consider following a centralized recruitment model. Designate a single unit to execute the hiring process versus having them done individually at the store level. This model standardizes the hiring process and ultimately improves your quality of hire. Since there are less employees involved in the hiring process, recruitment costs will decrease. 

2. Prioritize a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Applicants, especially Gen Z, are seeking a healthier work-life balance. Studies have shown that failure to provide a healthy work-life balance can lead to burnout, loss of productivity, and high employee turnover. Even if your employees appear to genuinely enjoy their jobs, be sure to offer daily breaks, paid time-off, and encourage mental health days. It’s essential team members feel recognized not just as employees, but as humans. Plus, 80% of workers say they’d be more loyal to a business if they provided flexible options. It’s a win-win! 

3. Create Career Pathways 

Top performers are always eager to learn something new. That’s why so many applicants are looking for a job with career pathways. They want to know it’s possible for them to take on more responsibilities and continue learning. Take advantage of your multiple locations and consider moving people around when career progression opportunities arise. Employees will be happier and will stay longer, leading to a reduction in recruitment costs. 

You may also consider implementing mentorship programs. New employees can learn their daily operations from seasoned team members which naturally builds camaraderie. A mentorship program also empowers employees to shadow others in leadership positions so they can see firsthand what type of position they’d want to work their way up to at your business. 

4. Promote From Within

What better way to reward your best employee than with an internal promotion? Employees are more likely to stay at your business longer if they know there are opportunities for growth. Plus, promoting internally costs significantly less than recruiting externally. Hiring managers won’t have to attract talent or interview candidates outside of the organization. Internal hires also already understand the company’s mission and culture. 

Waffle House, a restaurant chain with over 1,900 locations, focused on increasing retention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, every single promotion has come from within, according to Will Mizell, VP of people and marketing at Waffle House. “When you have great people, you’ll do anything to keep them,” Mizell said, “…so that creates a strong culture. As you can imagine, if we only promote from within, retention has got to be pretty good, right?”

5. Hire the Right Fit From the Start With Sprockets

Just because an applicant appears to be a good fit on paper doesn’t necessarily mean they will thrive at your business. That’s why hundreds of franchisees like Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and Wingstop trust Sprockets’ hiring solution to reveal which applicants will succeed and stay long-term, ultimately boosting employee retention by 43%, on average. The platform identifies shared personality traits between a location’s current best employees and incoming applicants by analyzing each of their answers to three open-ended questions. Each candidate receives a score from one to ten — the higher the score, the better fit they are for your team.

Sprockets’ sophisticated technology also understands that each location — even if they are in close proximity to one another — have different success factors. Just because an applicant will be successful at one location doesn’t necessarily mean they will mesh well with the team at a different location. 

If you’d like to start making smarter hiring decisions with less effort, schedule a free demo of the Sprockets platform. Hiring with confidence is possible! One of our many happy customers even said, “If you’re on the fence, just the price should push you over because if it saves you one bad hire per year, you’re up money. That’s a no-brainer.” 

Further Reading: The Roadmap to Retention: Strategies for Retaining Hourly Employees



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