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A man and woman working in a restaurant and text reading "Franchise Hiring: The Best Tips for Building an Effective Team"

Franchise Hiring: The Best Tips for Building an Effective Team

Franchise Hiring: The Best Tips for Building an Effective Team 1016 528 Sprockets

So, you’ve finally made it. You’ve become the owner of a franchise location, and it’s time to build an effective and reliable team. This might sound easier said than done, but there are steps you can take to establish the team your business needs. If you are in the process of choosing employees, managers, and supervisors, here are some team-building tips that will prove beneficial to both you and your franchise.

Franchise Hiring 101

1. Utilize Pre-Employment Assessments

If you are struggling with franchise staffing, you should consider the power of a pre-employment assessment. These assessments help you find out more about the personality, goals, dreams, and working style of each potential employee. Everyone is unique, but you only want to hire the best of the best. You can achieve this by working with top pre-employment assessment companies, like Sprockets.

The idea of issuing an assessment to potential hires might seem daunting at first, but it is an effective way to find workers who will best support your business goals. Company culture is important as well, and an assessment can help you find out which applicants will work well together and contribute to a positive workplace environment.

2. Be an Effective Leader

There is no doubt about it; when it comes to franchise staffing, you will need to be an effective leader, even when your employees are not present. You must be able to inspire your employees and encourage them to perform at their optimal level. 

Keep in mind that imposing your will in an authoritarian manner is not necessarily the way to go when leading others. As the leader, you must be able to foster a culture of transparency and trust, and you must be honest and open with your employees about any potential problems your franchise faces.

Here are some of the skills you should have to be an effective leader:

  • Communicate clearly: Your team must understand the primary goals of your business at all times. If they do not, you must be willing to help them realize their role in the project and how it impacts the bigger picture.
  • Delegate wisely: As much as you might like to at times, you can’t do everything by yourself. You must have the ability to delegate certain tasks to others. Delegating is an important part of leadership. Also, keep in mind that some individuals are better at specific things than others — use this realization to your advantage.
  • Be approachable: You can’t be everyone’s best friend, but your franchise employees must be comfortable coming to you with questions and concerns. They should feel as if their voices will be heard and valued.
  • See the bigger picture: The ability to see the bigger picture is an integral part of being a leader. Small details matter, but you should be able to see how they combine to create a bigger idea. Keep your eye on the end goal while managing day-to-day tasks.

Any team that doesn’t have a strong and direct leader will quickly fall apart. Always be sure to lead by example and serve as the focal point of your team.

3. Define What an “Effective” Team Is

Creating a team that flawlessly executes every single task you set before them is not easy. To build a sufficient franchise team, all individuals involved must collaborate and make conscious efforts to achieve certain goals. If you want your team to be effective at all times, the following elements must be present:

  • Clear roles: Each team member must have a clear understanding of who does what. They should also understand what they are responsible for and how it impacts the entire company.
  • Excellent communication: Your team members should feel comfortable speaking their minds (in a respectful manner, of course), and everyone should feel heard. As a leader, you should feel comfortable providing guidance and correcting errors, if necessary.
  • Clearly defined objectives: Without clearly defined objectives, it will be nearly impossible to complete any task. Make sure your employees understand what is expected of them at both an individual and group level.
  • Cooperation: Although everyone should understand what is expected at an individual level, they must remember that they are part of a team. Always emphasize the importance of collaboration and group goals.

Once you decide what will make your franchise location great, you should decide what will make your team great. Only hire employees who can add their own brand of greatness.

4. Encourage Team Cohesion

Without a cohesive team, it will be hard for your business to excel. Cohesion among team members is immensely important if you intend to run a franchise location, so you must take steps to help your team members feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Ideally, your team should be self-sufficient and capable of performing excellently without you having to guide them through every single step. Training such a team can take time, however. You must ensure your team members feel comfortable working with each other, even when you are not around.

There are numerous ways to help your team become more cohesive and goal-oriented. Team-building exercises can help your employees build trust and depend on each other to some degree. You should also encourage your employees to get to know each other. This is often easier said than done, but you can break the ice with after-work gatherings, casual lunches, and other fun group activities.

Finally, you should encourage your employees to collaborate with each other. If each team member is only focused on themselves, it will be difficult to reach company goals. Set collective goals and reward your team for meeting them. You can also have more experienced team members mentor less experienced members or those who are struggling.

5. Encourage an Environment of Contribution

If you really want your franchise location to grow and expand, you should try harnessing your employees’ ideas. Every person is unique, just like their perspectives and beliefs. When you take the perspectives of others seriously, you have the opportunity to add fresh ideas into the mix. Your employees might feel uncomfortable contributing new ideas at first, but by creating an atmosphere of trust and respect, you can quickly put their fears to rest. 

Encourage your employees to share more information than usual about their progress. By asking for feedback and reports, you can gauge each employee’s level of contribution as well as see how close the team is, as a whole, to meeting overall goals. Make your employees feel like their ideas and feelings matter to the franchise and their leader. 

Build the Best Team With Sprockets

A team of franchise employees with their hands togetherBuilding the right team can contribute greatly to the success of your business. Finding the right employees to staff your franchise location can seem difficult at first, but there are ways to simplify the process and ensure you assemble the best team possible. By keeping the previously mentioned tips in mind, you can build a team you can rely on and be proud of for years to come.

Plus, you can utilize the Sprockets platform to enhance your hiring process and reduce costly turnover. Our sophisticated, AI-powered solution combines psychology and technology to find the ideal employees to suit your needs. Our Applicant Matching System automatically analyzes the mental makeup of applicants to determine who will — and won’t — be a good fit for your team within minutes. It’s not magic — it’s logic. 

Schedule a brief demo today and start hiring the ideal applicants!

A woman on a laptop and text reading "Everything You Need to Know About Vetting New Hire Remotely"

Everything You Need to Know About Vetting New Hires Remotely

Everything You Need to Know About Vetting New Hires Remotely 1016 528 Sprockets

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to a rapid shift in remote work, but it has also changed the vetting and hiring of new employees. In fact, according to an HR survey by Gartner, 86% of companies are hiring and conducting interviews virtually. With unemployment rates increasing, it’s becoming a mammoth challenge for HR teams to find top talent from the large numbers of applicants without meeting them for the first interview. However, planning properly and leveraging the right resources can help your HR team successfully execute and expedite the remote-hiring process.

We’re going to take you through the entire process of vetting and hiring new employees remotely to ensure good hiring decisions and set your company up for success.

1. Define Your Ideal Candidate Persona

Employing someone based purely on your gut instinct can be a gamble. Not knowing what you’re looking for in a candidate could result in making a bad hiring decision, which might be costly for your company. As such, the first thing you should do before you put out a job posting is to determine what you’re looking for in a candidate. You should identify the traits and skills that are absolutely necessary (and those skills that are nice to have, but you can teach a candidate once they’re hired if they don’t have them). Establishing what you’re looking for in a candidate at the start of the process will not only save you plenty of time and money, but it will also help narrow down your search to the top candidates for the role.

2. Develop a Clear and Accurate Job Description

Next, you need to curate a stellar job description that’s detailed and clearly lays out what you’re looking for. Be clear about the open position’s requirements, including the desired skills and experience, working environment, responsibilities, and overall conditions. Doing this will help potential candidates know what exactly the job entails and what you’re looking for in a candidate, which will let them decide whether they’re a perfect match for the open position before applying.

3. Automate the Screening Process

Rather than reviewing hundreds of resumes manually, which can be laborious and time-intensive, you can utilize an automated screening tool to help sort the candidates based on their qualifications. This helps streamline and expedite the hiring process by categorizing the applicants based on how qualified they are for the position and team.

4. Conduct Pre-Employee Assessment Tests

After you’ve screened candidates, send them a pre-employment assessment test to see whether they’ll succeed in the role and fit in with the team before inviting them for the interview. This helps save both the candidate and your HR team valuable time if they lack the skills and personality you’re seeking.

5. Outline the Interview

Maintain a pre-planned structure for your interview by determining the topics you plan to discuss and the kind of questions you’d like to ask. From the pre-employment assessment test, you’ll have an adequate understanding of an applicants’ background and skillset. This allows you to focus the interview on getting to know them more personally and determining if they’d be a good fit with the rest of the team. You should come up with a detailed list of essential questions for the interviews you’re planning to conduct. Ensure your questions can help derive insight into the candidates and evaluate their ability to carry out the role as required.

6. Utilize Remote Meeting Tools for Your Virtual Interview

Proper preparation is crucial to ensuring the interview process goes smoothly. First, you need to decide what virtual meeting platform you’ll use for the interview. You also need to ensure clear communication of the meeting details, including who will make the call, date, and meeting time. Apart from using remote meeting tools to conduct interviews, you can utilize on-demand interviews (have pre-determined questions that applicants can record their responses and send them in). Make sure to evaluate the applications and interview recordings as a team to ensure compatibility.

7. Complete HR Paperwork Virtually

After you’ve found the right candidate for the role, make an offer and finalize the hiring process via tools like DocuSign, applicants will be able to sign the offer document electronically and send it back to your HR team.

Take Your Virtual Recruiting To the Next Level

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platformWould you like to find out how Sprockets can take your talent acquisition to the next level and reduce your employee turnover and dependency on sourcing new candidates?

Request a demo today or contact us for more information or for help with any questions you might have. We look forward to helping you build the best team possible for your business!

A team of restaurant employees talking about the importance of recruiting for personality

The Importance of Recruiting for Personality: Everything You Need to Know

The Importance of Recruiting for Personality: Everything You Need to Know 1016 528 Sprockets

What matters more to you when hiring: the applicants’ personality or the skills in their CVs? A study revealed that 78% of professionals from various industries agreed that personality is the most crucial factor when hiring. These employers cited the initial skillset as the least important factor. Many employers want to find people who will mesh well with their values and cultures.

Why Should You Recruit for Personality?

According to Leadership IQ’s study that involved about 20,000 companies, 46% of new employees quit their jobs or fail within one and a half years. Also, a whopping 89% of those failures were due to attitudinal reasons. You can imagine the cost these companies incurred due to high employee turnover. So, assessing your applicants’ personality rewards you with the following benefits:

1. Boost Employee Engagement: If a person’s preferences and interests fit a job, they’ll keep them engaged over a long period in the workplace. As an employer, you’ll want to know your potential employee’s engagement level in the job. People who enjoy doing their tasks are more likely to derive satisfaction from their jobs. Consequently, they’ll gladly welcome opportunities for growth and development in their careers. As such, expect improved on-the-job performance, which will boost the overall success of your business. 

Your business needs people that will freely share ideas and forge robust cooperation. However, it’s nearly impossible to determine if a potential employee can interact positively with your customers and other employees before hiring them. That’s where an employee personality assessment becomes useful. You can determine an applicants’ social skills with a quick personality test.

2. Increase Employee Success and Job Performance: Pre-employment personality assessments can give you powerful insights into a candidate’s future success at the workplace. If you’re looking for employees that will post stellar performance in your business, the assessments will help you identify desirable personality traits.

These traits include professionalism, high energy, confidence, self-monitoring, empathy, etc. You can rest assured you’ll reduce your employee turnover by recruiting for traits such as these. Your workforce will tend to stay positive in their jobs and improve performance.

3. Reduce the Cost of Bad Hires: You win some and lose some, but it’s expensive to hire badly. So, strive to hire more people with the right personality. While a typical profit-and-loss spreadsheet will never reveal bad hires, evidence shows that low employee retention is among the factors that hurt corporate profitability. According to research, a company can incur 50% to 400% of an employee’s annual salary if that employee leaves. 

What Are Some of the Crucial Personality Traits to Look for in a Candidate?

When arming yourself with personality tests for your applicants, be sure you identify all the ideal traits that fit the target positions. Here are the most common qualities to test:

  • Professionalism: This trait includes a person’s attitude, behavior, and conduct in a business or work environment. You want people who conduct their jobs in a way that preserves and even boosts your company’s image.
  • High energy: An employee with high motivation will work their tail off to bring maximum value to your business. They’re usually highly engaged, proactive, energized, driven, focused, and coachable.
  • Confidence: Having technical skills is one thing, but demonstrating confidence in your skills to solve an issue is another thing. Does your candidate believe in themselves and their ability to serve clients, interact with other employees, and push your business forward?
  • Self-monitoring: Don’t hire a person that will laze around and scamper to their duties when they see you or their superior. Go for those who value the company’s time, know how to use their skills for particular tasks, and self-monitor their improvement. Such breeds don’t need high levels of supervision. 
  • Team-player: While one person can move quickly, your company requires team players if you’re looking to grow. Employees who easily collaborate among themselves will brainstorm on ideas, solve problems together, and support each other for common goals.
  • Empathy: A highly empathetic personality strives to cultivate curiosity about strangers, discover commonalities, listen well, and try to understand another person’s situation. They also have ambitious imaginations. Hire empathetic people to wow your clients, surrounding community, fellow employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders. 

How Personality Assessments Can Help Pin-Point the Right Candidates

Employee personality tests aim to determine attitudinal and other traits. Most modern tests, like Sprockets’, employ a combination of psychology and technology to identify red flags. Forward-thinking companies understand the importance of hiring for personality and embrace these psychology-backed assessments. They’ve realized that relying on gut-feelings and CVs alone can only take them so far.

The icing on the cake is that you can get the testing done within just a few minutes using a desktop or mobile device. You can then use the results to assess how applicants will fit with your business culture. With these personality assessment tests, you’ll get all sorts of relevant information concerning your applicants, like their:

  • Level of emotional intelligence
  • Work ethic
  • Reliability
  • Score in terms of the big five personality dimensions: extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, and agreeableness

Would you like to customize the tests to meet your specific wants and needs? These psychology assessments can handle that too. 

Hire the Right Fit With Sprockets!

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platformThere’s more to hiring the perfect candidate than experience and skills. Hiring someone with the right personality is crucial to the company’s success. While skills can be taught, having the right attitude, passion, and eagerness for a field cannot. Focusing on the candidate’s personality is vital to ensure a healthy work culture and employee engagement amongst team members. The wrong personality and attitude issues can impair workplace morale, draining your energy, resources, and time. Eventually, negative traits can drive away your hard-earned customers and top performers. 

Do you find it hard hiring the right fit for your business work culture? At Sprockets, pinpointing the perfect match is our business. Request a demo now and see how we can bring value to your business. 

A woman looking at a tablet researching how to choose the best franchise brand and text reading "How to Choose the Best Franchise Brand for You"

How to Choose the Best Franchise Brand for You

How to Choose the Best Franchise Brand for You 1016 528 Sprockets

Buying a franchise location might seem like a shorter path to business success than starting from scratch. However, there is more to a franchise than the upfront costs. Franchises are available in almost all industries, meaning potential investors have an array of options. But how do you narrow your choice down and choose the best franchise for you? Here are a few factors to consider when evaluating a franchising opportunity.

Find Out How a Franchisor Treats Its Franchisees

The first step toward determining if the deal is right for you should be discovering how the founders of franchise brands treat their individual franchisees. Visit existing franchisees and discuss their experience with the founders before making your decision. Treat any franchisor not willing to let you meet its franchisees as a red flag because opting out of a franchise after signing an agreement can be challenging and expensive.

Consider a Coaching Program

Investors often overlook the importance of a well-thought-out coaching program before opting into a franchise. Successful franchises understand that their success hinges on the expertise of their franchisees. Thus, a reliable franchise will typically invest in a coaching program to make its franchisees savvy and entrepreneurial.

Consider the Costs of Buying a Franchise

Most franchise agreements contain hidden fees in addition to the marketing and training fees and royalty payments. Therefore, investors should read the terms of a franchise to determine if it’s the best opportunity for their goals.

Check Out the Business Model

A woman looking at the business model of a franchise

Everyone would want to invest in a proven business model. Any franchise opportunity that doesn’t offer a proven business model should be another red flag. A reliable franchise should have working systems ranging from marketing, payroll, upsells, and customer service. Find out if franchisees are taken through training or if they are left to figure out the system on their own. You’re about to commit to a serious business partnership. So, it is a decision that no one will want to take lightly. Understand the terms of the franchise and get ready to learn more about the franchisor.

The best franchises to own are those led by honest and focused people concerned about those who invest in their network. A trustworthy franchise will have genuine people behind its brand. Franchise brands with a healthy system will also respond to your queries with relevant remarks and not rehearsed referral scripts. Those interested in a franchise should understand their business partner to make sure a franchise opportunity is worth their time and money.

Ask for Proof of Success

Some franchises can’t succeed unless they get specific connections or talents. So, before you opt into a franchise, research franchisees who have already partnered and succeed with that franchise. Identify the common factors of success to determine if you are an ideal fit. Evaluating the profitability of a franchise can be tricky because the profitability of different franchisees tends to vary. 

A variety of factors, including location and season, can affect the profitability of a franchise. Get a comprehensive performance report from other franchisees and find out how the successful ones overcame challenges. It might also be helpful to see if some franchises have failed recently and to research the reasons behind their failure. Most new franchisees fail due to undercapitalization. Never commit your funds to a franchise unless the franchisor has demonstrated their ability to support your growth.

Seek Advice From the Successful Franchisees

Find out what other franchisees think about the brand. It is easy for a potential investor to get swayed by the fabulous information the franchisor espouses. It would be wise for a potential franchisor to seek advice from the franchisees who have succeeded. 

A reliable franchisor should be willing to train and mentor newbies. The franchisor should also be glad to help newbies align their interests with those of the franchise. Joining a franchise committed to connecting all its franchisees can increase your success odds. The best franchises to own give their franchisees territorial protection, making them confident to ask their peers any questions and share their insights. Other franchisees’ experiences can increase your odds of success.

Budget

Most franchises require their potential franchisees to have a certain amount of capital before their operations commence. It could be inventory, infrastructure, equipment, and other supplies needed to start a franchise model. The franchise will add these tangible items up and list them in a franchise disclosure document, which helps determine the amount of capital needed to join a franchise. However, it is recommended to have twice that amount before you buy a franchise due to future uncertainties. 

Most franchises require their franchisees to have a minimum 680 credit score. The amount a potential franchisee has borrowed should be 30% less than the amount available in cash. Your total net worth should also be at least 1.5 times the borrowed amount.

Consider the Latest Trend

No one wants to waste their time and resources in a fad. Instead, everyone wants to invest in a relevant and current franchise. Those interested in franchise brands should research consumer needs and look at what is lacking in the market. It’s a good sign if statistics show people are interested in the services being offered by the franchise you want to join.

Follow Your Passion

You can invest in a new or established franchise. Either way, your success depends on your passion for franchised networks. For example, investing in KFC would be the perfect move for someone passionate about fast-food restaurants. New franchise networks can be difficult to run, but they offer more opportunities than established ones.

Consider Competition

Lack of stiff competition is one sign that a franchise offers excellent opportunities. There could be fast-food restaurants on every corner, and if that’s the case, consider exploring other less competitive niches around you. Choose a franchise that encourages repeat purchases to ensure the growth of your business. Investing in a franchise with at least a 97% customer retention rate could be a worthwhile deal.

Final Thoughts for Your Franchise Decision

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platform

All successful franchises are typical in that they view their franchisees as their partners, and they are concerned about them as they are about their businesses. When a franchise is run well, it is hard to find an investment opportunity that can match the growth capacity, power, speed, and leverage that the franchisee and franchisor can have. Those who have been passionate about joining a franchise should consider the above tips to find the right investment choice.

Once you choose the right franchise brand for you, you’ll need to choose the right applicants for your team. That’s where we come in. Sprockets is an AI-powered solution to hiring that empowers you to build the best team possible, no matter what type of franchise you open.

Schedule a demo today to see how Sprockets sets you up for success!

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platform

SENTIO Becomes “Sprockets” as We Set Our Sights Even Higher for 2021

SENTIO Becomes “Sprockets” as We Set Our Sights Even Higher for 2021 1016 528 Sprockets

Big things are happening here at Sprockets! We recently received a $3.4mm venture raise after all of our success in 2020. This investment puts us in an even better position to serve customers in the new year with feature expansions and integrations with other major hiring tools that you utilize. During this time, we’re transforming ourselves to convey our mission more effectively: to harmoniously unite the right people with the right possibilities.

Whether you’re an applicant or employer, you can rest assured that Sprockets has what you need. We’re defining the future of the hourly workforce with our Applicant Matching System.

New Name, Same Mission

While our name has changed, our commitment to you has not. People need to get back to work, especially after such a turbulent year, and you need to find the best of the best for your business to achieve success in 2021. Our data-driven platform is still the go-to solution for matching the right people to the right possibilities with pinpoint accuracy. When you succeed, we succeed!

Change isn’t always easy, but this one is. We want to assure our current customers that this doesn’t affect how you interact with our hiring platform. You don’t need to do anything differently besides enjoy the new and improved look of our company. Use our platform, as usual, to continue finding the right candidates for your team. Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. We’re always here to help, especially during transition. 

The Story Behind “Sprockets”

Have you ever really watched a relay race? It’s a thing of beauty to see a group of athletes working together, seamlessly handing off to one another with perfect choreography, moving forward in tandem toward the same goal. Like a relay athlete or a sprocket in a machine, the right employee joins colleagues to drive an organization forward in efficiency and harmony.

Simply put, “Sprockets” represents our mission more clearly. “Sentio” means “to understand,” but we go far beyond understanding workplaces and candidates. We determine if candidates will fit — and work harmoniously — with other coworkers, thrive in their unique environments, and stay long-term.

Exciting News and Plans for the Future

We’ve always been a forward-thinking company, and that remains the same as well. The updates to our name and appearance offer a taste of what’s to come as we shape the future of hiring. You can look forward to many more improvements and enhancements to your experience with our platform, especially since Sprockets recently acquired a $3.4 million raise from venture-capitalist investors. We’d like to thank the following companies for their contributions and confidence:

It’s rare for any South-Carolina startup to receive investments from outside the Southeast, which is why it’s truly remarkable how a company such as ours was able to attract world-class funding during a global pandemic. This invigorating news has us excited for the future as we look to make 2021 the best year yet for Sprockets and all of our loyal customers!

Sprockets: It’s Not Magic — It’s Logic

If you don’t currently use our platform and are interested in enjoying the success that so many satisfied customers have achieved, we’d love to help. Take a moment to book a meeting with one of our team members to learn more about how Sprockets’ sophisticated solution to hiring can reduce employee turnover, saving you time and money. It might be the best decision you make for your business!

Home Health Care Staffing during COVID-19: Lessons from our clients

Home Health Care Staffing during COVID-19: Lessons from our clients Sprockets

Home Health providers are no strangers to working in the face of acute outbreaks. Providers previously showed their ability to protect patients during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and again during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. According to industry experts, home health providers should be prepared for an influx of patients due to COVID-19.

Now is one of those times where the industry, its leaders, and their staff are truly being tested. With that in mind, our team spoke with some of our home care clients about how they are handling staffing during this trying time. Our hope is these insights help owners and managers strategize for how to handle an influx of patients as well as people applying to be caregivers.

**These insights have come from conversations with owners of Home Instead, Visiting Angels, Right At Home and other home health brands nationwide.**

 

“We lost a few of our caregivers one day, and the next we saw 100s of new caregiver applicants. We are needing to be agile when it comes to hiring.”

BrightStar Care Operator in California

 

Be prepared to over-staff
Just about every owner I spoke with is increasing their hiring in preparation for some subset of their staff getting sick, needing to be out of work, or deciding they are not comfortable seeing patients. Also, with kids staying home from school, many of their caregivers are looking to reduce or rearrange shifts in order to accommodate the new normal.

Our clients are taking a page from other industries that ramp staffing during the holidays and bringing on applicants under the agreement that they are temporary for the foreseeable future. One tactic they are using is messaging all previous applicants and asking them to reapply. Previously, our team has found that 32% of previous applicants will reapply through the Sprockets platform when prompted.

 

Handling an influx of applicants
As other industries dependent on the hourly workforce scale down their staff, Home Health care locations are seeing an influx of applicants. Not all of our clients need this many staff members, but don’t want to miss out on what they are calling “an unfortunate opportunity”. When asked to explain, they helped me understand that they don’t want to miss out on quality applicants. Sourcing is not always easy in Home Health, so they want to make sure they don’t pass on an applicant that could be a great hire in the future.

What we found is these locations are still sending applicants through the Sprockets system to be scored and archived for future hiring needs. The prevailing thought is that when they need to potentially over-staff, or a staff member gets sick, they will have a group of pre-qualified applicants to call.

 

Who’s suited to provide patient care?Someone providing home healthcare to an elderly woman on the stairs

Asking a caregiver to go into someone’s home in the face of a pandemic can be just as unnerving for that person and it is for the patient that is allowing them into their home. What our clients have found is that a certain subset of their staff is not comfortable providing care during this time period.

With that said, other caregivers don’t waiver. This all comes down to the personality of the individual. What we have started to advise our clients to do, is understand the personality profile of the caregivers that are still willing to work and compare the influx of new applicants to those individuals. Home health owners are using Sprockets to help them isolate which applicants have the right mental makeup for this type of work in the climate of COVID-19.

 

Making the difficult choice
While most of the owners I spoke with are positive about how to handle staffing, some are worried about how to keep their best staff members should they need to suspend operations. Responses ranged from making choices based on past performance to simply instituting a last-one-in, first-one-out policy.

Of course, the advice our customer service team provided was to add objective data to the mix. By knowing who your top performers are, regardless of tenure, you have a better understanding of who is working well for your location.

 

Patient care and hiring will continue…
Our clients feel prepared to handle the trying times that COVID-19 has brought. They know they will continue to need quality caregivers and that hiring will remain as constant in their business as demand for in-home care. Again, our hope is the lessons our clients have taught us will be helpful to you and your business.

QSR staffing during COVID-19: Lessons from our clients

QSR staffing during COVID-19: Lessons from our clients Sprockets

QSR owners are used to making a thousand decisions a day. Quick-service has by design been built to move fast. Regrettably, the COVID-19 pandemic is outside our control and forcing us to make major changes quickly to ensure public safety as well as the longevity of our businesses.

Now is one of those times where the industry, its leaders, and our staff are truly being tested. With that in mind, our team spoke with some of our clients about how they are handling staffing during this trying time. Our hope is these insights help owners, managers, and everyone front and back-of-house regain control of staffing during uncontrollable times.

**These insights have come from conversations with owners of Taco Bell, Mcdonald’s, Chick-fil-A and other QSR brands nationwide.**

A sign that reads "NOW HIRING"

 

“People still need to eat, so we have to be prepared to keep serving!”

QSR Operator in Texas.

 

 

 

Be prepared to over-staff
Just about every owner I spoke with is increasing their hiring in preparation for some subset of their staff getting sick or needing to be out of work. With kids staying home from school, many of their staff members are looking to reduce or rearrange shifts in order to accommodate the new normal.

Our clients are taking a page from other industries that ramp staffing during the holidays and bringing on applicants under the agreement that they are temporary for the foreseeable future. One tactic they are using is messaging all previous applicants and asking them to reapply. Previously, our team has found that 32% of previous applicants will reapply through the Sprockets platform when prompted.

 

Handling an influx of applicants
As other sectors within foodservice, in particular casual and fine dining, and the hourly workforce scale down their staff, QSR locations are seeing an influx of applicants. Not all of our clients need this many staff members, but don’t want to miss out on what they are calling “an unfortunate opportunity”. When asked to explain, they helped me understand that they don’t want to miss out on quality applicants. Sourcing is not always easy in QSR, so they want to make sure they don’t pass on an applicant that could be a great hire in the future.

What we found is these locations are still sending applicants through the Sprockets system to be scored and archived for future hiring needs. The prevailing thought is that when they need to potentially over-staff, or a staff member gets sick, they will have a group of pre-qualified applicants to call.

 

A man in a pizza shopCross-training employees
As dining areas close, drive-thru and delivery sales are on the rise. Many of our clients are focusing on cross-training staff members to take on new roles. An owner of a pizza chain is using Sprockets to identify which staff members compare well to their top-performing employees in other job roles. Doing so has made it easy to know which employees to shift into various roles based on their personality as opposed to previous experience, which many don’t have. This cross-training has allowed them to keep from reducing staff hours as well as handle the influx in delivery and drive-thru sales.

 

Displaying staff preparedness to clients
QSR’s focus on customer service and thoroughness is putting the industry in a unique position to cater to our customers’ concerns. What I mean by this is we naturally take safe serve precautions in our daily routines at a restaurant and put the needs of our customers first. Now it’s crucial to communicate what we’ve always done (i.e. wash our hands, wear gloves, etc.) as a way to show the patrons that they can trust ordering from our location.

Owners are taking steps to train staff members to almost “make a show” of these routines in order to boost consumer confidence and patronage. What has always been the issue with these routines, is selecting staff members mature enough to take them seriously. The owners I spoke with are being hypervigilant in watching how staff members react and dismissing those not taking things seriously.

 

Who’s your “Hurricane Crew”?
Growing up in the restaurant industry in Charleston, SC I became very familiar with the “Hurricane Crew”. These are your staff members that have a strong sense of community and want to serve others in trying times. Taking shifts during major storms was a bit of a “badge of honor” and staff members truly felt pride in feeding the community during a recovery.

While COVID-19 will be with us much longer than a hurricane, our local clients are still taking the time to identify which staff members are willing to be part of the crew if they are forced to be short-staffed. The advice we received is to not only identify the individuals for those types of long hour grinds, but to also have an “emergency shift schedule” preplanned for a two-week period.

 

Making the difficult choice
While most of the owners I spoke with are positive about how to handle staffing, some are worried about how to keep their best staff members should a location need to shut down. Responses ranged from making choices based on past performance to simply instituting a last-one-in, first-one-out policy.

Of course, the advice our customer service team provided was to add objective data to the mix. By knowing who your top performers are, regardless of tenure, you have a better understanding of who is working well for your location. In addition, we recommended looking at how team members compared from one location to another. Our platform can identify if a middle-range performer may actually be a top performer at a different location under another GM. Our clients already use this process when routing new applicants to specific job roles or locations based on their match score.

 

Filling orders and hiring will continue…
Our clients feel prepared to handle the trying times that COVID-19 has brought. They know they will continue to need a quality staff and that hiring will remain as constant in their business as the food they serve. Again, our hope is the lessons our clients have taught us will be helpful to you and your business.

A laptop screen with a success profile of a candidate

Characteristic Trait Based Interview Questions to Ask Applicants

Characteristic Trait Based Interview Questions to Ask Applicants 1200 600 Sprockets

Sprockets’ hiring platform is designed to assist managers and HR professionals in making the best data-backed hires. From knowing which interview questions to reducing employee turnover, the Sprockets system uses a breakdown of 55 characteristic traits to help companies make better hires. Below are interview questions to ask based on the characteristic traits that Sprockets analyzes.

 

Interview Questions

Achievement-striving: When is the time you have been most satisfied in life? 

Activity level: What is an average weekday for you? 

Adventurousness: If you could take any vacation, where would you go and why? (Somewhere they have already been or somewhere new?).

Agreeableness: Do you enjoy working on a team or on your own? Why?

Altruism: If you saw someone drop a $20 bill on the street, what would you do with it?

Anger: Tell us about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted— like a promotion you wanted and didn’t get, or a project that didn’t turn out how you had hoped.

Artistic interests: What are you passionate about?

Assertiveness: Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?

Cautiousness: Tell me about a time you had to make a split-second decision. 

Challenge: Tell me about a time when you had too much to do, but not enough resources (this could include staffing, time, money). How did you handle the pressure, overcome the deficit and/or achieve goals? 

Closeness: Why did you move here/have you always lived in XYZ location? 

Conservation: When is the last time you tried something new?

Cooperation: Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.

Dutifulness: Tell me about a time you have had to step up and take the lead on something to ensure it got completed?

Emotionality: What do you do to cheer yourself up or unwind after a long day?

Excitement:  If you could go on a trip to any location in the world, where would you go and why?

Extraversion: Tell me about a time that you were put in an uncomfortable situation and you owned it.

Friendliness:  Tell me about a time that one of your peers was upset and you helped to cheer them up. 

Gregariousness: Describe a time that you came in contact with a famous individual that you were not expecting to meet.  How did you react? What was discussed?

Ideal: Tell me about a time that you messed up and what you did to fix it.

Imagination: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Intellect: In 5 minutes, could you explain something to me that is complicated but you know very well?

Liberalism: What is an everyday ideal that you don’t agree with?

Liberty: What time period would you choose to live in?

Love:  Who is your favorite person in the world and why? 

Modesty: What are the top three factors you would attribute to your success?

Morality: Describe a time when you were asked to perform a task or spearhead an initiative that went against your values. What did you do? What was the outcome? 

Orderliness: What do you do to stay organized?

Practicality: Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities.

Self-consciousness: How do you like to receive feedback at work?

Self-discipline: Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it? 

Self-expression: How would you describe yourself in one word?

Stability: Why do you want to leave your current job?

Structure: What type of work environment do you thrive in?

Sympathy:  Tell me about a time that you helped someone who was going through a hard time. 

Trust: Do you prefer group or individual projects?

Vulnerability: What skill or expertise do you feel like you’re still missing?

 

Want more insights on these interview questions? Looking to improve your current hiring process and reduce employee turnover? Reach out to our team!

 

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Understanding the Unemployment Rate

Understanding the Unemployment Rate Sprockets

The standard unemployment rate in the United States is the lowest it has been in over 20 years. Keeping up with the unemployment rate is important because it is an indication of economic growth and joblessness. The unemployment rate can influence an organization’s hiring strategy; from how many people to hire to what to pay them to retention efforts. Understanding and keeping up with the unemployment rate is important. Let’s dive into why that is.

Whether the unemployment rate is high or low, it’s always important to hire the best people for your business. A bad hire can have negative effects on an organization even long after they’re fired. To easily know whether an applicant is a good match for your organization, check out Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System. Click here to learn more.

How is the Standard Unemployment Rate Calculated?
The unemployment rate is the number of civilian labor force divided by the number of people unemployed. What goes into the standard unemployment rate only includes those who have looked for a job within the last four weeks and are over the age of 16. That means that those who have given up looking for work are not counted in the standard unemployment rate.

What Impacts the Standard Unemployment Rate?
Economic growth, or the lack thereof, is the primary factor that impacts the unemployment rate. Other factors include education trends, labor unions, unemployment benefits, innovation, and population growth.

To break it down, when the economy is doing great, there is a lower unemployment rate. It’s important to note that the unemployment rate is not an indicator of the economy, it is an effect of it. For example, when the recession hit in 2008, the unemployment rate didn’t start to skyrocket until the following year when businesses were feeling the effects of a poor economy and layoff plans in place.

Additionally, there can be higher unemployment in certain industries where necessary skills, training, and education are required. A recent example of this is the healthcare industry. As people are living longer, more healthcare professionals are required to work with the aging population. According to an article by CNBC, overall employment of in-home aides is projected to grow 41 percent from 2016 to 2026 — translating to 7.8 million job openings. With this growth comes a lower unemployment rate for that specific industry.

 

A graph of the unemployment rates

How does the Unemployment Rate Affects Organizations?
The unemployment rate affects organizations in multiple ways. When the unemployment rate is low, it can be more difficult to attract quality applicants for jobs. However, low unemployment is an effect of a strong economy, meaning the organization likely has more demand. Low unemployment may also mean organizations need to offer more competitive wages, benefits, and career paths to attract applicants to their open positions.

When the unemployment rate is low, it’s important for organizations to take a hard look at their hiring practices. Are applicants being recruited through the most effective channels? Could recruitment expand to other talent pools? For example, McDonald’s partnered with AARP to tap into an overlooked applicant source. Is the pay structure competitive in the industry? What can be done to retain the best employees once they’re hired?

Hiring the best applicants for your organization is most important when unemployment is low. Whether you have 5 applicants or 50, you need to hire the right person the first time around because you may not get as many applicants the second time around. To solve this, Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System is designed to enable organizations to identify what their best employees have in common and compare each applicant against that benchmark. With this extra data, organizations can make the right hire the first time. This results in a more engaged workforce and reduced employee turnover.

Two men looking at a laptop screen, hiring great sales candidates

How to Find Great Sales Candidates

How to Find Great Sales Candidates 2048 1397 Sprockets

Closing a sale can be difficult and it can be even harder to find the sales applicants that are capable of doing so. A great candidate on paper may have been spoon-fed by a friend or relative in his or her previous position. Hiring great salespeople is extremely competitive. Even in the tech-savvy San Francisco Bay area, sales jobs outnumbered programmer jobs by 65,000 to 20,000 on a major job board. Let’s explore the common problems of hiring sales staff that can impede your hiring process.

Common Problems of Hiring Sales Staff

When interviewing for sales positions, there are a number of common mistakes that HR hiring managers make. Shrm.org posted an article that listed these common assessment errors:

Hiring Impatiently

Sure, it’s a cutthroat hiring environment in sales. However, that doesn’t mean that you should act hastily to hire a promising candidate. An unfilled position is better than making the wrong hire, which costs money and limits your ability to hire an even better candidate.

Trusting Your Gut Over Technology

Recruiting technology can help to narrow your choices and shore up traditional screening techniques such as checking references. It’s important to include all the steps no matter how appealing a candidate may be. Unless you’ve actually worked with a person, your gut instinct is practically worthless in sales. Salespeople can make a great first impression, but that needs to be reinforced by hard data.

Overselling the Job

Overselling is always taken as a sign of weakness. Great salespeople won’t be impressed, and lazy salespeople will misinterpret your efforts as an easy gig for them. Sales take extraordinary effort, and the work is never easy. Don’t sugarcoat the job or exaggerate the difficulties.

Hiring Like-Minded People

People are different. If you hit it off with an applicant, that doesn’t mean he or she will be successful. The candidate might have a sales background that’s comparable to yours, but he or she might not have learned the same lessons. Top producers approach sales in radically different ways, so don’t limit your hires to like-minded people.

Delaying Corrective Action

If a new hire isn’t a good fit, it makes no sense to delay taking corrective action – such as assigning a mentor, providing additional sales training or terminating the person.

 

Creating an Appealing Environment for Sales

Building a strong sales culture can help attract top salespeople to your company. Word gets around, and you can publicize your company’s sales culture to get even better results. Managing your salespeople so that can spend more time on selling instead of paperwork is a big draw for many salespeople. Giving them the tools that they need to succeed is also a critical factor in attracting talent.

How to Find Top Sales Talent

The most important recruiting strategy is to build a network of business contacts. The greater your network, the more qualified resumes will arrive at your desk. Keeping a pipeline of sales hiring leads is critical for any organization that relies on sales. Some of the top resources for building a sales referral network include:

Your Own Files

Using recruiting software and applications like predictive index software, which helps to assess a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, you can search your own files for likely candidates that you might have passed on previously. It’s important to look for sales talent constantly even when you don’t have immediate openings.

Current Sales Staff

Your existing sales staff members likely know some talented salespeople in your industry. Staff referrals usually rank among the best hires because employees know the candidates and the company.

LinkedIn

The strongest social media platform for business is LinkedIn. Top professional salespeople look for jobs and post resumes on the platform. LinkedIn allows you to search for candidates using keywords, demographic profiles, industry experience, and other criteria.

Inbound.org

Inbound.org is an ideal resource for companies that want to hire indoor or inbound sales staff. Candidates on this platform generally have greater experience in digital technologies and software certifications such as Hubspot.

Local Business Groups

There are many local business groups in your community that make excellent sources of sales candidates. Join the local chamber of commerce and other business groups. Many cities have regular business lunches where people from different fields connect over lunch.

Niche Job Boards

Top job boards like Monster.com and others are great hiring resources. Niche job boards are also excellent resources for finding sales candidates. You can post your openings on job boards and check on people who are looking for jobs. Social recruiting is becoming increasingly popular, and you can use recruiting technology software to manage and screen your applications, which is especially helpful if you get too many from social media marketing.

Current Customers

Your existing customers are one of the strongest sources of referrals for sales jobs. Your regular customers know your company and its products, so they can make intelligent referrals for sales staff.

Business Networks

Business networks like BNI are a great source of sales candidates. BNI is the world’s largest business network, and the membership benefits include increased networking opportunities – such as the ability to attend 52 networking meetings a year – and access to professional development programs. You can get sales hiring referrals from all over the world.

Community Groups

Community groups, local colleges, churches, and synagogues almost always have a designated manager or jobs ministry that helps people find employment. Most colleges and universities have job placement offices. Reaching out to these offices is a simple way to expand your outreach efforts.

Referral Incentives

Offering incentives for referrals that result in a new hire is a great way to get quality hiring leads. Employees that come from referrals are proven to stick around longer and be better cultural fits.

Writing Appealing Descriptions

Writing the best possible job description generates substantial hiring benefits. Your descriptions can be posted in marketing, on job boards and on your website to attract top talent.

 

Salespeople Are Found, Trained and Cultivated

There may be a few natural salespeople, but you can’t rely on finding natural superstars. Good salespeople are developed using your company resources, product knowledge, and teamwork. Using recruiting software, arranging third-party assessments of candidates, and building a strong professional network and internal sales culture are the most important steps to successful sales hiring.

At Sprockets, we specialize in finding the right applicant for the job. Our affordable assessment services provide unlimited monthly assessments for just $99 per month. Unlike other companies, we don’t follow generic assessment guidelines but create a customer-specific assessment based on your business’s operating style.

 

Bonus: Before you begin your next hiring cycle, prepare for successful interviews.