Franchising: a real social elevator

Franchising, een echte sociale lift

A large majority (63%) of franchisors favor selecting franchisees from among the network’s employees*. The franchise system is a
a vector for professional advancement
enabling former employees to become their own bosses.

Stéphanie Coussié, who became a franchisee six years after joining the O2 group as a domestic helper, is “a good example of a career path within this brand, which defines itself as the company of possibilities.I learned on the job and through the company’s support in business management,” she explains. The personal services company promotes internal career development and has many former employees who have become franchisees.

Retaining talent

For Sylvain Bartolomeu, Managing Partner of Franchise Management, it’s “increasingly part of franchisors’ strategy to build bridges between employee and franchisee status”.

Loïs and Jérémy’s career with Pizza Cosy is a case in point. Former pizza delivery drivers, they developed a passion for the fast food business and became multi-franchisees of the brand. “We trained them in all aspects of the business,” explains Florent Mercier, who co-founded the brand with David Cellier in 2010. “Florent Mercier, who also started out at the age of 20, sees his franchisees as “real ambassadors”.

Within the Guy Hoquet real estate network, Fanny Briard has more or less followed the same path. She joined the network at the end of 2017, and in August 2021, at the age of 30, took over the agency where she had been working. “I started out as a work-study student, then became a sales agent for three years, before making a purchase proposal to my manager, who was retiring early,” she recounts.

Today, she manages two employees and four sales agents aged between 22 and 60. “At the age of 30, I was a bit apprehensive about going into debt for seven years and taking over the reins of an agency. The five-week integration and training course reassured me: I was able to talk to future bosses about their objectives and their fears. I would never have dared open my own agency.

Another element of reassurance is the support provided by regional coordinators. “They helped me build up my self-confidence. The brand’s reputation, established since 1994, also gives customers a guarantee and means I can get work I’d never have been able to get otherwise,” she assures us.

“Competitor’s mentality

This willingness on the part of brands to create bridges for their employees is easily explained by the fact that the employee knows the brand, the know-how and has already integrated the brand’s DNA. “The transfer of know-how is inevitably simpler and quicker, and the risks associated with recruitment are reduced because the retailer has trained and supervised the employee, and has seen him or her operate for several years,” explains Sylvain Bartolomeu.

The only criteria required? “To have proven yourself as an employee, to be motivated and efficient,” he points out. That’s what companies measure in HR assessments: “surpassing oneself, resilience, commitment and self-motivation. In other words, having the mindset of a competitor. At the end of the day, it’s more about knowing how to be than knowing how to do.

Increasingly, networks are “recruiting employees with this mentality”. This is confirmed by Pizza Cosy’s co-founder, who confides that he is above all looking for “very good shopkeepers, friendly people. We focus on people skills”. So, “faced with two highly committed young people with whom we have a very good feeling, who we can count on and who want to be both self-employed and part of the project”, the co-founder decided to put his trust in them.

Ultimately, “it opens up development prospects for high-performing employees. It’s a fantastic tool for allowing employees to express themselves, giving them career prospects and retaining talent,” assures Sylvain Bartolomeu. In this way, showing that former employees have become business leaders and have created their own assets makes the brand an attractive employer.

Comparing the dynamics of the franchise system with those of a company, the consultant notes that, in a traditional company, to retain employees, “we propose a profit-sharing logic or a shareholding, i.e. a rather financial logic that will enable them to eventually become minority shareholders, whereas the franchise system enables employees to become managers and owners of a company”.

*Figure taken from the 19th FFF/Banque Populaire survey.

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