Winkworth Franchising invests in centralised departments in head office to support the network of franchisees throughout the UK. After feedback from the franchisees on how difficult they found it in general to recruit good quality staff, Winkworth launched an in-house recruitment department in July 2017.
The recruitment department was set up and is run by Lucy King. Lucy worked as a sales negotiator and assistant manager at well-known estate agencies for seven years before moving into recruitment, where she has worked for both agencies and for herself since 2011.
“The Winkworth staff in the offices are the core of their businesses and ultimately contribute hugely as to whether the franchise is a success,” comments Lucy. “I concentrate on three main areas with the franchisees which are, looking after their current hiring needs, helping them plan for future business growth and generally speeding up the recruitment process.”
Hiring the right people can be expensive – but hiring the wrong people can be even more so. Winkworth set up the recruitment department to assist the franchisees in finding good quality staff at all levels, both financially and effectively. Good quality staff means increased efficiency and a better all-round service to clients.
The recruitment department offers both advice and an honest service to the network of offices. They will list the vacancies on the Winkworth careers website before screening and meeting potential candidates. They will then pre-interview these candidates prior to them meeting the franchisees who are hiring and continue to act as intermediaries when an offer is being negotiated.
“It’s my job to research the local area and other agencies to ensure the Winkworth franchisees are offering competitive salaries with added extras depending on experience and seniority of the position, such as a company car or bonuses,” comments Lucy. “Looking after employees is key to retaining them, both from a financial and well-being perspective.”
Winkworth’s recruitment department is especially useful to new franchisees who join the network and open their own office, as they can help fully staff the office before it is launched. To keep customer service standards, knowledge of regulations and best practice high throughout the circa 650 staff members employed by the franchisees throughout the network, everyone is invited to attend regular training through the in-house Winkworth Academy, which offers over 100 courses a year.
“Recruitment across all industries is becoming increasingly tough due to exceptionally low levels of unemployment. In property, a mixture of negative press and a tough market makes hiring very challenging, so we need to be looking in new places to find employees. Keeping salaries, incentives and working hours increasingly competitive is key to having access to the best staff,” concludes Lucy.
If you would like to know more about becoming a franchisee and how Winkworth can help you with all aspects of coming on board, including helping to recruit the right staff, get in touch with the new franchising team today.