Are Psychometrics widely used when selecting franchisees?

I ask this question because if they are not perhaps they should be.

After all making the transition from working for somebody else to working for oneself requires certain personality traits which are not necessarily the same as those needed by budding entrepreneurs. In truth, a franchise is something of a unique proposition. True, the franchisee owns the business but s/he are part of a much larger brand which has to be promoted and protected. Franchisees have to conform to a tried and tested formula – they can’t “go it alone”!

So then what traits are likely to make a franchisee successful? The list that follows may not be exhaustive but most attributes are all likely to figure to a greater or lesser degree depending on the franchise.

  • A feel for people and a natural networker but still able to work alone
  • An ability to make considered decisions and take calculated risks without losing sleepless nights
  • A real desire and ability to “make things happen”
  • Independent but not too independent
  • A determination to succeed
  • Ingrained customer focus
  • Tremendous energy and enthusiasm
  • An ability to learn – and quickly!
  • An abundance of self-motivation
  • Sales ability
  • Leadership
  • A big picture person – but who still retains an eye for detail (the devil’s in the detail)

It seems to me that a franchisee clearly needs to possess certain entrepreneurial traits but s/he must also be able to work within the framework of a tried and tested franchise formula. Identifying these traits up-front is important for the franchisor and the potential franchisee. After all this is a life changing decision and it’s critical that they are honest with themselves and have a real understanding of their strengths and their weaknesses if they are to be successful.

Unfortunately, however well it is constructed, an interview won’t reveal someone’s true personality – sometimes because people just don’t know their true preferences and sometimes because they tell you what they think you want to hear. Either way that can be a costly mistake for both parties. Only through psychometric testing can a franchisor and franchisee be reasonably certain that they a making the right choice.