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Select Appointments: The franchise opportunity

Startups talks to the recruitment specialist about its ‘perfect franchisee’, a limitless market opportunity and its five-year growth plan

Franchise: Select Appointments
Description: Professional recruitment service
Started in: Started in 1980 and began franchising in 1992
Founders: Robert Klapp and Tony Martin
No. of franchises: 27 franchises
Coverage: National
Average cost per franchise: £24, 750

Launched in 1980 by two experienced recruiters – Select Appointments operated for 12 years before turning to a franchise model. Priding themselves on their expertise, the independent recruiter was focused on “growing success rather than growing for success” – a method which appears to have paid off.

After opening its first franchise in Lincoln in 1992, the brand has “never looked back”. Now with 27 franchises, and 12 franchisees, the company is still growing and is on the hunt for hard-workers with a strong entrepreneurial streak to join their expanding business.

With an ambitious five-year growth plan to reach 100 franchises, Startups talks to Select Appointments about its “limitless market opportunity”.

Moving into franchising

So how did Select Appointments move into franchising?

In 1992 we opened our first franchised office in Lincoln and we’ve genuinely never looked back. There are currently 27 Select franchise offices in operation throughout the UK and we have clear aspirations to increase this figure to 100 franchises during the next five years.

How successful were those original franchisees?

We are very lucky to still have some of our original franchise partners as part of our network who have gone on to grow large businesses across multiple territories in some cases. 

Our original franchisee who opened in Lincoln retired in 2012 after 20 years with the brand, but not before reselling his business to a neighbouring franchise partner in Peterborough enabling them to grow and develop their business through acquisition.

The franchise opportunity

What makes the franchise different / unique?

We were operating as an independent recruitment company for 12 years before we chose franchising to allow us to grow the company. That means we became experts in our field long before we had to become experts in franchising. We think that is the right basis on which to expand a business; growing success rather than growing for success.

What services do you offer?

We offer full-time and temporary placements to white collar recruiters. Of course so do lots of recruitment companies; what makes us stand out is our absolute dedication to finding the very best candidate for the roll – and we have the testimonials to prove it.

How big is the market opportunity?

For the right franchisee the opportunities are practically limitless. We provide the kind of training and tools that can make them the unequivocal ‘go to provider’ of recruitment services in their local area. Despite the fact the economy is still fluctuating, the UK recruitment industry is performing at pre-crash levels and growing year on year.

How many franchisees do you have today?

We have 12 franchisees with 27 regional offices

How is the brand marketed?

We think the Select brand packs a punch well above it’s weight – everywhere you go, even in places we don’t yet have a permanent presence, people have heard of us.

How do you divide the regions?

We work with an expert territory mapping provider to help us make sure all of our territories are brimming with opportunity and that every franchisee gets the same ingredients for success.

The perfect franchisee

What do you look for in potential franchisees?

It’s so hard to define the ‘perfect’ franchisee. They need to be great communicators and they need to be hard workers. Work shy, shrinking violets need not apply! We love to see a strong entrepreneurial spirit when it comes to capitalising on opportunity – but equally, we have spent decades perfecting our business model so we don’t need anyone to try and reinvent the wheel.

So do franchisees work from an office, or are they home-based? Is it part-time or full-time?

They can do either actually! We want to talk to people all over the country that have the ambition to open their own offices, employ talented teams and achieve impressive turnovers.

Equally we understand that the UK has a lot of different markets and we need to reflect that in our models, which is why, for example, we offer a home-based franchise package in London. Regardless of how a franchisee starts off with us, we will always encourage the best to grow. So whether that be a home–based franchisee eventually opening an office of their own, or an office based franchisee expanding into additional territories, we are right behind them every step of the way.

How are franchisees vetted?

All enquiries are dealt with by our specialist franchisee recruitment consultants, Platinum Wave. After a series of emails and telephone calls they will be invited to a discovery day where they will meet various members of our senior management team and be invited to learn more about the intricacies of our business.

What do you offer franchisees that sign-up?

• Exclusive rights to trade the nationally recognised “Select Appointments” brand across a substantial postcode region

• Access to large and sophisticated back and front office support systems and powerful national purchasing strength from within the Staffline Group

• Supply of IT and e-business systems, start up hardware and licensing

• Office launch marketing support, ongoing central marketing initiatives and use of the Select website with a specific web page built for your territory

• Detailed training and induction programmes and ongoing staff development, to REC standards

• Tailored budgeting and business planning support

• Best practice general business advice and introduction to British Franchise Association (bfa) approved business advisors

To be honest there is a long list, but the most important thing we offer is the opportunity to run your own business and be your own boss while enjoying an incredible level of support to help you win through the trying times and flourish through the great times.

How much do franchisees pay and what are the ongoing franchise fees?

Our management fee structure is designed to incentivise both you and us to ensure we are all motivated to make your business profitable as swiftly as possible. 

We don’t like to provide arbitrary figures for initial projections and/or management fee contributions because you are not the same as the person before you or indeed the one that follows, with that in mind we are very happy to help you create ‘your numbers’ to help you make a more informed decision about your future.

Success and growth

How successful are some of the franchisees today?

Incredibly. They are big employers now in their own right, with multiple offices with substantial capital value.

How is the brand looking to grow?

We are working towards growing from 27 to 100 offices in the next five years.

What is the potential of the business?

We would be delighted by opening 100, but as the market grows so too does our potential.

What will the challenges be in achieving that?

The systems are already well proven, it’s down to finding the right people.

What awards has the business won?

In the past the Select Appointments brand has been delighted to be involved in awards programmes alongside our parent company at that particular time which have included;

  • Best Franchise Recruitment Team
  • Best Franchisee Marketing Support
  • Time – Top 100 company to work for

In recent years Select has taken the decision to step back from the awards arena to keep our focus on developing and growing the brand to enjoy organic and profitable success rather than those recognised simply by awards.

To what extent are the founders involved today?

The original founders of the business are no longer involved with business following their retirement from the industry many years ago.

Finally, is the company a British Franchise Association (bfa) member?

Yes, and we are very proud of our accreditation and to be involved in the wider industry.


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Showing 1 comment

  1. Its interesting to here Select Appointments describe your “perfect franchisee” as having the blend between entrepreneurial spirit but without re-inventing the wheel. This is so true. If you’re the sort of person that buys a sat-nav then ignores the directions, franchising may not be for you!