Fostering internal talent for a successful future

by 07 Jan 2013

Gabby Kelly outlines what Bakers Delight is doing to build talent from within.

Anyone running a business, franchised or not, or heading up recruitment for a brand, can tell you about the importance of having a strong team operating with you. However, finding the right staff for your business, who share a passion for the brand, are open-minded and driven is not always an easy task. While having to meet staffing needs to continue to grow your business is imperative, it is far more important to get quality staff through the door whose development you can foster internally.

Here at Bakers Delight, and I am sure most executives can agree, we continue to notice our greatest staff success stories from the staff that started with us as bakery apprentices or junior staff members and developed their career skills through the various training and development programs we have available and have eventually become business owners, leaders or members of our head office team.

The need to expand and grow as a business with the right staff on board is a constant pressure for human resource associates. The first step is to develop internal training and development programs that will support business growth  by investing in your business’ star players. Fostering internal and young talent can be the key to business success and helping put you in front of your competitors.

Looking internally

Along with the challenges the current retail environment brings in terms of consumer spending, recruiting and holding on to the right staff can also be a concurrent challenge and companies need to get creative and savvy with their recruitment tactics. Although many businesses may start their search for potential franchisees, store leaders and employees externally, at Bakers Delight we also look internally at our existing talent in addition to recruiting outside the business. Why not look at the existing young talent pool that are already bought in to your company values and performing well for you and guide them along a career path? A dedication to this internal training and development as a company is what sets a job apart from a career for potential job seekers.

To grow and nurture that internal talent at Bakers Delight we offer an initiative called Fresh Franchisee. This program offers career development opportunity that enables young people within the network to undertake franchisee training to work towards business ownership.  The program not only fosters young talent but also ensures our network remains fresh and vibrant. The Fresh Franchisee program is ideal for keen and motivated individuals who may be yet to have the experience and funding to purchase a bakery. We provide them with the knowledge, education and tools to fuel their career growth, all while working in a bakery environment. Over thirty per cent of Bakers Delight franchisees got their start as sales assistants or bakers through training programs like these.

Another program that Bakers Delight has developed is the Manage To Own program. This is a twelve month program for those potential franchisees that have passed the recruitment period but may not have the financials to purchase a franchise outright. This program gives upcoming franchisees the opportunity to undergo paid franchisee training and to manage a company owned store for a period of time giving them the leadership, business and industry experience to eventually run their own business.

It’s unique programs like these that allow our network a step-up when it comes to real career development paths for our star performers. It’s a tactic I would recommend for other businesses looking to grow your internal talent. Building the development and training systems and processes ensures you’ll stay on top.

Creative recruitment tactics that work

Think about what your business may already do well in terms of communication or promotion and harness those great resources that you have already established. For instance, Bakers Delight has a growing online community across Facebook and Twitter with over 130,000 fans on Facebook. Driving interested recruits and providing relevant information about franchising while remaining ‘social’ and adding value to our fans, has resulted in the generation of leads. It’s an area of growth albeit strategic in the way it is executed so as not to devalue the social nature of this medium.

Gabby’s top recruitment and staffing tips to weather the difficult economy:


  1. Put in place innovative training and development programs that work for your business and benefit your company’s culture by inspiring and encouraging young talent within the organisation to continue to grow.
  2. Where you can, look internally for talent that can be groomed into leadership roles that you are trying to fill as staffing and expansion needs come up. Employees who feel that vested interest from employers will continue to strive that extra mile to make their store or department a success.
  3. Think outside the box! Use all tools at your disposal and draw on your company’s networks to think about different, innovative and less traditional ways to recruit.



About the author

Gabby Kelly is General Manager at Bakers Delight Holdings. Her responsibilities include national training and recruitment, five-star compliance and looking after the national COBS portfolio, where her passion is to nurture young talent in the network and offer them the same opportunities she was given at Bakers Delight.