One of the most challenging parts to the salon business start-up, is finding the perfect employees for your new salon. Yes, we need them! But, who is the perfect fit, and where do we find these elusive individuals? And, most importantly, how do we know if they will work out?
You can mitigate some of the risk in the hiring process, and I'm going to share with you my secrets to filling my salon with competent, and professional talent.
Get The Word Out
In the past - when I was getting ready to open my salon - I put a huge banner in the window with information about the opening, and employment opportunities. It’s never too soon to get the word out. In many cases, it takes several months to get your business up, and running. A banner in the window is just one step in the talent acquisition process. Make sure to add your contact information, and an email, for your potential new employees to send a resume for your review.
Keep A List
You can start an "interest list" for anyone who has reached out for information, or any “tire kickers”. These individuals may be your future employees. Many times, a salon professional wants to make a move, and is looking for the right opportunity. They may not be ready at the time, but could be ready in the future to make that move to your salon.
Use Your Social Media Networks
I have used social media to spread the word about upcoming opportunities in my new business. Again, start this process months before you are ready to open your doors.
Instagram is a very good tool to advertise your employment possibilities. Take time to add the benefits of joining your team:
Join Facebook pages that are specific to your industry, and post your job opportunities. I live in Arizona, there are at least five Facebook pages that are specific to our area, and our industry. On these sites, I post my employment challenges and opportunities. These pages get local eyes on your business. I post what I am looking for, such as a receptionist, stylist, massage therapist, lash artist, and so on.
Many times, the people looking at these posts are not the job seekers, but they know someone who is looking. These people tag their friends who may not have seen the post. Their friends are searching for them, and passing this information along. This is a wonderful resource for untapped talent.
Other Online Advertising Spaces
Don’t forget Craigslist. You can add an employment opportunity on a paid ad under the salon/ spa jobs. There is a small fee for the paid postings. Alternatively, you can post in the beauty services section at no fee. I find many salon professionals browse these categories on a regular basis to see who is advertising, and what services they are offering. Their friends and family browse these categories too, and can share this information. Never underestimate word-of-mouth!
There are many other places you can advertise your business, and your employment, but these are a few that have been very effective for me, personally.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Fresh Talent
Visit your local beauty schools. You may not want to hire a stylist just out of school, but you may actually find a rare gem. There are many exceptional stylists that are newbies, and you need a few to round out your staff. They will be eager to be coached and mentored by you, which means you can really build your team up!
Most beauty schools offer lifetime employment placement. These students check back from time to time to see what the job board postings have to offer. I always recommend that you keep in contact with your local beauty schools with any possible hiring you may be doing in the future. I have found a few seasoned professionals this way, in the past.
Provide Your Details
As you receive resumes and inquiries, make sure you send a reply via email with all the details you can supply. The more information you give, the better equipped your potential employee will be with your salon culture. Here are a few examples of things your potential employees will want to know in advance:
If there are any details your potential employee is not in agreement with, they have this information in advance. Any disagreement can be discussed, and figured out long before you hire. There really is no easy way to guarantee who will be your perfect employee, but if you follow these practices when recruiting, you should have a pretty good idea of who will work out, and who won't.
Trust Your Instincts
Anyone objecting to your salon policies, products being used, dress code, hours of operation, and compensation package, including benefits, will most likely not be a good fit.
Take your time, don’t rush this process. Many salon owners make their biggest mistake in the hiring process, because they ignore that “gut” feeling about a potential employee. We are so driven to get our business up and running, filled with eager employees, that we may overlook some nagging feelings.
If you have any reservations about a potential employee, listen to your own intuition. I feel that we possess an innate ability to recognize when we are not being told the truth. There is an inner nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right. Follow that feeling. Let it be your guide!
Don't Settle for Second Best
You only get one chance to start your business off on the right foot. Take your time, be patient with the process. Be extremely honest with your potential employee, and let your expectations be known from the beginning. Answer every question, give as much detail, and engage them in what they are looking for in an employer.
Following these guidelines, you should be able to weed out those who are not a good fit, and hire salon professionals that are excited to join your team! These prospective team members will respect your honesty, and the culture that your salon is going to build in the future.
In an upcoming post, I will share very specific advice and guidelines for the interview process. I look forward to sharing these tips with you. If you have any queries about hiring new staff, ask away in the comments section below, and I will be in touch soon.
Maryann has an accomplished, 30+ year background in the beauty industry. As a cosmetologist she opened her first salon in ’83. She has specialized as an educator since 2006. Maryann knows what it takes to create successful salon businesses and is here to share her experience with you.