“We pride ourselves on hiring for attitude and teaching the talent,” says Melissa Huetter, owner of Indigo Salon Spa & Boutique in Canton, Michigan. “We hold strong to our belief that if you have the drive and dedication there isn’t a thing you can’t learn or perfect through extensive training programs.
“From hire to retire we focus on our culture more than anything else. We start by relaying our mission during the interviewing process. We are very strict on our policies and this allows us to uphold the environment our management team has worked hard to develop.
“During the interviewing process we discuss what can be expected from us as a leadership team, down to every detail of what’s expected as an employee. Indigo’s philosophy is that extreme clarity is the key to success.”
“A salon’s number-one priority should be the culture and climate, as they are of utmost importance,” says Adam Federico, owner of AJF Salon in Sacramento, California.
“At AJF we protect and closely guard the existing culture of the salon. We have several core beliefs that are not to be compromised: customer service, teamwork and above all— passion for our craft. To maintain these standards we do not hire from the outside. Instead, we have structured a rigorous assistant program. Without completing this program, you may not be a stylist at AJF Salon. We consider our assistant program not only a means for advanced education but also an initiation into the salon.
“Our 15-month assistant program includes an evaluation at the six-month mark, and at that time we assess salon compatibility. We do this in order to maintain a superior level of craftsmanship as well as maintaining a strong AJF family.”
“First, I meet as many applicants as possible,” says Amanda Williams, owner of Arabella Salon & Spa in Portland, Oregon, and recent Davines’ Premier Eco-Salon winner. “I pick honesty and kindness over attitude any day. There is only room for diva clients—not diva staff. Don’t get me wrong, I encourage individualism and creativity but I know it can coexist in kind people. Next, I invite them to spend a day styling friends and family. My staff and I can check them and they get to check out our culture.
“I take a long time to hire and I encourage growth. We inspire one another to do better all the time and we have a blast doing it.”