Where are all the good people? And how do I get them to work at my salon? Raise your hand if you’re an owner or manager and you’ve asked yourself these questions hundreds of times!
Stylist recruitment can be one of the most difficult and ongoing challenges for a leader, because not only do you want to fill chairs in your salon, it’s important to fill them with the best people. Angie Lund, former salon owner, National Business Trainer for Eufora and owner of coaching company Star Business Advisor, says thoughtful recruitment leads to an 80 percent better staff retention rate. “Hiring anyone you can get your hands on doesn’t work,” she explains. “You have to focus on getting the right people in the door.” She offers this valuable recruitment advice.
- Communicate your value to anyone you’d like to recruit. “It’s not about ‘selling’ yourself or your salon,” Angie explains. “It’s about letting a candidate know what you can do for their career and how you can create a path for their professional goals. You can get this across in person if you’re recruiting at a cosmetology school, when you’re conducting interviews and on social media. If you’re going into a cosmetology school, rather than doing a presentation, ask if you can teach a class. This allows students to see you as a leader and to understand what you can offer as a mentor. Instead of focusing on trying to recruit, focus on sharing the benefits of this amazing business and expressing your desire to serve the industry and the individuals in the industry. That ‘servant’s heart’ energy will be communicated.”
- Be sure you’re offering new stylists a training program. New stylists are often scared, notes Angie, because they’re still building their books and learning how life in a salon works. So they’ll feel more secure if they know your company is ready to help with a training program. And don’t just focus on basics—extend your offerings to advanced education to propel everyone on your team to the next level of talent and artistry.
- Create clear career paths. “Today’s young stylists want to know they can move forward and how to do so,” explains Angie. “That must be communicated. At my past salon, for example, we have a level system. Level One is training with clear expectations and goals to hit Level Two. Every level increase comes with a commission increase. That works for me. Someone else may offer opportunities to mentor new stylists, to become a team lead, to teach classes in the salon. Or you may offer someone a role as the social media expert or monitoring online reviews or creating the retail displays. The main thing is to discover what each person is passionate about and try to align their passions with your business. Give them ownership. Everyone wants purpose and meaning so get creative!”
- Create and display an irresistible culture. It’s critical to hire people who are aligned with your culture. Keep in mind that Millennials and younger generation members do all their research online, so your culture must come across on your website and on your social media feeds. “They’re checking you out,” Angie confirms. “So show them who you are. Display pictures of the team working together, of education happening, of community involvement and philanthropy. Are you busy? Show shots of your busy salon. Communicate all the things that are great about your culture and your brand—that it’s a fun place to work and it’s a place where people can build an amazing career.”
- Hire good people when they show up. Have you ever encountered someone who might be perfect for your salon but passed because you didn’t currently have an opening? Think again, says Angie. “Accept resumes and conduct interviews all the time,” she advises. “If you find someone fantastic, don’t push them away. Regardless of whether your existing team is fully booked or not. Because the reality is, we bring new people in, we mentor and help them grow but at the end of the day, we can’t build their books without their active participation. A new person could come in and build a clientele because of previous experience or knowledge of how to run a solid practice and you don’t want to pass that up. If your team members question bringing in a new person if they’re not busy, you have to use thoughtful coaching to let them know you’ll still work with them but the salon is a team effort and you must do what’s necessary to build the team.”
Members of the Eufora network are eligible to participate in a wide range of educational events, from technical training at the Eufora Academy or in-salon, to business and leadership training. What’s more, the Eufora Salon Owner Network is a peer-to-peer networking group for like-minded and growth-oriented salon owners. Local chapter members dedicate themselves to working together to make better decisions, achieve better results and become better leaders for their salons and the industry.