Everywhere I look and every salon I visit; they all want the same thing – more amazing stylists and therapists. But where have they all gone?! Long gone are the days of advertising a position and interviewing an array of candidates and having the pick of the bunch. You are now lucky if anyone responds, and if they do, you are still scraping the barrel with candidates wanting to be paid over the odds with commission and benefits.
So why are good staff so hard to find?
There are less and less people going into the hair and beauty industry because:
- Schools are retaining their 16-18 year olds who are not always aware an apprenticeship route is available to them.
- Parents benefits are taken away if a child is on an apprenticeship rather than a school environment.
- Adult learners’ courses can be a huge expense and are rarely funded or flexible to accommodate current commitments.
- When candidates embark on courses they are not always what they expected them to be or to no fault of their own they have not been trained to a high enough standard to be employable with no salon experience.
- There are so many courses available with no prior experience needed.
You can be “qualified” in nails, lashes, micro blading and a whole lot more in less than 24 hours. This has resulted in a huge spike of self-employment in the industry. Without regulated and enforced quality training the very foundations of our industry is on the rocks.
So, what can we do?
When it comes to new staff…
Set your stall out – make sure you set the standard of your expectation throughout interviews and trade tests. If you feel it is unacceptable for them to be late neither should you be. Your behaviour and attitude set the standards and expectations.
- Be prepared – have all your paperwork (contracts, handbook, policies/procedures) up to date and ready for the meeting. Your potential new member of staff needs to know what is expected from day one. They can take this home for bed time reading to learn all about your business.
- Be positive and sell your business and the opportunity you are offering them. Tell them about the training you invest in and the photoshoots you do. Show them the work you and your team create on your social media platforms. Tell them about your company history, awards and achievements. Make them feel excited to be part of your company and how important your company is to you.
- Get to know them and realise the goals they want to achieve and the achievements they have accomplished.
- Involve them and integrate them into your team. Give them small responsibilities to feel valued.
- Assign them to a buddy/mentor. Do not leave them to wonder around aimlessly with no structure and wonder why they have not achieved anything.
- Enforce your policies and procedures strongly and set high standards.
- Review every week without fail during probation and be honest about their progress. If you feel it is not going to work out, notify as soon as possible rather than string the candidate along. Never keep them for fear of not finding someone else – I am sure a lot of us have made that costly mistake.
- Have an ongoing training programme for all your staff to ensure they are always learning and motivated with focus on the future. I speak to a lot of stylists who express they want to be more connected with the industry.
- Set achievable goals/targets – not just services and retail targets but also salon targets. They don’t all have to be incentivised by money but training, experiences, photoshoots, trade shows and all other industry activities.
- Make sure your staff have routes of progression and promotion opportunities.
- Be consistent – people like consistency and as an employer they want you to be consistent and follow through on your word. No one wants to be let down or unsure where they stand – especially when it comes to their employment.
- Make decisions with your team – involve them in the evolution and growth of your business. Show them you value their opinion and delegate responsibilities to them to show you respect and trust them.
- Communication – hold weekly team meetings and communicate always with your team. Have a communication strategy in place and if you don’t have one then you need to attend my Business Mentoring Group.
- Benefits – pensions are now compulsory to contribute towards but some salons I work with have chosen to put benefit packages together for staff including gym membership, shopping vouchers, private healthcare and additional holiday to reward loyalty.
- Build positive strong working relationships with your team and with each other.
- Plan, plan and plan – if you know you want to grow and expand, build your team around that expansion.
People no longer decide on employment opportunities purely on a money basis but the whole package and the life balance it provides them with.
If you need any help or support getting these processes in place schedule a free consultation with me and let’s have a chat.