Everywhere I turn and every salon I visit wants to recruit more amazing stylists and therapist but where have they all gone???
Long gone are the days of advertising a position and interviewing an array of candidates having your pick of the bunch. Now you’re lucky if anyone responds and if they do, you could still be scraping the barrel and yet they still want 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 to train for multiple reasons, schools are retaining their 16 to 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. For 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 taking staff out of the salons an added catalyst to this has been the reluctance to flexible working hours and wage/commission targets that are demotivating and unachievable. Without regulated and enforced quality training the very foundations of our industry is on the rocks.
The same rules apply with staff as it does with clients; a new client is 5 times more expensive than to retain an existing client. Taking on new staff is a huge expense in training and time consuming so we need to put processes in place to retain our staff as we do our clients it is so important to understand this goes hand in hand, the salons with higher staff retention have higher client retention.
So, what can we do???
When it comes to new staff…
- Set your stall out – Throughout interviews and trade tests any initial meetings do not be slap dash you are setting the standards of your expectation. 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 1 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, 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. Show them how important your company is to you.
- Get to know them and 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 than string the candidate along or worse 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 as individuals to ensure they are always learning and motivated with focus on the future. I speak to a lot of stylist who express they want to be more connected with the industry.
- Set achievable goals/targets – Not only services and retail targets but salon targets. Not 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 want 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 will now be 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, 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 the money basis but the whole package and the life balance it provides them with and the educational opportunities available in a positive and motivated environment.
If you need any help or support getting these processes in place schedule a free consultation with me and let’s have a chat.