People • Best Practice

How to Attract Hair Stylists to Your Salon: 7 Tips to Top Off Your Talent Pool

Build your talent pipeline with these time-tested tactics

Talent is the core of any business. No branding or business plan can make up for the lack of a stellar staff, so salon owners need to seriously invest in a talent strategy if they're going to build a successful shop. 

Ready to turn your salon into a talent magnet? Read on. From referral programs to social media solutions, this article will show you exactly how to attract hair stylists to your salon.

How to attract hair stylists to your salon

Be known for big checks

First, how about making an offer no stylist can refuse? Stylists are known for their passion and work ethic, but that effort doesn't always get fairly compensated. To draw the best talent to your salon, be generous with your compensation practices. Stylists talk, and if you are intentional with how you pay your staff, that karma will come back big time. 

So don't count on tips to express your stylists' value. While it may seem safe to cut corners on salary, you'll end up paying more in the end.

Create a mission that inspires

As important as money is, it's far from everything. If cash is all you have to appeal to the most talented stylists, they’ll leave as soon as someone offers them more. To really get people excited about your shop, you've got to do the hard work of defining and communicating your mission

Sure, you cut hair, but you do so much more than that. You help people explore who they are, discover their spark, and bring the most authentic versions of themselves to light. The beauty business is a noble profession in many ways, and you want to capture that higher calling in a mission statement. So do some soul searching and get to the heart of what makes your salon tick. When you've got something that makes you say, "Hell yeah!" you know you're getting close.

Develop relationships with local schools

One of the most effective ways of attracting new talent to your shop is to forge connections with your area's cosmetology institutions. Make a list of local schools and reach out to the leadership. Before you meet with them, do a little research and prepare your pitch. You're potentially going to create a long-term partnership, so you want to start things off on the right foot. 

If you pull this off, it's a win for everyone involved. The students get the opportunity to meet potential employers early — and jump right into the workforce after graduation. The school leaders can enhance the reputation and effectiveness of their program by improving their job placement record. And you not only get a great source of talent but the opportunity to bring employees on board when they’re best able to adapt to your culture.

Get creative on social media

While many great stylists haven't embraced the Instagram generation, most up-and-coming talent has. Step one on your social media recruitment journey is paying your dues: develop a voice; create compelling content; and communicate your values across the platforms your audience cares about. If you haven’t started yet — or you’re still getting your sea legs — read our article, Hair Salon Social Media Strategy: A Complete Guide.

Once the foundation is in place, then the party really starts. Post stylist challenges, hold live Q&As, and stream walkthroughs of life at your salon. Have your team come up with ideas, and try those out too. As you execute on all this fun, the buzz around your business will arise naturally. On social media as in real life, people want to be part of a group that enjoys themselves.

Put a premium on quality referrals

Of all the tactics we've shared, this is perhaps the most effective. You are already connected to most of the stylists you’ll ever need, you just don’t know it yet. They’re the lifelong friend of your top stylist, your receptionist’s nephew, or your associate’s former classmate, and they’re only one conversation away. One of the best ways to make sure those conversations happen is to handsomely reward quality referrals. 

You can do some back-of-the-envelope math to put a price tag on this. How much do recruiters charge per head? How much time does it take you to find a new hire yourself — and what’s your hourly rate? Get a few rough metrics like this together, and you’ve got a sense of the value of quality recommendations. Then make sure your entire staff knows how much it’s worth to you.

Build a bad@$$ training program

Most professionals — especially the stylists you want to attract — want to get better at their craft. If they learn of an opportunity to grow, that’s where they want to be. This is just one of the many reasons why it pays to have a well-managed, structured training program in place at your salon. Just like good pay, stylists will spread the word about a salon that nurtures their skills. 

This tactic takes serious investment, so you cannot implement it with just recruitment in mind. Instead, think of it as part of cultivating a culture where individual progress is celebrated and supported. Approach it from that angle, and you’ve leveled up your entire business.

Don’t underestimate the value of new

It’s only human nature to want to be around the shiniest, coolest, best thing, so advertising that your salon runs on the latest software and hardware is a powerful draw. 

This is especially true of “Gen C” stylists. Gen C stands for the connected generation, and these driven and digitally savvy professionals are not likely to flock to any shop that still relies on over-the-phone booking or clunky POS systems. If you’ve still got one foot in the analog era, it’s probably a good move to keep investing in innovation. 

From sleek online booking to seamless payments, our salon management solutions are about as slick as tech gets. If you are interested in an upgrade, then reach out. Our team would be happy to set you up with a demo.

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Winning the talent war

Creating the talent pool you need for a thriving business isn’t easy. Salons live and die on the quality of their stylist lineup, so the competition for people is unquestionably fierce. That being said, there are plenty of creative ways to attract employees, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

So get started! You’ve got everything you need to win the talent war.

Boulevard was built to help your business achieve profitability at scale without losing an inch of sanity. See for yourself! Get a free demo today.

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What are some effective strategies for retaining hair stylists once they've been attracted to the salon?

Retaining hair stylists once they've been attracted to the salon can be crucial for long-term success. To achieve this, salon owners can focus on creating a positive work environment that fosters growth and recognition. Providing opportunities for professional development, such as advanced training workshops or certification programs, can help stylists feel valued and invested in their career progression. Additionally, offering competitive compensation packages, including benefits such as health insurance or retirement plans, can further incentivize stylists to stay with the salon. Regular communication and feedback sessions with stylists to address any concerns or challenges they may be facing can also contribute to a supportive and cohesive team dynamic.

Are there any specific legal considerations or contracts that need to be established when hiring hair stylists, especially if they're considered independent contractors?

When hiring hair stylists, especially if they are classified as independent contractors, it's important for salon owners to address legal considerations and establish clear contracts to protect both parties. This may involve outlining expectations regarding working hours, commission structures, client retention policies, and confidentiality agreements. Additionally, it's essential to comply with local labor laws and regulations, such as minimum wage requirements and tax obligations. Seeking guidance from legal professionals or human resources specialists can help ensure that the hiring process is conducted ethically and legally.

How can salons effectively differentiate themselves from competitors to make their offer more appealing to potential hair stylists?

Effectively differentiating a salon from competitors can be achieved by highlighting unique selling points and showcasing the salon's brand identity. This could involve emphasizing specialized services or techniques offered by the salon, such as personalized consultations, cutting-edge styling trends, or eco-friendly products. Creating a strong online presence through social media platforms and a professional website can help convey the salon's distinct personality and attract attention from potential stylists. Additionally, fostering a positive reputation within the local community through word-of-mouth referrals and community involvement can further enhance the salon's appeal to prospective stylists seeking a supportive and reputable workplace.

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