You’ve done it. You’ve found the perfect space for your new salon. The light coming through the window is incredible, and while the rent is higher than you initially wanted, you figured out how to make it work. You’ve got product coming in, and you’re gearing up your advertising campaign. But there’s still one big thing missing — stylists. A fully staffed salon won’t happen by magic. You’ll need to put in some time getting the best people to work in your space, and for that, you need a salon recruiting plan.
Industry • Best Practice
Your Salon Recruiting Plan - 4 Steps to Staffing Your Beauty Business
Congrats on getting the perfect space for your new salon — now it’s time to get people behind the chairs
4 keys to the perfect salon recruiting plan
Salon recruitment requires careful planning in order to attract the stylists and support staff you need to make your business sing. As with any facet of running a business, it’s probably a bad idea to just fly by the seat of your pants. That means not only finding skilled people to wield the scissors, but making sure that they vibe with you as a person, and the aesthetic you’re going for in both your space and your styling.
Recruit salon staff who vibe at every level
It isn’t simply a matter of putting a flier in the window, and having the right people for the job landing at your doorstep. As a business owner and manager, it’s on you to recruit the right people: not just stylists, but also receptionists, assistants, and hopefully even other managers to help out.
When you’re looking for new hires you need to balance talent, values, and experience — because even the best stylist won’t be a good match if they can’t see eye to eye with you. And conversely, some roles don’t require years of experience and skill, if they’re enthusiastic and a great match for your business. For example, an assistant stylist is there to learn, so someone who is eager is more useful than someone who already knows all the tricks.
Always keep your eyes open for new employees who might be able to come onboard. Recruitment is a year-round process, as seasonal changes can alter how busy you are. Plus you never know when someone might leave their chair to head to another location (hopefully not the competition). “Always be recruiting” may not be a glamorous tagline, but it’s an important one.
If you’re looking for more recruiting tips, have a read of Salon Staff Recruitment: Building a Dream Team From Desk to Chair.
Find stylists who’ve got connections (or an appetite for growth)
You need to make sure your job listings are in the right place to catch the right eyes, just throwing the listings to the wind won’t work. Lean on industry-centric recruitment tools — it’s not surprising that a large number of stylists are found over salon-specific job sites, like Salon Employment and Salon Builder. These sites are specifically geared for what a salon hire needs to know.
Don’t underestimate the strengths of social connections and personal recommendations, though. Chances are the people already on your team know other stylists, and will have a good gauge on who would be a fit for your space, both in skills and vibe.
Also, don’t be afraid to recruit people into junior roles straight out of cosmetology school. They will need training, but we all did at some point. If you have the resources to help them grow in their craft, and the time to train them, you can help guide a new recruit into a seasoned professional.
For tips on how to become a hiring Sherlock Holmes, look at How to Find Stylists for Your Salon: A Guide to Stylist Recruitment.
Attract hair stylists with your stellar rep and social presence
Reaching out to hair stylists is only half the process of hiring a winning team — you also need them to come to the job listings. Finding qualified candidates is a nightmare for all businesses, and that’s just as true for people in the beauty industry. So how do you get exciting stylists to apply to your job postings?
Be known for paying well — and be as up front about money as possible. A job listing that includes pay information straight away will draw more applications than one where that information is only revealed after a lengthy interview process.
Make sure your current stylists are happy. Every industry has a whisper network, and if your current employees are happy with working with you, word will get out quickly. A supportive boss that wants to do the best by their employees will never struggle for talent.
Hit the socials. Many up-and-coming new stylists live on Insta, and if you put up a job listing and they find your page to be outdated, with low quality images, that’s going to be an instant turnoff. Put some work into a strong social media strategy, and cultivate an aesthetic that will draw applicants in. Plus you can never go wrong with good lighting and a selfie wall.
For more great ideas on how to get more stylists interested in working for you, check out How to Attract Hair Stylists to Your Salon - Creative Tips & Tricks.
Write a hair stylist job description that gets all eyes on you
Chances are you didn’t start a salon because you wanted to spend your time writing ad copy. Unfortunately, that’s part of being a business owner — and writing a compelling advertisement is a key for getting applicants to read past the first line. Much of what this takes is similar to what you’ll need for putting together any job listing (which will be useful when you need to hire an assistant down the line).
Be clear on the job. What’s the title? What are the duties? How many hours are expected? What sort of education or experience is needed? Think about if you were applying for a job, what would be the most important things you would look for? It’s tempting to spend the entire listing talking about the incredible space you just rented, which brands you partnered with, and your vision for the future. All that is important, but chances are an applicant’s eyes are going to scan down to the part about if they have to do their own sweeping, or if there’s someone around to help with that.
Also, be up front about how you pay. Is it an hourly position, plus tips? Do you pay on commission, if so, what’s the split? Or is it a combination of both? Some salons charge their stylists a booth rental fee on a weekly basis, and have the stylists as self employed contractors. A newer structure is Team-Based Pay, where the whole salon works towards goals together, and then splits money accordingly. Each of these models has different advantages and disadvantages for stylists, so being up front about which way you’re running things will make sure only people who work that way will apply.
Writing a good job listing is hard, so for more ideas to make yours sing, read our piece Making a Hair Stylist Job Advertisement?
Once you have your dream team assembled, Boulevard can help you manage bookings, track supplies, and schedule your stylists. We promise, your team will thank you for it!
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.