Industry • Best Practice

Salon Staff Recruitment: Building a Dream Team From Desk to Chair

Hiring the right people for the right positions isn’t just a nice idea, it’s a solid salon business strategy.

Your salon's staff are the face and hands of your business, so making sure you have the right people in the right positions is critical. Recruiting is a practice, and building (and keeping) your dream team requires a careful balance between your existing staff, incoming talent, and overarching business goals. Here are the resources and best practices for salon staff recruitment that every salon owner needs to get started.

How to be a boss at salon staff recruitment

Write better job postings

No matter what position you’re hiring for, your job posting should give potential employees a clear sense of what they’re signing up for. That starts with an explanation of your business, which includes everything from the services you offer to the values you believe in. In many cases, your job posting may be the first interaction people have with your salon. Pull back the curtain on your company culture so that potential hires can imagine themselves as part of your team and determine for themselves whether or not they’re the right fit before applying.

You’ll also want to make sure you spell out each role’s responsibilities so that prospective talent knows exactly what will be expected of them. Even if the duties of a receptionist, assistant, stylist, or manager are clear to you, other salons may operate differently. While past experience is part of what makes a new hire compelling, welcoming them into the fold at your salon may require them to readjust their understanding and adapt to what’s unique about your business.

Clarify compensation and benefits

Although it’s hopefully not all candidates are looking for, compensation is essential to get right in your salon staff hiring. Compensation is more than just a dollar amount, though. Here are some details you’ll want to include:

  • Commission and bonuses: Describe any additional opportunities to earn on top of base salary, like performance-based bonuses or commission structure.

  • Benefits: Include employee benefits like health insurance, paid time off and vacation policies, flexible scheduling, etc.

  • Education: Company-paid training doesn’t just benefit individual staff members, it also helps your team and your salon in the long run.

  • Advancement: Opportunities for growth and advancement within your salon team will be important to many salon professionals looking to develop their careers.

Balance talent and values

Good hiring practices prioritize extraordinary talent, but talent alone won’t make someone the right fit for your team. Hiring the right person for the right position requires you to take into consideration how much experience is really necessary for any given role. While you might require a minimum amount of experience to consider a candidate for your stylist team, assistants probably need more passion than past experience. There’s also a lot to be said for molding raw talent, instead of having to break more seasoned professionals of bad habits they picked up at past jobs.

These details make the interview process even more important. Take the time to get to know each candidate, and talk candidly about the values that are important to your team and your business. You can also reach out to candidates’ references to ask questions about their past performance and their attitude in professional salon environments. In the end, the best skillset in the world won’t matter if you can’t see eye to eye or your team can’t work together smoothly.

Set staff up for success

Your internal business practices also have a lot to do with building — and retaining — a solid salon dream team. Salons of every size should have an onboarding process set up for new hires so that the staff you worked so hard to find doesn’t flail around in the deep end. You can pair new employees with seasoned vets through a shadowing program, share an employee manual or handbook, or some combination.

Salon staff recruitment starts and ends with clear goals. Achieve this by setting goals for staff’s first day and first week, or create checklists for the processes and systems they need to learn in order to consider themselves fully onboarded onto the team. Cover everything from dress codes to codes of conduct and customer interactions to lines of communication among the staff. Developing these processes and setting expectations from the get go will leave your staff equipped and empowered to do well immediately, and will show them that you’re invested in their success as part of the team.

Always be recruiting

It’s one thing to hire when you’re short-handed and facing a big rush or seasonal growth. But to be truly effective with recruiting, you need to understand that salon staff recruitment never ends. Salon businesses should be recruiting year-round, regardless of whether or not specific positions are available at any given time. You never know who you will meet through an open-ended recruitment process, and it certainly gives you access to a wider pool of candidates than you might see when you have a time limit on filling roles fast.

Keeping an eye on recruitment year-round will also make for a smoother, easier hiring process when the timing is right to offer someone a position. With more practice reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, your salon staff hiring team will have a better sense of what they’re really looking for and what makes a talented salon professional a perfect fit for your salon in particular.

It's a whole new world out there, and salon recruitment is changing for good — and for the better. Lock in your recruiting strategy with this free guide

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