5 Keys to Recruiting New Team Members

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BY PHIL JACKSON

With a number of salons closing their doors for good, there are qualified teams looking for work. There are also a lot of self-employed stylists and therapists who are looking to come back on the payroll. For salons with growth plans for this year, that means there's an opportunity to recruit in a way we haven’t seen for years.

  1. Marketing your vacancy
    A lot of salon owners are disappointed when they advertise their vacancies on Facebook, but when you think about it that makes perfect sense. You’ve spent years building your Facebook page to appeal to customers, not potential employees. You need a blatant call-to-arms to get your customers to share your vacancy off your page. That doesn’t mean potential applicants won’t be stalking you on social media. Try to ensure at least 20 percent of your posts show what a great place your salon is to work, what a great, friendly team you have and how you invest in the training and development of your employees. 
     
  2. Make your expectations really clear from the start
    Take the opportunity to refresh your job descriptions. Make them easy to read and don’t be afraid to make earning potential and performance expectations crystal-clear. Coaching your team toward targets they didn’t realize were important is hard work. Putting your targets in your job description ensures what you expect has been communicated from Day One. It may mean some potential applicants are put off from taking their application further—which is great!  Only those who feel they can hit those targets will apply.

     
     
  3. Review your application process
    I’ve helped salon owners get some great applicants by making it much easier to apply for a position. If it’s OK for you to advertise a position on social media, I think it should also be fine for an applicant to express their interest on social media. Judging applicants on whether they have a beautiful CV doesn’t get you great stylists or therapists; it gets you people who can put a CV together!
     
  4. Test the skills
    A trade test is essential. For apprentices, the test was a training session where they'd watch their attitude to learning a new skill and taking feedback. When in the recruitment process, the trade tests will depend on your priorities. Personally I always interviewed first because an applicant’s skills weren’t relevant if I didn’t enjoy our conversation. Other salons prioritize technical skills and hold the trade test first.
     
  5. Review your selection process
    We’re all out of the loop as far as in-person communication is concerned. Start the journey in a non-intimidating way with a telephone interview (but call it a chat). This is your chance to make sure the applicant understands which position they have applied for and saves a lot of wasted time. When we’re able, follow the call with an in-person chat (don’t call it an interview).  A formal interview process, again, won’t get you great team members—it just gets you people who are great at interviews!


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With 20 years in the salon industry and a passion for innovation, Phil Jackson is an international business coach offering a unique perspective on the challenges of salon ownership. Phil works with many salons, barbershops and spas  around the world to build a business they can feel proud of, making sure they look outside the box and consider all aspects of the business.