Recruitment continues to be a pressing issue for salons, and here we gain the insights from business consultant Phil Jackson from Build Your Salon on this important business skill. In the shifting business landscape of the pandemic, there can be an opportunity for salons to on-board valuable new members, if you know how.

As such, follow Phil’s tips to elevate your skills and gain more essential team members for your salon space.

Phil Jackson

Market 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,” Phil explained. 

“That doesn’t mean potential applicants won’t be stalking you on social media,” he said. “Try to ensure at least 20 per cent 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.” 

Make your expectations clear from the start

“Take the opportunity to refresh your job descriptions,” Phil said. “Make them easy to read and don’t be afraid to make earning potential and your performance expectations crystal-clear. Coaching your team towards targets they didn’t realise 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.”

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 too. 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!”

Test the skills

“A trade test is essential – for apprentices their ‘test’ was a training session where we would watch their attitude to learning a new skill and taking feedback. When in the recruitment process you have the trade tests will depend on your priorities,” Phil said. “Personally I always interviewed first because an applicant’s skills weren’t relevant if I didn’t enjoy our conversation. Other salons prioritise technical skills and hold the trade test first.”

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),” Phil advised. “This is your chance to make sure the applicant understands which position they have applied for and save 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!”