If you’re a salon owner too busy to properly on-board new employees and then wondering why they aren’t working out, it’s time to look inwards. Salon culture can’t be compromised for any other aspect of the business and, as the salon owner, you could be both the problem and solution when it comes to this issue.

Marie Drever from Zing talks about how to on-board like a pro, sharing her fast-track guide to on-boarding a new team member like a boss, built on decades of salon experience.

Step 1: Where and how do I advertise?

Let’s start with the most affordable option – socials.

Keep in mind, your ad needs to set your salon scene. Instead of setting out a tick list of what you want in a stylist, flaunt the best things you have to offer a new employee. Your ad should be honest while offering prospects a sense of inspiration and aspiration. Remember, they’re looking for a great employee experience, not just a job.

Highlight your focus on creativity, education, in-salon communication and meetings, annual leave, entitlements, the salon’s passionate staff and the prospective employee’s hair journey – whatever you think your salon can offer most. Ask them to drop a CV and photo in the hope of coming in to talk to the salon.

Step 2: How do I interview?

Keep your interviews professional but relaxed. You want your applicants to be themselves. Focus on asking a series of questions in a conversational way.

You’ll want to discover how long they’ve been at their current salon and what they think their employer would say about them if you were to call. In most cases, you can’t call because they’re still employed, but you can learn a lot by how they respond to this question.

Second interviews are a must, but don’t wait too long or risk those stylists taking up another opportunity instead. Focus the second interview on strengths that set this applicant apart from others, and on fleshing out whether they fit the role. Ask them about their preferred environment, career goals and salary expectations.

Choose carefully, using your business brain as well as your instincts. Tune in to the applicant who best fits your existing team, complements your salon skills base and demonstrates they’re reliable and teachable.

What does a great induction look like?

Induction is my favourite area. Nailing it is a wonderful feeling.

If you’ve never done a decent induction, it’s time to start. Think about putting it together for your current team members, too – as an update for them and an opportunity to get everyone on the same page.

Start by hitting up your local stationery supplier for an impressive, pro-looking folder for presenting your induction info to each new (or existing) team member.

Seek industry-specific advice on putting your staff contract together. An organisation like the Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC) can help make sure it’s legal and professional.

Make sure employee expectations are made clear from day one so no bad behaviours or old habits creep in. Your team members don’t know what they don’t know, so you need to articulate it clearly, both verbally and in writing in the induction information.

Your induction info might include a tax declaration form, initial training or education plan, employment form including personal details, next of kin, bank details and super fund details, leave application forms, weekly performance sheets and a team introduction that includes roles and responsibilities. It should also include a checklist defining parking, storage facilities, break expectations, how to record hours, the pay cycle, annual leave policies, sick leave procedures, fire plan, security procedures, policy and procedures manual, service and product discounts, product knowledge and education, refreshment serving advisements and more.

It’s critical that you review the induction material with the team member so you can answer any questions and clarify any confusion up front. Have the team member sign-off and acknowledge their understanding of the material.

Consider adding an induction review to the schedule each quarter, or as appropriate for your salon.

I know what you’re thinking – this seems like a lot of work. Trust me, it’s absolutely worthwhile. Once you save and implement your induction as a system, you can pull-up and generate the material quickly and simply.

Next time you need to on-board a new team member you’ll be ready with an advertising plan, an interview outline and comprehensive induction material. Now, that’s on-boarding like a boss!

For more information visit www.zingcoach.com.au