5 hiring lessons to build your salon team

5 Hiring Lessons to Build Your Salon Team

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Just because you own a business does not mean you are a boss. And just because you have employees does not mean you are a leader. It takes investment, patience, and continually pouring life into your salon team to earn that title. However, some people do not want to work, may not fit in with your company’s culture, or cannot let go of old habits. And unfortunately, there is a possibility that you may end up hiring one (or a few) of those people to be apart of your team. Keep reading on lessons that you can emulate to ensure your salon team is behind you to push your salon to the next level.

1. Be Quick to Hire & Slow to Fire

Most say that "trust is not given, it is earned." When it comes to hiring a stylist or employee for your salon, you should take the opposite stance. Do not take the long approach when conducting the hiring process and trusting a new employee. Not only does it hurt your business, but it can also cause you to lose out on good employees. When you take too long to follow up with an interview, you take a chance on losing that interviewee to another company ready to hire them. Taking too long to hire someone can also increase the strain on your current employees. They may feel like they have to cover more appointments which can lead to burn out of your current staff. Moreover, It takes a long time to onboard someone. So even if you add someone to your salon team, they will not be a productive member of your staff for at least a week and if you are adding that time to the length of time that it takes to choose.

Trusting and Training

Remember that your current employees are watching how you are proceeding with the hiring process. Proceed with patience and help guide your new employee into their new position. Your current employees will be more likely to pitch in and help to train them if they see that you are invested in their success as well. Start out trusting that your employee is going to go above and beyond the job that they are required to do. When you do this, your employee is going to give you their trust and hopefully take on tasks that you have not asked them to do, and it will better your salon. For example, if you hire a shampoo girl, start out showing her the ropes for the first couple of days. Allow her to demonstrate that you have adequately trained her at the start of her second week. Then let her prove to you that she knows what she is doing. If you do that and refrain from hovering over her the chances are when she has down time she may go beyond her job description. She'll take on things like refilling the shampoo bottles to prepare for her next shift. When she does, take note. You have given her trust and freedom, and she has returned that gift with an initiative.

2. Pair People With Their Passions

Find time to delegate. Once you have established a trusting relationship with your salon team, make sure you audit their positions. Take advantage of when it is time to assign them new tasks. Ensure that these tasks fit their interests and are something that they will likely excel in. The best way to do that is to key in on what they do well. Then try to get them a position that requires them to do that on the weekly basis. When you're first starting out you may not have people on your staff to delegate to, or you may not have enough trust in your salon team to delegate them important tasks. However that mistrust could lead to a dysfunctional business, and who knows how long you'll be able to keep up. For longevity in your salon, invest in your salon team. If a good employee is in a position and they're not doing the greatest job, you may need to invest time in moving them to a different position. The “be slow to fire” mantra should be in your head on repeat. For example, a lot of salons are currently developing specialty services so that their clients know to come to them for a specific styling technique. If you notice that one of your stylists are constantly doing silk presses and they are bored with that task, it might be time to invest in sending them to a coloring class or a deva cut class. Think about it; if you invest in a class for an employee who you think would perform better or be happier offering a new service and they still seem uninterested at the salon or have a bad attitude when servicing clients, you know that that employee doesn't want to work at your salon. That is when you can start taking steps to let them go.

3. Explain Your Changes

Getting people in new positions can also help you explain to your salon team the importance of staying up on trends and elevating your service list. A lot of salon owners fail to communicate with their employees. They don't let them know what needs to happen on a macro level for the success of the salon. For example, letting your office manager know that it is vital that they confirm appointments while also making sure that the salon remains in stock with product is essential. Tell them that it enables you as an owner to focus on the salon marketing, getting more people in the door, and ensures that we can still service them. Communicate your “whys” to your staff so that way they can take charge and let you know what they can do to help achieve more. Changes like this will lead to a happier salon team who feels like they are being challenged but also appreciated for their work.

4. Plan for the Future and Include Your Employees In it

Do not be complacent with the hiring process. Sure, you may have a full staff in place this week. But don't think next week won't bring a slew of events that could cause employees to get let go or want to leave! Life throws curve balls. You should never stop accepting applications. Never stop having a few stylists on call just in case you find yourself with empty booths. Be proactive. Cross train your shampoo girls on your appointment system when the manager calls out sick or goes on vacation so that you are never caught unprepared. We know that the beauty industry tends to have a high turnover rate. In order to make sure that you're always able to service clients, you need to make sure that you always have staff. Have a hiring plan in place to secure your salon’s future; especially, if you're anticipating some growth in your business. A lot of people look at hiring as a reaction instead of part of their strategy to execute their business plan and be proactive. I realize that not everyone has an unlimited payroll. If you know that you can't afford or don’t have the current space to hire another full-time stylist think about adding on another shampoo girl. This way, your stylists do not have to worry about shampooing clients when they could be styling hair, finishing clients, and getting them out the door!

Talk to Your Salon Team

Also, talk to your stylist. Talk to your shampoo girls. Talk to the part-timer that you have come in to sweep the floors. Ask these employees about possible positions that they think would add to your business and would need filling as your company grows. They're the ones dealing with the day-to-day business so they're going to know if you need a manager for your front desk and you also need a manager to handle the buying of products. That then frees up the office manager so that they do not become inundated with stress.

5. Nurture and Mentor

Remember, you have to stay invested in all of your staff. In regards to new staff, remain involved in their onboarding and check in with them as they learn about the culture of your salon. Just because that stylist or manager gets through the first day, excels through that first week, or passes their 90-day trial does not mean you're time with them is done. With both current and new employees it is your job as a salon owner to be a mentor to your stylists until they're ready to pursue their own goals. Whether that goal is the opening of their own salon one day, or working as a celebrity stylist, it's not enough to hire them and move them around to different positions. Promote them to lead stylist and give them the opportunity to have experience leading! If you are hiring a shampoo girl, you need to anticipate mentoring her through her career as a cosmetologist. Yes, your goal should be to keep her in your salon until she becomes a master stylist or even longer than that! But nurture her talent while you have it. Make the time to ask all of your staff members how you can help them to accomplish their goals. If they want to create hair products, talk about the process with them and be their first customer! Getting behind your employee makes them not only want to work for you as long as they can, but it's also how you build connections that you may need in the future. Remember, if your old employees can reach out and help you after they are gone that can grow your business as well.

These Lessons Are For The Taking

Don't be so caught up in building your own dream that you neglect the dreams of those working for you! Realize that you need to bring people on to your salon team that want to be there, and ensure that they have the tools to do their best work. When they have earned your trust, promote them and give them something to look forward to. Continuously work to ensure that your business has the staff it needs to run effectively. Be a mentor to everyone involved in your business; sew into them, and you will reap all of the benefits. Like Beyonce said...ain't nothin' to a boss!
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