A salon is nothing without its stylists. One of the most challenging aspects of owning a salon is hiring and retaining good employees. For many this can be a daunting task, not only is the beauty industry subject to a high degree of turnover, but there’s a lot riding on the talent and ability of your staff.
So, the goal is to recruit talented and loyal stylists who come bearing positive energy and good work ethic—simple right? Well Brandon Hensley is here to tell you that it’s easier than you think.
You might remember Brandon from our previous podcast episode featuring his best tips for boosting your salon business through your website, in which he actually discusses ways you can use your website for recruiting. If you missed it, we’ll give you a quick recap: Brandon, and his wife and business partner Janet, own and operate the Tangerine Salon Group, a collection of renowned luxury salons with quite the reputation in the beauty industry. Among their many accomplishments they recently became the exclusive salon for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.
Having just opened their fifth branch of Tangerine Salon, Brandon is all too familiar with the motions of recruiting and retaining employees. Whether you’re struggling to find fresh talent or suffering from constant turnover, Brandon argues that you can win this battle by following these
simple recruiting and retention practices.
Sell New Stylists on Your Salon
You have to appeal to the best of the up and coming stylists before you can attempt to attract new clients. Of course, in order to entice new staff to join your team, you have to have your business in order, so these two go hand-in-hand.
It’s even more important to set your salon above the rest in bigger cities where there is simply more competition. So, you have to start by creating a salon environment that everybody wants to work in. If your salon is able to staff the top new talent, your clientele will grow naturally.
Create an Apprenticeship Program
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re only hiring the cream of the crop when it comes to new stylists is to raise them yourself. By creating your own apprenticeship program within your salon, you can take brand new talent, students just out of beauty school, and shape them into your top preforming master stylists.
New employees are always looking for ways to further develop their skills. An apprenticeship program gives recent graduates the advanced education opportunities they’re looking for. Not to mention, it also ensures that you are protecting your salon culture and brand by setting certain standards for your employees and the work they produce.
Make Use of Social Media
The next step is getting your employment opportunities in front of the right people. Brandon suggests using Instagram as your main marketing tool for attracting new stylists. Today, everyone is on Instagram. Students and recent graduates rely heavily on this platform to showcase their work. As an employer, you won’t want to be the last ones up to bat.
For the Tangerine Salon Group this means curating a tasteful and cohesive salon Instagrampage with high quality pictures of their best work. You want your Instagram page to be representative of your brand, just like your website. Think of it as simply another way for students and potential staff members to find you, and then make sure they’ll like what they see.
Brandon also encourages salon owners to take advantage of the opportunities for two-way communication over these various platforms. Don’t shy away from reaching out to students that catch your eye. If you stumble upon a talented young hair artist’s social media page and you’re
impressed with what you see—let them know!
Communicate Your Culture Every Day
The number one way to retain employees is to communicate your culture every single day. Your salon staff want to know that they work in a place that they can be proud of. In order to keep your employees feeling happy and fulfilled in the workplace you have to reiterate your purpose and make clear your collective mission every chance you get.
It’s good to give your staff a pat on the back every once in a while. Retaining staff is easy when you practice positive reinforcement. Remind your stylists that they are appreciated. Remind them that they belong to a team, a team that you hold to high standards because you know they can reach them, and one that you are honored to represent.
When you run a great business, and are able to create an environment that people want to work in, fresh young talent will naturally gravitate toward your salon. This will in turn spur a new wave of clientele to come in and see what you’re all about—it’s a promising cycle.
If you want to hear more of Brandon’s best tips for boosting your business, listen to his first podcast appearance, episode 132. If you want to listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 144.