The Top 5 Recruiting Strategies of Successful Salons


Why is recruiting such a major struggle for salon owners? Have you heard the saying that you have to be “slow to hire and quick to fire”? While that is such sound advice, the problem that arises before you’re able to put this saying to use is having a plethora of options to choose from.

So, how do you get people jazzed up about your brand? So much so that they’re knocking down your door, wanting to be a part of your tribe? Kati Whitledge, our beloved host, is sharing her top five recruiting strategies for building a successful salon.  

In addition to hosting the Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality metrics.  

Always Be Recruiting and Accepting Applications

Take a minute to think about your salon’s average turnover, how many stylists and front desk employees do you typically have to replace in a year?

For example, based on Kati’s averages, she anticipates that she will lose up to two stylists per year. That means she should be looking to hire three to four new team members each year because not only might she have stylists that leave her, but she’s also in growth mode and she’s hoping to build her team.

Your numbers might look different than Kati’s, but regardless, you should always be planning ahead when it comes to hiring and on-boarding, because you want to have an abundance of options for when the time comes.

Quick Tip: Do you have a page on your salon website dedicated to hiring and on-boarding? Good! Does it say that you’re “currently not hiring”? Bad!

Even if you aren’t actively hiring at this time, you never want to promote that on your website Instead, you should always give the impression that you’re open for receiving applications. You never know when the perfect applicant might send over their resume, and you want to have options for when the time comes!

Have a Digital Plan for Attracting Dedicated People

In today’s digital age, it’s so important to give potential employees the option to submit their applications online. Your ideal candidates are now coming from the Millennial and Gen Z generations, and they’re so used to immediate gratification that they’ll skip right over your salon if you can’t provide them that opportunity.  

Instead of instructing interested candidates to email a copy of their resume to the hiring manager at your salon, you should include a digital application right there on your website.

You should also be super specific about each position you’re looking to fill when you are actively hiring, because you’re going to be looking for very different qualifications when hiring a marketing manager versus a new assistant stylist. The more direct you are when sharing your expectations for the position, the more promising your potential candidates will be. 

Quick Tip: What’s better than having one page dedicated to recruiting and hiring? Having multiple! If you have one page for each position you’re looking to fill, you can dedicate that page to displaying the specific qualifications necessary and even include an online application that is exclusive to that position. 

Share Videos on Social

There’s no better way to sell recruits on your brand than having your own stylists give their testimonials to working at your salon. What better way to help potential candidates get a feel for your salon culture than to have your team talk about their life in the salon?

You can upload video testimonials like these to your salon’s YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, even repurpose them for IGtv or on your social media stories. The beauty of creating video content is that it can be used and shared again and again—and it has a much higher chance of capturing your audience than typical graphics and photos do.

Be Active in Your Community

The fourth recruiting strategy that Kati stands by is staying active in your immediate community. As a salon owner, you and your team should be committed to building relationships with the local beauty schools and youth programs in your area as a means of seeking out talent.

You should be attending career fairs and offering to showcase your own talent by having your stylists teach classes at the local beauty schools. If you stay in front of these young potential candidates, you’ll be top of mind when it’s time for them to pursue a career.

Kati also highly recommend joining your local Chamber of Commerce or other business networking groups. The people around you are going to be your most valuable resources, and although groups like these are outside of your industry, they’re especially useful for when it comes to finding and hiring talent in other areas such as marketing or web design.

Level Up and Pay to Play

Finally, if you want to be hiring top tier talent you have to be raising the stakes and paying really well. Not to mention, it also pays to back your job postings on websites like Indeed or Craigslist. Be strategic about your listings and show that you’re serious about who you hire by putting in the extra effort.  

Kati will tell you that it’s worth investing in hiring because the cost of losing an employee is much greater, so you might as well spend a little extra in order to find someone that is really going to fit your brand.

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 175, and if you’d like to learn a little bit more about our host, Kati, check out her website and don’t forget to subscribe to the Beyond The Technique podcast for more incredible industry insight.