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How to Hire & Onboard New Stylists at Your Salon

How to hire and onboard new stylists at your salon
It’s time for your team to grow. Congratulations! Expanding your team of talented stylists is essential to growing your business and servicing more clients.

Finding the right fit employees isn’t always easy, though. Not only do you want to be sure your new hire has the technical skills they need to be successful in your salon, but you also want to make sure that they will work well with your team and contribute to a positive salon culture.

Growing pains are inevitable when it comes to expanding your team. Luckily, there are steps you can take to find the right employees for your salon and continue building a successful business. Here are a few tips you can use to hire and onboard new stylists and grow your salon.

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How to Hire Hair Stylists

1. Consider personality vs. skill.

At SALT Society, we always recommend hiring based on personality versus skill.

Although skill is incredibly important in the hair industry, it can always be perfected over time. Personality, on the other hand, is much more important when looking for your perfect candidate because it is something that cannot be changed.

The personality of a given candidate is also going to directly impact your overall salon culture. It’s imperative to keep your ideal salon culture in mind when expanding your team because this is going to be and will remain the heartbeat of your business.

2. Assess the whole candidate.

When adding new stylists to the team, it’s important to hold multiple interviews so that you can effectively assess the whole candidate. Remember that it is okay to take your time when selecting the right candidate for the job—after all, it’s much easier to determine if a person is not a good fit before you add them to your team rather than after!

On top of skills and personality, be sure to evaluate any other characteristics or talents that the candidate has which can impact their contribution to the salon. For example, social media is a very large portion of our marketing efforts at SALT. If a potential candidate already has a good understanding and a strong social media presence this will make this candidate's transition much smoother when coming to SALT.

3. Take your time.

Like we mentioned above, taking a slower approach to hiring can have it’s benefits.

Unfortunately, there are always going to be situations where you need to hire someone quickly. Being proactive and actively trying to alleviate this need to hire someone in a pinch will help your hiring efforts tremendously.

When you are in a situation where you need to hire someone quickly, you tend to make rushed decisions which leads to a higher chance that you choose someone that isn’t the perfect match. This is only going to cause potential issues later down the road.

To avoid this, always be proactive and continuously be on the lookout for the perfect candidate. This way when you have an open position, you already found the right person, alleviating you having to make business decisions under stressful circumstances.

The Onboarding Process

The onboarding process for your new stylists should be extensive. At SALT Society, our onboarding period is about a week long and goes over every detail of the business that a stylist will encounter in their role.

The most important thing to remember is that the onboarding process should happen before the new stylist takes any clients on the floor. This means that their first week of working with you will prepare them for their new job, but it won’t actually reflect what their role will look like right away. Instead it will provide them the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the salon so they can hit the ground running when they begin to see clients.

A sample onboarding schedule could look like something like this:

  • Day 1: Provide an overview of the salon, including filling out necessary paperwork, covering how to use the POS system, scheduling appointments, cleaning and salon tasks expectations, and reviewing the employee handbook.
  • Day 2: Work on technical skills on either a mannequin or model/friend.
  • Day 3: Discuss standards for client communication, consultations, and showcasing work on social media. Practice scheduling clients using proper salon verbiage and communication.
  • Day 4: Have the new hire shadow you to get a full understanding of how things all work together at the salon.
  • Day 5: Shadow the new hire and give constructive feedback. Observe them scheduling clients, conducting consultations, and performing services on models or clients.

Expanding Your Salon

Finding talented stylists who have both the technical know-how and a personality that matches your salon culture can be a difficult task. After all, you want to hire stylists that feel like a natural addition to your hair family.

Using the tips above, you can thoroughly vet potential candidates to find the right fit for your team. Most importantly, with each candidate ask yourself: does this person embody my salon culture and beliefs fully? If not, your search should continue.

Once you’ve found the perfect candidate that will positively contribute to your salon, take the necessary steps to onboard your new stylist and prepare them to become a valued member of your team.

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