How top salons recruit, interview and hire

Hiring, hiring, hiring, that is the H-O-T topic of every business across all industries. Post-pandemic hiring is causing some dramatic and unique shifts in the recruitment landscape. The demand for talent is greater than the supply, and talent shortages are at an all-time high. We have a great surge of clients wanting to visit our salons but a smaller team unable to take the demand. We are dealing with a perfect storm—the Board of Cosmetology closing and pausing testing for licenses, the Great Resignation across the country, which is now evolved into the Great Reshuffling, and the list goes on.

If you haven’t made recruitment and hiring a top priority, you are behind the 8-ball. It is no longer an option to sit back and expect candidates to show up with a resume or portfolio in hand. You cannot wait for them to find you. You must be proactively recruiting all year round if you want to find great, talented staff to fill all the roles in your salon. Embracing recruitment, interviewing, and hiring to build a robust talent pipeline is the name of this game.

It’s time to rethink your approach and draft new strategies for your next surge of potential staff. Complacency in our industry can cost your company to lose a competitive edge. It’s important to note that in order for you to gain success in this area, you will want to layer each of the below strategies. The wider you extend your network, the higher your opportunities for success!

We’re going to look at the five common practices that lead to winning the recruitment game. These trends are shaping recruitment, interviewing and hiring. You MUST embrace them in order for your salon business to become a part of the leading bunch!

  1. Who’s in charge? Having someone assigned to this project is an absolute must for recruitment success. Selecting a lead recruiter for this role and investing the time to strategize and execute is a non-negotiable. All businesses wanting to be effective in hiring efforts need to have a dedicated brand representative with excellent communication, organization and relationship-building skills. Forward-thinking businesses are already recognizingthe benefits of appealing to job seekers with a brand ambassador who attracts like-minded personalities and talent.
  2. Do the basics still work? YES!!! Beauty school collaboration worked, still works, and will continue to work. This is the cornerstone of our industry—don’t discount the power of connection and the talent funnel that schools can provide you. Collaboration starts with understanding what drives, motivates and inspires your new workforce. It’s key to a successful recruiting strategy in any era.
  3. Are you leveraging technology? Your social media channels are an integral part of modern life. The way you present your brand and EVP (employee value proposition) has a direct impact on your ability to attract talent. Would you work for you based on your social brand? Your potential new-hires should be seeing your brand in multiple spaces; your website’s Careers page, your social media channels, on wide-net job boards and at careers fairs. Are you showcasing your amazing culture? Is your branding consistent, engaging, fun and attractive to the kind of candidates you want to hire?
  4. What’s a multiple attraction channel, a network, and pools? These all present a vast pool of potential talent. The first step is to access and market on career sites like Indeed or Canvas Me. Update your Careers page and making sure it is mobile friendly with an easy-to-submit interest form (this one is a game-changer!). Use the alumni lists available from your local schools. Lastly, be sure to show off specific aspects of your culture. Especially areas that would appeal to your targeted talent on all your social channels. Don’t forget to link to your website’s Careers page.
  5. Too Slow? You MUST respond within 24 hours or less to keep the interest high. You already know that we are in an employee market. Every stage of the hiring journey is a reflection of your brand. Don’t delay in capturing every single opportunity. Potential candidates have multiple choices, they have multiple distractions, don’t let them wonder off and lose their engagement simply because you didn’t act with a sense of urgency. Your EVP (employee value proposition) starts here. Your employer brand isn’t just the way you look. It is highly reflected in how you treat your candidates at every single stage of the hiring journey.

For any business, in any industry, changes are inevitable and recruitment, interviewing and hiring is not an exception. The businesses who can adapt will always be ahead of the curve and continue to thrive. Understanding the factors that influence the market and workforce, plus leveraging the newest trends, puts you in the best position to recruit the best talent and continue to grow your salon team. From recruitment to interviewing and finally hiring—the key is to prioritize your candidate’s experience, employer branding and alternative sourcing channels.