How to hire the perfect salon team

5 mins read

Building a strong, dedicated team is important for the long term success of your hair & beauty business. Having the right people around you will give you and your clients confidence in the experience your salon provides, so you can focus on developing your business.  

So how do you make sure you’re finding and hiring the right team?

To find out, we asked Talya Avram, our very own Head of Talent Acquisition at Treatwell for some expert advice. Here’s what she had to say.

1. Know when it’s time to hire

First things first, it’s always good to challenge your thinking — is now really the right time? Take a look back at your salon’s performance over the last few months — your popular treatments, your product sales, your new and returning clients, everything you can get your hands on.

Then, start to dig into areas of opportunity. Are you having to turn away business because you’re full for certain treatments? Or are there new treatments taking off that you know could be an opportunity but you don’t have the skills to offer your clients at present?

See if there are places where you could use an extra pair of hands. And that doesn’t just have to be skills on the shop floor — need to spend more time behind the scenes on the management side of your business? Perhaps it’s time to hire a receptionist.

Digging into the hiring when and where is hugely important, to make sure you get the right people in the right role, at the right time. 

2. Really know who you’re looking for

Now that you know it’s time to grow your team, you can use all that fresh business insight to form a plan — what are the key skills your salon really needs right now? 

A really helpful tip I always share is: instead of falling into the trap of only seeing where you are right now, think about where you want to be in the future — then hire who you’d need to actually get there.

That’s even true of replacing someone who’s just left — you’re not required to replace them like-for-like. Take the opportunity to re-evaluate where your team is. Who do you have, and who would you benefit from having?

Map out the key attributes that would suit both the salon and you. Are you wanting someone who knows the latest trends? Does the candidate’s motivation for the job matter to you? These are things you could consider when deciding who it is you’re looking for. 

3. Search the right way

So you’ve done your homework, and have the perfect role in your head. Now it’s time to put that into writing.

It’s a good idea to start with a job description. The more clear and concise, the better. The more they know, the more likely you’re going to get the right people. 

Put yourself in their shoes — what would you want to see if you were applying for the role? That could include past experience required, qualifications, seniority, rough pay brackets (you can leave some room for discussion), expected hours, whether they should bring a portfolio of their work. 

It comes down to experience and skill, and that means you can’t specify gender, age or ethnicity. Remember: no unequal opportunities. 

Once your job description is set, you can get it out there. There are a few ways to do that:

  • Online job listings
  • Word of mouth
  • Social media 
  • Physical listings/shops

(Psst. We recently released a brand new, dedicated space online for this very thing, and it’s free. Check out Connect with Talent today)

4. Finding the one

Interviewing can be tough for everyone, so it pays off to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. Make sure you read their CVs, look at examples of their past experience and see if you think they’ll fit.

Think back to what that ideal candidate looked like and the attributes you identified. How can you include some questions that would help highlight the candidate’s strengths against these?

You’ve got limited time with each candidate, so it’s important you get the most out of them. Here are a few interview ideas to make sure you can do just that:

  • Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that give them some space to share an opinion, and you’ll learn more about them. For example, rather than “Did you enjoy your last job?”, you might ask “How did you feel about your last job?”
  • Take it outside. Changing the scenery to a coffee shop or short walk together can be a helpful way to keep the situation relaxed, upbeat and feel less stressful than sitting in the salon. You’ll learn more about a candidate if they’re relaxed.
  • Be honest. Remember, the goal of the exercise is to find someone you can trust and rely on — and that goes both ways. When they ask questions about you and your business, make sure you’re answering honestly, so they know if they’ll be a good cultural fit.
  • Equal opportunities. If you’re interviewing more than one person, you want to make sure you create a fair experience. Ensure you keep the same core questions, environment and interviewer to give them all a fair shot.

5. Saying yes

The final and most exciting step is making the offer to the person that you felt was the best fit. Give them a call and let them know the good news and hopefully, they’ll still be wanting to take the role. 

After they’ve accepted your offer, make sure to let the other candidates down easy. Be kind when you tell them and give them some feedback.