How to Recruit the Right People for Your Salon Business

by Matthew Batham / May 14, 2017

Nergish Wadia-Austin, Founder of PHAB Standard Ltd talks about the importance of proper recruitment procedures and the top five ways to recruit the best candidates for your business.

Understanding the job

This is the first step to hiring the best candidate. The manager should know exactly why they are hiring for the position. Are they replacing an existing position or are they creating a new position? What are they expecting from that perfect applicant? What sort of skills and knowledge will that candidate have to possess to fill that position and achieve the goals that are expected from that position? Once the manager has put the above answers in writing, the advert to recruit for this position has almost written itself. Just remember that some of the wish list will be required as a basic and some of it can be trained upon starting in that position. Now that the advert is specific and ready to be advertised managers will only get applicants who feel that they have some or many of the qualities and experience required, so already you have a better pool of applicants applying.

Advertising avenues

Managers need to remember that there are plenty of places to advertise for the right applicant these days. The obvious places are online recruitment sites, trade magazines wanted ads, local wanted ads, shop windows etc. Less obvious but equally as important are at the salon’s individual styling sections and the salon’s newsletters (for their customers to see), in staff meetings (preferably with a recruitment bonus attached), salon website, social media pages (including quotes from existing staff members on how great a place it is to work), reminders on Twitter etc. Finally, make sure that the nearby hairdressing colleges and their heads of hairdressing know what a great business you run and that you are always happy to help them in exchange for their best students in their graduating years.

 Keeping your focus on your objective while remaining fair

A detailed list of skills and knowledge, with a separate list of questions should be ready and waiting for each candidate that progresses to the interview stage. This way each applicant is asked the same things and all interviews are fair and meet each country’s equal opportunity policy. There will be a basic set of questions for each future employee of that salon but each specific job will have an extra set of questions specific to the position being filled. This is when step one of this article becomes critically important for the successful recruitment of the best candidate for the job.

How to decide when you have the right candidate:

When all the skills, knowledge and ‘specific to the position’ questions and their responses have been logged, the manager should have a clear idea of the most experienced, the most able, and the most knowledgeable candidate for the position. Invite them for a trade test or a day on the job for observations. Here too there needs to be a detailed checklist ready for the trade test so all applicants are tested in the same way for the sake of fairness. The same applies for a day on the job tests. The same examiner for the sake of standards and quality control must undertake these observations and trade tests. Now all the claims made by the candidates in their interviews can be observed and tested. The results of the interview and the observations will give the manager a list of areas each candidate is proficient at and which areas they will require further training in. Of course, you will choose the person that has the most skills and knowledge that require the least amount of training. However, please don’t forget the golden rule. You can train new employees in skills and in knowledge easily, but it is much more difficult to re-train deficiencies in their attitude towards their new job.

Making sure the ‘Candidate Well’ doesn’t dry up:

With their permission, keep almost perfect candidates on file for future vacancies. Keep in mind that home-grown and home-trained are really the best future employees so have in lace a definitive in house training programme and take part in work experience schemes with local education institutions. Trial apprenticeships schemes and see if they can work for you. Attend industry trade shows and form relationships with your local colleges. Keep in touch with local schools and offer to take part in their career choice days. Lastly, if you have lost great employees in the past, always keep the door open for them in case the grass was not as green as they thought it would be when they left your salon. Of course, I maybe stating the obvious here but really do make sure you run a business where your employees feel appreciated, are meeting their personal goals, have the opportunity to earn well, are rewarded according to their effort and their results and most importantly, standards are clearly defined, met and hopefully exceeded because of great leadership!

HJi readers can now get in touch with Nergish Wadia-Austin via the PHAB Business Helpline. A business solution service designed for Salon and Barbershop managers around the world. Managers and professionals can book time with her via the website at






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