It’s like they’ve shut the doors and stopped manufacturing beauty therapists all together! Remember when you’d advertise a position and get a deluge of applications? You’d have so many candidates to sort, you’d run another add just to let the world know you’d filled the vacancy.
Times have changed. Our industry is no longer a go-to for school leavers or career-changers. Schools and parents are pressuring young people to keep studying, to go on to university. There’s a flawed perception that you can’t shape a great career in hair and beauty. Dwindling numbers of people are entering our industry and our drop-out rate is higher than ever.
When therapists are thin on the ground, you need to get proactive and position your business as salon
of choice. How? Kick-off with my four sure-fire tips.
1. START WITH YOU
You need to work harder on yourself than anyone else. Ask yourself the hard questions. Why would anyone want to work for you? What do you have to offer that the salon down the road doesn’t? Is your mindset letting you down? If you honestly believe you’ll never find anyone because there are NO potential team members out there, guess what?
That’s exactly what you’ll get. Zilch.
Shift your mindset to positive. When you believe it’s possible, you open the door to all sorts of opportunities. Maybe things you haven’t even though of yet. No one wants to work for someone who whinges and constantly thinks below the line. Step up to being the sort of salon owner or team leader you’d enjoy working with yourself.
2. PLAN AHEAD
If you’re hiring to fill an unexpected gap, you’re under pressure and not in control of the process. It’s stressful
and frustrating. Before you know it, you find yourself pulled back onto the floor to plug the hole.
Understand that everyone on your team is leaving. Some day. Even you have an expiry date. It’s not if, it’s when. So plan for it. Don’t let it be a taboo subject. If you talk openly with your team about the future, you’re
more likely to know when they’re making plans of their own. This week, ask each team member where they see themselves in six months, a year or longer. Give them the confidence to be honest. Share with them that although you don’t want to lose them, you’d much prefer having six months notice to a couple of weeks.
Always, always be looking for fresh talent. Never stop. When you do need to fill a gap (in a hurry or not) you’ll have a pool of possibilities to work with, rather than having to make a desperate decision based on whoever answers your ad first.
3. DAZZLE ‘EM WITH YOUR AD
Lacklustre job ads – one of my pet peeves! “We’re looking for a passionate and enthusiastic … blah, blah, blah.” Does every salon owner use the same bland and boring template when they sit down to compose their ad? Because if your ad’s bland and boring, it will attract bland and boring applicants. Trust me: there’s much more to it than simply tacking your salon name and contact details on the end of an ad you copied from goodness-knows-where.
These days, our target audience for job ads is generally millennials and Gen Ys. Any marketing guru will tell you those target groups are motivated by one key factor: What’s in it for me? They don’t care what you’re looking for – only about the benefits to them of joining your team. So tell them!
Sell the position to them. Sell your salon culture. Sell your training commitment. Sell your beautiful salon environment. Your friendliness. Your supportive team. Your quirkiness and your creativity. Whatever you stand for, sell it to your potential applicants.
They’re potentially going to spend more waking hours in your business than they spend with their loved ones, so give them a reason to believe it’s worthwhile. In fact, give them lots of reasons to believe. Tell them how your salon’s different to others. Think about what might be making them dissatisfied at their current or previous salon and show them you’re the opposite. Stand out from the crowd, loud and proud of who you are.
“Haul in a big, diverse catch and sort through it to find an awesome, just-right-for-you therapist who’ll help you WOW your clients!”
Want to really connect with potential team members? A picture tells a thousand words, and video makes it a whole new ballgame. Yes, I want you to push beyond your comfort zone and create a video job advertisement. Don’t tell them, show them – who you are and where they’ll be working. Get your team members to share their thoughts on what they love about working with you. Feeling fearful about being filmed? Get over it and ask yourself whether or not three minutes of discomfort is worth the joy of finding an awesome team member.
4. CAST YOUR NET WIDE
Don’t box yourself in by narrowing down the field before you even begin. If your job ad stipulates jumping hoops like “minimum 5 years experience” or “fulltime only” you’re denying yourself the opportunity to meet a perfect potential new team member with a star-studded 4-year background seeking a 4-days-a-week position. In my role as a salon coach, I meet many team members with little-to-no experience who respond beautifully to training, fit into the salon like they’ve always been there and end up surpassing all expectations.
Cast your net wide and broad. Don’t limit your “catch” by being over-specific. If a person is the right fit for you and your salon, is teachable and has passion for our industry, they’ll be an asset to your business whether they end up working part-time or fulltime, and whether or not they have bucketloads of experience. People can tick all sorts of boxes without having the personality or the attitude to get on with your clients and team members.
Cast away. Haul in a big, diverse catch and sort through it to find an awesome, just-right-for-you therapist who’ll help you WOW your clients and take your salon to the next exciting level.
Jay is a specialist ZING salon coach. For more salon wisdom, email ZING at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website, find video tips on YouTube or read ZING leader Lisa Conway’s brand new book: Your Salon Team – the salon owner’s guide to finding, motivating and keeping great staff. www.zingcoach.com