Hire Power

As a business owner, surrounding yourself with excellence is critical to the success of your salon. But the process of hiring and training can be stressful, indeed! After all, when it comes to the hair industry, it’s not just about looking at a resume or sizing up a personality…you’re seeking an individual with talent, creativity, and the ability to work as a team player. A person who will be representing YOU to the public.

I’ve hired plenty of great (and occasionally not so great) employees over the years; and at this point, I have a pretty good sense of what it takes to find a team member who will flourish under my tutelage. Thought I’d share my hiring hints today…

Know what you’re looking for: It may sound intuitive, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people get loosey-goosey with a job description, thinking, “Well, maybe I’ll have them do this…or maybe that.” Trust me, it’s a mistake. The more defined the role of the employee, the better the chance that they will rise to the challenge and be exactly what you want them to be. Most people love structure because it gives them a framework for excellence. Prior to your search, precisely outline the work you need done, the skills required to succeed in the job, a list of all the tasks required, and have a very firm idea of how you’d like the employee to interact and behave with others.

Hire for the future, not just the now: Think of hiring as an investment in your business…you want someone who is promotable, who will work happily for the long haul, and become an asset to your company.

Put your ego on hold: Surround yourself with the most motivated, brightest, best people you can find…in fact, hire yourself! Remember: A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Support their “entry:” Manage (or assign someone to manage) the new person’s first few days on the job. Make introductions, be clear about their workspace, arrival and departure times, and explain the salon hierarchy, job responsibilities, and expectations.

Check in with your new hire: Plan to have a lunch, coffee, or a walk around the block from time to time so you can “take their temperature” and make sure everything is going well for your newbie. Speak less and listen more; just knowing that they’re heard makes a significant difference to employees.

Heap on the praise: Everyone on this planet needs positive reinforcement: and for a new hire trying his or her best to fit in, it’s even more important. I like to praise people publicly, in front of other staff members, to make their achievements known. (But always keep the criticisms private.)

Go with the flow: Whether we like it or not, life changes. When a valued staff member has something big going on in their personal life—a new baby, change in marital status, personal or family health issues—be sure to listen, be supportive, and be flexible. Bend as much as you comfortably can without upsetting the needs of the business.

As a creative person, the administrative task of hiring new employees may not be in your wheelhouse. But with a good plan in hand, know that you can build the best team ever!

Care to share YOUR favorite hiring hints?