I have worked with many hairstylists for over twenty years and from my experience I have to say that it is very important to hire the right people to compliment your hair salon operation. The quality of your team will determine success and longevity of your hair styling empire.
A good hairstylist is not that easy to find. Besides the expert knowledge in hairstyling you want a reliable, punctual, honest and a people person serving clients in your hair salon. You want someone who likes working with people and whose personality help your salon to attract more clients.
I have seen hairstylists with a lack of inspiration who do not like to be bothered with such things as a continues improvement of their skills, failed to come on time, disrespect their clients and even try to take someone else’s clients. If you faced with such problem, solve it and solve it fast.
In any rate, I am glad to report that in my San Diego hair salon I do not have such issues. Why? I have learned how to hire people and that helped me to establish an environment that allowed me keeping my hairstylists employed for decades and to achieve the highest rate of satisfaction from my clients in the entire San Diego hair salon scene.
When it comes to interviewing a new candidate to join your salon, I am following these steps and I hope you will find these helpful:
- First, talk with a person over the phone. This will help you to save while interviewing potential candidates. If you have a popular hair salon you will have quite a few candidates wanting to join you. Telephone interview will allow you to select the best candidates for the second round of personal interview. Ask general questions about their qualifications, experience and specialties. Ask why they left their previous salon. Listen not just to what they are saying but how they talk. This will help you to make a decision whether you want to see this person for the second round of interviewing.
- Your face-to-face interview will take about 30-40minutes, even if you are in love with the person; give yourself time to ask the right questions.
- What is their experience? Here you really can learn how knowledgeable they are about hairstyling.
- What did they learn lately? This will help you to know if they really like their job or just making a living.
- Who did they work for? This will help you to establish a qualification of this person. If they worked for a known, busy hair salon, that is certainly a plus.
- Why did they leave their previous salon? Listen carefully, this could tell you a lot about a person and possibly indicate potential problems.
- Who are their references? Get a few clients and previous boss’s references. Sometimes, your candidate may have disagreement with their previous employer, if that is the case, I would get to the bottom of it. Trust me, employers are not always right, and I happened to be one.
- Are they punctual? This is very important, if you have a busy salon, you better have organized people, otherwise you will have a whole bunch of irritated people in your hair salon and that will not help your business or the friendly atmosphere.
- What hair products do they prefer using? I always pay attention to that. People who use hair products that contain harmful chemicals for the sake of temporary effect care very little about their client’s hair heath and that tells me a lot about a hair stylist.
- Can they work extra time if needed? You need a team player, someone who can cover and back you up if need be. Do not allow selfish and arrogant people in your salon, no matter how experienced they are in hairstyling. You will have more problems than you can handle.
- How do they get along with people? See how a person responds; ask them to tell you a couple of funny or unusual stories from their personal hairstyling experience.
- When you speak with a candidate, see how they respond to your questions and how likeable they are. Don’t be afraid to throw in a couple of hardball questions and see how a hairstylist reacts.
- Learn about their knowledge of hygiene and cleanliness. Do they follow all the regulations?
- When asking questions about hairstyling experience, find out how versatile and proficient they are in hair cutting, hair coloring, perms, hair styling. Can they work with men, women, children? Do they know how to suggest hairstyles for different age groups? Your goal is to find a hairstylist who is versatile and experienced.
- Find out if your candidate can sell hair products and how he or she sells them. Can they explain the benefits of the products you carry? Do they care for client’s best interests? Can they help you client’s retention?
- Have a trial cut in your shop with a volunteer client or a model and observe their work. Make it a simple hair job and take mental notes on how hairstylist performs the techniques and handles the client.
If you follow these steps you are likely to hire a great addition to your hair salon. I have a great team of top-notch San Diego hairstylists. I am proud to have them in my hair salon.
Nancy Faulkner, San Diego Hair Salon Tamales