Nail Salon BUSINESS: How to Hire

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How to Fill the Candidate Pool
Even with all of the technology available today, referral by current employees is the go-to method of finding candidates for open positions because attitude and personality are such a big part of what brings success in the industry. It’s what the Mario Tricoci salon chain tries first, says Human Resources Director Ann Jadown. “It’s our best source for finding quality nail technicians,” she says. After that, Jadown places ads with online sites like Careerbuilder and Craiglist.

Recruiting year-round instead of only when positions are open is something Jadown highly recommends--and does herself. “By doing so, you are guaranteed to always have a pool of talented candidates and will not compromise your standards. If you only hire when you have openings or are desperate, you tend to lower your standards with the result of hiring candidates who are truly not a fit.” Including career information for potential candidates on a salon website is a great way to collect applications at no cost and with virtually no effort after the page is created (except for following up!). Examples of online applications can be found on the websites of Salon Allure in Huntsville, Alabama (www.salonallurehuntsville.com), H2O Salon & Spa in Metaire, Louisiana (www.h2osalon-spa.com), and :10 Minute Manicure, which has locations in major airports (www.10minutemanicure.com).

Of course, an additional page on the website that describes the type of people the salon employs can attract like-minded folks as well as save some time in the pre-screening stages. Keith Kristofer Salon in Austin, Texas (www.keithkristofer.com), has an extensive “Business and Career” section on its website, and has posted what they look for in a team member as well as questions that might be asked in an interview. Making this information public is not a guaranteed way to weed out candidates who wouldn’t be a good salon fit, of course, but it does give an excellent picture of salon expectations in various areas of the hiring process.

Dealing With A Bad Fit
Unfortunately, even the best intentions don’t provide a fail-safe guarantee. Sooner or later, a poor fit will become apparent and action will need to be taken to preserve the integrity of the salon and the consistency of what it offers to clients. Owens says, “When you have people on the team who are not happy in their job, you are running the risk that they are not giving your customer their best. They could also be creating an unsavory environment for co-workers. Keeping someone on your team who does not do their job well or does not have the right attitude will pollute your team environment, which can result in your team questioning your leadership.”

Lee gives all new hires a test run. “Everyone is hired on a ninety-day probationary period with bi-weekly touch bases to devise a development plan and discuss performance. The truth is, just over fifty percent make it through. When you run a small business like a corporation, some personalities fit well within the guides and others don’t. Cut your losses: I’d rather have two or three quality individuals doing it right than 10 doing it wrong.”