Management Practices

Salon and Schools

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 12:31 PM

Recruiting great, new talent into your salon is always a challenge—what’s the best way to find the right person who will believe in your mission, work as part of the team and take good care of your customers? Many salon owners and managers, though, are missing out on a simple but effective relationship that will give them access to a pick of new students—working with their local cosmetology schools. With the boom in the number of schools over the last five to 10 years, most salons are in close proximity to at least one school, if not many more.

Meeting and Greeting

The first step, say owners who have been there, is to simply pick up the phone and start calling. “Let them know you are interested in the school and ask if they have any events or career fairs you could get involved in,” says Tony Paterniti, co-owner of Avanti Salon in Chesterland, Ohio. “The schools generally want the salons there.” Paterniti and his wife, Marisa, got involved in their local cosmetology school more than 10 years ago. The school is the same one she graduated from, and she now serves on the advisory board. The long-term relationship with the school has paid great dividends for both sides. The Paternitis estimate about 95 percent of their staff, from over the last 10 years, has been hired through their involvement with the schools.

Terri Clendennen, co-owner of Dionysus Salon and Spa in The Woodlands, Texas, estimates she has hired about 75 percent of her staff in the last five years due to her ties with schools. “Since we’ve been going into schools, we’ve gotten to pick from the crème de la crème,” she says. “It helps in interviewing prospects, because they understand and know us, and they’re interviewing here because they want to.”

More than just staffing her own salon, Clendennen also finds it important to connect with the students. “By putting our faces out to prospective students, we make them more familiar with us and we get to bring a real-world perspective into the school. Even more than that, we really try to inspire them by showing them what they can do and what they can achieve, and that it won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.”

Choosing a Partner

When it comes to targeting which schools you want to work with, Clendennen says, “Work smart: Choose the institutions that are putting out the types of students that you would want to hire.” Paterniti agrees: “I think it would be wise to get feelers out there for all the schools in your area, interview the schools and make decisions on your own about what you like and dislike.”

Clendennen also encourages owners to take the initiative, but advises them to not waste time on schools that are not interested. “In the beginning, it can be a slow process, but don’t get frustrated.” Clendennen also says setting up appointment times throughout the year, so they know you are definitely serious, is helpful.


Facebook Comments

More from Management Practices

Salon Today 200 The open concept reception table at Lavish in Webster, TX.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Customer Service

Stacey Soble | December 1, 2016

When it comes to a client building a long-term relationship with a salon, the level of service a guest receives can be more important than the precision of the haircut of the quality of the color. Customer service impacts the client's overall experience, and the salons and spas who deliver it during each and every visit boost their overall sales along with their client retention figures. Find out who made this year's Salon Today 200 list in Customer Service.

Salon Today 200 The team at Rock Paper Scissor SalonSpa in Santa Fe, NM.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Employee Education

Stacey Soble | December 3, 2016

For the most successful service providers, education is a career-long process. The best salons develop systems to strengthen the skills and confidnece of their newest team members, whicle encouraging their seasoned staff to continually stretch by brining education into the salon or supporting those who venture out to seek new skills. Find out which salons received top honors in the Salon Today 200 by developing strong education programs.

Salon Today 200 When Ayla lost her hair during treatment for a rare form of leukemia, her sister and several members of her Brownie troop decided they wanted to donate hair to Wigs for Kids. The team at Impressions in Mequon, WI, made that happen, and here Ayla makes the first cut.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Philanthropy

Stacey Soble | December 5, 2016

When salons and spas participate in community charities or organize their own philanthropic activity, the often are acting from the heart. But the goodwill generated from these activities serves as a powerful marketing tool and can propel both personal and professional growth. Here are our 2017 Salon Today 200 honorees in the category of Philanthropy.

Salon Today 200 The team from The Circle Salon on retreat at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Salon Culture

December 9, 2016

Announcing the 2017 Honorees in the category of Salon Culture. Culture is that invisible, yet tangilbe, energy that binds and propels a team and attracts clients. A strong culture is hard to define and even more difficult to build. But when mastered, these salons are unstoppable.

SALON TODAY RECOMMENDS: Salon Success Stories—Referrals, Retail, Online Booking and Hiring

Elizabeth Jakaitis | December 9, 2016

Salon ownership is about innovation; implementing new methods that will grow business and client satisfaction is key. At SALON TODAY, we're always on the lookout for accounts from salon owners on ways that they have made their business more efficient and profitable. Here are a collection of success stories gathered by Aveda Means Business which outline paths to gaining referrals, growing retail sales, implementing online booking and hiring smart.

Load More