Management Practices

Mindset: Social Studies

Anne Moratto | May 6, 2016 | 8:03 AM
Andis' Dave Diggs, Sexy Hair's Stephanie Polansky and Salon 124's John Palmieri tackle a question about using salon culture as a guide for hiring new talent.

Today's job-seekers are looking for employers whose values align with their own. On that same note, employers want to know a prospect will be a valuable addition to the team. This month, we asked several industry leaders, "What's your process for ensuring a new hire will fit with your company culture?"

“For most barbershops, the employment practice is mainly a rental or sub-leasing situation. In those type of situations, barbers approach their job with the ‘I am my own boss’ attitude and sometimes feel like they don’t have to answer to anyone, even the shop owner. At Barbers Inc. Barbershop, it’s all about the collective group. Before I hire anyone, I encourage them to visit and hang out at the shop or one of our many out-of-shop events, such as a hair show, barber battle, or community give-back. I want prospective barbers to see what our team is all about. I want to know if they genuinely want to be part of our team; I don’t want to mix oil and water. We spend eight to 12 hours together every day—more time than we do with our at-home families. It’s vital that you fit in and embrace what it means to be a barber at The Barbers Inc. After I get a sense of who you are, I want to see your work. I can teach you skill, but I cannot teach you to have a good attitude.”--Dave Diggs, Andis international educator and the owner of The Barbers Inc., in San Jose, California

“Most importantly, a potential Sexy Hair expert has to be nominated by someone from sales or by another educator. This helps ensure that they have what we would look for. After a candidate has been nominated, the regional education manager (REM) sets up a call and talks to them about what we expect, what they expect, future plans and if Sexy Hair is the right fit for them. If the REM feels they could be a great expert, we have them send in a video of them teaching a look so we can assess their skill level and how well they present. If they are selected, they have to attend three Sexy Hair classes. This helps us to see how dedicated they are and also gives them a feel of what they will be doing. The REM spends a day with them on product knowledge so they know our products inside and out. If they make it through all of this, they are invited to our new hire training, where they get trained on what they will be teaching for the next six months until they go to their first Sexy Hair team experience training and meet the rest of the Sexy Hair family.”--Stephanie Polansky, director of education for Sexy Hair, Chatsworth, California

“The majority of our new hires come directly from one of the company’s two cosmetology schools, which enables us to cultivate core values at the beginning of artists’ careers. During the first week of classes, a full six hours are devoted to introducing the company culture, understanding how the same core values (teamwork, artistry, family, fulfillment, integrity, excellence) commonly exist in students’ lives outside of school, and how maintaining culture and core values rests on everyone through joint accountability. As students graduate, they begin the process of seeking employment at a Genesis by Salon 124 location. After a self-evaluation on each of our core values, a theory and practical exam, and an interview process, General Manager Casey Mims works closely with me to again ensure any potential hires align with our culture. Before a Genesis stylist moves up to a Salon 124 location, certain benchmarks, many directly linked to the company’s core values, are assessed to continue the process of growing both successful stylists and 124 ambassadors.”-- John Palmieri, director of education at Keune Academy by 124 in Atlanta, Georgia, and a breakout speaker on culture at the 2016 International SalonSpa Business Network conference



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