PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) cites the main issue hurting small businesses as poor employee retention, which can cost the average salon between 50 and 200 percent of an employee’s annual income, per each newer hire! It’s not just the obvious hard costs, though, that affect your bottom-line, but the hit on employee morale, the loss of customer service (and customers), and the training time, that eventually take their toll.
"The most successful organizations manage their employees as a strategic asset by aligning the workforce with organizational strategies and using metrics and measurements to drive decision and improve results," according to Ed Hennessey of PWC's Human Capital Resources division in Atlanta, GA.
Most salon managers, however, are so overwhelmed with running the salon, that they employ a "hit or miss" approach to hiring; quickly filling a position with someone that they hope will work out. Developing a solid, stable salon workforce, though, requires a more thoughtful approach than keeping your fingers crossed and being optimistic.
All salon managers know that correctly matching job openings to the right candidate can be tricky: The candidate is on his or her best behavior, often masking certain personality traits. And, often both the employee and the salon are motivated, by different reasons, to expedite the hiring process. There are three proven strategies, however, that make sure you hit the mark and find the right person for each position in your salon:
Understand your own management style. When is the last time you looked at how you manage - and how your employees perceive, relate and interact with you? Objectively gauging your strengths and opportunities - and understanding how these issues affect your employees - is crucial to creating long-term relationships and a stable workforce.
Ask the right questions during the interview. Too many times the salon manager will rely on his or her own intuition. But this approach is questionable at best, especially when you consider that the true personality of each employee is not necessarily apparent during the interview. Hennessey suggests finding an industry-specific assessment to "accurately gauge" the true characteristics of the potential candidate and how these fit into the position that needs to be filled.
Have well-defined work descriptions that clearly spell out what's expected -- and that accurately define the characteristics of the person who should fill the position. Does the opportunity require other responsibilities that aren't ordinarily a part of the job duties? If so, these need to be addressed in detail so there are no surprises for your salon or the candidate.
There's a better way to hire the right person for each position in your salon - and it doesn't require a crystal ball or dubious intuition. What it does require is a thought-through and measured approach and using methodologies and industry-specific assessments that are available to make a perfect fit for your salon openings.
For more information, visit SalonSnapshot.com.
Cheryl Spoor is committed to raising the bar for salon professionals. She has more than 30 years of experience as an educator and in salon management and ownership, and has spent her entire career developing solutions for the hiring and managing challenges with which all salons are presented. Spoor has developed and is using a hiring and managing tool specifically designed for the salon and spa industry. For more information, go to www.SalonSnapshot.com.
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