The future of any salon or spa relies on the strength of its recruitment and training program. We invited ST200 applicants to write to a graduating student and describe their methods for cultivating candidates, their interviewing processes and expectations, and the unique stages of their training programs. Extra points went to salons that developed sophisticated relationships with area schools, scientific system for screening candidates, and creative ways to ensure new hires were ready to hit the floor.

Americana
Alpine, TX
salonamericana.com
Jenny Grisham
SQUARE FEET: 2,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 5
TRAINING PROGRAM: 6 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 5 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 1
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $45
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR:  Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: STX
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“Our small size enables us to customize training in order to to efficiently move staff to the next level so they may get on the floor in as little as three months. They can expect to be fully competent in cutting, coloring, styling, botanical treatments, texture services, waxing, and, if they like, facials, manicures and pedicures.”

Aveda Academy Denver & Pure Talent Salons
Denver, CO
avedaacademydenver.com
Kevin and Tiffany Krauklis
SQUARE FEET: 9,200
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 72
TRAINING PROGRAM: 9 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 8 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 17
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $46
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SpaBiz, Demandforce, Groupon
ASSOCIATIONS: I/SPA, NCA, PBA
“We have trainers who facilitate our specialty classes, including men’s cutting, updos, make-up trends, building positive attitudes, communication and success through retail. For the first 12 weeks, students rotate assisting different master stylists, who help them acclimate.”

Balance Day Spa
Greensboro, NC
balancedayspa.com
Adora LLC
SQUARE FEET: 10,000/4,800/2,800/2,600
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 87
TRAINING PROGRAM: 3 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 4 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 6
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Private Label
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium, Constant Contact
“In 2011, we had a high demand for nail technicians but were unsuccessful at filling positions due to a lack of suitable candidates. So we started a nail scholarship program, deciding to pay for the tuition of six individuals to attend a local nail school. We received more than 80 applications and by the end of the year we were able to meet demand. Sometimes you have to think out of the box.”

Caruh Salon & Spa
Seattle, WA
caruh.com
Cyndi Taylor DeSoto
SQUARE FEET: 3,500
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 28
TRAINING PROGRAM: 6 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION:16 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 4
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $60
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce, Heaven Group
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“We put tremendous effort into maintaining close relationships with local cosmetology, esthetic and massage schools. We participate in career fairs, host presentations throughout the year and invite students to tour our salon. We give them a gift certificate to be a guest so they can experience the Caruh difference.”

Casal’s Dé Spa & Salon
Canfield, OH
casalsspa.com
Thom Ciarniello
SQUARE FEET: 5,000/4,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 162
TRAINING PROGRAM: 10 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 5 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 15
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $41
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: AVEDA
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SpaBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATIONS: I/SPA, PBA
“Our Masterpiece class allows apprentices to explore their artistic abilities with classes in the fine arts. We have charcoal, painting, sculpture and mosaic to name a few. These techniques easily transfer to cutting and coloring and make them better stylists.”

Jamison Shaw Hairdressers
Atlanta, GA
jamisonshaw.com
Candy Shaw Codner
SQUARE FEET: 5,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 50
TRAINING PROGRAM: 6-12 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 8-12 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 15
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $55
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Jamison Shaw Hairdressers (private label), Nioxin, Moroccanoil
COLOR: Wella
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium
ASSOCIATION: Intercoiffure
“Whenever we teach at a beauty school, the first thing we do is invite students to turn on their smartphones and download our free app, ‘like’ us on Facebook, and invite them to follow us on Twitter. We offer prizes to students who come up during breaks and demonstrate that they have done all three.”

Landis Lifestyles Salon
Salt Lake City, UT
landissalon.com
Green Endeavors, Inc.
SQUARE FEET: 4,000/3,000
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 104
TRAINING PROGRAM: 11 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 16 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 6
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $42
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce, SEO Strategies
“We hold group interviews and auditions roughly once every six weeks. Candidates are offered a working interview for a half day of shadowing/assisting to determine whether we are a fit for one another. Select candidates are invited back for a working audition, and we ask they do their favorite color and a one-length bob on a female model and a scissor-over-comb cut on a male model.”

New Identities Hair Studios of Tampa

Tampa, FL
newidentitiessalon.com
Marc and Kelly Rockquemore
SQUARE FEET: 2,000/2,400
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 39
TRAINING PROGRAM: 6 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 32 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 5-7
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $31
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Redken, Pureology, Bosley
COLOR: Redken
TECH SUPPORT: Millennium
ASSOCIATIONS: Florida Retail Federation
“Each associate is assigned to one of our top stylists, where they have the opportunity to learn in a hands-on, one-on-one mentorship scenario. At the end of the program, the associate must test out with a different educator at a different salon location—this is a checks and balances system between our educators.”

Remedez Hair Spa
Orem, UT
remedez.com
Tyler Gambill, Cynthia Gambill and Bernie Nielsen
SQUARE FEET: 2,900
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 35
TRAINING PROGRAM: 6 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 6 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 1
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $30
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce, Spa Boom
“Applicants go through a series of four interviews—a phone interview, a face-to-face interview, a technical interview where they are given a photograph and asked to duplicate the look on a mannequin, then a final interview with the director of education and a master stylist.”

Vanity Salon
Houston, TX
vanity-salon.com
Glennis Tolunay
SQUARE FEET: 3,200
TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 27
TRAINING PROGRAM: 12 months
WEEKLY INSTRUCTION: 8 hours
AVERAGE # OF TRAINEES: 3
AVERAGE CUT & STYLE: $68
BEST-SELLING RETAIL: Aveda
COLOR: Aveda
TECH SUPPORT: SalonBiz, Demandforce
ASSOCIATION: PBA
“To graduate, apprentices have to create a hairdressing event, in which they select their own music, and an overall theme for their show. Each is required to have 12 models, showcasing 12 different cutting and coloring applications, as well as one creative updo. Shows are presented to employees, educators and their friends
and family.”

Additional Honorees
Avalon Salon and Day Spa, Deer Park, IL
Eric Fisher Salon, Wichita, KS
Gary Manuel Salon, Seattle, WA
The Hair Company, Leonardtown, MD
N Style Salon, Saugus, CA
Omagi Salon & Spa, Louisville, KY
Paris Parker, Hammond, LA
Prodegy-A William Edge New Artist Salon, New Braunfels, TX
Pure Aveda Salonspa, Mount Dora, FL
Sky Salon, Strongsville, OH
William Edge Salon, New Braunfels, TX
You Salon, Inc., Ellicott City, MD