If you're looking around your salon and there are a few empty chairs to fill, you can feel the pressure to hire stylists as quickly as possible. But bringing in someone new who doesn't fit your culture and leaves quickly can be more costly than letting that chair sit idle while you find the perfect team member.
To best help his salon hire right from the beginning, Evan Silver, co-owner of Silver Salon in Easley, South Carolina, developed a seven step interviewing process, and in this article he shares his process:
When building a team, it is essential that leaders have a plan for both interviewing and hiring employees. As a leader, you probably fall in 1 of 2 camps. You are either very used to a structured interview process or you wish your interview process had more structure. For those in the second camp, I want to share 7 steps you can put into place today to create structure in your interview process.
Step 1: Initial Zoom Call
Like I mentioned before, it is so important that you have a plan and stick with it when it comes to interviewing. This includes what I call doing your homework. Make time to study the interviewee’s application and resume before you ever talk with them. They will be able to tell right away if you’re simply “winging it.”
Before your first Zoom call, you’ll want to have questions prepared. Create a list of questions to ask and avoid. Set aside 30 minutes for the first Zoom call and schedule it. Do not surpass the 30-minute time window. You want to respect the interviewee’s time and still give them time to ask questions about the company.
If the Zoom call goes well, I like to put the ball in their court. Ask the interviewee to take 48 hours to think about the position and company’s culture. Recommend they talk with family, friends and mentors to see if it would be in their best interest to move forward in the interview process. After that 48 hours, I ask that they let me know if they are interested in moving forward via email. This has served me well as a business owner because it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running the business and forget to follow up in a timely manner. Getting that email is a great reminder and helps keep the process moving.
Step 2: Check their References
This is one of the most underrated steps. It’s important to use the references your prospective employees provide to your advantage. Most likely, the references cited are good references, but you can never be certain. It’s a free way to get insight into your interviewee from someone that doesn’t have any reason to be anything but honest. It’s silly to not use them.
Step 3: Second Interview Group Zoom Call
If you don’t have a lead team, ask another co-worker or a few people on your team to join the second Zoom interview. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make sure there is someone there other than you! Another interviewer may see something or sense body language that you don’t pick up on . For instance, I work with all females, and I have learned that the male brain and female brain are extremely different! During our interviews, the females often notice things that I would never pick up on. This is why group interviews are so valuable.
Again, if the interview goes well, I put the ball in the interviewee’s court. I ask them to follow up with me in 48 hours if this is something they still want to pursue.
Step 4: Send a Specific Job Description
Always send a specific job description to the prospective employee so they know exactly what they are getting themselves into. It’s important that they know what is expected of the position they are about to take on. Along with bulleted responsibilities, this description should include daily and monthly goals as well.
Step 5: Shadow Day
This step is awesome! It gives the interviewee the opportunity to come into our company and really see how we work. I like for them to spend the day hanging out with different staff members in different departments. At our company, I let them spend time with the front desk staff and with our service providers to give them a feel for the environment as a whole.
Have a plan to get the most out of the shadow day. This is a unique time for the interviewee to not only meet your staff but also ask them questions. It provides time for your staff to interview them as well. This day allows everyone to see if it's a good fit culturally.
We have a small office in our company that we assign to the interviewee for the day. We give them permission to talk to any of our employees and ask whatever questions they have. Nothing is off the table. This shows the prospective employee that we value transparency in our company.
Step 6: Personality Test
There are hundreds of different personality tests, and they’re all great tools. Choose one that you are familiar with and can really understand.
For me, that’s the DISC test. This has nothing to do with whether or not I should hire someone, but it allows me to better understand how they are wired. If I bring them on board, I want to be able to pair them with one of our educators whose personality would mesh well with theirs. It also helps us as leaders to have a better idea of how to lead them if they do join our team. Additionally, looking at personality profiles is helpful to ensure you have a variety of personalities on your team.
Step 7: Dinner with Interviewee and Their Spouse.
This is one of my favorite steps of the hiring process. Going to a restaurant gives you and the potential new hire neutral ground. It’s not in your office and it allows you to lock eyes with them in real life instead of through a computer screen. It puts the interviewee at ease and allows them to feel more comfortable with you. Pay attention to how they treat the waiter or waitress; this is a key indicator of how they treat people. If they bring their spouse, you have another chance to get a glimpse into their life.
In our company, we say we value people winning at home before they win at work. This dinner allows us to live that out from the very beginning. It shows the interviewee that we care enough about them to want to know the people that they care about- that we would set aside time outside of business hours to share a meal with them.
By following these 7 steps you can create structure in the hiring process:
- Initial Zoom Call
- Reference Check
- Group Zoom Call
- Send a Job Description
- Shadow Day
- Personality test
- Dinner with the interviewee and their spouse
Stick to the process. Do not be tempted to skip any steps! I guarantee that both your team and the interviewee will appreciate it. This process has added so much value to our company and I hope you will find value in it too!
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