As client demand for appointments surges, many salons continue to stuggle with staff recruitment and retention. Rebuilding a roster of new talent is critical for most salons to recover their pre-pandemic sales and to grow their businesses in the future.
Organizing Community Salons and Schools
To open up a dialog between salons and schools in their community in Sarasota, Florida, Coral Pleas and her son and business partner Travis Scheuer of Cutting Loose Salon hosted Intercoiffure menber salons and the educators from top cosmetology schools in their area.
Other salons in attendance included Terry McKee and James Amato from Nuovo Salon Group; James and Christine Griffith from James Griffith Salon and Desmond and Carolin Behan from Yellow Strawberry Salon. Schools that were represented at the event included Fashion Focus Academy, Meridian College, Manatee Technical College and Paul Mitchell School.
The Benefits of Working for an Education-Focused Salon
"This collaborative event came out of the idea of a partnership between leading salons and schools to best prepare new talent on the reality of working for a salon that has a structured edeucation and mentorship program," Pleas says. "Our goal was to answer questions like 'What are the possibilities for career and income goals?' and 'What are the benefits to working in a commission-based salon?'"
Throughout the evening, each salon owner presented to the school leaders about the real income potential that is possible when a graduate chooses a salon that invests time and money on further education. They also discussed the ease of having marketing, reservation booking and other benefits, such as paid vacation, healthcare and 401K.
Pleas shared the presentation, "The State of the Industry" that Steph Fox had recently presented at Intercoiffure's Spring Gathering. This lead to a lively group dialog with the school leaders who shared tips for these Intercoiffure owners on how to gain the attention of their students.
How to Reach Top Candidates
It turns out that many graduates can be intimidated to interview at a high-end salon when they are fresh out of school. Tina Black of Paul Mitchell School shared the relationship needs to being early in the students' education, suggesting that owners and recent grads should consitently visit their loc al schools, interact with students and create a level of comfort. She further suggested salon leaders should book services with students and get to know them on a personal level as part of their overall recruitment plans.
Everyone agreed that the statistics published regarding income potential for talented and highly educated stylists was far too low. "Getting out the message on real income potential when a stylis commists to a salon that provides further education was a top priority," Pleas says. "It is our responsibility to raise the level of excellene in our industry."
The group agreed to future gatherings for developing a plan for the continued growth of the profession.
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