As part of SALON TODAY's Burning Questions feature, we gathered readers’ critical questions and went to industry experts for solutions. Here, Neil Ducoff, the founder and CEO of business coaching company Strategies, shares effective steps for hiring and cultivating company culture in uncertain times.
SALON TODAY: With unpredictable productivity and the possibility of a resurgence of the virus, should I be hiring right now or should I wait?
Ducoff: For as long as I can remember, salon/spa owners have been saying, “I can’t find good people.” Without question, the pandemic has made staff recruitment more competitive and challenging than ever.
FACT: Most salon/spa owners wait too long to recruit and do a generally weak job of it. The pandemic simply adds to the difficulty factor. Here are five strategies to make your recruitment efforts effective during the pandemic and beyond:
Ongoing, consistent and budgeted
Consider creating a “Recruitment Team” that, in addition to their regular work, are responsible for seeking out and attracting new talent. Recruitment efforts should be a line item on your monthly budget and Profit & Loss Statement. KEY: Recruitment consistency will not occur without formalized duties, timelines, budgets and expectations.
It’s about the complete opportunity
You must examine the complete opportunity you’re offering, not just income potential. Career paths must be defined. Scheduled company funded education. Benefit packages that include paid time off, flexible schedules and health insurance contributions. KEY: Working for a salon/spa is so much more than a paycheck.
Your school presence
You must put your company’s career opportunities front and center at schools. Offer to do cutting demos, a class on “how to interview at your salon/spa,” or a class featuring a senior staff member and a young team member to discuss “succeeding in the real world.” KEY: The more you make the career opportunities known to schools through engagement, the more qualified candidates you get.
The best salons and spas have the most dynamic cultures that stand out from crowd. If your culture doesn’t stand out from the crowd, it won’t attract the best candidates. By design, rental and suite locations cannot create anything that even comes close to a team-based culture. KEY: For you culture to be your best recruitment tool, it must be highly defined and protected.
Social media stories
Your company’s Facebook and Instagram be telling stories that spotlight what it’s like to work in your company. Tell your stories of teamwork, team member successes, showcase advanced training, team celebrations, awards and press coverage. KEY: Use social media to show potential candidates what it’s like to be part of your company’s team.
To compete for new talent and good potential employees means just that — compete and compete aggressively
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