Some brilliant advice to help you hire great staff for your salon!

A good team of professionals is fundamental to achieving your business goals…

…at whatever stage you may be with your salon business; just starting up, looking to expand, or trying to efficiently run your current setup.

Recruiting and retaining quality professionals is the most important managerial skill you’ll ever learn; whether you’re an artist trying to make it as a salon owner, or a business person testing the waters in the beauty industry.

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This blog focuses upon designing a recruitment process that helps you attract and choose high quality professionals for your salon. It includes thoughts and advice on:

  1. Is hiring really that important?
  2. How to attract good employees?
  3. How do you know someone’s the right choice?
  4. Things to keep in mind while designing a recruitment process

 

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Is hiring really that important?

We know you’re a busy salon owner. Reading about hiring is probably the last thing you want to do today. But let me tell you why you should do it anyway:

The industry has a 40% annual turnover.

Meaning you’ll need to recruit almost half of your team every year. Whether you like it or not, there’s a revolving door of stylists in the salon industry. And spending time on learning something that you need to do so often is actually an investment of time.

There’s a lot of competition out there

I recently heard a salon owner say that she soaks in all business information like sponge. People in the industry today are doing everything they can to get better at anything they can. Even if you don’t focus hard on recruiting the right team, the salon next door will.

Do you wanna fall behind?

It has everything to do with how much money you make

Your customers is where your revenues will come from. Whoever you hire is going to talk to and work with your customers. Someone who’s in direct contact with them need to be chosen carefully, or it might affect your numbers.

 

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How to attract good employees?

 

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You can hang up a “Help needed” sign in the evening and might get 12 people lined up the next morning.

But are they really the kind of people you need?

High quality professionals don’t come running at the first offer they get. They weigh their options, compare, and finally make an informed decision. So start thinking like them.

Give them what they actually want

And no, offering more money isn’t the answer. Commissions in the salon business are low. And people in the industry know the deal. So offer them something that they might value more.

  • Education

    The profession of a stylist or a cosmetologist is one that requires constant saw-sharpening. Professionals are always looking for better learning opportunities. So, promise them high-quality training, and good learning opportunities and watch the talent roll in.

  • Secondary Incentives

    Promise them a work-life balance. Give them a chance to perform in public and flaunt their skills. Allow them to assist you in organising and administrative matters.

    I know there’s always a possibility that all of this may empower them to leave and start a business of their own. But it’ll happen anyway. Sooner or later. There’s a fine line between promoting your staff and promoting your business. Strike the balance between the two and you should be fine.

Look in the right places

If you think putting a “Hiring now” tab on your website or a post on your Facebook page is enough, think again.

You might still get a lot of responses but you’ll end up rejecting most of them. Here are a few platforms where you can the word out and receive applications from quality professionals.

  • Local cosmetology schools

    Let them know you’re hiring. Find out if they’ll post your job description on their websites, blogs and social media pages, and in their email marketing newsletters. Ensure that they can send the communication to present and past students, especially if you’re searching for a stylist with years of experience.

  • Sign up as an employer on hiring sites

    This something that I’ve seen a lot of salon owners try on social media. Some popular ones are: Salon Employment, Behind the Chair, Salon Builder, Salon Gigs, All Salon Search, etc.

  • Ads in industry newsletters

    Put up ads in industry newspapers, online newsletters and stylists’ magazines. Stylists keep up with industry changes and trends by reading publications and websites. Consider your geographic location and place ads that will reach your target market.

  • Employee referrals

    Ask your current employees. Many stylists know others in the industry who may be unhappy at their place of work or who are recent graduates from beauty school and already have a loyal following.

 

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Choosing the right person

 

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Resumes and certifications matter. Certainly. But they’re just to figure out if a candidate is eligible for the job. They don’t tell you if the customers will like him, if he’ll click with your staff, or if he’ll be good at learning new things.

To determine these things, you need to look for the kind of person your candidate is. Here are the three most under-rated qualities to look out for in a potential employee.

The three most under-rated qualities of a good employee

1. A love for the profession

Hire someone who thinks that his profession is art. Someone who has a thirst for business knowledge like you do. Someone who believes in serving to make others look beautiful.

These are the best kind of people. They are happy, content, and generally have a good vibe. They can not only work with the rest of your team, but also inspire and get inspired by them.

2. The ability to understand people

You work in the beauty industry. Most of the time, your customers don’t know what they want but only that they want it. Even if they do, they’ll always struggle with explaining it to you. As a stylist or a cosmetologist, you need to have the ability to not only understand your customers but deliver something close to what they might want.

Having someone who understands what people want naturally can be a great employee. I agree, a part of it comes from practice, but sometimes people have a natural talent for it.

3. A general sense of upkeep

It’s the grooming industry that we’re talking about. Of course you’ve got to take care of your hair and makeup. Customers usually show inclination towards getting services from someone who has styled himself better than the others. It’s almost instinctive.

While it shouldn’t be a filter for candidate elimination, but the good ones mostly look stylish and are well-kept.

 

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Five tips to keep in mind while designing a hiring process

Now that you know where to put your ads and what kind of people to look for, I’ll wrap up this post by just mentioning five important tips you need to keep in mind while working out a hiring process for your business:

  • Have an elimination round

No matter how targeted your marketing is, a lot of redundant applications are bound to show up. Having a pre-examination of your applications helps to weed these out. Although, don’t spend too much time on it. In fact, if you can, ask someone else to do it for you and you can simply skim through the results later. Remember, it’s not a selection round but an elimination round.

  • Meet candidates personally

It’s your business. The person you hire is going to meet and greet your customers. It’s your salon’s image that’s at stake. Hence, it should definitely be you who interviews the person. I know you’re a busy salon owner, but you need to take out time for this. You can delegate any other thing, but doing this yourself is non-negotiable.

  • Make the interview conversational.

Interviews are meant to get to know the person. See what they look like, how they talk, and know their personalities. They are not the time to make decision about whether to hire the person or not. So keep the interview casual. Don’t try to be intimidating and put the person in a lot of pressure.

Also, take two minutes after each interview to make notes about the person. Just mention the top 3-4 things you remember about the candidate after interview. It’ll help you make a decision later.

  • Always have the person do something practical.

Have the candidate perform a simple little task. This is the oldest trick in the book. When someone hires a programmer, they don’t ask them to write a complex code. They ask them to write the simplest one.

The logic is that asking them to do something easy will give you the opportunity to observe their technique. So don’t ask them to do a celebrity haircut. Just ask them to blow dry someone’s hair and see how they do it. If they do it wrong, you’ll have your answer.

  • Take references both before and after the interview

If the candidate and you have a mutual contact, always ask for that contact’s opinion on the person. This will help you have a neutral opinion from someone you know.

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And don’t just stop here. Remember, you’re creating a process. Something that you can use repeatedly and improve over time.

Once you recruit a great team, groom them properly, and build their trust so that they stay with you. They might have come in for the money and the incentives, but they’ll stay for loyalty.

Turn them into your brand ambassadors and during the next recruitment drive, you can show them off and inspire people with their stories.

Don’t just hire employees. Build a team. It’s another trait of a good business owner.

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…But more on that later. Right now, wrapping this post off. Let us know if you like any of this. Also, if you’ve anything that you think works better, do tell in the comments. 🙂

 

Reserve with Google expert guide: How to get listed?

There is one thing that lies at the heart of any new or fast-growing business: Getting new customers. In order to achieve that, it is crucial to get discovered among the right people.

Fortunately, Google has just launched Reserve with Google (RwG in short 😁); a new service that will allow your customers to find (and hopefully book) local services like yours.

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Google has over 1.2 billion unique users per month and is an amazing marketing opportunity for small businesses like yours. Getting set up used to be a pain, but with RwG, it will become much easier to connect with customers online.

Here’s something you should know before Getting Listed.

If you want to get listed on RwG, you need to have an account with one of RwG’s scheduling partners (like Appointy). Scheduling partners are third-party online scheduling software that help your customers book your services.

Appointy excited to be an initial launch partner for Reserve with Google

Now, one of the following questions might pop in your head.

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What if:

  1. I don’t have an account with any scheduling partner?

  2. I use an online scheduling software but it is not one of RwG’s partners?

Let’s answer these questions one by one.


  1. You don’t have an account with any scheduling partner? Get listed for free now!

Congratulations.. You are ready to start from scratch. All you need to do is make an account with one of RwG’s scheduling partners like Appointy and you’ll be listed automatically.

Appointy has a free plan, hence don’t hesitate about having to pay any ‘hidden costs’ whatsoever. If you feel a paid plan suits your business needs better, you can upgrade. However, RwG integration is available in all our plans, and at no extra charge

Click here to know about the various plans we have to offer

2. You use an online scheduling software but it is not one of RwG’s partners: Switch to the easiest option.

Don’t worry. We’ve got your back!

If the scheduler you use isn’t one of RwG’s partners, a simple and secure data migration program is available with Appointy.  You can switch easily. You can opt for a free plan or choose from a variety of paid plans available according to what works best for you.

The last word:

We believe, that RwG can create significant value (more customers in plain speak) for small business owners such as yours, simply because of the reach that Google enjoys. Google has access to Google Search, Google Maps, Google Now and many other products that together probably help them touch almost every potential customer that has access to the internet/ a smartphone. If they can’t do it, maybe no one can!

Getting listed is free. Getting booked is free too. What do you have to lose? Sign-up now!


Related blog posts:

Five foolproof ways in which Reserve with Google can “make you money”

Everything you wanted to know about Reserve with Google: ANSWERED

Five foolproof ways in which Reserve with Google can “make you money”

If you’re a spa, studio or gym owner, chances are you might have already heard of Reserve with Google. But is it just another search-and-book service? It’s not. In fact for small businesses like you, it’s no less than a money-making machine. Let us tell you why.

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FIRST THINGS FIRST. Reserve with Google: A clearer picture

Reserve with Google is a new service from Google that will allow your customers to find (and hopefully book) local services like yours.

RwG (Short for Reserve with Google 😁) allows your customers to search and browse through nearby service providers, compare and book an appointment from Google search, Google Maps or the Reserve with Google website. These appointments are automatically and instantly reflected in your booking software (such as Appointy).

Google is creating an online marketplace for services, similar to what Uber did for cabs, Airbnb did for homestays, and Expedia did for travel bookings.

THE BIG QUESTION: Can it really make you money?

Yes, it can. To start with, RwG is only available for spas, studios, and gyms (more industries will be added shortly, starting with salons, beauty salons and Barbers). RwG is also initially only being launched in three cities (San Francisco, LA, and New York), with a nationwide launch round the corner.

In the next section, we’ve tried to put together a little insight into how Reserve with Google can make money for your business. After all, as a launch partner for RwG, we have been working on this for the best part of a year.

#1. It puts you on the map! (Well, on Google Maps too)

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85% of people use the Internet to search for local businesses like you. If most of your customers are looking for you online, you have to get listed online.

And what better platform to get listed online, other than Google, which accounts for more than 75% of the total searches on the Internet in the US. Getting listed on Reserve with Google will get you visibility among all these people. It’s a chance to make use of the power and credibility of Google to get discovered among your local customers.

#2. It gives you a chance to attract new customers with good reviews.

Reserve with Google lets your customers compare you with your local competitors right in the search window. This can be your chance to get an edge over others by getting your good reviews in front of your potential customers just before they’re about to make a decision. This could be a game changer.

In fact, research shows that if a business has a 3-star rating, then 57% of consumers will use that business. On the other hand, if a business has a 4-star rating, then there’s a chance that 94% of consumers will use that business.

Yeah, that’s right. Your reviews speak for themselves.

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#3. The ability to run your business in real-time

Imagine the power of running your business with your customers knowing what is happening when it happens. For example, as soon as someone posts a good review, it gets displayed against your business listing. Or if you launch a new service, people would know instantly as your name starts appearing in the Google search when they look for that service. Skeptical about whether to raise your prices or not? Try raising them for a week; if your customer count goes down, change it again next week with as much as a click on your phone.

Reserve with Google gives you great control over your business by allowing your services, pricing, reviews, and other details to be updated in real time.

 #4. It is the only thing your customers will ever need: The end-to-end solution.

Your customers wouldn’t need to go anywhere else. Right from searching for services to making payments-Reserve with Google will take care of your customer’s every need.

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#5. Fulfils customers’ needs instantly. Hence, they’re more likely to use it.

Research says that 45.5% people use their smartphones to search on Google.

Getting listed on RwG will mean being a part of a discovery platform that is always available, and accessible through a smartphone/ tablet whenever your customer feels the need.

Conclusion: Be a part of a wave

Ok, so this is a bit abstract. But here goes nothing.

We believe that the technology, business environment and consumer behavior are ripe for a change in the way customers discover and consume services. This view is probably shared by stalwarts such as Google and Microsoft, as evidenced by their entry into this market.

History has shown that when the time is ripe, adoption is rapid and can be considered akin to a wave. The wave itself carries all participants and disproportionately benefits the early adopters. We believe that we are at the start of a wave, a wave that will see the digital discovery, and consumption of services. If that turns out to be true, you can not afford to miss the bus. If this is the next big thing, you need to act NOW.


Have questions about the blog or Reserve with Google? Leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you asap. 🙂 

 

Everything you wanted to know about Reserve with Google: ANSWERED

Ever since its pilot launch in December, many questions about Reserve with Google may have come to mind. What is it? Is it really something that can work for you? We thought we should take a shot at answering some of these questions. After all, as a launch partner for RwG (Short for Reserve with Google 😁), we have been working on this for the best part of an year. Phew!

q1

Reserve with Google is a new service from Google that will allow your customers to find (and hopefully book) local services like yours. To start with, RwG is only available for spas, studios and gyms (more industries will be added shortly, starting with salons, beauty salons and Barbers). RwG is also initially only being launched in three cities (San Francisco, LA and New York), with a nation wide launch round the corner.  

RwG allows your customers to search and browse through nearby service providers, compare and book an appointment from Google search, Google Maps or the Reserve with Google website. These appointments are automatically, and instantly reflected in your booking software (such as Appointy).

Google is creating an online marketplace for services, similar to what Uber did for cabs, AirBnB did for homestays, and Expedia did for travel bookings.

q6Yes, it is completely free. There is no extra charge to get your business listed on Reserve with Google. All you need is an account with a scheduling partner (like Appointy). And since Appointy has a free plan as well, there are no ‘hidden costs’ whatsoever. If you feel a paid plan suits your business needs better, you can upgrade. However RwG integration is available in all our plans, and at no extra charge.

Click here to find out about various plans that Appointy offers.

q2

Yes, it can. Reserve with Google is still in its pilot stage, being launched in three cities in only a limited number of industries. However, during the course of 2017, we should see this being scaled up nationwide, and slowly cover additional industries as well.

We believe, that RwG can create significant value (more customers in plain speak) for small business owners such as yours, simply because of the reach that Google enjoys. Google has access to Google Search, Google Maps, Google Now and many other products that together probably help them touch almost every potential customer that has access to the internet/ a smartphone. If they can’t do it, maybe no one can!

RwG can help you get new customers by enabling you to:

  • Reach new customers
  • Allow potential customers to compare and book your services
  • Allow you to showcase your reviews, pricing and availability on the booking platform.
  • Be a part of a discovery platform that is always available, and accessible through a smartphone/ tablet whenever a customer feels the need.

To know about how Reserve with Google can make you money in detail, read our blog post, Five Foolproof ways in which Reserve with Google can “make you money”

q3

Only spas, studios and gyms in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay area can get listed on Reserve with Google currently. Google is expanding soon and this service will soon be available in all areas and for many more industries.

To get listed on Reserve with Google, all you need is an account with Appointy or one of  Google’s other scheduling partners and you’ll be listed automatically.

q4Reserve with Google is still in its pilot stage and is being launched in three cities in only a limited number of industries. However, as the year unfolds, we are hoping to see it being launched around the nation and for many other industries as well. We will keep you updated!

q5

In a nutshell, if you want more customers, then yes!

We don’t mean to write this in jest, but seriously, not everyone wants more customers. Some business owners may have a fixed, repeating clientele, with no aspirations to scale up. They may not need new customers, and this could be a ‘lifestyle’ choice for them.

But on second thoughts, its free. So why not! Get listed, experiment. What do you have to lose?


Your question didn’t make the Top 6?  Shoot it in the comments and we’ll answer it soon 🙂