SALON OWNER GUEST BLOG
Posted on November 15, 2012 by Susan Peel
OK I’ll admit it, I’m no expert on hiring. Like a lot of things I do as a salon owner, hiring has taught me to be a better stylist myself. I learn a lot from my employees too. Over the years I had to change what I thought makes a good stylist and a good employee. This has also changed the way I hire. Starting back when I was in beauty school I worked hard to learn all I could about technique and design. I honestly felt if I could give a better style than others that would be all I needed to make big money. I thought customer service was fine but I didn’t really pay much attention to anything other than the technical aspect. Then I started working as a stylist in salons but I continued that same thinking. I was able to build a decent clientele over time but I couldn’t help noticing other stylists that I didn’t think were that great at doing hair but had a much bigger clientele than I did. It drove me crazy. Why did so many people chose to go to these mediocre stylists and keep going to them? My clients were almost always please or even impressed with my work but it seemed to be taking me longer to build up a large following. I usually concentrated so intently on whatever hair service I was doing, that I often didn’t talk to my clients much. Most of my clients grew to understand that about me and appreciated my work anyway. Looking back now I realize what was missing.
It honestly wasn’t until I started my own business and hired, fired and managed a salon full of stylist over time that it dawned on me how important customer service was. I finally had to admit that it was even more important than the technical work we did. I will never stop trying to grow as a true hairdresser and never stop trying to teach it to my staff. Technical ability is extremely important to me and should be at the root of what we all do. But the stylists that build fast and make the most money do it with their mouths, at least as much, if not more than with their hands. They build relationships with their clients. They build trust and friendships. They sell good feelings as much as a good hair styling. Their clients not only come for the cut, color and style, they chose to come back to this particular stylist because they like them and have a good time with them while getting a good hair style. These clients are more apt to come in more often, spend more and send in their friends, family and anyone that will listen to them rave about their stylist. And more than anything they are extremely loyal. So when it comes to hiring now, I’m sure you can guess what I look for in an applicant. Do I get a good feeling from this person? Do they make me smile? Do I trust them? Do I feel like they will get along and fit in with my staff? These are the qualities I look for. I still admit I’m not great at hiring. But if I can find a person that will work hard and be happy and make others feel happy, we can usually teach them how to work great with hair. We do a lot of technical training at T’eez but honestly I can’t teach the other stuff. It has to come from your heart.