6x6-Hiring-Great-StylistRecruiting to staff your salon can be one of the manager’s most difficult jobs. It would be so much easier if you could just get applicants to walk through your door. Even if you really need more stylists, it’s important that you don’t have your blinders on and hire just anyone…if you do that, you may wind up hiring the wrong person which means they may leave and so may a few others! So when finally schedule an interview, how do  you identify a great stylist from a dud? Here are five things to keep in mind when interviewing your next rock star.

1. Appearance

First impressions count…and you have to consider more than just yours. What will your customers think? We want our customers to feel comfortable when a stylist works their magic to create a perfect haircut. So what kinds of things should you be looking for?

  • Cover your “B’s”: Back, Butt, Breasts and  Belly. There is no need to show off intimate parts for a job.
  • Dress to impress: Do they have a fashionable look that matches your salon environment or will they stick out like a sore thumb? Are they stuck in the 80’s with a very dated look or is their look just too over the top? The right look can really create a positive vibe and help to build the atmosphere you’re looking for in the salon.
  • Tattoos and piercings: This can be a controversial topic. If your salon is a family-friendly environment, you will need someone who can represent your brand visually without scaring the kids. Someone who takes their individuality to an extreme with piercings on the face and a ton of tattoos might not be the image you want in your salon. There is a salon that fits every stylist, so don’t worry if you have to say no to someone who just won’t fit.

2. Communication

Communication is an essential part to a successful hairstylist and being able to carry on a casual conversation is important. Of course nerves will kick in during the interview process, but if they can articulate and talk, they are moving in the right direction.

3. Determination

Ask questions that will help you understand what the stylist’s dreams and aspirations are for their career. This is one way to get an understanding of the drive they have for their career. If they don’t know what they want to do, this can be a red flag. They might not be willing to give you 110% when needed or they may just give up on the industry entirely. You certainly do not want to have to micromanage someone to do their job. You want to hire someone with drive and a need for advancement in their career…that will open up the possibilities for you to expand your career as well!

4. Flexibility

NEWS FLASH…If you want to be a hairstylist, you have to work nights and weekends. Come on now, I am not letting the cat out of the bag on this one. You need to know if the candidate has a realistic expectation of the job they are applying for. Can they work during the demand and peaks of the salon? If these can be answered with an enthusiastic “Yes”, then they should be on the top of your list.

5. Technical skills

This may seem like an obvious one, but can they cut hair? Just because they have a winning personality and knock ’em dead customer service attitude, doesn’t mean they have the skills to actually do the job? The basic concepts of cutting should be present and then you can teach them the advanced stuff to help them learn and grow. If you are willing to put in the training time, then you may have a future rock star on your hands!

What are the must-haves you look for when hiring stylists? We want to hear them!