A salon is, at its most basic level, a business that has all the right licensing and equipment to perform various beauty services for clients. But what really makes or breaks a salon’s performance is the people on staff.
Think about it this way: Clients generally have lots of options when it comes to choosing where they get their hair, nails, makeup, and waxes done. But people become loyal to a particular establishment when they like and trust its beauticians. If all goes well, clients will be clamoring to get an appointment with the same person month after month — and telling their friends to book one, too.
Putting together a top-notch team of beauticians starts with hiring people that have both the technical and social skills to thrive in the fast-paced world of the modern salon. Here are five questions to ask the next time you’re hiring talent for your team.
Question #1: Can You Produce a Diverse Portfolio of Work?
Beauty is such a visual art form; one you really have to see to understand. While job candidates’ verbal answers to your questions provide important clues into communication style, words mean little without visual proof to back them up.
Winning candidates will come prepared with a diverse portfolio demonstrating the entire range of what they can do. Only then can you assess whether they have the skillset and range to serve your clientele. According to Avalon School of Cosmetology, a solid portfolio will contain:
- Diplomas, license and certificates to verify your training
- Photographs demonstrating skills and the evolution of work
- A section for special achievements (like awards, certificates of recognition, etc.)
- Referral letters and references from reputable authority figures
- Client testimonials
Question #2: Describe a Past Crisis or High-Stress Work Situation — What Was Your Role and What Were the Results?
Your business needs beauty salon insurance to protect it against liability in the event of bodily injury or property damage to a client, of course. Things happen — like a client slipping on a wet patch of floor, a jug of water getting spilled on a client’s purse, or hair dye staining a client’s expensive jacket. Picking up a flexible policy from a provider like Verifly will help your salon mitigate costly General Liability claims if a worst-case accident ever occurs.
But you still need to make sure you’ve assembled a team that can handle these situations in a professional manner. Asking an interviewee how they’ve handled a past crisis will help you gauge how they’ll deal with future ones. Then you can be sure you’re adding only proactive problem solvers to your team.
Question #3: What Are Your Technical Strengths — and Weaknesses?
Ask potential hires what they see as their technical strengths and weaknesses. If you’re looking to fill any gaps specifically — like acrylic nail application, hair braiding, or color correction — this will help you find a specialist who excels in a specific niche. But overall it will give you a solid understanding of what each candidate brings to the table.
Question #4: Why Are You a Good Fit for Our Salon Specifically?
The most promising candidates will walk into the interview with an understanding of your salon’s branding and services. Ask each person why they feel they’d be a good fit for your salon in particular; the beauticians who did their homework will have no problem describing why they’d be a great match for your company.
Question #5: How Do You Deal with Challenging Clients?
Every salon must navigate the choppy waters of dealing with difficult clients. Your establishment should have best practices and policies in place for doing so. But it also helps to hire beauticians who have excellent communication skills and the ability to come up with creative solutions on the spot.
Adding another beautician to your salon’s roster? Make sure you ask these five questions in every interview. They’ll tell you a lot about who’s sitting across from you.