3 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Salon Assistants on the Floor Sooner
If you want to see your salon assistant on the floor sooner, producing excellent results for your salon, and bringing in revenue through your front door, then continue reading to learn a few tips from the pros. We are dishing out three sure-fire ways that you can use to build the bridge that will get them there faster. It all begins by simply asking salon new hires about their unique needs, listening for the answers, and then executing. Check out what we found:
1. Nobody Wants to Assist Forever
This was the number one complaint from salon new hires, so we thought it was fitting to put this one front and center. As it turns out, the salon owner/manager does not want them taking a back seat forever either. We see salon programs lasting anywhere from six months to two years. That is A LOT of assisting. While this time assisting is intended to teach the new-hire the skills they need, it ends up being more of a helper role where the only skills they are learning is folding towels, sweeping floors, and running for lunch.
Keep in mind they picked your salon for a reason so please TEACH them while you have the chance! There is a small window of opportunity to teach them after they graduate cosmetology school before their skills begin to diminish. Implement a structured education plan that is no longer than four months. Create a structured class schedule that allows them to practice and re-practice everything you need them to until they are proficient. If you do not have the resources to train them directly, there are options to outsource this training to a third party.
2. Stop Calling Them Assistants
When looking for a salon 'assistant’ and running an ad for your salon, re-word your marketing to say ‘apprentice.’ Our wording is critical when setting expectations for the new employee. This is an exhilarating time for salon new hires; they have just graduated and are about to embark on the next chapter in their careers. Many other job fields use the title apprentice because it suggests they are learning from a skilled professional and gaining knowledge to advance on their own.
3. Offer Incentives and a Clear Advancement Opportunity
Going back to our first point, no one wants to assist someone else forever. Set a timeframe for the next steps. Give them something to look forward to. Let the apprentice take walk-ins and add-on services where they learn additional styling, cutting, and waxing techniques. Make sure they are getting treated with respect and incentivized for their hard work. For example, free education classes in-house or outsourced, tipping apprentices appropriately, and not playing favorites.
Remember, when your employees feel that their efforts contribute to the collective goals of the company, they will be much more engaged and productive. When we express gratitude for our new employees and provide them with clear direction, they will return the favor by creating an uplifting and inviting environment for your clients.
Not every salon needs an apprentice and not every new grad wants to be an apprentice, but If you chose to go this route, you have an opportunity to change our industry and help someone grow in their skillset. Consider the people who have changed your life and career and give that same investment back to those who have chosen your business as the launch pad for their career.
London Curtis is the founder of Salon Scholar - a structured apprenticeship system that leverages technology to prepare new hires faster and ensure that they have a clientele when they begin. The company is dedicated to saving money, improving quality, and increasing productivity.