Hiring a manager for your salon can be a daunting task. For starters, it needs to be someone that shares your vision for the business and can follow your instructions for the way you want your salon to run, but they also need to be a strong leader, able to motivate and inspire the staff that report to them. It’s a difficult balance to strike: get it right and it can be the boost your salon needs. But get it wrong and there risk to your business could be huge.
Be clear on what you want in a manager
Do you want someone that can run the salon in your absence? Is all to take on certain responsibilities such as staff rosters and training? Or perhaps you want someone that will balance out your own weaknesses – such as a software wiz that can help you manage your online bookings.
Perhaps most importantly, you need to be clear on the personality type that will work within your salon’s culture. Do you need someone outgoing and boisterous? Or calm and serene? Edgy and boundary-pushing, or wholesome and reserved? The non-negotiables, however, should be someone who has a proven track record of being responsible, honest, articulate and with a solid work ethic.
Be upfront about what your business requires
Prepare a list of the manager’s responsibilities, so you can run the candidate through them. Be honest about any challenges you believe the successful candidate could face within their role, and what resources will be available to help them. Be clear on how you see the role evolving, and what they can expect from their role over a two-years period.
Start with a broad search
Create a thorough job listing and post it on the major job sites. At this point, the goal is to get as many applications as possible, so it’s worthwhile focusing on the positive aspects of the job in your ad, such as the salary, growth opportunities, the friendly team, rather than potential negatives, such as weekend shifts and difficult clients.
Insist on a cover letter…and then call them
You can tell a lot about a person’s suitability for a role by the way they sell themselves in their cover letter. The strengths and experience they choose to highlight will speak volumes about their priorities as a manager. Once you’ve decided on a shortlist, call them. Gauging how an applicant handles an unexpected – and high pressure – phone call can be illustrative of how they will cope in a similar situation while working for you. You want someone who will remain positive, polite and upbeat, despite trying their best to impress you. If you’re convinced, decide on a date for a formal interview.
Have an open interview
The days of having an applicant sit before a panel while they’re pummelled with questions are largely behind us. Create a calm and welcoming environment. Use the opportunity to discuss with you’re looking for, to walk them through your vision for the salon, and where you envisage a manager being able to make a difference to the future of the business. Be clear about any challenges the salon is facing and ask ho you feel he or she could be of benefit.
It’s a good idea to present the candidate with scenarios involving staff, clients and suppliers, and to gauge how they would handle certain situations.
It sounds obvious, but so many employers don’t bother to check references. Always call or email the listed referees, and ask about specific skills or experience you believe will be imperative to them completing their job at your salon. As an added precaution, cross-check the candidate’s CV and references with their LinkedIn profile.
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