It’s exciting when your business (and income!) can justify hiring a new staff member, particularly in a year as tricky as this one! That said, many small businesses that begin to grow – and don’t have a HR department to take care of the process – don’t really have a stable plan or hiring process in place.

Here’s how to get your favoured candidate on their way to being your star employee.

Identify the need for a new staffer
The hiring process generally starts when a salon owner or manager realises that they have a role that needs filling. This may be because of expansion, the exit of an existing employee, or the need for expertise in a specific area. “This step is important because every hire and the job it entails should serve a specific purpose within your company. Otherwise, you’re just expending resources without an end goal in mind,” says Shelley Ruscio, a HR expert. “To get really specific with this step, think about the job title and duties that will best serve your business. Is there any way an exisiting staff member can do this job in addition to their existing responsibilities? No? You need a new staff member.”

Create the job description
Then it’s time to write out all the specific duties and features of the position. “Include roles, responsibilities, and skills potential candidates must have,” says Shelley. “Get to the point; highlight the minimum experience or training you will accept. You’ll be grateful in the long run when you’re not sifting through tonnes of unqualified CVs.”

Post an ad
Post it in appropriate places, where you know your workforce looks. “For the beauty industry, places like Indeed and Seek are great, but more effective may be your own social media channels. Beauty therapists follow other therapists and salons. Or at least they should. Those are the people you want,” says Shelley.

Review applications
Once the applications start rolling in, it’s time to filter out the candidates you want to consider throughout the rest of the hiring process. “Include a checklist of things you’re looking for in each application. Bin the absolute no-nos, and keep the not-quite-rights in another file; they may be useful for another role down the line,” says Shelley. Then create your shortlist, and contact them for a phone interview. “Don’t worry about a face-to-face meeting until you’ve really narrowed it down to a final few. At this time, thanks to Coronavirus, the least personal contact, the better.”

Have a trial
Some therapists can talk the talk, but if they can’t do what they say they can, they’re going to be moo use to you. Get your narrowed-down candidates in for a trial. “Explain the situation to clients and ask if they’ll be willing to provide feedback after their treatment. You should also consider offering a discount for their efforts,” says Shelley.

Check references
Our industry is small enough that a reliable reference shouldn’t be hard to find. Be sure you carry out at least two reference checks, says Shelley, because “someone may be able to fake one referee, but two, that’s harder.”

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