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Let’s face it – as a business owner, your salon’s success rides on your employees’ talents and skills. But finding the best employees isn’t always a walk in the park.

Great talents are not just looking for better pay, especially with today’s generation of employees. You must be offering something more than good money to convince them to stay. There are many businesses out there that have the same beliefs and services as yours – so the question is: what makes your salon stand out?

Below are tried-and-tested tips on how to build and grow a successful team of stylists, and how to keep them loyal to your salon.


How to Hire and Keep Your Salon’s Dream Team

Interview potential employees.

The interview process plays a key role in determining whether a stylist fits your salon environment.  As hair stylists, we interact with people with different personalities day in day out, so we need to make sure our team members don’t leave at the first sign of difficulty. During the interview, we recommend doing the following:

  1. Ask situational questions. Find out how they respond to tough situations by asking how they handle themselves when they join a new team or work with an important client. Their responses will help you assess whether they’re perfect for your salon or not.
  2. Look for people with great interpersonal skills. Stylists are therapists and hair doctors rolled into one, so having solid people skills is highly important. The ideal stylist needs to be great at communicating, listening, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  3. Choose people who share your mission or beliefs. In a recent study by Glassdoor, one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs is Work Culture. While skills, talent, and experience are important factors to be considered during the hiring process, character and passion are equally significant. During the interview, articulate your salon’s mission and vision, then ask them what type of culture they thrive in and if your salon’s philosophy is in tune with their personal beliefs.

Establish systems, goals, and expectations.

Now that you’ve found your team of salon professionals, the next crucial step is how to retain them. This is where goal-setting comes in. As part of the team, what do you expect from them? Establish clear performance metrics, work system, and a professional development plan. Once you’ve relayed those, be sure to define the incentives or growth opportunities they can possibly receive if they hit your business goals. Doing so gives them a sense of direction and validates their decision to join your salon.

Communicate with your team.

According to a study by Leadership IQ, those who spend about 3 hours a week with their boss (emails and chats included) are found to be 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged, 16% more innovative, and 15% more intrinsically motivated than those who seldom do.1

Spending time with your team sends a message that you value them and you are present for them. Use this opportunity to do the following:

  1. Coaching. This includes providing feedback with how they are doing and how they can improve their overall performance, including increasing client referrals, selling retail, and upselling additional salon services.
  2. Mentoring. After hiring top talents, it is critical that you constantly check in on them during their onboarding. This allows you to effectively mentor them and prepare them for future roles in your salon.
  3. Training. Many stylists are discouraged to take continuing education and training classes because of the cost, but by providing it to them as part of your professional development plan improves their morale and job satisfaction immensely, which bring us to our next tip.

Invest in their education.

Hairdressing is an ever-changing industry. As salon owners, we need to make sure that our team remains abreast of the latest products and techniques in the beauty industry.

On average, employees must receive 8-20 hours of training each year. This can be in the form of:

  • Manufacturer-Provided Training
  • Online Class
  • In-Salon Training
  • Trade Show/Conference
  • Distributor-Provided Training

When employees are given educational opportunities, you are instilling commitment and loyalty from them. They’re more likely to stay when they see that their growth is of utmost importance to you.

Offer appealing job benefits.

First and foremost, we shouldn’t forget that these stylists are offering time and talent. More importantly, they deal with potentially health-damaging substances 8 hours a day (unless you’re an organic salon). Having a competitive compensation plan and an attractive benefits package in place gives an impression that you value their efforts.

Besides bonuses and other monetary rewards, benefits can also come in:

  • Company-Paid Training
  • Flextime
  • Salon-Provided Health Benefits
  • Career Advancement
  • Job Sharing Opportunities
  • Association Membership

Keeping employees satisfied on the job is more than just providing a lucrative salary. Different workers want different things. So as salon owners, we must be able to strike the right balance among benefits, career development opportunities, and tools to maximize team loyalty and productivity.


1 Leadership IQ. (2015). All Great Leadership Styles Begin By Spending Time With Employees. Available:

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