No matter how much effort you put into hiring, it’s not a perfect science, and you can never fully ensure that the person you think is right for the job will turn out to be. But, with all the benefits of making the right choice, and the downfalls of making the wrong one, isn’t it worth more up-front effort to improve your odds as much as possible?
If you hire somebody who doesn’t work out, you’ll just be doing it all over again before long. That includes training and the time the new person takes to adjust to their role, in addition to the time and resources dedicated to the hiring process. On the other hand, when you hire the right person, and they succeed in their role for an extended period, you can lessen your workload and allocate your time toward continuing helping them develop. And, of course, your bottom line will improve and your customers will be more satisfied as a result of a skilled and dedicated employee.
“With the time you’ll save in the long run, spend a few hours up front, and dig a little, and save a month or two of resources on somebody that was never going to work out. It’s not always who you hire that should be your focus, but who you don’t hire,” says Sun Evolutions Global Sales Trainer David McFarland.
“Is she a really good fit for this? Be honest with yourself. It takes work. That’s the most work you should be doing. Try to avoid the hire, fire, rinse, and repeat method. That doesn’t work. Change from hiring to a talent hunter – hunting for people that have really good people skills and have some talents. Switch that around in your head. You’re not hiring bodies; you’re recruiting talent. Sharpen your approach a little bit, and make it something where you have a bit clearer, more defined goal of what you’re trying to do.”
What’s Your Type?
Before you even start accepting applications or considering candidates, having a clear definition of what you need from an employee is the first step to finding them. Start with an open mind – it might be hard to accept, but some, or even all, of your current employees might not be a good mold. Be honest with yourself in evaluating your current staff, and if they’re just squeaking by and getting the job done, but not really enhancing your business, know that you can do better!
Much of your success with staffing will depend on your training and how you groom people, but that’s a whole different conversation for another day. Assuming your salon’s management has what it takes, the best thing you can do is find people with the right characteristics. There are some things you can change – like sales skills and industry knowledge – and others you really can’t – like work ethic, motivation and personality.
“What you’re really looking for is someone who has the drive to grow and is adaptable and moldable. When people are very set in their ways, it’s hard to change, but if somebody is willing to give 100 percent and try, you can pretty much mold them into anything you want. You want someone with open availability, willingness to learn, confidence, and they’re very adaptable to multiple types of people,” says Devoted Creations Director of Brand Development Lisa Parsons.
“I think it’s important that you are looking for people that are outgoing and adaptable. In any customer service position, from salon sales to my job, you have to be able to adapt and maintain relationships with all types of people from all walks of life. It’s important you have somebody who is outgoing and feels they can talk to anybody. Also, confidence – I would always pick somebody who’s overly confident over someone who’s shy.”
While work ethic, availability and reliability are obvious prerequisites, in their rush to fill a role, too many salons might be willing to budge on other factors that are vital to a tanning consultant and salesperson’s success. Confidence and an outgoing personality should probably be at the top of the list. Those factors are absolutely necessities to interacting with clients and having success with sales, and they’re hard to teach. So, if someone seems like a nice person and a hard worker but is obviously not outgoing, you probably don’t want to make them your project. It might sound crass, but that’s the way it goes in business.
“If they’re shy or more reserved over the phone interview or short with you, that shows their personality. It’s a pretty big signal that they might not be the right fit. You can’t train personality or ethics or morals. You can train somehow how to process a tan and clean a bed correctly. Take that outgoing personality or someone who’s eager,” says New Sunshine National Sales Manager Jason Brooks. “Sales experience isn’t required. You can teach that if they’re outgoing, personable, loyal and trustworthy.”