“I’m struggling with recruitment. Often, candidates fail to turn up for interviews and, when they do, they seem very disengaged. How can we ensure a higher calibre of staff through the doors?”
Hayley Gibson Forbes, SJ Forbes
"Brilliant question Hayley with, sadly, no simple answer. I ran a workshop on this topic recently when our 3·6·5 members highlighted recruitment as their biggest challenge currently. As you may know, the bigger challenge is what are the candidates applying for? Is it a respected, well-paid job with great opportunities for a long term future? Or are they just showing up to be a trainee or a hairstylist?
To get back to your question, which particularly referred to the interview process, what exactly is your process? Most salons ask people to turn up and have a chat. This may seem friendly and informal but is it professional and is it leading to no-shows and time wasting? When you are interviewing candidates, younger ones often appear disengaged. That tends to be the way they are naturally as they are more used to engaging via social media than face to face. This doesn’t mean they are disinterested. They are just not used to that one-on-one engagement that you have years of experience of. You can coach that though, if you decide to take them on.
Regarding the calibre of people you are attracting in the first place, what you have to offer will affect that, but maybe it’s time to change your process. Some points to consider:
• Are you promoting your vacancies where the right people will see them?
• Do you get applicants to email their CV?
• Do you conduct an initial phone interview?
• Have you considered Skype interviews to save delegates travelling time?
• Do you have a clear interviewing structure with questions that each candidate can be given a score against. This is vital if you are ever challenged by an applicant to justify why they did not get a position.
• Do you have a clear job description to send to applicants prior to their interview?
• Do you have information on your salon, its history and vision for the future?
• Do you confirm interviews the day before and again on the day?
• And finally don’t get wound up by the no-shows. They will happen. I suggest you get a cup of tea, use the time wisely and consider it to have been a silent interview where the candidate was not suitable. After all, they proved that by not showing up!"
This article originally appeared in Creative Head, where Ken has a monthly clinic.