I got an email this morning asking if we had any new Apprentices that we could place with this particular West London salon. My usual response was to ask the Salon-owner to call me to discuss how we could help.
The salon manager called me about an hour later and the conversation went as follows:
“I’ve just taken over the management of the salon and my first job is to recruit a couple of new trainees as we want to expand the business. Do you have anyone you could help us with?”
I explained that I know there are training providers out there who recruit potential trainees and then farm them out to salons on their books but we don’t do that. In my opinion, as someone who has been involved with the Industry for more than 50 years (actually nearer 60), our job is to train those new to the industry AFTER they’ve been interviewed & employed by the salon itself.
I went further by explaining that in our opinion recruitment and then employment of staff, both experienced & new to the trade, was a very personal thing. The owner/manager must have a better idea of the kind of employee they’re looking for than us. After all, we’re only going to see their Apprentice for a few days each month but the salon, and all the staff, will be working with them on a much more personal level & therefore the management should be instrumental in the choice of their work colleagues.
I know I’m being slightly controversial but this is the way we’ve run the training side of our business over the years; by staying out of the recruitment side & concentrating on the excellent training that our teams offer, both in London & Ipswich.
As to the recruitment process itself, there’s nothing better than personal recommendations. If a salon has hundreds of clients, say over a four week period, there must be someone those clients know who’d like to train as a Hairdresser or Barber. What about visiting the local schools & doing a presentation? A well-written sign in the window sometimes works well and now the Employer contribution for over 19’s has been cut, where previously you may have turned away a more mature applicant you may want to give them a try.
So, to summarise, recruit your own staff and you have a better chance of molding them into the way you want them and eventually, like our team, you end up with the best, most loyal people you could wish for.
Please call me if you feel I’ve got it wrong & if you agree with me, let me know.