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How to Select the Ideal Candidates for Your Salon

The challenge for many salon managers is to hire and retain quality hairdressers with specific experience in the field of cutting, colouring, retailing etc. Yet, many of us who are confronted with the task of hiring are not fully familiar with the complexity of this job!


This guide offers some sound, practical guidelines for selecting the most qualified candidates for the job, whilst keeping in mind fair employment objectives for excellence and diversity.


The Selection Process
Successful selection comes from making conscious managerial choices and starts with a deliberate recruitment plan that ensures a fair hiring process. Having a plan establishes an open and consistent set of measures, which provide direction for reaching the selection decision.


Job Title
Be specific in defining the job title and use industry established terms.


Create a Recruitment Plan
The recruitment plan lays the foundation for identifying the candidates who are right for the position and the company. Being right for a position is defined by not only having the skills and knowledge to perform the duties of the position, but also the ability to work successfully within the culture of the salon. Ideally, you would have created your perfect job description with company culture in mind, meaning that the candidates that have applied for the role should already see themselves a good ‘fit’ for your salon.


A recruitment plan should outline the minimum requirements to look for when reviewing applications, this should include specific ability, skill and knowledge criteria – this not only keeps the process fair and equal, but also helps to keep the recruiter on track when reviewing a diverse range of CVs.


Other criteria for selection may include:

  • Public Contact
    The ability to use tact, to interact and communicate effectively, to explain procedures clearly and efficiently to clients
  • Flexibility
    The ability to vary behaviour according to the situation, to reassess priorities and recommend new ideas when required
  • General Application
    Practical skills should reflect the expected level of hairdressing knowledge.
    That said, it is also important to remember that ability, skill and knowledge may not be as quantifiable as the more common practice of using years of experience and education

Screening Applicants
After the recruitment closing date applications need to be reviewed using the minimum requirements identified above. When shortlisting potential candidates, it is helpful, and in some cases mandatory, to include all business stakeholders in the process – this provides greater depth and breadth to decision making when reviewing potential candidates and making those final selections.


Once you have identified your pool of potential candidates, it is recommended to do a final run-through to 1) check that qualifications, experience or education do match the job requirements and 2) as a business, you are meeting any diversity or equal opportunity rights requirements within your country.