To hear salon owners tell it, recruiting new techs is no easy feat. To help, we asked techs to tell us how they learned about their current position, and asked salon owners what has worked for them. More often than not, connections were made through informal networking.
I found out about my current job because I lived in the area and it was the only American-owned salon I had heard of. When I walked in, the beautiful ladies at the front desk said they were out of applications and handed me a piece of paper and told me to put my name, number, and position on it. They assured me that it would personally be handed to the manager. Then four months later my phone rang. It was the owner, Renee Borrowy, calling to set up an interview. While cleaning out her cabinet she found that tiny piece of paper and now I have been working at this wonderful salon for three years and loving every minute of it. -SABRINA THOMAS, V.I.P. Salon, Riverview, Mich.
I was visiting a friend and her hairdresser was there. This hairdresser noticed my nails (at the time I had long pink-and-white acrylics with 3-D nail art and charms) and asked where I got them done. I told her I was a nail tech and I do them myself. She then told me she was a salon owner looking for a good nail tech. We met a couple days later for the interview and the rest is history. - ANN-MARIE REAVES, Scissor Action Salon, Pepperell, Mass.
One of my coworkers’ clients kept telling me I would really like to work at this salon. I just can’t thank this client enough for putting me in the best salon I’ve ever worked at. - MERCEDES PRENDERGAST, Rosa Martinez for Studio Artur, Jenkintown, Pa.
I found out about my current salon job in the Pennysaver, which is a little weekly publication that gets mailed to homes once a week. It has a help wanted section, and my job was listed in there. - SANDRA STUEBEN, RockSolid Nails, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.
My friends in my church choir found my present job for me. They were at a Super Bowl party hosted by the owner of a nail shop. She told them she was looking for a nail tech. They knew I was looking to move from the spa I was at. I called, and we hit it off. I have been there for six-and-a-half years. - TRACYE OSBY, Lila’s Hands Total Body Salon, Atlanta
I got really lucky when it came to finding a salon — my cousin owned one. I actually went to school specifically to work for her. - HOLLY SCHIPPERS, FingerNailFixer, Bussey, Iowa
In 1999 I was working in a bank as a teller and a customer came in. She noticed my nails and asked where I got them done and I told her I do them myself. She looked at them closely and asked if I was licensed. I told her no, then she said, “You have a natural talent for that. You should go to school.” I said, “There’s a school for that?” I had no idea. She then informed me that she was the co-owner of a hair and tanning salon in town. I looked into it and ended up going to school and getting licensed. I worked at her salon for three years. - KATRINA BELL, Michael’s Hair Design, Martins Ferry, Ohio
Finding my current job was a fluke. In the moving process I had found a salon online that was close to where we were thinking of living. I decided to stop in on a Thursday to check it out and asked if they might be in need of a nail tech. I handed my resume to the receptionist. She looked at me with this deer in headlights look and said that their nail tech’s last day was Saturday. I was convinced this was a sign from above. I’ve now been there almost two years. - RENEE’ DORAN, Glitz Salon, Rochester Hills, Mich.
SALON OWNERS SHARE WHAT’S WORKED FOR THEM
I’ve been recruiting mainly through word of mouth. I have been doing nails in Las Vegas for almost 19 years so I have met a lot of people along the way. I did run an ad on Craigslist once. I got several responses including someone terrific who joined my team. - LONI PREATO, Da-Lonnie’s Hair & Nail Studio, Las Vegas
Anytime I need to add nail techs to the staff, I spread the word. Word of mouth is by far the strongest way to find good people. I also take notice of women’s nails when I am out grocery shopping. I will ask them who their nail tech is. - LYNN NICOLAI, Lynn Nicolai’s Nail Boutique, Lake Villa, Ill.
In the past I have told all my clients I was looking and they sent me people they knew. I posted an ad on a message board once and found a tech that way. I let my distributors know I was looking and was sent people. I have also become familiar with the staff at the local beauty schools to find graduating techs looking for jobs. - SHANNON HOMANCZUK, A Polished Image, New Windsor, N.Y.
I love to go into the beauty schools in the area and offer a free nail art class or sculpting class for their students. This gets my foot in the door and gets me in front of the students so they get to know me. I always make sure I offer to help them with any advanced classes once they graduate school and I let them know I am looking for an apprentice in my salon. I have also placed ads in the help wanted section of the local newspaper. You never know when there may be a veteran nail tech out there who is not happy with her current situation. Also, check your local beauty supply house to see if they will let you put a flier at their front desk. - BRENDA LEE BOLLARD, Bren’s Nails, Conroe, Texas