Photo courtesy of Color My Nails School of Nail Technology

Photo courtesy of Color My Nails School of Nail Technology

Courting cosmetology students to find new techs for your salon takes some effort, but in a tough recruiting environment, it makes a lot of sense. What’s more, recent graduates can be valuable additions to your team for a number of reasons, according to Chris Murphy, co-owner of Maximum FX Salons in Austin, Texas, and the founder of

Murphy cites three reasons you should look to cosmetology schools to fill openings at the salon:

1. Students are more malleable. They’re like sponges, soaking up everything. There’s virtually no need to un-train bad habits and re-train good habits.

2. Students tend to be more loyal. After all, you saw something in them before they really had any experience at all. Because you believed in them from the beginning, they will tend to have a special and lasting attachment to you and your salon.

3. Students tend to be more open to new ideas. They’re receptive to innovative approaches and smarter ways to do things.

The secret, says Murphy, is to get into the schools and teach the students how they can become successful in your salon, how you do things better, and most importantly how they can have a career (not just a job) with you. To that end, he regularly speaks to students at local schools, letting them know what to expect when they graduate and helping to set realistic expectations.

Murphy also hosts in-salon classes for students where they market to the students as if they were customers. “The classes establish a relationship and pull them into our culture and our space,” he says. He announces upcoming classes by posting a flier by the school’s timeclock and allows students to sign up via text. “Last round we had 30 people signed up for a class in just four hours,” he says. “The classes also serve as a sort of vetting process since the students who sign up are the hungry, responsible, A-players we’re looking for.”

In addition, Murphy recommends holding on-site interviews at the schools as an efficient way to recruit. “We send the director a sign-up sheet beforehand and schedule interviews on the half hour,” he says. Once on board, the students complete a training program to refine their skills.

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