Recruiting staff can prove to be a challenge — even if your salon is sitting squarely in the middle of paradise. “It’s true that Hawaii is an amazing place to work. Still, finding new staff can be tough,” says Jason Harsin, the owner of Hearts & Stars Salon in Waikoloa, Hawaii. “It’s an even bigger challenge for us because there is no cosmetology school on the Big Island.”
Though Harsin firmly believes a salon culture built upon quality work and kindness to each other will attract amazing talent, he isn’t leaving anything to chance. The salon offers a referral bonus — in the form of a $200 gift card for services — to any client who successfully refers a nail tech, stylist, or other beauty therapist. “Recommendations from our clients are one of the best ways we find potential talent,” he says. “They tend to circulate around in different places and are happy to let us know if they encounter someone who might be a good fit for our salon.”
And the strategy has paid off; several staff members have been found via client referrals. “Here in Hawaii we rely on ‘coconut wireless’ (word of mouth) as a means of sharing information, so a referral program just made sense. We get an especially strong response to our posts on social media like Instagram and Facebook, so combining those platforms turned out to be a good idea,” he says.