As a school owner, I wonder why there is a drop in enrollment when our profession provides prestige, great incomes, and growing opportunities. After some serious research, I have come up with the following advice for salon owners who wonder why they can’t find good help.

1. Interact with schools regularly to ensure a constant source of future employees.

2. Provide a paid, pre-entrance training program to familiarize new employees with your salon’s policies and procedures, client handling, and traffic. Provide technique training on a continuous basis.

3. Offer young nail technicians hands-on workshops and in-house classes.

4. It’s the salon owner’s responsibility to keep up with new styles and techniques. Spend time on your education and then pass what you learn on to your team.

5. Stop treating your apprentices as servants just because that’s the way you learned. I had a graduate tell me that when the salon wasn’t busy, she had to baby-sit the owner’s child. Graduates of professional programs are not paying to go to school for a year to be subjected to this treatment.

6. Offer new employees a decent paycheck. And how about offering incentives like paid vacations, sick days, health benefits, and a schedule that an employee can rely on?

Remember, if you can’t get good help, your salon will never grow. So make new employees feel comfortable. Motivate your staff. Be concerned about their concerns. Give incentives, and build a team.

Fiore is owner and director of Capri Cosmetology Learning Center in Spring Valley, N.Y.   


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