Finding good staff is another common need, particularly at present when businesses are navigating difficult time.  So, where are all the talented employees hiding? Here are a few steps every business needs to take to achieve success.

Identify the attributes you are looking for:

Skills can be developed and expanded, but a bad attitude will sabotage this process every time. Identify the key attributes that are absolutely essential from the position you are seeking to fill must be very clear to you when you are interviewing potential staff. For example:

  • Are you looking for a take-charge person who can have the initiative to find the way on how to step into their role or solve a problem without expecting someone externally to motivate them? (Smaller businesses usually can benefit from this quality).
  • Are you looking for someone who will fit in with the existing culture and be adaptable to the team spirit? (Larger businesses with a strong established culture seek this attribute in a staff member).
  • Are you seeking a person who is detailed and analytical, passionate, and knowledgeable in helping customise a client’s program?  (You will need this skill and attribute if you are providing high-end treatments).
  • Are you seeking someone who can educate and articulate the benefits of your products and services?  (Look for a good speaker, someone who is a good communicator, has positive energy, and loves to educate and help others. A quiet introvert will not be as successful in this area.)

When interviewing someone you need to have access to the right questions to extract what you want from that person. Interviewing is a strategic process that requires a specific skillset.  To help you identify the questions you need to ask to determine if a potential staff member is the right fit for you.

APAN has put together an Interviewing Questionnaire document that includes 24 attributes and the questions you need to ask to determine if the person you are interviewing has these qualities. This document was compiled by a Senior Human Resource Manager to help the interviewer identify the right candidate for the job.  You can access this document from the APAN Resource Documents

The process of Induction

As a profession, we are defined as a service industry. We don’t just sell products and conduct a commercial exchange, we deliver services that provide skin-improvement, appearance-enhancement, improve self-esteem and wellbeing. 

As a business owner what differentiates you from your competitors who may be providing the same services as you is your CULTURE.  The atmosphere you create, the tone of voice and courtesy in how your information is communicated, and how your services are delivered to your clients will reflect your values, standards, and philosophy.  Collectively, they constitute your BRAND.  This element of your business should not be left to chance, it must be carefully crafted and defined for all your staff to deliver uniformly as part of your brand’s identity that sets you apart.

It is unrealistic to expect someone who has just joined your team to fit into your business environment and conduct themselves in the appropriate manner that reflects your brand automatically and seamlessly.  This is something they will need to be orientated or inducted into by you or your management.  While policies and procedures will help introduce them to “your way of doing things” they also need to be walked through this process until it becomes automatic. 

Did you know that prestigious hotels often orientate a new staff member in their spas or salons for up to one month before they are permitted to perform a treatment unsupervised?  While this may not be financially viable for you, it does indicate the importance of the induction and orientation process.  Taking a little extra time to train that person in “your ways” will help prepare them to reflect your exact values, culture, and brand identity.

In the end, it is all about leadership.  I know this can be very tough for a small business owner who is trying to wear so many hats – business owner, practitioners, staff manager, and the list goes on.  So, make sure, you also reach out for support and mentoring.  Please note as an APAN member this service is available to you.  Make a time to discuss your strategic approach with an industry expert, it will help lighten the load.