Recruiting Stylists with Julie Vargas

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Recruiting Stylists with Julie Vargas

By Ron Rice
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Julie Vargas of SCI and talking about how Team Leaders can improve their recruiting.

Have you seen where Recruiting is a bigger issue in the past year or two?  She said that it has always been an important issue, but even more so in recent years.  Some stores and some Team Leaders seem to have overcome recruiting challenges, while others are constantly in need.  The rapid growth of Sport Clips requires consistent effort in recruiting, due to more stores and more volume at existing stores.  Other factors affecting recruiting are a stronger economy, where stylists have options to change fields, there are additional men’s haircutting competitors, and even some stylists deciding to leave the workforce entirely or limit their available work hours.  Even so, some locations are doing really well in recruiting.

What separates the successful Team Leaders from the ones who have more difficulties in Recruiting?  Is it based on geography primarily?  Geography plays a part, but she said it has more to do with Best Practices and Culture.

What are some of the Best Practices?  She mentioned quite a few of these:  Be clear in explaining the expectations of the position, use the stability and structure of the Sport Clips system to your advantage in finding stylists who will thrive in our environment.  Become known as the Employer of Choice in your area.  This can be done with training, incentives, contests, and giving recognition.  These all tie into building Culture.  Sport Clips provides excellent training programs beyond those of other employers.  Some TL’s are building a career path where stylists can increase their responsibility and earning potential as they develop their skills.  This can be done without changing employers.  Sport Clips has other programs and opportunities, such as the Ambassador program, that TL’s should be aware of.

What are some of the elements of a great Culture?  Stylists are looking for a great career experience.  The type of experience that is memorable later in their career.  An experience that is fun, rewarding and adds to their expertise in their field.  When a stylist gets an opportunity for a training class, when they are rewarded with contests, when the Team Leader adds a bonus based on their tenure, when they have a nice Christmas party or Summer event.  Some stores celebrate a stylist’s own milestones, such as a birthday or an anniversary.  These types of activities help drive a positive culture.  Word spreads within the stylist community that this Team Leader, this store, and this Store Manager are the best ones to work for.  The influence of the Store Manager cannot be underestimated.  When you have a great store, you almost always find a Store Manager who drives a positive culture.  Morale is high and you can feel the energy among the team.  One way to fuel morale is with hand-written notes.  In this hi-tech world it seems illogical at first, yet a nicely worded thank you note, a congratulations, or just a few written words of encouragement can have a bigger impact than you would expect.  To maximize the impact, don’t text or email it.  Write it out by hand.  These are all ways to build Culture.