A toxic question to avoid when hiring

Ever caught yourself declaring, ‘Someone with experience and a following’ is just what this salon needs right now?

A ready-made column looks like a shrewd business move when you’re hiring.

But is it?


A salon following, poaching, stealing…

‘…with a following’, it’s a phrase I regularly hear on salon owners’ lips.

It sounds such a safe, innocent and harmless expression.

But it’s potentially toxic.

Here’s why:

Your team will hear you utter these words.

You may even ask them if they know any stylists or therapists in the town ‘with a following’.

Before you do, ask yourself what message this seemingly innocent phrase is saying to your team.

Answer: poaching clients from a hair or beauty business is perfectly acceptable.

Walking out the door with clients is okay? Wait a minute, are you sure this is the salon culture you want in your business when your team decide to move on?

I think not.

When the boot is on the other foot, your team must understand pinching your clients when they leave your salon is unethical, is letting the business down and is not the right way to behave.

Worried about stylists or beauty therapists poaching clients? This blog outlines 8 steps to stop them walking out the door with your clients.

Prevent employees poaching clients with the right salon culture

Too many salons and clinics think departing employees ‘taking a following’ is inevitable.

It’s life. It’s what happens in this industry.

Yet it doesn’t have to be that way.


3 ways to make poaching a dirty word in your salon:

Walk the talk in your salon

If deep down ‘a stylist with a following’ is what you hunger after, keep your thoughts to yourself. Don’t unburden yourself to your team or even your manager. Lead by example.

It’s also tempting when interviewing to casually enquire about ‘bringing’ clients with them, their following. But what message does it this deliver to your new employee? Stealing is OK? Enough said.

Walk your talk, or your salon culture may turn round and bite you later.

Your salon culture is important when hiring

Always hire people who share similar trust beliefs and values to you and your team. Avoid hiring solely for skills, otherwise you’re heading for ‘poaching trouble’.

What do I mean by this?

If a candidate brashly brags at their interview about the clients they can ‘bring with them’ from your competitor, ask whether you really want this person in your team and shaping your salon culture?

You probably don’t.

Build a salon team not a salon family

This is one I often see owners trip up on – it’s a slippery salon management banana skin.

We’re a fun, friendly, people-orientated industry – which is fantastic. But no matter how much you want to surround yourself with adoring employees, your goal must be to build an effective team, not a happy family.

Keep happy families where they belong. At home.

Instead hire, develop and fire in line with your salon culture – which means you can’t be afraid of tough decisions. If someone doesn’t fit into your trust culture than be prepared to reject them at interview or dismiss them from your team.


But a stylist with a following sounds so tempting…

I understand how a stylist or therapist ‘with a following’ seems like the perfect solution to your salon problems.

But think again.

A lack of ethics when hiring can create more management and brand problems than it solves in the long run.

Why not download our salon Recruitment Marketing and Hiring Guide below? It’s free…

Free Recruitment Marketing & Hiring guide for salons

Strong candidates are in short supply, and recruiting the best team is one of the biggest challenges beauty, aesthetic and hair businesses face today.

Our new FREE Recruitment Marketing & Hiring Guide is packed with practical tips, step by steps and ready-to-use recruitment templates PLUS how to advertise your vacancy successfully on Facebook and Instagram.

Take a look now

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