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The Perfect Fit

In the spa industry, hiring the right employee always benefits owners

By Brooke Smith
For employers, hiring a qualified employee can be challenging. But hiring the right employee for the job can be even more challenging. The spa industry is no different.
As with any industry professionals, potential spa employees must know their stuff. According to Grace Burzese, founder of Beauty Incubator Recruitment, knowledgeable employees are essential for a successful spa business.
“They contribute to the overall client experience, ensuring clients receive exemplary service and expertise,” she says. “A well-informed team can provide valuable recommendations and advice, helping clients make informed decisions about their treatment plan and skincare products.”
In addition to knowledge, potential hires need to be eager and enthusiastic about working at your spa.
“[These employees] create a positive and welcoming atmosphere that keeps clients coming back for more,” she says. “Having a team that is passionate about the industry also leads to continuous improvement and innovation within the spa.”
But while knowledge and enthusiasm are great traits that any employer wants in their potential employees, “hiring for the right fit” is also important.
Skills and qualifications are mandatory, but spa owners obviously must also consider candidates that fit with the culture and values of the spa.
“A strong team dynamic contributes to a harmonious work environment, enhanced collaboration, and improved customer service,” Burzese explains.
Just how does the spa owner do this? One way is through recruiting firms such as Beauty Incubator.
“[We] can play a crucial role in connecting spas with top talent and ensuring they hire the right person for their operation,” says Burzese. “We’re able to leverage our extensive network of both passive and active industry professionals to formulate a short list of potential candidates that meet a client’s requirement.”
Beauty Incubator conducts rigorous screening processes to assess candidates’ skills, qualifications, and experience.
“We can present the spa with a curated selection of candidates who are a good
fit for the role,” says Burzese. “We help streamline the hiring process to help spa owners save time and costs of keeping a vacant position open for too long.”

Employees are key
However, spa operators must remember that employment is a two-way street. Potential employees are also looking for something from their employer: the employment experience.
“Today’s potential spa employees are seeking more than just a job,” says Burzese. “They’re looking for an employment experience that offers ongoing professional development, but they also want to be valued and seen.”
In addition, those potential employees understand the importance of staying updated with the latest industry trends, techniques, and technologies to provide the best service to clients, she explains. “[They] welcome the opportunity to expand their skill set and attend workshops, conferences, and training programs to increase their knowledge.”

Recruiting issues
While knowledgeable, perfect-fit employees is the goal for spa operators, it’s currently posing challenges. The industry is facing recruitment issues. In an attempt to combat this, some spas are offering incentives to attract employees. According to the 2023 ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study, 66% of spas have offered flexible work schedules, 61% have offered higher wages, and 38% have offered a signing-on bonus.
In addition, 58% have partnered with local schools, 42% are offering compensation for training and/or continuing education units, and 24% are offering an education reimbursement program.
Some spas, however, are being proactive in their outreach for potential candidates. According to the survey, 53% are attending job fairs, 45% are using recruitment and placement services,
28% are targeting the unemployed, and 20% are targeting retirement communities and retirees.

Employer tips
However, no matter how spa operators secure their new employees, it’s also important they consider that their new employees have a positive experience after they’ve accepted the job offer.
Burzese recommends that spa operators provide employees with a positive onboarding experience.
“[This] can set the tone for the employee’s entire tenure at the spa,” she says.
In addition, spa operators need to communicate job responsibilities and performance expectations clearly.
“This sets a foundation for success and helps the employee understand their role within the spa,” she says.
In addition, managers should check in regularly with employees to ensure all is going well. And, remember, employees want to feel valued, so recognize and appreciate their efforts. This could be through verbal praise, rewards, or acknowledgment during team meetings, says Burzese.
“When people feel as though they belong or are a part of something, they are more likely to be invested and therefore stay long term.”

The Right Stuff

For employers, there’s nothing worse than hiring the wrong person for the job. Grace Burzese provides her top five must-dos to find the perfect-fit employee and ensure they have the right stuff.

Define culture and values: Develop a clear understanding of your spa work environment and the qualities that align with your mission and vision.

Write accurate job descriptions: Clearly outline the required skills and qualifications and desired personality traits and values you seek in candidates.

Conduct thorough interviews: Assess candidates’ skills, experience, and personality fit, and ask behavioural and situational questions.

Check references: Contact the candidate’s references to gain insights on their work ethic and attitude.

Consider probation: Offer a trial period (typically three months) to observe how the candidate performs and interacts with your team before making a long-term commitment.

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