Does the hiring process sometimes feel like the most dreaded task in your business? Do you feel hiring frustrations zapping your mojo away one interview at a time? Do you need some fresh new ideas that inspire you during the hiring process? I hit that point and needed a new approach. Let me share with you some fabulous new ideas that I have found.
I know I am not alone. In conversation with a few salon owners I talked to this weekend, they mentioned that the hiring process at times can be tougher than the firing process. They found it to be quicker to fire. People technically fire themselves when they… break policies, lie, steal, repeatedly call off, can’t perform their responsibilities, etc.
My first set of challenges were where to post ads, what to say in my ads, weeding through all the email responses, and various resumes sounded draining. Narrowing it down to whom I believed may be a good addition to my team who will fit our culture and have the same values. All drizzled with anxiety over how to make the process work better.
I began researching where the best place to post an ad would be. My business coach, Debra Hanson at Inspiring Champions, suggested I look into posting on www.indeed.com. After figuring out how it worked, I posted our Guest Receptionist position and waited, holding my breath…. Then over 70 responses hit my inbox in 2 days! I was overwhelmed by the number of resumes!!!!
My thoughts were, this is great, but how am I going to get through all of these resumes??? Now what??? I needed to strategize, and I needed to do it fast. I thought, let’s get all the applicants here together so I can meet them! YES!!! A group interview! Perfect!
Next challenge… How do I do this and act quickly? Between guests on Thursday and Friday, I researched for a free meeting RSVP page. After finding a few that charged a fee, I finally found a website called www.whozzin.com. I navigated quickly through the instructions and set up. I created 2 group interview times each with an individual link directly to the RSVP page. I added preset questions for them to answer during their reply… “Why should I place your resume at the top of my list?” (Thank you, Bonnie Conte, for the brilliant question idea.)
Out of the 70 total applicants, we had 22 applicants coming to the salon for a group interview! I was stoked in a big way. Two of my stylists offered to be part of the process. We organized our in-house applications and wrote down questions that we wanted to ask them. For our position at our front desk, we always use a timed written test that contains math, spelling, alphabetizing, as well as character and personality questions. I love this test, and this time, we did it as a group with a timer. This test can quickly eliminate candidates that are not good with money or organizational tasks related to running a front desk. Highly recommend it. This great idea is the creation of Pat Helmandollar. Thank you, Pat!
The group interview begins, and I share our salon history, our mission statement, our values and customer service experience expectations. I go over the job description and details about the importance of this position. Our Guest Receptionist is our first impression on the phone as well as at the front door. A first impression can make or break an experience, and we are “Daymakers” desiring to make everyone’s day the best experience we can.
We then ask each of them to tell us about themselves. Their name, a little about the work experience, and why they are applying for this position. Then came the challenging questions for them: Why should we hire you over the person next to you? Who are your top 2 picks? What would make you quit? And my personal favorite: If you could be any cartoon character, who would you be, and why?
After our group interview, we narrowed it down to 4 people. Each was invited for a shadow day at the salon to experience. During the shadow interview, I want them to experience what it will be like on a daily basis. My instructions to them that day are to ask any question they would like and to jump in at any point they feel comfortable to. If a guest walks in, they may greet them… offer a beverage, escort them to our waiting area, and let a stylist know their next guest is here. They may stay as long as they like to get a good grasp on what we actually do. I encourage everyone in the salon to get to know our potential new hire. Later, I get everyone’s feedback and opinions.
Following the group interview, I set up a one-on-one interview with me. I ask questions to find out about their work ethic, integrity, customer service experience, values, habits, likes and dislikes. I ask scenario-based questions to find out how they have handled past situations in their work environment. All in hopes that we can find out who is really sitting across the desk. Will they enjoy working with us and my team?
Hiring can be a challenge and one we are perpetually working on perfecting. This new process we have adopted has given me a new outlook that has brought a new outcome.
Here’s to acting fast and never losing hope!!! Indeed and Whozzin, two great additions to our hiring process. Check them out and leverage your hiring potential to be on your side.
by Rowena Yeager, Studio Wish Salon