Beauty Store Business

DEC 2018

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Page 54 of 63 | December 2018 51 andresr/ "As I see it, we're not selling clients products separate rom our haircutting and styling services," says Inger Ellen Nicolaisen, ounder o the Nikita Hair salon group, which started in Norway and now boasts 150 salons and more than 1,000 employees. "We take a more holistic approach, providing inormation to the clients on how to protect the investment in our services and keep their hair looking great as long as possible using the products (like our Eleni & Chris hair and skincare line) that we oer in the retail space. I a client wants to buy products rom a local drug store or buy our specialized products, it's up to them. But, the act is that we want the clients to make the most inormed choice possible to maintain the hairstyle they are walking out with at our salons." Nicolaisen says team members in the retail space need to show clients how to use the products correctly at home and while traveling, so a customer's positive eelings about themselves go ar beyond the moment they walk out o the salon. With that, it is also important candidates can eectively communicate with the proessionals on the salon loor. "We do a variety o things to ind team members, rom placing ads and notices on social media and Craigslist to signage and posters in the shop," says Nicolaisen. "Once we have candidates, we want to be sure the ones we single out share the same values as Nikita's corporate culture and the existing sta. It's a kind o a amily, as they're going to be with us or a big part o their day and week. So, the irst thing we look or is attitude and people skills. We are in the identity business, so these are important skills when developing long-term relationships with clients." On Nikita Hair's website, there's a list o nine reasons to join the team, rom great earnings incentives to health insurance supplements to personal career coaching. While these maxims are designed to bring in potential job candidates, they also serve the purpose o separating seriously committed, long-term candidates rom those simply looking or a gig. "People don't care about what you know; they want to know how much you care," Nicolaisen airms. "Employees don't just want to make good money; they want a good environment to do that in. With our management and leadership training, we stress that being a good role model is an important value or other employees." Noted New York City hairdresser and salon owner Oscar Blandi values approach- ability, honesty and a good command o important industry knowledge, whether the person on the other end o a conversation is a ashion editor, celebrity, regular client, an employee or a prospective employee. It's not enough to be good on paper. "Although a great resume will catch one's attention, it's important to ind candidates that are skilled in ace-to-ace and interpersonal situations," Blandi states. "We look or people who are always presentable, respectul and able to read a situation and understand the client or potential client. Without being too pushy, key actors o success also include conversational skills, knowledge about current events and being approachable. Everybody can have a bad day, but in a proessional environment, it's important to compartmentalize and prioritize the client and their emotions irst."'' While Blandi recognizes that the internet and social media platorms are common tools or beauty industry job searches, they may complicate the process o inding the perect candidates. He believes it's more important or the person doing the hiring to observe how a candidate may interact with a customer. In other words, it's all about "real engagement." "The best place to ind good candidates is through reerrals or rom someone who has worked retail and sales," he says. "Our retail specialists have worked as ambassadors or brands, where they had extensive knowledge o each product and are able to provide product analysis. We value candidates that are capable and understand every SKU and speciic product ingredients so they can provide proper product analysis to all our clients.'Although not everyone brought in needs to have an intense background, we ilter candidates that have a irm grasp on beauty and hair. They are given training at the salon in their area o engagement, and must have that spark and ability to orm relationships with clients." Yet, Blandi's expectations are realistic. There are limits to the applicaton o prior work experience. "Because the beauty industry is constantly changing, I think it's important to note that not everything someone utilized at their old job can be applicable to their new job," he says. O course, part o successully staing your business is developing and investing in the talent you have hired. Blandi's salon excels at this. New employees are encouraged to regularly seek guidance as they transition into any new role, as well as study a guideline book, written by salon general manager Angie Goris on salon rules and conduct, which osters a riendly and highly proessional envi- ronment.'One-on-one evaluations are given at three-month intervals to track the employee's growth, provide suggestions or improvement and recognize perormance and achievement. The salon also welcomes eedback rom sta. "We remain open to all suggestions or improvement on the employer end," Blandi says. Ultimately, these investments will make your store or salon an attractive place to work, which then attracts more top talent! ■ Elyse Glickman is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers wellness, beauty, gastronomy, travel and business trends. "Once we have candidates, we want to be sure the ones we single out share the same values as Nikita's corporate culture and the existing sta." –Inger Ellen Nicolaisen, ounder, Nikita Hair salon group

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