Typical Roles at a Hair Salon

Though they are most associated with hair styling, salons can provide a wide range of services such as massages, waxing, and nail services. You will definitely need a general manager, and may also want to hire a hair stylist, nail technician, and/or skincare expert.

General Manager

This is the first role you’ll need to think about when building your team. In many cases, the business owner can act as his/her own general manager.

Typical Salary:

  • $35,000 per year

What This Role Entails:  

  • Hiring and scheduling employees
  • Keeping track of inventory
  • Adhering to health and safety standards
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction

Who to Look For:

  • Previous management experience
  • Able to manage customers’ complaints
  • Available for many shifts, as they are an integral part of everyday business

Hair Stylist

Hair stylists cut, color, and style customers’ hair. Their services are often a main component of a salon.

Salary: $10 per hour (not including tips)

What This Role Entails:

  • Cutting and coloring hair
  • Providing services like hair extensions, treatments for damaged hair, etc.

Who to Look For:

  • Experience and/or salon education necessary
  • Aware of changing hair trends
  • Chatty with customers

Nail Technician

Nail technicians’ main job is to paint nails, though they sometimes perform other auxiliary services.

Salary: $11 per hour

What This Role Entails:

  • Giving manicures and pedicures
  • Offering relevant spa treatments such as neck or foot massages for additional fees

Who to Look For:

  • Friendly with customers
  • Professional experience painting nails preferred, but not necessary

Skin Care Expert

Skin care experts may provide a variety of services designed to relax customers and provide healthy skin benefits.

Salary: $30,000 per year

What This Role Entails:

  • Massages
  • Facials
  • Waxing

Who to Look For:

  • Education or experience necessary
  • Some certification for relevant services
  • Conscious of beauty trends

Hair Salon Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

A salon’s employees should contribute to its relaxing atmosphere. Your customers will be seeking a pampering experience, so staff should be friendly and accommodating.

While salons will serve all kinds of customers, your main customer demographic will likely be women with some extra money to spend. If you offer services such as waxing, which take place in private rooms, you may want to consider having more women employees as customers may feel more comfortable with that.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

When looking for employees, keep in mind that experience is key in the beauty industry. Hiring amateur hair stylists, for instance, is not likely to put your customers at ease. Put up flyers in beauty schools nearby, and advertise on social media, as a lot of stylists have an online presence. An ideal candidate is very up to date on beauty trends, and has their own unique sense of style.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is perfectly natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most salon owners look for employees who are:

  • Stylish
  • Organized
  • Friendly
  • Experienced

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • How many haircuts are you comfortable giving on an average day? (If hiring for hair stylist)
  • Recount an experience with an unhappy customer. How did you resolve it?
  • Do you have a cosmetology license?
  • How flexible is your schedule?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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