How to Add the Right Barber to Your Shop
It takes a fair amount of effort and dedication to build, run, and grow a business. And if you own or manage a barbershop, the team you put together is one of the most decisive factors in cementing your business’ reputation.
Whether you’re starting your barbershop from scratch or reinventing it with a new concept, locating, training, and keeping talented barbers can be a feat in its own right. Fortunately, it’s not an impossible task if you know how to approach your search, and what to expect in the process.
Below, we take a step-by-step look at how to find a barber who will bring value to you, your current team, and future happy customers.
#1 Narrow Down Your Non-Negotiable Criteria
You may already have a vague idea about the qualities that would make someone the perfect barber for your shop. But sifting through candidates is much easier when you know what you’re looking for. Before beginning your search, be sure to iron out details like:
- Desired qualifications – Do you need every hire to have graduated barber school with top marks, or will you be satisfied with a standard state license?
- Job description – What responsibilities are you looking to have filled at your shop? Are you looking for someone who specializes in certain hair types or beard styles, or a generalist barber who can get clients in and out of the chair quickly?
- Hours of expected work – How much flexibility can you afford? What’s the minimum number of hours you need covered per week?
Lastly, give future applicants an idea of your budget, as well as which qualifications could play a decisive role in determining candidates’ pay.1
#2 Tap Into Multiple Networks to Start Your Search
These days, many job searches start and end on huge online job sites. The website Indeed.com alone attracts some 250 visitors each month. With 10 job postings published every second, it can be challenging to connect with candidates as a small, specialized business.2
But there are ways you can use your niche status to your advantage. To start, leverage these trade-specific resources for your barbershop’s next hire:
Appeal to Candidates on Social Media
If you already have a social media presence, use your business’s profile to advertise any vacancies you have. You can try:
- Using local SEO tactics to steer neighborhood attention toward your shop
- Creating Instagram- or TikTok-based job postings where barbers and salon stylists can easily tag eligible candidates looking for work
- Documenting your day-to-day business to show your future employees what they have to look forward to
Scout Out Local Barber Schools
Whether it’s in person or online, search for some of the best barber schools in your area so you can let them know you’re looking for team members. Many barber schools pledge to find graduates an employer upon completing their program. Building relationships with neighboring institutions can create a pipeline of potential new hires whenever a future vacancy opens up.
That said, many business owners have reservations about taking on employees who’ve only just completed their training. To reduce risk and fill your business with excellent barbers, be sure to:3
- Ask candidates if they can provide references to back up their skill and work
- Make sure eligible candidates are cleared to work in the country
- Consider a probationary period for young barbers who show promise—but don’t yet have the proper certification or licensing1
#3 Evaluate Top Candidates Holistically
No barbershop wants to be responsible for a bad haircut. But as an entrepreneur, you know that hiring a licensed barber with a sour attitude can dull your business’s reputation—no matter how impressive their experience sounds on paper.
For that reason, it’s critical to weigh your top prospective employees holistically by asking yourself the following questions in the hiring process:
Do They Present Themselves Well?
Whether it’s during the initial interview or a longer period of probationary work, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn about prospects before you officially bring them on board.3
For instance, if it’s clear they take care of themselves and put effort into their appearance (particularly their own hair), this might reflect a high standard in their work. You might also pay close attention to:
- How they greet you – Other than knowing how to create haircut styles for men, a potential hire should have a confident posture, eye contact, and a firm handshake. These soft skills can translate to real gains in customer retention down the line. Physical signs and gestures like these are often the foundation of trusting relationships—with clients, fellow teammates, or higher-ups like managers and owners.
- Communication skills – Notice how your candidates speak to clients, peers, and you. Are they speaking in an accessible language? What’s their tone and attitude like? Do they stay friendly with challenging customers? How do they handle disputes or disagreements? And, perhaps most importantly, can they translate a client’s verbal requests into a hairstyle they’re genuinely happy with?
Do They Get Along with Your Team?
The ideal professional barber will fit into the flow and culture of your shop. Additionally, they should express enthusiasm for the collective goals you’ve established as a group—or at least bring an energetic personality that can boost morale on slow or tough days.
But in addition to friendliness, customers and teammates both appreciate staffers who demonstrate:
- Empathy – In essence, empathy is the capacity to understand the needs and wants of others. When it comes to relating to customers and connecting while they’re in the barber chair, this attribute becomes even more valuable to your business.4
- Reliability – Any licensed barber you’re interviewing should show a willingness to work—no exceptions. Meeting scheduling commitments isn’t just crucial for becoming a reliable resource for your clientele. It’s equally important for creating an in-shop culture of mutual support, where barbers asking colleagues for coverage remains an exception (rather than a norm).3
How Do They Treat Customers?
Last but not least, keep an eye on the barbers you’re considering while they’ve got clients in the booth. In shops, every day can feel like an ever-rotating operation of client services. How well can a professional barber recall what each customer needs? Do they put effort into remembering repeat clients? Are they treating them as individuals?3
Even if they could use a little training in the customer experience department, just make sure your candidates are treating clients like individual people—not mannequins.
#4 Invest In Training New Hires
Identifying barbers who are skilled, considerate, and respect their colleagues is phase one of how to find a good barber. Phase two begins when you invest in their training and professional development—and there is always room for professional growth.4
To that end, it’s more common than not to make a hire that still requires some training on your part. In this case, teachability may be even more important than the qualifications they arrive with, so be sure to notice whether they’re interested in the constructive criticism you offer.
Ask yourself whether they:
- Demonstrate respect – Succeeding in any shop may involve working in a team that has a hierarchy. Barbers need to show respect to everyone in the room, starting with you as the barbershop owner or manager.
- Are steadily improving – Pay attention to whether your barber is incorporating your feedback. For fledgling barbers, the perspectives they glean from you and their peers are rich resources, and those who want to grow will commit themselves to make use of it.
At the end of the day, the position you’re offering can be incredibly valuable to early-career barbers. A learning opportunity, a place to build skills, and a community to join and network with could reward them well and long into their careers.3
#5 Help Team Members Set Goals Together
As a manager or business owner, be sure you’re leading by example by setting the precedent for how you want your business to run. This could mean tuning up your business with barbershop business management software that makes everyone’s life easier. Or, it could mean hosting monthly workshops where teammates get to bond and practice techniques they’ve been working on.
No matter where they find employment, every good barber wants to be a part of:5
- An established, well-run, and profitable business
- A creative, skilled, and mutually respectful team
- An environment that’s rich with opportunities to learn
Whatever initiatives or goals you’re setting with employees, remember that driven, well-organized businesses are one of the primary reasons new and old hires will stick around. The more you can invest in your barbers, the better your employee retention, and the happier your customers will be, too.4
Showcase Your Barbershop Dream Team with SQUIRE
These days, every brick-and-mortar business needs a no-fuss software to help run their back end while they focus on their bread and butter: client experience.
From customer management to managing the faces of your brand, SQUIRE is the barbershop business management platform designed exclusively to help barbers and barbershop owners grow their enterprise. However you build out your team, let their work speak for itself by streamlining overhead costs, setting specific barbershop pricing, paying your staff, and centralizing their bookings all in one place.
Get in touch today to request a demo for your shop.
- HireRush. 6 Tips on How to Hire the Right Barbers For Your Barbershop. https://www.hirerush.com/blog/6-tips-on-how-to-hire-the-right-barbers-for-your-barbershop/
- Indeed job posting page. https://join.com/media-platform/indeed/
- Big Al’s Barber Channel. How to & where to hire barbers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr1m95eHseY
- National Association of Barbers. Barbershop Dream Team. https://nationalbarbers.org/how-to-hire-a-barbershop-dream-team/
- Forbes. Five Basic Principles of Highly Effective Leadership. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/09/30/five-basic-principles-of-highly-effective-leadership/?sh=34fd75949da6
- Queensland Government. Improving your customer service. https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/customer-service/improving
- San Francisco Barbershop and Ladies Lounge. How to Find a High Quality Barber. http://sfbofdallas.com/how-to-find-a-high-quality-barber/
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