Hey there, Anthony Gray from MIG training. As we look towards 2021, and hopefully put the year that was behind us, it brings into really sharp focus, the issue that faces most of the salons we work with, and that’s finding quality people. Building a quality team and finding the right people for your business is increasingly difficult.  This is supported by the numbers.  The numbers of apprentices in training has dropped significantly over the last 10 years,  a drop by 20% in fact and this has been combined with an increase in demand for hairdressers. The National Center for Vocational Education and Research predicts that the demand for hairdressers will top 80,000 by the year 2024. So, you can sort of see that the industry is digging a hole it’s increasingly difficult for us to crawl out of.  What do you do? 

We’re blessed to work with a number of quality salons and these salons do four things really well. Firstly, what they do is they optimize their own talent.  For those the stylists that are working for them, they work really closely with to identify the areas of education required and invest in their staff to build quality technical skills.  By building these quality technical skills across the board, it allows them to focus the team on highly productive work. It means that the low productive work can be taken from them. Staff retention and satisfaction improve exponentially when this happens.

The second thing the quality operators do really well is that they are hire for behaviour and they train for skill. Highly skilled people are great and having the complete package is the nirvana of course, but 80% of the way from a technical skills perspective is fine if you have people that have quality communication skills.  By these I mean,  the capacity to work as a team, the capacity for emotional intelligence, resilience, self-direction, and above all creativity. Gaps in technical skill can be met with training, provided you have the building blocks to work with.

Thirdly, quality salons partner with their college.  The reason they do this is to access those people, the best and brightest that are coming through. Being able to access quality graduates when required, being able to access those who are still within a course looking to build skills and to work in industry allow salons to be able to in some ways, access a production line of the next best and brightest. It also allows them to try before they buy. Vocational placement and industry trials mean that quality people find their way into the best businesses.

Finally, salons we work with that have the most success grow their own.  I know when I say that there’ll be many of you that say never again when it comes to hiring an apprentice, and I understand all the difficulties that that has and what it entails. But at the moment, there’s never been a better time to put an apprentice on. Government incentives post COVID are almost 50% of the first year’s wage.  Those dollars alone make it an important time to maybe rethink and relook at what the options are in relation to growing your own staff and to building a business from within. At MIG we’re really lucky. We work with many household names in hairdressing to build their teams including the capacity, the technical skills, the knowledge and the interpersonal personal skills that go with that. If it’s something that you’d like to talk to us about or seek some advice or to get a better understanding what your options are in relation to building your team and training your staff. We’d love you to give us a call. Thanks again.