10 Tips to Recruiting Hair Stylists | Salon Hiring Guide

Learn the top strategies for attracting and recruiting top-notch hairstylists for your salon. This guide covers the essentials from leveraging job platforms and cosmetology schools, to fostering a positive work environment.


Every salon owner understands that the success of their business is largely dependent on the expertise, creativity, and customer service skills of their hairstylists. Their artistry is on display with every client they see, and their unique skillset and personality can be the deciding factor in whether clients become one-time visitors or loyal, repeat customers. Therefore, recruiting the right hairstylists - professionals who are not just proficient with the scissors but are also effective communicators and relationship builders - becomes a top priority. 

In this article, we delve into the nuanced process of attracting, evaluating, and securing top talent for your salon. We offer ten tried-and-true tips that will help streamline your hiring process and ensure that your salon is staffed with the best hair stylists in the business. So whether you're just starting out or looking to revamp your team, this salon hiring guide has got you covered. Let's get started.

Understanding the Job Requirements

Before we dive into the actual tips for recruiting hairstylists, it's crucial to grasp the role a hairstylist plays within your salon and the skills they need to excel. A hairstylist is more than just a person who cuts, colors, and styles hair. They're a crucial part of your client's experience, often acting as a trusted confidant, advisor, and part of their self-care routine. Thus, a good hairstylist should ideally have the following qualities:

1. Technical Skills: A great hairstylist needs to be skilled in various hair services such as cutting, coloring, perming, and styling, to name a few. They need to stay updated on the latest trends and techniques in the industry.

2. Creativity: Every head of hair is a canvas waiting for a masterpiece. Hair stylists need a creative eye to help clients find the perfect style that suits their features, personality, and lifestyle.

3. Communication Skills: Hairstylists spend a significant amount of time interacting with clients. Excellent listening skills are necessary to understand client needs and desires accurately. Equally important is the ability to communicate recommendations and instructions clearly.

4. Customer Service Skills: A hairstylist should make clients feel comfortable, welcome, and valued. A friendly demeanor, patience, and the ability to handle client complaints gracefully are all part of exceptional customer service.

5. Physical Stamina: The job of a hair stylist involves standing for long hours, and occasionally, working beyond normal business hours. Therefore, physical stamina is an essential aspect to consider.

6. Cleanliness and Organization: Keeping a clean and organized work station is not only critical for safety and efficiency but also reflects on the overall image of the salon.

By understanding the job requirements thoroughly, you can effectively outline the skills you're seeking, set realistic expectations, and ultimately increase your chances of hiring a hairstylist who will fit well within your salon and contribute to its success.

Tip #1: Clearly Define Job Description

Your first step in the hiring process should be crafting a clear and detailed job description. This serves as your primary communication tool, outlining what you expect from candidates and what they can expect from you. It's also your first opportunity to attract the right talent to your salon. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Job Title: Ensure that your job title is accurate and reflective of the role. Something like 'Hair Stylist' or 'Senior Hair Stylist' should suffice.

2. Role Summary: Provide a brief summary of the role, explaining how it contributes to the overall operation of the salon. Include the nature of the work (full-time, part-time, or freelance) and any specific clientele or services that the stylist would be responsible for.

3. Responsibilities: List the daily responsibilities of the hair stylist. This might include providing hair services, maintaining a clean workstation, recommending products or treatments, and building client relationships.

4. Qualifications and Skills: Highlight the necessary qualifications such as a valid cosmetology license. Also, include the required technical skills, interpersonal skills, and any preferred additional skills such as experience with specific hair treatments or familiarity with certain brands.

5. Benefits and Compensation: Clearly state the salary range, commission structure, tips, and any other benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, or ongoing training opportunities. 

6. Salon Culture and Values: Give potential candidates a sense of your salon's culture. Is your salon environment fast-paced and trend-focused or more relaxed and community-oriented? What are the core values of your business? This information can help potential applicants assess if they are a good fit for your salon.

Remember, a well-written job description can serve as a powerful tool to attract the right hairstylists. It can streamline the application process by deterring unqualified applicants and attracting those who are genuinely interested and capable. Be honest, clear, and specific, and you'll set the stage for a successful recruiting process.

Tip #2: Utilize Social Media and Job Boards

In today's digital age, you can't ignore the power of online platforms when it comes to recruitment. Social media and online job boards can significantly expand your reach and help attract a diverse range of talent.

1. Social Media: Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be instrumental in your recruitment efforts. Showcase your salon's work, culture, and team on Instagram and Facebook to attract stylists who resonate with your brand. LinkedIn, on the other hand, allows you to share job postings and connect with professional hairstylists actively looking for opportunities. Don't forget to use relevant hashtags and geotags to increase your visibility.

2. Job Boards: Online job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter, are frequented by job seekers. Also consider industry-specific job boards such as Beauty Cast Network or Salon Employment. Make sure your job description is compelling and includes relevant keywords to show up in search results.

3. Salon Website: Post your job openings on your salon's website. This not only gives potential candidates a chance to learn more about your salon, but it can also improve your website's SEO if people are searching for hairstylist positions in your area.

4. Online Communities: Online communities and forums, such as those found on Reddit or dedicated hairstylist groups on Facebook, can be excellent places to connect with potential candidates.

Remember, while posting your job openings online, always include a clear way for candidates to apply or contact you. Regularly monitor and respond to applications and inquiries to keep potential candidates engaged. The faster your response time, the higher your chances of securing the best talent.

Tip #3: Connect with Cosmetology Schools

Establishing a strong connection with local cosmetology schools can be a strategic move in your recruiting efforts. New graduates are often eager to start their careers, and with the right training and guidance, they can become valuable members of your team.

1. Partnerships: Partner with local cosmetology schools to offer internships, apprenticeships, or job placement programs. This not only gives students valuable hands-on experience but also allows you to assess their potential as long-term employees.

2. Job Fairs: Participate in job fairs hosted by these schools. This gives you direct access to a pool of candidates who have recently completed their training and are ready to start their professional journey.

3. Guest Lectures or Demos: Offer to give guest lectures or demonstrations at local schools. This can increase your salon's visibility among students and position you as an industry leader.

4. Stay Connected: Keep communication lines open with the career services departments of these schools. They can keep you updated on upcoming graduation dates and potential candidates looking for opportunities.

Remember, while these candidates might lack professional experience, they compensate with up-to-date training and enthusiasm. With the right mentorship, they can be molded to fit your salon's style and values, making them a valuable addition to your team.

Tip #4: Networking Events and Hair Shows

Engaging in industry networking events and hair shows can be a goldmine for recruiting top talent. These events are packed with professionals passionate about their craft, making them the perfect hunting ground for your next hairstylist.

1. Hair Shows and Expos: These are great places to meet stylists who are serious about their craft and stay updated on the latest trends. They provide a platform for professionals to showcase their skills, and for salon owners like you to scout for potential hires.

2. Industry Conferences: Conferences often bring together people from all walks of the industry. Attend these events, engage in conversations, and make connections. You never know when you might meet a hairstylist looking for new opportunities.

3. Local Networking Events: Local business events, chamber of commerce meetings, and other community gatherings can also be great places to meet potential candidates. Even if you don't meet hairstylists directly, expanding your local network can often lead to referrals.

4. Host Your Own Event: Consider hosting a networking event or open house at your salon. Invite local stylists, cosmetology students, and other industry professionals. This not only gives you an opportunity to meet potential hires but also showcases your salon.

Remember, networking is about building relationships. Be genuine in your interactions and show interest in the people you meet. Even if they aren't looking for a job, they might know someone who is. A positive impression can turn them into a source of referrals, helping you access a wider pool of potential candidates.

Tip #5: Employee Referrals

One of the most effective and often underutilized methods for recruiting hairstylists is through employee referrals. Your current team members likely know other professionals in the industry and can vouch for their skills and work ethic.

1. Referral Program: Consider implementing an employee referral program. Offering incentives like a cash bonus or extra vacation days can encourage your staff to refer qualified candidates.

2. Networking: Encourage your employees to network within their circles and online communities. They can share job openings on their social media accounts or during industry events.

3. Simplicity: Make the referral process as simple as possible. An overly complicated process may discourage your employees from participating.

4. Acknowledge and Reward: Acknowledge the efforts of your employees in referring candidates and make sure to reward them appropriately if their referral is hired. This not only motivates them but also helps foster a positive work environment.

Remember, the hairstyling industry is closely knit, and good hairstylists often know other good hairstylists. Capitalizing on these networks can lead to valuable additions to your team. Plus, people often enjoy working with individuals they know and trust, which can contribute to a positive workplace atmosphere.

Tip #6: The Interview Process

The interview process provides a valuable opportunity to assess a candidate's skills, personality, and fit within your salon's culture. It's also the candidate's chance to evaluate whether your salon aligns with their professional goals and personal values.

1. Screening: Start with a preliminary phone or video call to discuss the basics of the job, verify the candidate's qualifications, and assess their communication skills.

2. Practical Skills Test: Arrange a practical test for candidates to demonstrate their technical skills. This could involve performing a haircut, color, or other hair services. This will give you a clear idea of their current level of skill and their potential.

3. In-person Interview: Use the in-person interview to assess the candidate's personality, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and culture fit. Ask behavioral questions to understand how they handle different situations, especially those involving customer service.

4. Interview Questions: Ask questions that will provide insight into the candidate's capabilities and attitude. For instance, you could ask how they stay updated on hair trends, their experience with different hair types and textures, or how they handle dissatisfied customers.

5. Discuss Expectations: Be transparent about what working at your salon entails, including work hours, compensation structure, expectations for client retention, ongoing training, etc.

6. Check References: If a candidate seems promising, check their references to confirm their past work performance and behavior.

Remember, the goal of the interview process is not just to assess whether the candidate is right for your salon, but also whether your salon is right for the candidate. Mutual satisfaction is key to long-term employment and success.

Tip #7: Competitive Compensation and Benefits

To attract and retain the best hairstylists, you need to offer a competitive compensation package. While salary is a significant component, additional benefits can also be attractive to potential employees.

1. Salary and Commissions: Research the standard pay rate for hairstylists in your area to ensure your offer is competitive. Consider offering a combination of base pay and commission to incentivize excellent performance.

2. Tips: Be clear about how tips are handled in your salon. Some stylists might prefer a system where they keep all their tips, while others might be open to a pooled tip system.

3. Ongoing Education: Many hairstylists appreciate opportunities for professional development. Offering regular in-house training or covering costs for external courses and certifications can be a strong selling point.

4. Health and Wellness Benefits: If possible, offer health insurance, mental health support, gym memberships, or other wellness benefits. These can enhance your employees' job satisfaction and overall well-being.

5. Work-Life Balance: Promoting a healthy work-life balance can make your salon an attractive place to work. This could include reasonable working hours, sufficient break times, or flexibility in scheduling.

6. Employee Discounts: Discounts on salon services and products can be an appealing perk for hairstylists.

Remember, a competitive compensation package shows you value your employees and their contributions to your salon. It can not only help attract top talent but also boost employee satisfaction and retention.

Tip #8: Foster a Positive Work Environment

The work environment can significantly impact a hairstylist's job satisfaction and performance. A positive, supportive atmosphere can attract top-notch hairstylists and encourage them to stay long-term.

1. Team Culture: Encourage a culture of respect, collaboration, and continuous learning. Regular team meetings, workshops, and social events can help build strong relationships among team members.

2. Leadership: As the salon owner or manager, your leadership style can set the tone for the entire salon. Be a positive role model, offer constructive feedback, and be open to suggestions and ideas from your team.

3. Recognition: Regularly acknowledge and reward your hairstylists for their hard work and achievements. This could be as simple as a shout-out during a team meeting or a 'stylist of the month' feature on your salon's social media.

4. Tools and Resources: Provide your hairstylists with the tools and resources they need to do their job effectively. This includes quality hair products, up-to-date equipment, and a comfortable workspace.

5. Health and Safety: Ensure your salon follows health and safety regulations to provide a safe working environment. This includes proper sanitation practices, ergonomic furniture, and sufficient lighting.

Remember, a happy, satisfied employee is more likely to deliver excellent service, take pride in their work, and stay with your salon for a long time. By creating a positive work environment, you're investing in both your hairstylists and the success of your salon.

Tip #9: Ongoing Training and Development Opportunities

Providing ongoing training and development opportunities is key to attracting ambitious hairstylists who are passionate about their craft and committed to professional growth.

1. In-house Training: Regularly conduct in-house training sessions to introduce new techniques, products, or equipment. This keeps your team updated and improves the quality of services offered at your salon.

2. External Courses and Certifications: Support your hairstylists in pursuing external courses, certifications, or attending industry events and conferences. You could consider covering the cost partially or entirely as a part of their professional development benefit.

3. Mentorship Program: Establish a mentorship program within your salon where less experienced stylists can learn from senior team members. This not only helps in skill development but also fosters a supportive team environment.

4. Career Growth Opportunities: Provide clear paths for career progression within your salon. Whether it's a path to becoming a senior stylist, a salon manager, or a specialist in a particular treatment, showing hairstylists the opportunities for advancement can keep them motivated and committed to your salon.

5. Feedback and Performance Reviews: Regular feedback and performance reviews can help hairstylists understand their strengths, areas for improvement, and where they stand in terms of career progression. Make this a two-way conversation, allowing them to share their goals and aspirations.

Remember, investing in your hairstylists' development not only improves their skills and performance but also demonstrates that you value their professional growth. This can significantly boost job satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.

Tip #10: Develop a Strong Salon Brand

Your salon's brand plays a crucial role in attracting talented hairstylists. A strong, well-defined brand can make your salon stand out from the competition and resonate with professionals who share your values and vision.

1. Define Your Brand: Start by defining what your salon stands for. What is your mission? What values do you uphold? What unique experiences do you offer your clients? These elements form the core of your brand.

2. Consistency: Ensure your brand is consistently represented in all aspects of your salon - from the interior design and customer service to your social media presence and marketing materials. Consistency helps create a strong, recognizable brand identity.

3. Market Your Brand: Leverage different marketing channels to showcase your brand. This could include social media, your salon's website, local print media, and even word-of-mouth referrals. Highlight what makes your salon unique and why it's a great place to work.

4. Culture and Work Environment: Your salon's culture and work environment should reflect your brand values. For instance, if your brand promotes creativity and continuous learning, your salon should provide a workspace that encourages these values.

5. Employee Brand Advocates: Your hairstylists are not just your employees, but they can also be powerful brand advocates. Encourage them to represent and promote your salon brand, both inside the salon and on their personal social media platforms.

Remember, a strong salon brand can help you attract hairstylists who align with your vision and values, contributing to a cohesive, motivated team. It can also make your salon more attractive to potential clients, driving business growth.


Recruiting top hair stylists can seem challenging, but with strategic planning and the right techniques, you can attract talented professionals who will help your salon thrive. It's not just about finding candidates with the right skills, but also those who fit well with your salon's culture, values, and vision.

Incorporate these ten tips into your recruitment strategy to streamline your hiring process. Leverage online job platforms, build strong relationships with cosmetology schools, attend industry events, and encourage employee referrals. Prioritize a competitive compensation package and provide a positive work environment that promotes professional growth and maintains a healthy work-life balance. Finally, don't underestimate the power of a strong salon brand in attracting the right candidates.

Remember, your employees are your salon's most valuable asset. Investing in their recruitment, development, and satisfaction can lead to high-quality services, satisfied customers, and ultimately, a successful salon business. Every hiring decision you make shapes the future of your salon, so take the time to find the best fit for each role. Happy recruiting!

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Talk to a human

Schedule a guided walkthrough of Noona HQ

Watch the Demo

Learn the how & why of Noona in 30 mins

Get more bookings with less scheduling

  • Point of sale

    Online appointments

    Appointment calendar

    SMS campaigns

    Unlimited client history

    Appointment reminders

    Custom fields

    Flexible giftcards