We recently decided to change our salon’s hours. We have had the same hours since 1994. (We were open Sundays from April 1989 to January 1994). Our new hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 to 7, Friday and Saturday 9 to 4.
Salons are all about providing the best customer service. A full time professional receptionist can now be hired to fill all of our open hours. This allows the owners of the salon to do hair, manage the business, and even take a vacation.
We are currently planning on hiring an apprentice in the new year. The apprentice will be our receptionist while we train him or her train to become a hairstylist. The receptionist position has become so complex over the years that a part time student struggles in the role.
Training a receptionist here at our Boulder hair salon involves both training and learning on the job. Our best employees have been friendly and compassionate. We can train everything except friendliness and compassion. After about 4 hours of training the first day, we usually send the new staff member home. There is only so much information you can take in.
The second day has the new receptionist at our Boulder hair salon “shadowing” one of the experienced staff members. Since we hired “friendly”, the new person naturally starts interacting with our customers. We keep a close eye on these initial interactions, as they can tell us a lot about how our new staff member is going to perform. Did they make eye contact? Were they intelligible when they spoke?
After the second day we meet with the new receptionist to determine what their training needs are. The third day is spent “fine tuning” the training so far, and starting to do actual receptionist tasks. At this point, one of the owners of our Boulder hair salon will shadow the new receptionist.
Now we have to decide if our new staff member is a “keeper”. We have always believed in hiring slow and firing fast. If I was a new employee, that’s how I would want to be treated.