We understand that summer staffing can be super challenging, especially if your spa or salon is located in a popular vacation destination. After all, your customers aren’t the only ones who want to take a break!
Labor costs continue to be the single largest expense item for spas and salons. During a summer boom, you may need to rethink how your services are delivered, who should deliver them, and how you can optimize your staff coverage during peak periods.
Here are some approaches to consider:
- Establish black-out periods when no staff vacations are permitted.
- Extend your schedule and ask staff members to work longer hours during peak periods. (You might want to include this in the Employee Handbook so they have a heads up about this when they’re hired.)
- Adjust working hours to cover the book and spread your labor costs to better fit your business’s needs. As a manager, you need to designate when your staff works so you have coverage throughout the day and week to optimize your book.
- Schedule salaried employees before hourly workers.
- Recruit graduates from regional massage and beauty schools for the season.
- Establish a list of freelancers for massage or skincare services. You can call on these professionals when you find your salon or spa is fully booked (a good thing!) and you need extra help. These service providers can also help you when one of your staff takes a sick day or day off.
- Cross-train your employees to expand the list of services each employee can handle and improve the efficiency of your business. For instance, cross-training your staff to assist in both spa reservations and spa desk will enable you to staff both areas. Technicians with multiple skills are the most flexible and the most booked, too.
- Assign less experienced employees to basic services (while they’re learning more complex treatments) and assign seasoned staff for more involved services. This is a strategy you may want to use if your salon or spa is well-known for its specialty services and books a lot of them.
- One more thing: Many times, spas and salons in destination locations need to draw on either limited local talent or imported talent for the summer months.
Make sure your haste to hire doesn’t cloud your good judgment. Always be sure that whoever you hire has a license to practice in your location. This may seem like a very obvious piece of advice, but more often than you’d like to think, service providers apply for jobs in states where they are not licensed. If you don’t check and then hire an unauthorized technician to work in your spa or salon, it’s your establishment that will be liable if something happens.
It pays to stay current on your state’s human resource laws about this. And, although incidents are rare, services such as hair dying, permanents, and eyebrow and bikini waxes are not completely without risk. Hair dyes, hair relaxers, permanent wave solutions, and hot wax can be dangerous to hair, scalp, skin, and eyes.
The risk is easy to avoid. Just ask to see those credentials!
Our Destination Profitability Guide provides even more tips on seasonal staffing.
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