How do you know when it's the right time to hire staff? Whether you're a solo spa owner, or you already have a team, if you’re feeling a bit of a crunch in your schedule, it might be time to hire. You may be looking at your spa schedule and feeling like it's busier than normal. Guests may be calling for appointments outside of what you're actually open. This is making you feel like you should bring on a new team member into your business.
However, there are two points I want to bring to your attention before you jump in and hire anybody. I’d hate for you to realize you’ve made a poor decision because you didn’t have the right data.
Your Productivity Needs to Be At 80%
When you think you're getting close to needing to hire, go into your point of sale system and look up the metrics for Productivity. Productivity is the number of hours you have for sale compared to how many hours are actually sold. This is the true gauge of how busy your spa really is and doesn’t confuse you by what you think is happening.
Numbers don’t lie: before you even think about hiring anybody, your overall spa productivity should be at minimum 80% for at least 3 months. Why hire somebody if the flow of your business is still fluctuating?
Hiring, training and coaching your staff is a hugely time-consuming process and if it turns out that if your productivity isn't consistent, it's just a big old waste of time, and that's frustrating for everybody.
Can You Actually Afford a New Hire?
The second part I want you to look at is your cash flow.
When you're growing a team, it's a long-term business strategy for growth. Don't expect to hire a staff member, throw them into a full schedule, and you're magically making more money. There's a much larger process to this!
In my opinion, there is a hugely overlooked part of hiring in the spa industry: in-house training. It’s been the blind leading the blind for decades, and it typically looks like this: a new esthetician is given a casual orientation, shown a few treatments, and then she's put on the floor to give services. As a result, there is often inconsistency among service providers and owners are frustrated when the esthetician “goes off book”…yet the training was wholly incomplete.
On top of the cost of training, it's going to take time for your new team member to build up a clientele. It’s your responsibility as a spa owner to market and promote your employees plus pay them for the hours they’re on the schedule, but not booked with clients until they have time to build their own loyal following. And don’t forget to budget for payroll taxes and vacation pay. This could add up to a very expensive mistake if you're not financially prepared.
If you think you're ready to hire, don't start accepting resumes until you’ve looked at your Productivity and analyzed your cash flow to make sure your business is actually ready to build your team. This is the reason why I'm constantly saying, "know your numbers"!
You need data to make better business decisions. You can't just go by what you think is happening, or what you feel is happening because our emotions (as helpful as there are sometimes) are terrible business coaches. Rely on your metrics for your hiring decisions.