It seems to me that Salon Owners and Managers are struggling more and more to find the right staff to serve their lovely customers.
Salons, in general, love social media. Even if Salon Owners don’t particularly like it on a social level, what we do understand is that it’s a useful way of reaching our customers, so most Salons have at least some presence on Facebook.
That means when it’s time for us to start recruiting to build our teams, it seems like a very logical place for us to go. But when I talk to Salon Owners and Managers I hear that a lot of them have tried to use Facebook in the past for recruitment purposes, and they've struggled or completely failed.
We’re going to use the "Market, Message, Media" model to troubleshoot social media advertising as a tool for Salons.
'Market' is your target audience. We need a really clear idea about who it is you're trying to reach - you have to know who you’re talking to. That immediately dictates the tone and the content of your advert for optimal results. If you haven’t already identified who it is you’re looking for, you need to go back and create a customer avatar for your vacancy. This is separate from your job description and needs to identify the hopes and dreams of your ideal applicant - and importantly the reasons they might want to apply for your position.
An important part of creating this ideal candidate will be understanding:
This avatar creation exercise is going to make crafting your Message much easier.
The message of a job ad is where most salon business owners go drastically wrong with recruitment advertising.
In many ways, recruitment advertising is the same as the other marketing that you do. Let me explain.
Imagine you’re trying to sell a product to a client in the salon. We know that we could emphasise the product features to encourage her to try that product. For example, this product contains five different essential oils.
We also know that we can sell more effectively when we focus on the benefits. If we said this product will fight frizz and give you shiny hair for up to three days, that’s a benefit.
It’s the same in recruitment advertising. We have to start with the benefit to the applicant. Do not emphasise the salary and the hours, push instead how it feels to work for you. Do you have, for example, a fantastic, friendly team that is going to change the way they feel about work on a day-to-day basis? Do you invest more in education? Does working in your salon bring a lot of prestige?
Also bear in mind that we are on social media - your message needs to be light, it needs to be social, and if possible it needs to be entertaining. The headline "We are recruiting" doesn't tick any of these boxes.
We have two problems with using social media to market your vacancy. First, we are trying to force the platform to perform in a way it isn't intended. To be blunt, people aren't on social media to find a job. They want videos of babies vandalising banknotes and air-fryer recipes.
Second, you're marketing largely to the wrong audience. You see, for years you've been teaching Facebook and Instagram to show your social media content to one type of user - your clients and potential. So dropping a recruitment post is going to be largely ineffective - your page isn't made up of potential superstar recruits.
To be blunt, this is going to cost you. You need to find a way to get your message off your business page and in front of the right people and the quickest way to do that is to give it an advertising budget.
When you're setting up your Facebook or Instagram ad, don’t use the job titles to narrow your audience. A lot of people don’t update their profiles regularly and some don’t put their job role on their profiles at all. Instead, look at the things that they are interested in. Target people who follow the academies, trade press, and influencers in your area of the industry.
For example, I’m a Hairdresser here in the UK, so when I’m looking for Qualified Hairdressers I will target an audience who is following Hairdressers Journal, Creative Head Magazine, behindthechair.com, or Professional Hairdresser Magazine.
I limit my adverts geographically as well, but not as far as you think. For example, I would not run an advert with say a radius of 10 miles from the Salon, I think that’s too narrow. Depending on how easy it is to commute to your Salon, you may find a candidate that is willing to travel a little bit further. Also bear in mind that there might be people looking for jobs because they are relocating.
You will increase your engagement with Facebook advertising if you keep people on-platform. If you want an excellent response on Facebook, don’t ask candidates to post in a CV. What you want them to do is respond while they’re on Facebook. If not, ask for a text message or a phone call, because most people will be looking at Facebook on their mobile devices. The closer you can keep them to the platform where they see your message, the better your response rate will be.
Got a recruitment story to share? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org - I leave hearing about your successes.