Picture of Stef Fox

Stef Fox

Beauty Industry Obsessed
Data nerd ➕ problem solver
HairColorist w/ MBA 🦄
Founder of Matchable & Talent Match


If you start to go down the rabbit hole of thoughts around what you think your team wants from you as a salon owner you’ll find yourself feeling pretty overwhelmed quickly.

Our teams want all kinds of things from us that on a good day might make us laugh a bit and on a tough day can tip us over the edge. 

I remember when my team had first come back from the Covid closures and all of the requests for time off started pouring in. My initial reaction was to laugh and think “Wow I can’t believe they are requesting time off they just had a ton of time off”. But as the 3rd, 4th, and 5th requests came across my desk that thought was quickly one of frustration, “Are they serious…?!”

If I go way back into my early days of salon ownership where every dollar feels tight I recall my team and I at a monthly meeting discussing the perks and benefits they wished we had. You guys, the list we created that day was hysterical. There was no possible way that as a salon owner in my first year, I could afford the majority of these things, let alone the whole list. 

Monthly massages or pedicures, healthcare benefits, PTO, sick time, chiropractic care, and more. 

Those days of navigating what I could provide to help them feel like I cared were tough days because it felt like it was my responsibility to wave a magic wand and make their dreams come true.

Now here we are in 2023 and a lot has changed for the better. In the 2023 Beauty Workforce Survey today’s salon workforce lists “the ability to grow” as the #1 reason they would choose a salon to work in. Phew! This is so much more comforting than a bunch of “perks” being at the top of their list. What it means for salon owners is that we have a super savvy workforce right now and they want more than the fluff. Let’s dig deeper into this top need and understand exactly what it means and how to divide the responsibilities across the leadership team and the stylists. 

Top need = The ability to grow. 

What’s important here is we define what things are included in growth. I’ll start with the big ones. 

  • Financial growth
  • Career paths
  • Mentorship
  • Personal development
  • Technical development 
  • Skill sets

As you consider these areas of growth, your opportunity is to define for your brand how you help people achieve these AND how you help them help themselves.

For example, let’s take career paths as the growth tool and break down how both parties participate.

“At XYZ Salon we have a career path that can help you reach your personal financial goals. We clearly define the steps and KPIs you should hit. Come to work every day and practice the skills that let you hit the KPIs. Want to earn faster? Then practice the skill of great consultations with every guest so you can build higher service tickets and stronger guest retention. Our leadership team is trained to mentor and guide your development so if you’re open to feedback they will help you see the gaps quicker than you’d see them on your own.” 

Recruiting success requires you to define how you can give talent what they want and then start talking about it.

Talk about it on Instagram, talk about it in the schools, talk about it on your website. Talk about it in your job postings. Talk about it everywhere you can so you drive your salon’s brand awareness with your prospective talent. As you think about the story you need to be telling I would recommend the first area you find clarity is in this category of growth, since it’s talents’ top priority. 



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