11 strategies for attracting top talent to your spa

strategies for attracting top talent to your spa

Having a hard time recruiting team members? Try these 11 strategies for attracting top talent. 

Are you looking for top talent for your spa and having trouble finding and attracting the right people?  You’re not alone.

We all know that recruiting can be difficult in spa and wellness. It’s a candidate’s market in many places, with more jobs than people available to fill them. Massage therapist is a job that is growing faster than average in the US, according to the BSL. And in the US alone, at this time last year, there were nearly 40,000 unfilled spa industry positions.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to attract the people you need.  There are surely tactics you haven’t tried, or even considered.

Here are 11 strategies for attracting top talent to your spa or wellness business.

Identify the person, or people, you want to recruit. Yes, you know you want an aesthetician or a massage therapist. But what else do you need in a team member? What does “fit with your team” look like? What level of experience do you require? How many languages do they need to speak? Be very clear on what you’re looking for before you go looking for it.

Be realistic. But be realistic. It’s common for companies to list “nice to haves” in job posts and when recruiting. Keep those to a separate list, and treat them as bonuses if you find them. If you set your bar too high you’ll miss out on all kinds of great people. Remember what we said above about it being a candidate’s market out there.

Find talent where it hangs out. One you know who you’re looking for, you can figure out where to find them. What social networks are they most likely to use, and in what groups on those networks are they most active? What connections do you have to them? Go and find them. Can you partner with a local school for placement? There are a lot of ways to reach people beyond just posting a job online and waiting for the applications to come in.

Build your employer brand. You know what this means, right? It’s the image you present to candidates as an employer. It’s how you appear on social media and it’s in the stories you tell. It’s the thing that makes people say “That looks like a great place to work! I want to work there. Let’s make it happen.” Your employer brand should be relevant and consistent.

Fix issues in your workplace. Before you can present your amazing employer brand, you have to create one. A lot of businesses out there are trying to present the image of being a great place to work – it helps if you actually are one. This means doing some digging to find out if your current employees are genuinely happy with their lot and, if not, why not and what you can do to fix it.

Identify the reasons people should want to work for you. Continuing with the above, if your employees are happy, why is that? What makes them happy about working for you? Those are the things you want to highlight. There are a lot of spas out there, and many of them need team members a lot more than team members need them. So, why should someone want to work for you over anyone else? Is it your incredible benefits program, your amazing workplace culture, your mission and values? Your wildly empathetic and communicative management team? If you can’t think of anything, well, there’s one of your problems right there.

Tap your network and team for referrals. According to the 2018 ISPA Workforce study, “word-of-mouth and/or peer referral” was the method that had been most commonly employed by spa management and service providers to find their current jobs. Just like job seekers should be tapping their networks for jobs, so should employers be doing the same for team members.

Offer referral incentives. Offer referral incentives to your team. If you want them to do the work, which will ultimately benefit your company, they should be rewarded for it.

Use social media. Beyond just posting a job on LinkedIn, use your social channels to find the talent you seek. They are most definitely out there, since almost everyone uses some form of social media. Use social to promote your employer brand, to get engaged in industry related conversations, to join relevant groups, and to connect with people who can connect you to new talent.

Offer opportunities for advancement. Research has shown that one of the main reasons people quit any job is a lack of opportunity for advancement, and also that more than 80% of people have to leave one company for another in order to advance their careers. Nobody wants to feel like their life is going nowhere and live the same experience day in and day out. How can you create pathways to advancement or at least the feeling of upward mobility at your place of work? (We have some ideas here).

Provide a good candidate experience. Job hunting is hard and can be demoralizing, and this is compounded by potential employers who offer a bad candidate experience. They’re late for their own interviews and can be rude and dismissive. Worst of all are the employers who ghost candidates, even after several rounds of interviews, and don’t even follow up to let them know they didn’t get the job. People often wait for an update, literally for weeks or months, and meanwhile the employer in question has hired someone else and totally forgotten about them. It’s cruel to put people through this, and it does not make you look good. They will not forget, and they will not say nice things about their experience, which is damaging to that employer brand.

In spa, we’re looking for team members who are empathetic, hard working and have integrity. We can start by being those people ourselves. Just that will go along way towards bringing in the people we want as team members.


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