7 signs you shouldn’t hire someone at your spa

7 signs you shouldn't hire someone at your spa

When interviewing a new potential hire for your spa, there are some red flags you should not ignore. Here are some signs you shouldn’t hire someone at your spa.

When interviewing a new potential team member for your spa, there are some red flags you should not ignore.

The staffing situation is always difficult in this industry and that can sometimes lead people to ignore the signs that someone might not be a good hire. This is understandable, but can lead to bigger problems, because hiring a bad employee can cost you more in the long run than not hiring anyone at all. You don’t just want to fill a role. You want to fill it with someone who is reliable, professional, and personable, and who will maintain or surpass your high customer experience standards. You want to fill it with someone you won’t have to replace in three months.

This isn’t always easy and we can’t always get what we want. What you can do is take note of red flags and weigh them against the job candidate’s skills, experience, and other qualities – and make the most appropriate decision based on all available information. Some small issues may be possible to deal with in training and onboarding, while others may not.

Here are some signs you shouldn’t hire someone at your spa, or at least that you should take a closer look before hiring.

They’re late to the interview

This applies to all industries to varying degrees, but you really need your spa team members to be on point. They have a lot to stay on top of when providing services and treatments: schedules, cleaning, sanitation, customer notes and information, sales… you therefore want to hire people who can stay on their game. This means, at the very least, showing up on time to the interview. The job interview is when people are on their best behavior – it’s not going to get better from there. So, if they’re late to the interview (unless they got hit by a car or lightning or something), they’re likely to be late later.

They are otherwise unprepared

Spa workers need to be the sort of people who like to be prepared – maybe even overprepared. It’s not just about preparing the room and staying on top of stocking and cleaning. It’s also about familiarizing themselves with the customer information before the guest arrives at the spa and readying everything required to personalize that experience and make it as amazing as possible. Showing up prepared shows you care. Your job candidate should come to the interview knowing about your spa and what makes it special and unique. If the spa is part of a hotel or resort, they should be able to tell you why they want to work there. They should have prepared questions to ask and have ready answers to your questions.

They trash talk their former employer or colleagues

No job candidate should ever speak negatively about a former employer or colleague, regardless what their experience was at another job. This is a bad sign for a few reasons. One is that it’s a potential sign that the person tends to blame others and doesn’t take responsibility for their own mistakes or behavior. It’s also a potential sign of a gossip who lacks discretion and solid judgment, and who may talk behind the backs of their colleagues, customers, and managers (which might be you) in future. Even if there is reason for a true grievance with another person, diplomacy is key.

They show a lack of humility and empathy

Your spa service providers and front desk team should have the ability to connect with people, and the interpersonal skills required to do that include humility and empathy. These skills are demonstrated in many ways, most of which are simple and obvious, like listening. You can often tell when a person is actively listening rather than just waiting to talk, because they respond to what you are saying and ask appropriate follow-up questions. And you can tell something about whether a person shows empathy by the way they treat others around them who are not in a position to help them or advance their career – so, anyone who is not doing the hiring, for example, like a desk staff member. You can find job interview questions you can ask to assess empathy here

Tepid references

Don’t skip the reference checking, and pay attention to what people say – while also paying attention to what they don’t say. In some places, like Canada for example, former employers will almost never say anything outright negative about a former employee. While it’s not illegal to give a bad reference (in Canada) it can open you up to a defamation lawsuit and nobody wants to risk that. They might therefore confirm that a person worked there but not say much else. You may be able to ask if the person is eligible for rehiring and they can tell you that the person is or is not eligible. Obviously, anything other than a glowing review should be cause for pause.

They think they know everything

Arrogance is a bad sign in a spa employee, because the ability to adjust and adapt to each guest and learn from one’s everyday experience is key. A good employee is always learning and growing, and continues to do so throughout their career. If someone appears resistant to the idea of training and ongoing learning, they will likely eventually stagnate in their role. Look for an eagerness to learn and a curiosity about the world of wellness, the world in general, and your own experience. 

Your gut tells you something is off

Listen to your gut. It might know something you don’t. Research findings suggest that there’s a neurological basis for intuition or “gut feelings.” Scientists call the stomach the “second brain” and in it, there is a neural network of 100 million neurons lining the digestive tract.

According to HBR, when your brain works in tandem with your gut it can assess “your memories, past learnings, personal needs, and preferences,” and make the wisest decision given the context. “In this way, intuition is a form of emotional and experiential data that leaders need to value.” CEOs of major corporations often credit their success to this intuition.

That doesn’t mean your gut can’t be wrong. But if it’s telling you something is off, pay attention to that message.

Also pay attention to these signs you shouldn’t hire someone at your spa. They might not be 100% dealbreakers but they are indications you should take another look. 

Now read:

How to manage a toxic employee in your spa


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.

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