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Hair & Beauty Australia Industry Association


Posted December 12, 2016

Our members have spoken and HABA has listened. In our recent member survey, many of you asked how to recruit new apprentices and staff, and HABA are here to help. Over the next month, we will be sharing with you all our top tips on how to find the right apprentices for your business, apprentice entitlements and how to train them most effectively. It’s going to be a really great month so let’s get started!

Apprenticeships are designed to combine both paid work and on the job experience with structured learning to ensure that your newest staff member is competent in what they do.  They aren’t free labour; they aren’t cheap labour but they are an investment in our industry’s future. The key to making an apprenticeship work is to address both work and training – so you as the salon owner must work together with the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to ensure that apprentices are competent and capable in the salon.


We know that finding apprentices in the current job market is one of the hardest things for any salon owner. Finding juniors with the right attitude, the drive to work and be the best at what they can do – let alone getting them to apply for the job in the first place! It’s not easy.


Most juniors are likely to be hunting for jobs online so that is where you should start. Online job ads, Seek, Gumtree, MyCareer, social media and your own website are great places to start; and if you target all of them, you are likely to get a bigger pool of candidates to work with. Make sure that your job post is engaging but honest – you have a great team; everyone works hard but does it because of a love of the job. The way you write your job application online will help determine the kind of people you attract, so be honest and upfront with the way your salon is run.


Don’t discount some of the more traditional job-seeker platforms. National One Salon & Spa Recruitment (a key industry recruiter and HABA Alliance Partner – receive a VIP Discount when you mention your HABA member number!) and your other salon staff are all great places to start. Sometimes working with a recruiter can seem like a large expense, but they go through the hours of screening candidates, working out their potential and attracting them in the first place – and that is time that you can save to keep running your salon.


Finally, don’t forget that most apprentices will join the workforce straight out of high school. Speak to local schools and career advisors about finding the right apprentice for your salon, talk to your clients and your staff about people just leaving high school they may know who would see an apprenticeship as a strong career choice. Make it known that you are interested in taking on, training and growing an apprentice and see if something doesn’t come out of the woodwork.



Once you have a candidate lined up and ready to go, it’s time to run them through the paces. HABA wholeheartedly recommends an interview process be implemented as part of your salon policy and procedures, and we can help you with templates and resources. Remember to consider the following factors when choosing the right apprentice such as their geographic location (particularly if you have late nights and early starts as this can be a hurdle if the apprentice lives further away), whether they are suitable to the career; whether they can start and finish an apprenticeship agreement; does the candidate fit the salon culture and do they have any past work experience. (*Note the above is a brief overview of factors for consideration and is not a conclusive list of factors to consider. Call HABA on 02 9221 9911 to receive more in-depth assistance in this area.)


The final step in choosing the right candidate is to bring them in for a paid trial day so that you can get a more realistic idea of how the candidate will perform in salon, get along with your other staff and their ability to do the work. All trials are required to be paid under the Fair Work Act at the appropriate rate, so please contact HABA for the correct pay rates for apprentice candidates. Trials allow apprentice candidates the opportunity to see how the salon operates; but can also really help both you and the apprentice decide whether this move is right for everyone involved. Take these trial days seriously as it will determine whether you may have found your newest member of staff, or whether you have just narrowly avoided bringing the wrong person into your business.


Apprentices really are the future of our industry, as they will continue to work in and train others in hair and beauty long after we are gone. But more importantly they are the face of your brand and the representative of your salon – and that means that the right person needs to be chosen for your specific environment. Take the time to hunt down the right candidate, and make a strong move for you, your team and your salon.

As a HABA Member get more information on Hiring the Right Person for the Job here.

Stay tuned next week for more information on offering a position to your new apprentice and how to work with your local RTO in getting them trained and skilled.

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