What’s the best way to recruit techs for a new salon?

I’m opening a new nail salon and am having a hard time finding nail techs besides myself. How did you find yours? I’ve tried Craigslist, cosmetology schools, and beauty supply stores. Any suggestions?

— Jen McClain, owner, Completely Polished (, Cranberry Township, Pa.


Finding good techs is tricky and sometimes takes a really long time. It is important to us to have people who will fit in well with everyone else and who share the same work ethic and passion for our jobs that we do. We are not as concerned with technique because that can be learned, but you can’t teach someone to be personable and friendly if that is not their personality.

We always advertise on Craigslist and contact the reps for the beauty supply companies we deal with. We post on Facebook as well and have all of our techs in the salon share the posts. We also post a little sign on all the stations in the salon as well as on the door. Tell all your clients that you are looking for someone — quite often they might know of someone. We have offered a $100 bonus to clients if they can refer someone we end up hiring (or you could do free nail services). We also try to keep a good rapport with other salon owners so we sometimes call them to have them refer people to us if they know of anyone. We also call other owners if we are interviewing someone because they might know of that person and can give us insight as to whether that person would work for us.

Above all, once you find someone you think will work, check their references and Google them. We have found some we thought were great who got very bad references, so don’t always trust your feelings. Difficult as it is to have empty stations, it is much worse to find out you have hired someone who is going to cause trouble. 

— Kathy Dent and Danielle Lindberg co-own Salon Glow in Reno, Nev.


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