Job Surplus in the Salon Industry: Are there just too many salons?

Is there Job Surplus in the Salon Industry?

It may seem like every salon is hiring, which leads us to believe there is a Job Surplus in the Salon Industry. Let’s take a closer look to see what is going on with salon hiring across the globe, in this blog post.

I often wonder when the shift occurred from a shortage of salon jobs to a job surplus in the salon industry. Covid didn’t help but this has been the case for many years- open chairs everywhere, ready to be filled.

Somewhere along the line we hit a perfect balance of just enough chairs, suites, rooms and jobs for our industry. 

Similar to real estate being a buyer’s market, this is a stylist, barber, nail tech, esthetician and massage therapist’s job market. We have more choices for places and employment situations than ever, especially if you want to booth rent.

Nail techs are in high demand all over the country, almost to the point where it would be considered a mass shortage. Employers of Massage Therapists and Hairstylists with clientele are in constant demand and have owners rolling out the red carpet for them, just to come through the door for an interview.

Click here to search open jobs.

Are there just too many salons?

In a word, yes. There are too many salons that haven’t created an offer that salon professionals want. Opening a salon has a very low barrier to entry making it easy to own a salon.

Literally ANYONE can open or own a salon with little to no clue about what it takes to be a successful salon.  Corporate or franchise salons are the most prevalent of this group, closely following is booth rental salons.

Salon franchises

Non-industry salon owners get into owning salon franchises because they appear to be a great way to make money. Coincidently, corporate salons have the highest turnover rates of all salon types.

Franchises make up a large population of available salon jobs. Like it or not, corporate salon jobs are important to the salon industry economy, hiring 10x more new graduates than individually owned salons.

Booth rental salons

Second on the list of too many salons are open concept, booth rental salons and barber shops. A typical booth rental salon owner is an industry pro, great at doing hair and thinks owning a salon is the path to making more money.

They start off strong with cute decor, renters from the salon they previously worked in and a buzz about a new salon opening. Research shows, booth rental salon owners didn’t understand what it takes to be successful, long term.

Salon jobs are everywhere, but what about the student cosmetologist?

Graduating cosmetology school is an exciting time! What happens when new grads go to look for jobs?

Their dream salon is full or not hiring inexperienced stylists. They interview with several salons and often end up settling, just to start making money.

Jobs for new grads is becoming an increasingly difficult aspect of salon hiring. As a student, we recommend starting the job search early and getting in front of the salons that are a great fit for you.

There are not enough non-corporate  opportunities for these newer licensed professionals. The independent salon, spa and barbershop owner struggle to provide benefits to their staff, and fear losing a good employee after helping to build a clientele.

Excess in the salon employment scene

There are plenty student cosmetologists/ beginner Hairstylists and Estheticians who can’t find well suited jobs. Salons are tightening their belts with an unstable economy and hiring less new grads.

Salon jobs for newly licensed cosmetologists and estheticians are scarce. Demand for experienced salon pros is very high.

The job surplus is for experienced salon professionals

Statistics from the Enlightened Hire salon owner database show owners want experienced professionals. The problem lies in the disconnect between wanting experienced professionals, and having an opportunity that is relevant to their career wants & needs.

Owners who do not hire new graduates are missing a wonderful opportunity. Experienced pros bring money to the table, along with bad habits that may not be helpful to a salon.

If you are an owner holding out for that rockstar salon pro with a client base, consider the following tips.

  1. Experienced salon pros generally know which salon they want to work in, before they quit. Connecting with these pros is difficult if you do not already have a relationship. Learn how to find and attract experienced salon pros in this blog post.
  2. Experienced pros can bring unwanted baggage. Hiring a student cosmetologist is easier to train and shape to be the perfect salon employee.
  3. You must have an offer that an experienced salon professional wants.  If you can’t translate why your salon is beneficial to pros with experience, consider hiring a salon coach.
  4. Ensure your website and social media is on par to attract experienced pros. Pros visit your online assets FIRST, before you hear from them.
  5. Get onto salon job boards and craft an appealing offer.

Are salon pros leaving your commission salon for booth rental? Consider becoming a hybrid salon

The allure of rental and being your own boss is very strong.  Many salon pros find they are not cut out for that responsibility after making the booth rental jump. 

Hybrid salons a combination commission and rental businesses aim to offer the best of all worlds. Hybrids support employment to booth rental transitions in hopes of long term salon pro loyalty.

Click here to search Salon Job, Hybrids, Booth and Suite Rental opportunities.

It’s a difficult hiring time for both booth rental and commission salon industry owners.

Salon employers are motivated to keep their doors open, but looking desperate is not the path to hiring. Participating in the Facebook group feeding frenzy of finding employees rarely pays off.

The most successful in house salon recruiters have 3 things in common.

  1. They understand how to reach their ideal salon pros through education.
  2. Great relationships are key.
  3. A good salon reputation is a must to attract great salon professionals.

The problem with Salon Suites

The introduction of salon suites has permanently altered the landscape of the booth rental market.

Salon suite rental has created unrealistic expectations for newer grads and enhanced the job surplus in the salon industry. BUT salon suites are not to blame…

The success of salon suites are the result of poor salon leadership and lack of great salons to work in.

Suites are a safe haven for war torn salon pros and stylists fed up with salon problems. Suites are not without their issues. Being competitive with salon suites requires an understanding of today’s workforce demands.

Click here to find the perfect fit for a salon.

Salon owner’s eyes are on the current state of employment.

The changes that may occur in the future due to so much availability, have us all wondering what is next. Talk of deregulation, cutting out school loans and salons closing has us all a bit nerve wracked.

The good news is, salons and the beauty industry aren’t going away. Survive the salon industry employment trends by arming yourself with business tools.

Adapt, Grow and Learn

Our advice to surviving the Job Surplus in the Salon Industry?

Stand out. Create an amazing identity and culture within your business that exudes success and happiness.  

Truly care, show and dedicate yourself to making a great place for people to come work or rent.

Be that great employer, always analyze and consider what you are offering and add to the extras and incentives to be a part of your team. Be the kind of employer you would want to work for.

Connect to salon professionals looking for jobs with a listing on our website!