Your hair stylists and beauty staff are key to the success of your salon. After all, without their hard work, creativity and excellent client relationships, where would you be? The question of pay and salaries can be a sensitive issue at the best of times, but it is something that needs to be addressed properly if you want to ensure you get the best stylists working for you.

With an estimated annual turnover of £16.6bn* from the beauty industry in the UK, there’s no doubt that business is booming. Over 1 million people in the UK work in the hair and beauty industry*, so how do you ensure your staff are being paid fairly? While there is no clear-cut answer, there are some things that should be taken into consideration.

Skill Level

Obviously, you want to help new stylists to climb the ladder and learn on the job, but you also need some experienced stylists to show them the ropes and wow your clients, so how do you differentiate them? The National Careers Service reported that the starting salary of a hairdresser averages at £14,000 p.a, which advances to around £20,000 p.a for an experienced stylist, and £30,000 p.a for highly advanced stylist*.

We asked Hayley Jennings and Jessica Patrick, Co-Directors of Northern Hair Loss Clinic, how they benchmark their staff’s salaries:

“We don’t benchmark the wages of my staff at the Northern Hair Loss Clinic. Instead, salaries are determined and paid according to experience and qualifications, rather than according to a particular benchmark or governing body standard.”

Hairdresser creating skillful hair braids

Job Satisfaction

Talking to your staff about how satisfied they feel in their role is a good way to get a feel for how much you should pay them. If your staff have lost enthusiasm, there will be a reason for this, whether it is because they feel undervalued or that they cannot grow their skills. Consider other ways you can make your staff feel valued, such as offering additional training or even being flexible on working hours.

According to Hayley and Jessica:

“Staff members’ level of job satisfaction should give salon owners a good indication of whether they are paying their staff competitively. Staff shouldn’t feel undervalued, and while there are many ways to show your staff that you value their contribution and their role, paying them adequately and competitively is a huge part of this.”

Other Benefits You Can Offer

Salary is not always the single determining factor in whether your staff and stylists stay in your salon. Think about other benefits you can add to your staffs’ work life, whether this is monthly treats, discounts or rewards for hitting targets. Making sure that your team feel rewarded for their hard work and loyalty is key to keeping them happy in your salon.

Hayley and Jessica agree:

“I recognise that without my staff at the Northern Hair Loss Clinic I wouldn’t have a salon at all, so I look after them well. My team works hard and know that in return they will reap the benefits of their hard work – by way of competitive salaries, annual bonuses and/or regular staff bonding days and fun team nights out.”

Hairdresser with client in salon smiling

The Bonds You Build

Remember that work is not everything. Maintaining a work-life balance is an important factor for many people these days. Building up valued working friendships with your staff makes for a more understanding atmosphere and can go far in keeping your staff happy, beyond what you pay them.

As Hayley and Jessica put it to us:

“Do remember that showing your staff that you value and respect their professional input isn’t just something that is achieved through salary. I think the key is to create a work ‘family’ and to continuously invest in your working relationships. To have people in my salon working alongside me that I can trust and rely on is hugely important to me, and I make sure this is reflected both in their wage and in the way I treat them on a daily basis.”

While it’s not just pay that can keep your staff happy, salary plays an important part. Offering competitive salaries, along with other benefits and ways to value your stylists, is a sure fire way to build a happy team!

Find out more about how to keep your staff motivated or how to make sure you hire the right employees.

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* Information sourced from Direct Line For Business, 5 October 2018.