School leaver trainee – 5 salon owners common mistakes

Well done!! You have recruited a school leaver who is really keen to learn our trade!!! But what now? Why do so many school leavers fall out the hairdressing system and what can we do to prevent this as salon owners.

Let us go back to school…….The day is structured from the moment we walked into the moment we left. We knew what was expected of us and we certainly knew when our break times were.
Then they enter the hair salon for the first time. That’s an unfamiliar place that has a very different structure. No day is the same, they have gone from being the eldest in the school to the youngest on the salon. That can be daunting being surrounded by so many more experienced people that all know each other.

Here are five common mistakes made by salon owners.

Big mistake 1 – Starting late
We need to set the expectations of the apprentices right from the start. If their usual start time is 8:30 am make that their start time on their first day! Don’t get them to come in at 10 am so you can “get yourself organised”. Planning preparation is key to a good start. Set the standards as you mean to go on.
Instead as a salon owner, you come in half an hour early.

Big mistake number 2 – Watch and see
“As its, your first day just watch and see the salon works”. NO NO NO. They need to be engaged with the salon. Every day at school they are used to learning new things in every lesson. Apprentices are like sponges. Make sure they learn something new every day. Make a detailed plan of what they are going to learn and how this is going to be achieved.

Big mistake 3 – No records
Not recording their achievements. In a busy salon, it’s easy to let the apprentices just bumble along. 4 weeks later you realise how much they have learnt. Get them to make a daily diary and give them time to fill it out.
What I learnt today
What I enjoyed doing
What I disliked
The thing I most need to improve on.
Having a daily diary gives you the salon owner the ability to demonstrate you care about their training and ensure you are delivering good solid structure. It’s a great talking point and helps you to get to know them quicker.

Big mistake 4 – Ignoring the parents
Not involving the students’ parents in the interview process or reviews. It has been proven many times before that if you have the parents support this can enhance the learner’s achievements. The will be proud of what they have learnt and will want to show this. Should there be any issues you have already a strong contact with home to support your student.

Big mistake 5 – The basics
Assuming your apprentice will know the basics. It’s really important to make sure that you explain each task to them and reconfirming they fully understand! This will, without doubt, save lots of errors in the future. When we do things on a daily basis it’s easy, that’s because you know how. Remember how daunting it was when you first started driving. Now its second nature.

I was really lucky when I started my training. I felt part of the team. This without a doubt encouraged me to want to learn more and complete my training quicker.

Thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts
Em x
Founder of #ChooseHair industry campaign