Groomers for Hire – What to Look For in Job Candidates

February 25th, 2014 by ificore

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Hiring pet bathers, groomers and stylists is one of the most challenging responsibilities a pet salon owner must face. But rest assured you’ll eventually find them. Even if you are desperate, don’t hire just anybody. In the long run — it will hurt you way more than it will help you. Trust me on that one!

Even though they are difficult to locate – they can be found. Ideally, you would be looking for someone experienced in dogs – and better yet – grooming dogs. All shapes and sizes.

But that’s just the starting point. You’re also looking for someone who is reliable, punctual, compassionate, honest, and a team player. Ideally you are looking for someone who enjoys both people and pets. Plus, they have to have a personality that will help your salon attract more clients.

With a very specific job market that has few candidates, it makes the hunt even more difficult. It would be wonderful if you had an entire file of resumes of experienced groomers to choose from. However, in our field, it just doesn’t happen very often. Most likely you’re going to fill the position with someone who will need training. You will need to teach them and mold them into your ideal employee.

So what do you look for? Here are four things I look for when seeking a new pet grooming enthusiast to join the team.

#1. Compassion & Passion – No matter how talented a person may be, without compassion and passion, they she won’t be much of an asset for your salon. Look for someone who can easily identify with your business goals and its mission.

#2. Commitment – Seek out a pet enthusiast who is eager to learn more about the grooming industry. Do you see the potential in that person to be dedicated and committed to his job? This is a field where learning can be never ending.  Are they receptive to increasing their skill level?

#3. Problem Solver – All businesses face problems every day. Your grooming salon is definitely not an exception. Hire someone who can be relied on to analyze, address and solve problems effectively.

#4. Professionalism – Do they present an image of professionalism in their personal appearance, their mannerisms and their speech?

Here are a few items that always impressed me when I’m interviewing prospective groomers.

  • They are punctual. They show up five minutes prior to the interview.
  • They present a well pulled together look. It doesn’t need to be fancy but it does need to be well thought out.
  • They smile and shake my hand firmly as we introduce ourselves.
  • They supply a full resume of their experience including references.
  • They have brought a photo portfolio of their work. Is it well presented?
  • If they’re a recent graduate, they supply copies of their certificate, report card, and attendance records from grooming school.
  • They have a proven track record of applying themselves.
  • They are prepared to discuss their abilities and goals at the interview instead of just reciting it from the resume.

In most cases you’ll have to do a three-step process when interviewing candidates. If a candidate does not meet your expectations at any point during the interview process, do not move on to the next step.

  1.   The first step is generally a telephone interview focusing on basic topics about the person.
  2. The next phase would include a personal in-depth interview.
  3. The final phase would be a practical demonstration of basic skills including; handling, prepping, bathing, drying, and executing a simple haircut on a small to medium-sized dog.

Hiring is never easy. It takes time and effort to find the right candidate for your team.

As you’re going through the hiring process always remember this. Here is most important element to look for when hiring.  Look for someone who is compassionate and passionate. No matter how talented a person may be, without compassion and passion, he or she will not be much of an asset to your grooming business.

 Happy Trimming!