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Trade testing/interviewing nail techs-what's acceptable

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louisenewell

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Hello
Dont get to post often on this site now...its been months and months and i feel like i dont know any geeks on here now but anyway here goes...

Decided to eventually get off my butt and get my act together and really focus on getting my "nail team" together...cos im turning away so much business its heartbreaking.

Lots of response to my ads and have had two nail techs in so far for a "chat" and then called them back in for a "trade test"..at the end of the day if they cant produce a wicked decent set of nails its a "no" right????right???give and take???allow for nervous???or just trust my first impression...which has been "my god...my boyfriend could produce better acrylic nails blindfolded".

Both techs were lovely....the first one could do all the hours i needed but the other could only do fridays and saturdays!!

The first girl had no salon experience and is stuck in a rut with her currant job.Her nails were shocking...loads of dips and pits,uneven,different lengths and her french polish was beyond belief....i feel so bad and evil saying it..but running a business here and not a charity...the work is really not acceptable.

The next lady came in yesterday and done me a full set.Oh my god..i have never seen so many "egyptian hats" in my life...they were all really wide and fanned out at the free edge....loads of dips...very wonky and patchy white tip.

The thing i find really "weird" with both girls is they turned up to a trade test with nothing...when i said they could use my tips and acrylic i wasnt expecting them to turn up with NO TOOLS AND NO BRUSH.....they both USED MY BRUSH.....SHOCKING!!!!...my baby now has the biggest lump stuck in her!!!:cry: i would never use anything but my own brush!

With the second girl i could see she was struggling cos i dont use the same files she does and she found MY brush too small...so im thinking perhaps i should call her back in WITH HER TOOLS...or am i wasting my time...as my boyfriend said "a poor workman always blames his tools".

Im never happy with my own nails (on myself) and spend forever TWEAKING them.....am i searching for perfection that just doesnt seem to be out there??

Do i take a tech on( on a trial basis) and send her to Ketan(creative in London) and see what he can do with her.Or do i just accept that the standard is just not good enough for my salon....

Even my other half,who knows nothing about nails,looked at my nails and his initial response was "NO WAY DONT TAKE HER ON".

I guess you have to allow for nerves too!!!Both techs nails really need tweaking...i dont know...confused...HELP:rolleyes:
 

Flowerbyrne

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Hi Louise I just had to responsed to this as I have just applied for my 1st nail tech job, I am so worried about all the things you mentioned. Okay even as a beginner I wouldnt have shown up with out MY kits. And my nails arent too bad I have spent alot of money of Creative Dublin and practice have even been paid a penny or two for a few sets. But Im not sure Im ready to be set lose on the public but yesterday in Creative for a little mani spa kit got talking to one of the girls that trained me and she said to go for it, I will not get any better with out practice practice practice. Okay my point - there are people out there that will be okay and will get better with practice, so I dont think you should take on a girl cause you feel desperate. And its a bit unprofessional to show up with out a kit mind your own brush. Would you consider ringing Creative and asking them to send you on a few newbies to interviews (thats what I am doing)

And if anyone in Dublin needs a newbie Im ready (I THINK!!)

Best of luck Louise

xxxx
 

louisenewell

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Thanks for your comments hun

I feel like im being really harsh but have experienced clients coming in for refunds and complaining before about a nail technician who used to work for me.My reputation simply can not afford it.

still confused....practises makes perfect...but im a salon not a training school.:rolleyes:
 

Katelisa

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i think sometimes you can sacrifice bad workmanship for a fantastic attitude, but only if you think they have the potential to improve! ...skills are easier to improve on than a vile personality!! lol.

definately ask them to bring their own brush, or get a couple of cheaper new ones that u can just chuck out after. but ask them to use you files because thats what they will be using if they get the job. They need to be able to adapt to your way of working.

its hard enough for me to find another therapist i trust enough with myself, let alone one i would trust with my clients!!
 

Katelisa

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still confused....practises makes perfect...but im a salon not a training school.:rolleyes:
but dont forget as your empoyees you have some responsibility in further training for them as it wil benefit your business.
 

louisenewell

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ive heard ,however,so many times about salon owners paying out for staff to go on courses and then a month later the staff leave with all that free training and the salon owner is left with nothing.

trust and skill...two things i have found are lacking in my hunt for a nail tech
 

Katelisa

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when i worked for nails inc, any training provided was payable if yoiu left. it was a certain % for however long you had been with the company.

weigh it up:

you employ an average tech, who has a few problems with something, and clients are returning complaining. think of the amout of money you will lose his way and then compare it to what you would pay out on improving the techs skills.

however if you can find someone as perfect as you and i, then bonus lol. but im afraid to say it is unlikey! :green:
 

Jessica Rabbit

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Hi Louise
I do think they are a lot of nail techs out there who are nervous to turn up for an interview with someone who has a great deal of experience and has a client base that they want to look after and give the best service there used to for your salon. But I myself would never turn up without my kit and would never let some one use my precious bush.. hope you find the right person.. I would apply but I live in Sunny Scotland lol... xx
 

louisenewell

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however if you can find someone as perfect as you and i, then bonus lol. but im afraid to say it is unlikey! :green:

yeah...i think you're right....i just dont want to take on any old nail technician just because "i need staff". But i guess when you weigh it up...both nail techs have other jobs and do nails in there spare time and i spend six days a week all day producing pink and white acrylics so in fairness i guess yeah...mine are gonna be a higher , different standard.

and...yeah the training would be an investment
 

BodyAngels

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What are you advertising? Are you specifying that you want a tech with ?? years salon experience or just that you want a nail technician? What about advertising in your local college for somebody who is just coming to the end of their training. You can then guide them into achieving the correct standard, maybe starting with a trial to see how they do.
Did you tell the girls that they needed to bring in their own kit? I've never worked in a salon before and I wouldn't have known to bring mine in. Plus, maybe you should get them back in, but tell them to bring their own product as they will probably feel more confident using something that they are used to. Different products take time to get used to and maybe this was a factor when they did yours.
Claire x
 

louisenewell

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What are you advertising? Are you specifying that you want a tech with ?? years salon experience or just that you want a nail technician? What about advertising in your local college for somebody who is just coming to the end of their training. You can then guide them into achieving the correct standard, maybe starting with a trial to see how they do.
Did you tell the girls that they needed to bring in their own kit? I've never worked in a salon before and I wouldn't have known to bring mine in. Plus, maybe you should get them back in, but tell them to bring their own product as they will probably feel more confident using something that they are used to. Different products take time to get used to and maybe this was a factor when they did yours.
Claire x
I am advertising in my local newspaper...i was considering scratch but just now im tightening my purse strings...i have not requested "salon experience"...i would consider my local college but am wary of what i will get back...i used to have a 18 year old college leaver work for me who couldnt polish a nail to save her life and spent ages sitting talking about her binge drinking,which a lot of my clients didnt really wanna hear.
I have mentioned to the girls when they come in for a chat that they need to bring there "tools of the trade" as they will probably feel more comfortable that way.
true about the products though...still if you call yourself a nail technician should you not have the ability to adapt to a different l&p system after a couple of nails or even attempts at picking a bead of acrylic up?
am i asking for too much?
are my standards set to high?
 

loubylou

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Why don't you get in touch with Lisa Smith she is in your neck of the woods and a creative educator,
maybe she knows of a good tech that is looking for work, if she has trained the person then their standards are bound to be good hth
 

RedAdmiral

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Having been a nail tech is it hard when you are taking on more staff as you have a standard to what you expect nails to look like, personally I wanted someone who was better than me at doing nails as I'm more a teacher and knew I would prefer to be the manager of my salon and have the freedom to go out and teach.
If I worked a senior nail tech I'd prefer more juniors so they could learn the way, So I think you need to decide exactly which way you want your business to go.

Another thing that Katelisa touched on was attitude - I have never been to an interview without my tools and if they didnt use the products I was familiar with then I would ask to bring my own. Sometimes I have been told no because I would be working with the new products and then I'd reply that to get the fastest and best nails out of me I should use my own products and that maybe at a second interview I could use theirs. I have always felt this showed I had a good attitude and that I wasnt afraid of using new products but wanted to showcase my skills also. So when anyone comes in for a potential job I let them talk and see what kind of attitude they have as like you say there are many girls who just wanna talk about going out partying. There are people who would walk over hot coals to get the job they want so dont settle for anything but exactly what you want.
 

louisenewell

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Well ive had a nice little day so far regarding the search for a nail tech....that kicks butt!!

I have seen one lady today who is coming back for a trade test on thursday...only think is she has committements and cant really do hours i need but im willing to be flexiable for the right person.

..then a lady called,was very direct and to the point,told me she has been doing creative nail design p&w liquid and powder for the last 12 years and 8 years at a well known nail salon in south east london.She is coming in for a trade test on monday...im so excited...and so so hopeful!!

Fingers crossed....

Any salon owners with tips on what to be aware of when watching a trade test or interviews please let me know.
 

Cait

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Any salon owners with tips on what to be aware of when watching a trade test or interviews please let me know.[/quote]


Hi !
Well if you read my blog you may get a giggle out of a few of the girls I interviewed.

What to look for .........

Attitude is paramount - is she polite, respectful, will she see you as her boss or would she assume that because she has been doing nails longer and has lots of experience that well, she may not be flexible in terms of what YOU want and how you want her to work.

Would you trust her with YOUR clients.... everyone knows that there is the possibility of people stealing clients, goes with the territory .. go with your gut on this and use some common sense in terms of geography i.e. where does she live, where is her other work based.. etc

Is her appearance tidy? Did she make an effort for you? Did she bring along examples of her work of her own bat? Watch her work and see how tidy she works.. has she done any extra courses since becoming a nail tech all those years ago, what tech magazines does she read?...these sound like small and not so important details, but I think they are , you can build the skills of a tech sure, you can also benefit from the ones they already have but you have to work with this person, you are entrusting your clients to them, in the end it is YOUR name not theirs, thats your bread and butter , you want to make sure your out to find honey not marmite!

Just my 2 cents but I watched for these signs and I found a real star

all the best

Cait x
 

louisenewell

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Fantastic advice , thanks cait xx
 

louisenewell

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What can i say...i have just trade tested a nail technician this morning with 12 years experience...shes a creative nail design master and in two words she is ...s**t hot!!!!!!!

Lucky me!!!I was gonna wait to see how my nails get on but to be honest...the job is hers!!!!!! lovely girl,wicked nails...she can teach me a thing or two....im sure with her on board my salon is really gonna fly now!:)
 

Annabel08

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Heya,,

When i applied for the job I'm in now I had just come straight from college doing my first ever nail course.
I was very nervous as i knew i wasn't great at nails and still had a lot to learn, but that is part of the reason i applied for the job - to gain experience and learn - It is also hard to get a job in a salon these days as a lot of places like a certain amount of years experience.

I did let my employer know I had only just finished college, but I had/have a very strong passion for nails as was willing to learn. They noticed this and they agreed to send me on extra training for the enhancements and In the mean time I only did manicures and pedicures.

Them working along side me realising my strengths and weaknesses and supporting me through them has really helped me become a better nail technician and them as a business, as I am now one of their main nail technicians and soon will be offering services they didn't offer before.

Unless you have stated in your advert that you only want someone with a certain amount of years experience I would expect a few flaws in the trade test.
The lady who I did my trade test with has always said to me that the moment i picked up the file and held it, she could tell that I would be good even though i wasn't great at the time.

So if you can see potential in someone, and you have the money to support them and train them up and you think in the long run they could be really good for your business,
then I wouldn't not give them a chance just because there work isn't great at first.

And as for them not bringing their own equipment to the trade test, I was told that they would supply the equipment for me, so maybe if you haven't done so already you need to tell them what they should bring along for the trade test, because In a way I would expect the salon to supply the equipment for me unless stated otherwise.

Also I do think if you are using different tools, and having to do a service in a different order to how you have been taught or have previously done, it can by quite hard and nerve racking when you are on the spot being told you have to do it a certain way.
The girl who used your brush and file who you thought was having problems because they where different to what she may be use to, remember that over time once you have taught her your routine and the tools you use, she will adapt.

I remember I had to a set of Gel enhancements, and they use a 3phase gel, where i was only taught in The Edge one phase gel so I came across a few problems, but they knew this but was happy with the way i used the brush, and did the prep and so on so they didn't just say no to me because I didn't know how to apply 3 phase gel.

Sorry about the essay lol.

Hope that's helped.

Annabel
x
 

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