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Creating a Star Team

Bryan Durocher July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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Management and leadership issues are the No. 1 time-consuming focus of every spa owner. A business is only as good as the people who work within it, and having a team of star employees is one of the greatest accomplishments an owner can ever achieve. However, it doesn’t happen by accident. It requires diligent planning from the beginning.

Establish a vision

The most important motto an owner should adopt when building a team is to hire hard and manage easy. Spa managers who hire out of desperation, not inspiration, will have serious management challenges that cost time, effort and money. It is better to hold out for the right person who fits into your established spa culture and meets all the job skill requirements.

When assembling your team of star employees, the first step is to identify what qualities each member needs to possess. Clearly define these characteristics and attributes. Write a vision statement that describes a star employee. Remember to be specific. To get what you want, it is important to pinpoint what is essential. The statement should include how employees would act and present themselves, how they would interact with others, what motivations they would have concerning their career and what type of educational background they would bring to the table.

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Key Questions to Ask

Use these questions, based on the 15 essential team member traits, during your hiring process.

A positive outlook

  • In the past, has there ever been a time when you weren’t sure about esthetics as a profession? Why and how did you overcome that thought?
  • Can you describe for me a day when nothing seemed to be going your way? Some people would call that a bad day. How did you feel about the situation?
  • Can you describe for me a day in which everything was going your way? How do you feel about days like that?

The desire for continuing education

  • What does continuing education mean to you?


  • In the past, what have you accomplished educationally?


  • What are you currently doing?


  • What is your career vision, and how will you make it happen?


Self-motivation and the pursuit of excellence

  • How do you see your future evolving?


  • What do you see yourself doing to make this a reality?


Honesty and integrity

  • Can you describe for me a situation that may have compromised your honesty or integrity? How did you handle it?


  • What could you have done differently?



  • How punctual do you feel you are?


  • How did you feel the last time you had to wait for someone?


  • How did you feel when others might have had to wait for you?


An impressive résumé

  • Is the résumé complete and thorough, and include enough details? Is the spelling correct? How is it presented? Who are listed as references?


  • Can you describe for me the service you provide to a client? (Pay close attention to the details.)


  • What has been the best service you ever have received? Why was it the best?


A professional appearance and image

  • Where do you look to see what is happening in fashion and why?


  • Do you emulate what you see?


  • How would your friends describe your style and image?


The ability to be a team player

  • Have you ever been in a situation in which more than two or three people had to work together to achieve a certain goal? What was your role, and how did you feel during the process? How have you felt when working with a larger number of individuals?


  • If you had a team, how would you organize it to accomplish a specific task, and where would you fit in with that team?


Great communication skills

  • What makes you want to listen to someone intently?


  • What skills do you possess that would inspire individuals to listen to you?


Good conflict-resolution skills

  • Can you describe for me a situation in which you had to handle a conflict that was uncomfortable for you? How could that situation have been turned into a positive experience?


A passion for the esthetic industry

  • What are the things about work that you like the best?


  • What are the things about work that do not appeal to you?


  • If you had the ability to alter the things about work that do not appeal to you, how would you change them?


Openness to change and to new experiences

  • How do you feel when you walk into a grocery store and everything is moved around into different areas?


  • How often do you move your furniture around, reorganize your closet and update your wardrobe?


The desire for a career, not just a job

  • What do you see your future looking like in two, five and 10 years from now?


  • How will you know you have achieved what you have seen in your future?


Consistent work habits

  • How do you maintain consistent quality in your work?


  • How do you maintain your energy level so that your last client of the day receives the same quality of service as your first?


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