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Culture Club

By: Camille Hoheb
Posted: June 10, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

As a whole, the spa industry is fraught with many problems that can be traced to its high rate of staff turnover. It creates bedlam with startup businesses, in particular, and drains resources, including time, energy and money. Turnover is more than an interruption; it interferes with the development of a smooth operation, the creation of a strong, unified team and, ultimately, the financial success of a spa. In order to address this issue, you must remember that your medical spa’s culture begins with you and your vision, along with the planning, coordination and performance of recruitment, training and management.

Mapping out a model

As the spa’s owner or manager, participating in day-to-day operations, as well as knowing your own strengths and weaknesses, will assist you in building your staff. The most successful leaders surround themselves with the best team.

Having a business plan that includes the facility’s size, type of equipment, service menu and hours of operation is crucial when mapping your staffing needs from a logistical standpoint. As a manager, you should be well versed in the regulatory compliance facet of the medical spa industry. Each state has its own medical, nursing and cosmetology boards that identify the procedures and treatments that can be performed by licensed professionals. Log on to for the complete contact information of each state’s cosmetology board.

From start to finish, a typical time frame for staff recruitment is approximately 45–60 days before opening. This includes time to compose a recruitment ad, craft a job description and confirm a salary amount. The first round of interviews—usually via telephone—should occur within two weeks of initiating the hiring process. Create a standard set of questions that enables the interviewer to compare data. This holds true both for the initial interview and the more in-depth face-to-face interview later in the process. You will want to have your staff selected two to three weeks prior to the spa’s opening for training and setup.

The recruitment process

Don’t wait too long before initiating the hiring process, because falling behind schedule can cause you to cut corners. Slapping together a haphazard employment ad, forgoing a well-thought-out job description and interviewing a string of candidates willy-nilly will lead you down the path of poor staff selection and high turnover. This is a big mistake. Your team can make or break your business, so take the time to compose a hiring plan well in advance of your spa’s opening.