Booking appointments in a spa is a crucial element to generating revenue and optimizing each professional’s time. More appointments on the books means more business. More advanced artists are able to service more clients in a given shift, maximize retail sales, and drastically improve client retention. By rotating several highly trained makeup artists on the schedule, you will immediately see a lift in revenue. However, not every hire will be a model employee with five-star skills right out of the gate. This “Beauty Blueprint” outlines some tips for finding, vetting, interviewing, and testing out new artists to add to your spa team.
Sure, anyone can put out a classified ad to attract candidates for an open position. We live in a digital world. But if you’re able to locate a few key people and network through their channels, you will most likely find more qualified personnel. When building a network based on word of mouth versus paid advertising, the caliber of professionalism and loyalty you get from those contacts is usually more valuable. If you don’t have reliable people you can ask for referrals, then research on social media to find stylists and technicians in the local area.
VETTING AND INTERVIEWING
Once you find and potentially meet new artists, how do you know if they are good? First and foremost, request a portfolio link. Review the images of their work to see if their style and aesthetic matches your spa brand that you can promote. If the artist is brand-new in the industry, they may not have as many photos on file, so focus on the quality of the work instead of quantity. Of course, do your typical due-diligence and review their social accounts to see if anything alarming shows up.
There are a few things to ask for in the vetting and interview process with makeup artists. Always inquire about retail store experience, how long they have been in the industry, what type of clients they typically work with, and, most importantly, how long it takes them to execute a makeup application.
Time is your most precious commodity. You can hire someone that does incredible makeup, but if it takes them three hours per client, you can’t maximize the appointment book. Experienced artists should be able to knock out a beautiful makeup with false eyelashes within 30 minutes, whereas novice level may require 45 to 60 minutes. If you book a bridal party or other large group of clients coming in at the same time, always allow slightly more time to accommodate for the chaos.
Makeup hires usually have a two-part interview process. Your standard portion consists of resume questions pertaining to history and experience. The other half is a practical demonstration of their work. If you like the candidate on paper and in-person (or over the phone), ask them to come into the spa for “phase two” of the interview. Ask an employee to be a model for the artist and have the candidate execute a makeup look of the model’s choice. Look at the quality and cleanliness of their kit and station and see how they interact with the staff. Make sure they are following proper sanitation guidelines. During the session, stay in the room to observe how they speak to the client and if they push retail sales and to evaluate the finished look. Note, if you include airbrush makeup on your service menu, make that a skill requirement for the test.
As you continue to work with familiar artists, you will develop a natural workflow. In doing so, you know exactly what to expect when you book appointments for makeup services. It is best to have a few freelance artists on the staff for on-location services and performing multiple services at a given time. Just like any standard spa appointment, it is typically best to factor in padding on the front and back end of any beauty appointment. Doing so allows necessary time for the setup, client consultation, retail upsell, cleanup, and closing with a future appointment on the books.
Amanda Azar Walsh, L.M.E., is a published makeup artist, medical aesthetician, and body wrapper based in south Florida. She is the founder and executive artist of Azar Beauty, makeup artistry instructor at Cortiva Institute, and lead artist for NewsmaxTV, Pelican Grand’s Pure Spa, and St. Andrews Country Club. Walsh has a degree in business management from Florida Atlantic University and diplomas in fashion makeup from Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry and paramedical aesthetics from Southeastern College and is dual-licensed and holds over 40 certifications. Walsh is a member of the National Association of Professional Businesswomen, National Aesthetic Spa Network, Look Good Feel Better, and a RAW Artist alumni.