Modern Barber Awards Entries Open

Ask Mr Mills: I’m struggling to recruit well-trained barbers

mr mills mentor

In our new series Ask Mr Mills we’ve got MB’s Best Business Leader Joe Mills to answer your most frequently asked barber business questions – and this instalment is all about how to recruit barbers of a high standard.


The question: “I’m struggling to recruit well trained barbers with a good work ethic. Where can I look?”

Mr Mills says: “In regards to all recruitment you need to really think about what you want and what you really need in your business. What do you want from new members of the team? How will they fit into your existing team and what most importantly, do you want them to bring to the business? Once you have really thought this through and added it to a wish list then you need to think about what you are offering. Why would you want to work for the brand? Don’t forget you want to engage with the right people for the role and the brand and they will want to make sure you are the right fit for them as well!

When it comes to recruiting well trained barbers there are different things to consider. Most importantly, how you word your ad or social media posts. Think what you would want to see, what would catch your eye and interest? See how other people – not only in our industry but outside – word job roles. What makes them stand out? Utilise this free resource to really put the message across, as first impressions count from both sides. In regards to where to advertise online, look at Gumtree and Indeed as a good starting point. There are multiple options out there so see what works best for you and your budget. There are also specific barbering websites and Facebook groups which could work well.

Social media can really help to get your message out there for not only what you do, but what you are looking for. We have had great success in bringing in new team members with Instagram. You can really see who is looking at your posts, but also who they are and what they do. Use this as a tool to help narrow down your search and it’s a great way to see other people’s work. I’m not suggesting you approach people but if someone contacts you, then start the conversation.

In this current lockdown face-to-face interviews aren’t an option. So, think about how you can work with technology. I suggest getting on the phone to a candidate initially then I would follow this up with a zoom call. Think about what you want to know and have a structure to the conversation. If you want to know how they think as a barber, you could set them a task such as creating a mood board of what they find inspirational. Trade tests aren’t an option but you could ask them to do a block head cut for you via Zoom. Think about the process and adapt it. Post lockdown, if you are going to do a trade test make sure you spend the time really watching and ask questions. If you want to find out their work ethic dig deeper and ask the right questions. But also, be clear about what you expect; it’s a two-way conversation. The more they know about what you expect, the less chance there is for confusion down the line. Be clear about this and you will find that it will set up a good working relationship.”


If you’ve got a burning question you want ‘agony uncle’ Joe to answer, send us a message on Instagram.


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