More Chairs Than Stylists

More chairs than stylists

I often wonder when the shift occurred between just enough chairs, suites, rooms and jobs for our industry to what is now a surplus of opportunity. Similar to real estate being a buyer’s market, this is a stylist, barber, nail tech, esthetician and massage therapist’s job market with more choices for places and employment situations than ever, especially if you want to rent. Nail techs are in high demand all over Kansas City, almost to the point where it would be considered a shortage. Employers of Massage Therapists and Hairstylists with clientele are in constant need and have owners rolling out the red carpet for them, just to come through the door for an interview.

Currently the only area of excess in the local industry’s employment scene are those beginner Hairstylists and Estheticians. There are not enough non-corporate or chain store opportunities for these newer licensed professionals. The independent salon, spa and barbershop owner struggle to provide benefits to their staff, and fear losing a good employee after helping to build a clientele. The allure of rental and being your own boss is very strong, yet so many find they are not cut out for that responsibility after making that jump.  The hybrid or combination commission and rental businesses aim to offer the best of all worlds and support employment transitions in hopes of long term loyalty.

This is a hard time for industry owners in Kansas City and beyond. Employers hungry to keep their doors open participate in the feeding frenzy of finding decent fits for employment or those willing to sign a lease. The introduction of salon suites has permanently altered the landscape of our rental market and is perfectly illustrated in Johnson County. Did you know there are over 23 businesses that qualify as salon suites in Johnson County alone with new facilities being built every day? On average there are 15 rooms per Salon Suite location making well over 350 available rooms and suites for rent in Overland Park, Leawood, Lenexa, Prairie Village, Shawnee, Olathe and Merriam.

All owner’s eyes are on the current state of employment, and the changes that may occur in the future due to so much availability, talk of deregulation and the multitude options for our licensed professionals. Our advice? Stand out. Create an amazing identity and culture within your business. that exudes success and happiness.  Truly care, show and dedicate yourself to making a great place for people to come work or rent. Be that great employer, always analyze and consider what you are offering and add to the extras and incentives to be a part of your team. Be the kind of employer you would want to work for.

Susan Wos