Time to address the need for skilled staff in wellness industry
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skilled manpower 2018-03-30

Time to address the need for skilled staff in wellness industry

In spite of the evolvement of concepts like hair and beauty Lounges, nail bars and dry cut spaces in the industry, the main challenge faced by brands is getting the right and trained staff. How can they bridge the gap? Let’s find out.

By Feature Writer
Time to address the need for skilled staff in wellness industry

Someone has rightly said that great hair doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by appointment but it also happens by appointment of right and skilled staff in the salons.  In the last few years, the beauty industry has seen tremendous growth. The evolvement of concepts like hair and beauty lounges, nail bars and dry cut spaces have given a bloom to the industry. However, the challenge of getting the right and trained staff still remains in the industry. Brand's try their best to get hand-picked and industry's best hands for their clientele.  We tell you how the players in the Industry are combating the challenges keeping in mind the factors like experience, knowledge, academics, expertise etc. 

Industry insight
Every year Beauty & Wellness sector is evolving in terms of awareness and business opportunity, and this tremendous growth is not only because of females, but also the fact that men play a vital role in hovering the graph. According to the latest study, men’s grooming industry is all set to jig to the top with a gush of approximately 45% of compound annual growth rate making it touch Rs 35,000 crore annually.

In these market conditions, brands are facing challenges to cope up with the exalting gluttony of ‘Looking good’ desire of today’s men & women. Consumers rely on the brands which are renowned for their expertise, it is necessary that the expected quality or the service rendered to the end consumer matches their expectations. This can only be achieved through a well-trained workforce. Telling us more on the subject, Istayak Ansari, Co-Founder & Director at Lloyds Luxuries that runs Truefitt & Hill says: ‘Preliminary from the staff that includes both the genders, T&H (Truefitt & Hill India) have two segments available to them, first is the Barber category and the other is beautician or manicure-pedicure artists. Mostly the deserving candidates are hand-picked from the resumes dropped to their recruitment cell. Walk-in interviews also happen sometimes but that’s a rare case.’

Experience counts
The beauty and wellness industry in India is booming, with a tremendous potential for growth in 2018. In fact, it is said to be growing twice as fast as markets in the United States and Europe. India is also the second largest consumer market in the world. According to a KPMG report, the size of India's beauty and wellness market is expected to touch Rs. 80,370 crore by 2017-2018. This includes the beauty products, beauty salon, and spa businesses. Ansari further shares: ‘It is not much of a challenge if you have ‘The eye’ for picking the best out of hundreds, which you eventually develop and sharpen when you have been through so much of experience while working in this sector for a long time. I like to meet the candidates in person after they clear the interview with HR because for me it is very important to appoint quality staff that matches up with the market image of our store. I take into account all the points like their earnestness, attitude, personal hygiene and not just the working skills. Well, most of the aspirants are coming from non-organized sectors, so we do not expect someone to be a fully-fledged artist, but we prefer someone who is already experienced. It saves our time and energy in the training process, but it is not always the same criteria. If the person is very keen to work and learn with us and comprehends all vital factors, then it makes us more than happy to hire and groom them for extracting the best possible output from their work.’

Three-step selection process:

- Technical interview at the T&H training academy where the candidates are asked to mock services or situations which they used to or will have to perform at the store. It ranges from haircut to hand- feet care, facial services, etc.

- After clearance of the first round, the aspirants undergo another round with HR and Business manager at the head. Skill sets, family and work background and other personal details are scrutinized in this round. It is highly preferred that the candidate is keen to associate for a long-term with the brand by complying with his/her own expectations as well.

- Post clearing the second round the candidate undergoes through the selection process with the Director where they discuss various points determining the selection.

Once they get cleared, the barbers are appointed and sent for a training program of 3 months at the academy where the groomers get groomed by the experts, further which there is one-month training at the store itself that helps them learn the environment practically. Whereas, beauticians and manicure-pedicure artists are trained for a month at the academy and the store (On the job & Off- the Job training)

Started in 1986, Madonna is one of the well-known names in the hair & beauty care sector in Delhi NCR. Telling us about the staff challenge, Mahika Yadav, Director of the brands says: ‘Hiring the right staff is the key to any successful venture and finding the same is very difficult. Madonna has a very strict hiring procedure.  After the interview, the candidates have to take a test, where they showcase the various talents they have relating to being a stylist. My current staff is very skilled. We make sure that all of our stylists excel in everything Madonna offers. We achieved this only because of their right attitude and their willpower to keep learning.’

If we talk about the challenges, overall the industry can only improve in this area by taking steps like skill development and vocational training programmes for the staff. This will not only keep the brands and the staff restructured but they will also be all set to compete with international brands in the Indian market. For a great future of the industry, improving the quality of staff and products is what it takes to compete and sustain in the long run.

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