Personnel Problems: Staffing Continues to be a Headache in the Grooming Industry
Brought to you by Grooming Business magazine.
For the past year, the economy has continued to be the beast that keeps many a grooming salon owner up at night. But challenges related to staff come in at a close second to the economy as the nightmare most likely to plague business owners, according to the results of the 2014 Grooming Business Pet Groomer Survey.
Nearly 40 percent of respondents identified “finding/retaining good employees” as the biggest challenge they face—this was surpassed only by “the economy,” which was cited by 44 percent of those surveyed as the greatest challenge.
Jackie French, owner of Le Chateau K-9 Day Spa in Willow Park, Texas, had a fantastic year, with impressive double-digit growth in revenue, but her success does not shelter her from one of salon owners’ most consistent headaches—staffing. “It is a very big problem and always has been,” she says.
The most consistent problem with finding reliable, competent and professional staff seems to be, well, consistency. A lack of uniformity in grooming education, as well as the absence of any binding industry-wide standards as it relates to grooming procedures or conduct, means that salon owners or hiring managers never know exactly what they are going to get when they post their help-wanted ads. French says, while she currently employs three of the best in the profession, she is often fishing from a “big pool of ill-trained groomers.”
And it is not an uncommon complaint. Sharon Glass owner of Pets of Distinction in Blountville, Texas, says many of the programs that novice groomers graduate from leave students inadequately prepared for real-world experience. Six to eight weeks, she says, is simply not enough to time to learn the many crucial skills and knowledge required of a truly competent grooming professional—from dog anatomy to scissoring skills to how to greet and deal with clients.
With this in mind, Grooming Business magazine addresses subjects such as education and staffing annually in comprehensive articles crafted to help professionals navigate these choppy waters. We will most certainly revisit these topics in 2015. But take a look back here and here for our most recent coverage on these topics.