How we attract and retain labor

At Floyd’s 99 Barbershop franchise, we keep employees longer than the industry standard through training and a great atmosphere

Labor retention is a big deal in any industry. Recruiting and training a new employee can cost an estimated 6-9 months’ worth of that employee’s salary, according to labor and human resources experts.

Setting up a culture that is not only attractive to the workers you want to hire but incentivizes them to stay is an answer so obvious that many companies seem to overlook it. Not so at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop franchise, which boasts an employee retention rate of 35%-40% on average, compared to the salon industry standard of about 25%, according to Mary Wehrer, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing.

Floyd’s offers the right stuff

While franchise partners obviously establish their own rhythm and culture for their workplace, Floyd’s has made it a priority to create a culture that attracts the most talented stylists and barbers. Ongoing education is offered year-round to make sure our licensed staff stays updated on their technical skills — and we pay for the training. 

Patrick Butler, Technical Director of Education, says that’s a big benefit for salon professionals. Every employee is of course trained on the Floyd’s way of doing business, which ensures consistency at all 120+ shops nationwide. But being able to stay on top of their trade without having to shell out money from their own pockets is a nice plus. 

“We need to be able to train them on a specific skill set, whether it’s using a certain tool like a clipper or scissor or razor,” says Butler. “Hands-on training is very essential to that. I’ve got a team that I’ve developed and a set of curriculum classes that we teach so that once we understand what we need, we can cater training to an individual or to a group of people who need that similar training.”

Our niche serving both men and women (and kids, too) in the barbershop industry definitely gives us a leg up in terms of attracting talent.

“Someone can come to Floyd’s and specialize in women’s hair, but now they can learn to kick ass with men’s hair. That’s an extremely loyal client and you can make as much money, so your loyalty’s better,” Wehrer says. “Plus then you can get your barber crossover license, and that is kind of a unique element. That gives our franchise partners an edge when it comes to attracting the best talent, and when it comes to keeping them.” 

‘It’s not about speed’

A lot of haircut franchises rely on cycling quickly through customers to drive revenue higher. That’s now how Floyd’s operates.

Franchise owner Courtney Lindley, who along with his business partner has 16 Floyd’s shops in Texas with three more under development, utilizes a healthy “baseline minimum” salary for his barbers and stylists along with the opportunity to earn more, which ultimately helps his bottom line.

“We backstop it with an hourly rate, so they know they’re going to make X amount of dollars. And then we have a commission structure that continues to increase as your tenure with our company increases and as your request rates increase along with your haircuts,” he says. “So it’s not about speed with us. It truly is about, ‘Hey, how many clients are coming back to see you and how many are coming to see Floyd’s?’ And we know it’s got to be a nice partnership for them to win with us. So it all depends on tenure, number of haircuts and request rate.”

Combined with the opportunity for barbers and stylists to upsell services such as color and waxing, as well as Floyd’s proprietary line of men’s grooming products, Lindley’s employees are able to earn more while helping the franchise partners increase revenue. The emphasis is on customer service.

“It’s more about how you educate somebody, and if they need the product, look, there’s no better time to sell somebody something than when they’re checking out when they look great with their haircut, right? You walk out and you look exceptionally great. Somebody just styled your hair. It’s like, ‘how do I do that?’ That’s when you sell, but we don’t push it on anybody,” Lindley says. “And that’s a big piece for us, educating the client. The rest will take care of itself.”

‘Part of something’

Lindley’s business partner Bob Gregg says they’ve gone a long way to cultivate a family atmosphere in their shops. The diverse array of clients and services, coupled with our ongoing education, are a big draw. But Gregg believes it’s the camaraderie that keeps them there.

“We really care,” Gregg says of his and Lindley’s 300+ employees. “We show up for people when they’re having personal challenges. We try to understand what they may be going through and offer support where we can. That translates into, hopefully, people feeling a part of something that is inspiring and motivating to achieve high results on a regular basis. Everyone wins when the family wins together.”

Learn more

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