Two of the most popular places on the Internet to place grooming help wanted and job search ads are Craigslist and the PetGroomer.com Classified Ads Since 1997
. Both are free and easy to use.
Be sure to mention the qualifications for positions you offer. If you are placing a job search ad, provide your qualifications and related background in the ad. If you can provide a portfolio of your grooming, mention that too.
There are thousands of career seekers looking for entry level positions every year. If you truly require 2 years experience you can save time making that clear in your ad instead of answering inquiries from career seekers asking if you offer apprenticeship positions or will hire recent school graduates.
Reviewing portfolios of grooming photos make sense for employers. If the job candidate is applying from a distant location have them send sample photos by email or postal mail.
For decades there has been a chronic shortage of skilled groomers. It's the most persistent problem for business owners with staff. Don't become desperate and hire job candidates without conducting background checks and pre-employment testing. Check references. While the large majority of pet groomers treat pets well there is always the possibility that a background check could uncover employment severed due to pet mishandling, as well as other problems.
The employment laws of most states allow employers to test job candidates before hiring, even temporary basis employment. In addition to observing their grooming skills, notice how they handle pets, relate to other employees and accept your instructions. The latter quality may be very important to you. Some business owners clearly have "signature styling" their clientele expects. What if the new hire disagrees and won't go along with your signature styling? Indeed we have heard such stories many times. You can terminate tests at any time and pay candidates the mandated minimum wage for the period of the testing without further obligation. Check local and state employment laws for the testing procedures authorized for your jurisdiction.
Unfortunately thousands of pet grooming business owners do not provide job descriptions and employee handbooks, even where required by law. As an employer you expose yourself to signficant disadvantages when you don't. Arbitrators and judges involved in employment disputes (especially in states that are not "right to work" states where firing employees is much easier without potential repercussions) will certainly ask to see copies of job descriptions, employment contracts and handbooks. In fact, employees should sign acknowledgement forms stating the employment documentation they received as well as acknowledging the opportunities provided to ask questions about the content of the documentation.
To have great employees requires your being a great employer. Earn their respect by being compliant with employment laws in your area, and understanding the nature of their work as pet groomers. Misunderstandings between employers and employees can usually be tied a lack of documentation and clear verbal communcation. Ironically people that work with pets tend to bark orders, or and employees can bark at each other too. If there is a problem with an employee don't tell them to change (that's barking). Instead, ask what is standing in their way of completing their assignments to the standards of your operation. Get them to talk to you and discover the nature of the block.
Fear can play a role in grooming performance problems. For example, some groomers consistently forget to do the nails on black nailed dogs, or they barely tip the nails instead of clipping and filing properly. Perhaps they have the fear of bleeding nails. We know the quicks are not so evident with black nails. Some groomers harbor deep fears of certain breed types. It only gets worse when they fear admitting their fears, so the effective employer doesn't admonish them but first asks them in private what is standing in their way. Get a conversation going with these employees and find solutions.
Pet groomers are not sales staff. They are not clerks. They are not warehouse persons or white collar management. They are rare breed employees. There's both art and heart in grooming, and artistic ego. Their jobs are not easy nor quickly learned though some of the public thinks otherwise. Groomers are artists with serious responsibilities for the health, safety and beauty of beloved pets. That's quite a load to carry. Your management should be characterized as understanding their nature and the nature of their work. It only takes a few moments a day to provide them with appreciation and constructive feedback for every groom. There should be a smile and a light sense of being after every artful makeover.
Offer your staff continuing education such as today's DVDs by award-winning groomers, and possibly trips to seminars and trade shows on occasion. In return you might be able to keep grooming employees longer, and attract the best available.