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Sorry guys but this is gonna be a rant...

I've been trying to hire an esthetician/manicurist/pedicurist. I'm not even dreaming about finding a good nail tech.
I'm looking for even an assistant, someone who wants to get into the industry, has a basic manicure, pedicure course (at the local college these courses take 3 months only!)

I have posted on Kijiji, contacted local school, NOTHING.
The responses I'm getting are shameful. Misspelled/ all lower case/ "Hi, I would love to work with you, pls txt me back" type.

My salon is located in one of the most affluent area of Toronto in an absolutely gorgeous area. I'm willing to pay hourly ($12-$18/hr), holiday pay etc.
I'm busy, working crazy hours, I'm willing to train....

What is wrong with this picture?? I'm getting the feeling that being an esthetician is not something that people strive for. They try to do this if they can't get into a "real school" or get a "real job"
Having an European background this is very frustrating. Hairdressing, esthetics there are not a "service" industry but professional industry. Estheticians make a normal hourly wage/salary depending on their skills and experience. They don't make a minimum wage having to rely on tips to make a living....

I've talked to few estheticians here that used to work for big salons/spas and that's what they tell me. They make a $10/hr (minimum wage) and tips. They get frustrated and either salon hop for a while (taking "their clients") or move to working from home (taking "their clients" too)

Many salons would hire just about anyone and then they give them "commission" sometimes and as we know often commission doesn't even add up to a minimum wage at the beginning. I know that this is not correct but many salons still get away with this because "they can"

No wonder that our industry is not very desirable. Sure, some people make it big working on their own, they build their business for years and they get somewhere... but why does it have to be this way..?

A friend of mine pointed out this: on Kijiji there is 3 pages of people looking for hairdressers/estheticians and only couple of "looking for a job" ads.

This whole thing just boggles my mind....


I wish I was in Toronto then. Because I am a mature licensed aesthetician who cannot find a job where I live. I am 45 and consider this profession my calling. I believe in great customer service with a smile and am so organized it's ridiculous. The jobs are going to 20 year old air heads who can't even do a decent set of nails. I had an interview with a woman who has been in the industry 18 years but is younger than me. I've had my license 4 years. That went well, so I shadowed her for 2 days. No disinfecting, dust everywhere, putting on gel and filing it off over and over for no good reason except bad technique. Swearing, bad attitude. I was shocked and though she didn't hire me, I honestly couldn't work like that anyway. That's my rant. I feel for you.
I hear you both.

As a relatively new tech, I wish there were more like Anna looking for techs.

Where I am it is either someone who owns a booth rent salon who wants the renters to pay her rent while she plays at being a business owner OR they want to pay a commission but treat you as a booth renter, you cover supplies/tools/taxes and all and they know nothing of what we do "you can do two pedis in an hour right?"

And then I totally see where Attitude is coming from too. Those of us that desire this profession with a passion and are mature enough yet some salons prefer a revolving door of warm bodies.


I've often wondered the same myself. Finding qualified techs with a decent work ethic is like finding hen's teeth. I hope you finally find that lucky person!
There are qualified techs out there. I have been in the business about 20 years, an educator for Elegant Glass and Tammy Taylor. I keep up with the latest trends, I do handpainted nailart, follow State Board Rules and Guidelines......
I had to be out about a year due ti illness. I went back into the salon in February. There are 11 of us- I'm the only nail tech. I advertize in the local newspaper, Offered free sample nails. No one here does sculpts and only one other tech I know of does handpainted art. I have been surviving by doing pedicures. Still, I can't get anyone to up- grade their pedi to my specialities. The girls I work with- most of them wear nails. I have done a couple of them but they won't leave them on to get a two week fill. I have offered to do them for free just to keep my skills up. One of the girls that I did a fill on- no charge thanked me- that was fine- then the next week went to the Asian place that is the worst in town and paid them to have her nails done. It is discouraging. Before I got sick I owned my own salon about 12 miles down the road and had a great clientelle.....
I am about at the end of my rope. How do you deal with this?
I wonder about this too Anna. I am looking into the possibility of hiring an Employee myself, but I am afraid that finding the right person is going to be more difficult than training them. I have been putting word out to a few select clients, hoping that they may know someone because the possible candidates this far....disappointing. So for now, we just have a "Waiting List" for clients wanting to get an appointment.
Best of luck in your search.
Good luck!!!! It sounds like you are offering a great situation!

I know that one day I'll either expand my business and need to find good nail technicians to hire or burn out from overworking myself and jump to a different industry all together. The stats in Nails magazine are very interesting (wish I had the link handy, but they have a yearly statistics issue that you can find online). Most nail techs are over 30 or 40 years old - I feel like its a combination of the industry being less appealing to young people (because the money, often times, is not great), and people joining the industry later in life because they aren't happy with their current career. I have a unique situation, but in that I feel that only us with "unique situations" do ok/well in this field. I recently had an old acquaintance contact me about becoming a nail technician, and after all the info I gave her she's got to have a really big passion to still consider it...

I looked into going to school for aesthetics because it really appealed to me. Then I realized how much the schooling costs, how little estheticians here make (mostly low hourly - but there are always exceptions!), and how most of the equipment is so expensive that one could only dream of working for herself!
I hear your frustation, in my area salons have the nail tech perform the pedicure/manicure service. Esthetician here won't give manicures and pedicures in our salons. HUMMM.....
It is really hard to find good employees. You mentioned contacting schools. Have you thought of going as a guest and talking to the students? Maybe develop a relationship with the school so they refer students to you when they graduate.

Also, I've had good experience with having an employment form on your website.

And I feel that finding someone with the right attitude is way more important than someone with the most skill. You can teach skill to anyone who wants to learn.
(05-30-2012, 08:35 PM)mlenails Wrote: [ -> ]I hear your frustation, in my area salons have the nail tech perform the pedicure/manicure service. Esthetician here won't give manicures and pedicures in our salons. HUMMM.....

Am I missing something here? Estheticians aren't suppose to do mani/pedi's or any nail services.

(05-24-2012, 08:51 PM)Tn Nail Lady Wrote: [ -> ]There are qualified techs out there. I have been in the business about 20 years, an educator for Elegant Glass and Tammy Taylor. I keep up with the latest trends, I do handpainted nailart, follow State Board Rules and Guidelines......
I had to be out about a year due ti illness. I went back into the salon in February. There are 11 of us- I'm the only nail tech. I advertize in the local newspaper, Offered free sample nails. No one here does sculpts and only one other tech I know of does handpainted art. I have been surviving by doing pedicures. Still, I can't get anyone to up- grade their pedi to my specialities. The girls I work with- most of them wear nails. I have done a couple of them but they won't leave them on to get a two week fill. I have offered to do them for free just to keep my skills up. One of the girls that I did a fill on- no charge thanked me- that was fine- then the next week went to the Asian place that is the worst in town and paid them to have her nails done. It is discouraging. Before I got sick I owned my own salon about 12 miles down the road and had a great clientelle.....
I am about at the end of my rope. How do you deal with this?

Something to consider in that some nail techs don't do specialty things is because people don't want them? As much as I try to do/offer new trends and decorative things, my clients just aren't interested. So I ask myself, why should I spend the money and take the time to learn these things if no one wants them?
I hope i'm saying this right. Are any of you willing to do Apprenticeship? With someone who's willing to learn? I came across a lady who is just as much into nails as you guys, she can't afford schooling. An when i tell ya she know a lot about nails. She only practice on her mother and sister.
When you need school to take a licensing exam and performs ervices on paying clients, apprenticeships don't make sense. : (
(06-01-2012, 08:16 PM)Powermoves Wrote: [ -> ]I hope i'm saying this right. Are any of you willing to do Apprenticeship? With someone who's willing to learn? I came across a lady who is just as much into nails as you guys, she can't afford schooling. An when i tell ya she know a lot about nails. She only practice on her mother and sister.

With the expense of some schools I can see where doing an apprenticeship would be a great alternative. Some states do offer it as an alternative to going to a school where you work for a licensed professional who also administers your test and education. Having one on one teaching can be a great for the student depending on who they apprentice with. Your hours of attendance could be more, though. Might need to check with the state board dept. in your area. Some don't allow apprenticeships. Sure hope something works out for your friend!
I apprenticed. Here in VA the hour requirements for apprenticeship vs schooling are ridiculous, but the hands on was very good. It's difficult to find an apprenticeship that isn't just you cleaning up after everyone else. And, its difficult to offer an apprenticeship because you are required to give the apprentice full-time employment (32-40hours) and pay them at least minimum wage.
It's the same in my area, too. Each year a few people go to school for nails, but fewer actually take their boards. The few who take their boards usually start off on their own as a solo tech in a salon (booth rent) or as an employee at one of the 3 spas (50/50 commission) here in town.

The ones who try to blaze the trail themselves by going into booth rental with no clientele wipe out the fastest. The ones who go into a spa have a very difficult time building a loyal clientele, mostly because the spas typically run on gift cards women receive once a year for a special occasion. Normally the spa workers don't have training in nail enhancements and stick to mani's/pedi's, too. With the proliferation of cut-rate quickie salons who charge cheap prices & don't require an appointment, it's an uphill battle to retain repeat clients who'll pay spa prices for natural nails.

The vast majority of newbie techs give up the business when they realize that it's not all fun & games, but hard work & dedication. This is a business, not a hobby, and the ones who treat it like a business succeed. The others don't. So that leaves us veteran techs who work solo wondering how or if we'll ever find someone with the stamina & longevity who we can mentor & apprentice?

Anna, get used to it....the younger generation communicates by texting & misspelling words is the norm. It's an intrusion into their privacy when you actually call them on the phone. Many of them are accustomed to having everything handed to them because their parents raised them to believe that they deserve it. The notion that they would have to apprentice for another person does not even compute. Their ambition is to open their own salon fresh out of school & be the boss. Then when they go bust, they rationalize that being a nail tech just wasn't the right career choice for them, so they quit to go on to enroll in some other school for something else....and why not, if their parents are footing the bill?

Once I gave up the lofty idea of passing on my valuable knowledge by way of apprenticing someone & decided I was better off not babysitting anyone else in my work space......I raised my prices so I could cut down on my hours of work & have been a much happier, as well as relaxed, person because of it. But if the right apprentice happened to walk into my salon, then I would take it under consideration again, weighing the pro's vs. con's & I might reconsider.

But that's just my take on things & everyone has their own opinion based on their life experiences. Don't hate on me if you disagreeSmile

Jill Wright
Bowling Green, KY