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What do you recommend is an efficient way when looking around for a salon that pays hourly rate and commission?

Some salons have the hiring manager talk to you right away but some give you an application and the manager is not around. Plus the traveling and using your gas to go around salons.

Is it appropriate to ask in person, e-mail or phone if they pay an hourly rate and commission before you go through an interview or fill out an application?\

Hope this will benefit every Nail Tech.
having worked in human resources as well as being a nail tech I can tell you that it is not appropriate to ask howuch a position pays (including type of salary) until after the interview process. obviously you can do what you want but it isn't looked very well upon when someone randomly calls or emails asking about pay.
That's what I thought which is why I brought up the question just in case someone had a better idea.
Also, technically we don't ask in a job how much we are going to get paid. I am talking about other jobs that pay you a wage. When they make you an offer, they tell you the wage they are willing to pay. Not what I have experienced in the salon business to operate. I guess if all salon owners paid a wage like every job, then it'd be that they would make you an offer and tell you the wage I they want you to work for them.
I tried it and got a response saying they are strictly commission. I think it saves you and them time.
I think if the type of pay is a deal breaker for you than its an appropriate thing to ask. Yes traditionally this is not something you discuss during the interview process. But the nail industry is a little different. Because often salons don't pay legally (guaranteed minimum wage, proper employee classification, etc. )
Coming from the corporate world, I was very surprised at the hiring process for the spa industry. My process was always: place ads, receive professional resume, decide who made the first cut for phone interview, then bring in finalists for in person interview. Now, I get unsolicited calls, emails without resumes, and walk-ins, and find the majority ask about pay during the initial encounter. I always respond by asking what their compensation goal is (their expected take-home per week) and if we are within the range I tell them our plan structure (ie, how we pay) but don't share specifics numbers unless we decide to move forward with an offer.

If a candidate's only focus is the comp plan, I don't hire them. I want someone who is looking for a right fit for them in terms of the salon atmosphere. Not that pay isn't important, but in my experience when pay is the only priority you get the job hoppers who end up only lasting a few months. That said, obviously you don't want to waste your time, and neither does the salon owner, so if they don't bring it up first, a simple "can you explain the compensation structure" during an interview is completely appropriate - just don't make it the first question you ask Smile
As a final tip - don't just look at commission percentage - you have to take into account the cost of services and average revenue each tech brings in per week. 60% of $900 is less than 45% of $1500, which, unfortunately, a lot of people I've interviewed just can't seem to understand...sigh...
I, too, am surprised at the hiring process. I agree it should be handled professionally like any job/profession by having some type of standard job application and interview process. I have been puzzled about how it job searching is handled because school taught nothing about this. Salons don't tell you what they need.

I wouldn't know what pay range to tell them because I am inexperienced. How to give the proper answer? I don't know, but I have never been asked this question. It'd be nice if the hiring manager responds with what they need from them such as resume and tell them you will call them for an interview. That's it.

Most brief interviews have been very casual and no paper to fill out, etc. Some have been a waste of my time. I do not ask about compensation right away, just like you said, if they do not bring it up, I ask towards the middle or end. I want to know what I am getting into before they waste their time, and I waste my time. I feel some owners try to take advantage of new nail techs.

Many salons look very clean and nice to work for from just looking. I went to a place for a week and found the nail tech to work on clients who had fungus even though the salon was clean and is not an NSS salon. They treated the client's fungus saying it kept them coming back. Ewww! The owner seemed very nice, had a clean place and felt I gave good pedicures, but she also seemed to be taking advantage on several things because I did not know what to expect. This was a salon advertised from the school.

I end up learning more during staying there and observing than the crappy "interview." They 'hired' me on the spot. One salon wanted me to do practice pedicures for free to practice. If I am training on how to do it their way, I should get paid like any other job.


(05-19-2015, 06:44 PM)Nails4ever Wrote: [ -> ]I, too, am surprised at the hiring process. I agree it should be handled professionally like any job/profession by having some type of standard job application and interview process. I have been puzzled about how it job searching is handled because school taught nothing about this. Salons don't tell you what they need.

I wouldn't know what pay range to tell them because I am inexperienced. How to give the proper answer? I don't know, but I have never been asked this question. It'd be nice if the hiring manager responds with what they need from them such as resume and tell them you will call them for an interview. That's it.

Most brief interviews have been very casual and no paper to fill out, etc. Some have been a waste of my time. I do not ask about compensation right away, just like you said, if they do not bring it up, I ask towards the middle or end. I want to know what I am getting into before they waste their time, and I waste my time. I feel some owners try to take advantage of new nail techs.

Many salons look very clean and nice to work for from just looking. I went to a place for a week and found the nail tech to work on clients who had fungus even though the salon was clean and is not an NSS salon. They treated the client's fungus saying it kept them coming back. Ewww! The owner seemed very nice, had a clean place and felt I gave good pedicures, but she also seemed to be taking advantage on several things because I did not know what to expect. This was a salon advertised from the school.

I end up learning more during staying there and observing than the crappy "interview." They 'hired' me on the spot. One salon wanted me to do practice pedicures for free to practice. If I am training on how to do it their way, I should get paid like any other job.

My first nail job, many years ago, paid me hourly. Since I was not busy and was paid hourly, the owner asked me to practice red polish by polishing other spa clients for free. Obviously I did it which ended up helping me out greatly. Or I could practice gel when there were no clients for practice. Or I did her nails. It sure beat folding towels!!

If I was booth renting there is pretty much no way that I would do free services unless I was trying to drum up business.
That's nice that you got paid while practicing your polishing skills. That's not taking advantage of you.
Do not work for any salon that pays commission only; it's likely that the compensation is not legal and that your employer is not paying taxes, workers comp insurance, etc. as required by law.
I think it is ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE to inquire as to whether the job is hourly pay/commission. What you are asking with that inquiry is whether or not the salon operates legally. If they're operating illegally, no point in wasting your time and gasoline.

This industry is NOTORIOUS for running illegal wage schemes, so much so that all but one of the nail salons that I've dealt with in New York State, and I presume MOST of NYS salons (hair and/or nails) operate on a commission basis ONLY, which is ILLEGAL.