We caught up with the founder and CEO of Spa Pulse, Helena Field, who runs the number one go-to for like-minded professionals. They aim to serve the global community by providing a job listing site that connects professionals in an online, easy-to-use and dedicated environment. Helena and her team’s main mission is to promote careers in the Spa industry and set people up in the right job for them.
What inspired you to start up Spa Pulse?
Having had the privilege of being in the industry for 19 years, working my way up the ranks to Spa Director of various prestigious Spas and more recently as General Manager of the UK Spa Association, I’ve got to know a lot of people!
Almost every day I’m asked if I know of someone available for a spa job or alternatively if I know someone who is hiring. So it got me thinking, because there really didn’t seem to be a ‘one stop shop’ solution where everyone in the industry could go and just know that all the jobs on the market would be available there.
I thought to myself – wouldn’t it be so much easier and save a lot of time and hassle if spa people could go to one site, knowing all the jobs available on the market will be listed there…rather than having to search around lots and lots of recruitment agency sites?” And so SpaPulse.com was born.
What is the best way to recruit for new spa positions?
Spas are beautiful environments and working in them is incredibly rewarding. I always advise Employers to sell the vision of what it will be like to work in their Spa, what a day in the life will look like and what the company can offer the employees in return. There is so much competition and other beauty routes to choose from that your Spa needs to stand out from the crowd, it’s a PR exercise and that’s where our site can help, as well as advertising the role on the site we extensively promote the Spa and the roles available through social media and other marketing channels.
What is your knowledge with regards to recruiting for beauty salons? Does it differ to spa?
We also support Beauty Salons, they face a bigger challenge when recruiting as they cannot provide some of the benefits that the bigger Spas can. For example, often Spas can offer meals at work and workplace wellness. Salons need to consider what makes them special, how can they support their staff and what will make their job advert stand out. I find that the attraction of Beauty Salons versus Spa is the variety of treatments and they can generally be more flexible in their approach to shifts, even being closed on a Sunday and/or Monday.
What should you look out for in your potential employees?
The pool of Therapists available is shrinking, gone are the days when CV’s would land on a Managers desk daily and therefore Spa and Beauty business owners need to be more open minded about what they look for with potential employees. In all cases the most important attributes to look for are the personality and fit within your business. A potential employee can have all the right qualifications but if they lack the right attitude then they wont be suitable. If someone is newly qualified and lacking experience but has a great customer approach and personality I would definitely take them on and give them the support and training to grow within my business.
What makes someone employable?
I absolutely believe that the best employees in our industry are the ones who are passionate about this career route. If someone joins our industry with the intention of wanting to help others, make others feel good and deliver exceptional customer service you are on to a winner.
I have conducted interviews where the first question the potential employee has asked is ‘what’s in it for me’, this is the biggest red flag. The other question I always ask is how much do you know about the company, if the candidate sits there blankly and has failed to do any research then they are not genuinely interested in working for your company.
What do you consider the top three qualities to look out for in a potential employee?
In our industry we need to look for candidates with Motivation, Warmth and Passion.
What essential qualifications or training is required to be a spa therapist?
Most Spas look for a minimum NVQ level 2 or 3 qualification. A recognized qualification from a reputable college or academy is required.
Have you had any bad experiences through recruiting online?
Most people search for jobs using their mobile phones these days, we are finding that 70% of our site traffic comes from the mobile application. This can result in rushed applications and poor CV’s. For the most part if people are serious about a role they will consider their application carefully and apply with a strong covering note to accompany it.
How important is it to have people skills within the spa environment?
This is without doubt the most important requirement for anyone working in Spa. You will be dealing with people at their leisure, sometimes in recovery from illness or an operation, sometimes people facing mental health struggles and people needing time out from the stresses of life. They therefore need to be met with warmth, kindness and a willingness to help make their day run as smooth as possible.
What is most rewarding about being a therapist within a spa?
How many people can actually say they work in a beautiful, spiritual, calm, peaceful environment? As Spa professionals we truly can. I always remind myself of the first impression our guests have when they enter the Spa, they get an instant feeling of their shoulders dropping and feel like they are escaping the stresses and strains of life for a few hours. Our Therapists can literally make that persons day and create magical memories for our guests. Taking away someone’s stresses and strains and seeing their reaction is incredibly rewarding.