Salon Owner's Summit

David Barnett On Salon Culture And Recruitment: Top Insights

3 min

David Barnett On Salon Culture And Recruitment: Top Insights

“Get up! For the next 30 seconds, I want you to bounce and take deep breaths!” David Barnett walked on stage with the intention of getting people to think and leave the Salon Owners Summit 2019 buzzing with ideas they could implement in their salon as soon as they got back home. In his presentation, he talked about how he and his wife created a 7-figure business with multiple 6-figure stylists and how they focused on culture and recruitment to build a business that every stylist wanted to be a part of!

Listen to the audio version of this blog, and subscribe to the Phorest Blog Podcast here:

A Bit Of Background

David Barnett began his career in the industry at just 16 years of age. By the time he was 22, had become one of Toni & Guy’s youngest ever franchisees. After a decade with the brand, David set his sights on New York and joined John Barrett’s 5th Avenue Salon. David then met his wife Nicole in Chicago, where they managed a flag-ship salon for the multi-billion dollar beauty company, Ulta Beauty.

In 2009, they opened Brush Salon in Healdsburg, California and within five years, grew their business to 7 figures while managing a team of multiple stylists earning over 6 figures each. David and Nicole Barnett sold Brush in 2016 to solely focus on coaching stylists and salon owners. Their online programs now allow owners and stylists from all around the world to transform their salons into systematic, highly profitable businesses and their teams into career-focused professionals.

culture and recruitment

Top Insights

Today, leaders come in all shapes and sizes. What’s good leadership though? How can we bridge the gap between generations and create the one business everyone wants to work for? Salon owners often think of ways to make salons feel different to attract new clients. What about making them different to attract new team members?

Learn How To Attract, Recruit & Retain Salon Superstars With The Blue Ocean Strategy

Inspired by the Blue Ocean Strategy book, David Barnett begins his talk by comparing salon businesses living in the red and blue ocean.

    • The Red Ocean: this where the majority of businesses live, where everyone is competing over the same guests through marketing.
  • The Blue Ocean: this happens when a business realises there’s another way to do things – aka becoming the best salon for stylists and therapists to work at.

For David, achieving this means getting “creative with the business, behind the scenes:” 

    • Paying for the stylists’ parking in city centres
    • Giving a 5K signing bonus (hit 10K revenue month on month for 5 months and we’ll give you 1K per month, kind of scheme)
  • Company cars (advertising on wheels)
culture and recruitment
Salon Owners Summit Roadshow: Tickets on sale February, 1st, 2019! Contact <> for more details.

Culture And Recruitment: Getting The Phone To Ring

The usual recruitment salon ad looks a bit like this, David explains:

Are you a skilled and creative stylist? Do you have at least 5 experience? Do you enjoy working on a team and customer service? Blush Salon is hiring the right stylist/therapist for their exciting, expanding team.

Send your resume to and someone will contact you to schedule an interview. All applicants MUST have a clientele.

Noticed how it’s all about what the stylist is expected to do, produce and bring to the table? Now, for the perfect ad, according to David’s continued success with salon culture and recruitment methods:

Are you a FUN, creative stylist looking to build an INCREDIBLE career in hair? Do you want to be part of a team that supports YOUR growth with incredible education and an UNCAPPED earning potential? Do you want to be part of the FASTEST growing salon group in the North? The most EXCITING salon in Barnsley is looking for a fun, spirited stylist for their expanding team! Give Lee a call TODAY or stop by the salon for a chat about YOUR career!

How much better does that sound? Instead of focusing on what is expected of the applicant, the ad is all about the stylists’ career.

If we were to recap David Barnett’s talk in one sentence, it’d look a lot like this: market your salon to get the phone ringing, get people coming into the interviews, retain them by supporting their growth and incentivise their efforts with rewarding perks.

Listen to David Barnett’s interview on Phorest FM and subscribe to the weekly podcast here:

Food For Thought

  • “What can you offer stylists & therapists without giving away the farm?”
  • “What is a little to us, can be huge to a stylist. And If we make this happen, we can see a transformation.”

For information on everything surrounding the coveted event’s next edition, keep an eye on! Got feedback? Let us know either in the comments below or tweet us @ThePhorestWord! (Pssst! We’re on Instagram too!)

For more great tips, check out our full resource on how to set up, run and grow a successful salon business.

Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow

Not a Phorest Client?

This event is exclusive to Phorest Clients only. However, if you are looking to take your salon to the next level, then why not request a free quote or demo of our software today, and join the list of esteemed Salon Owners Summit guests!

Featured imaged shot on location of the Salon Owners Summit 2019, in Dublin. Photo by Alan Rowlette. © 2019 Phorest Salon Software.
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