✅ The 8-Step Checklist to Hiring Good Groomers

Secret tips for how the best business owners find the best groomers 🤐

The Most Important Thing in Grooming 👀

There is one question I hear time and time again…

“How can I find and hire good groomers?”

Let’s face it - finding good groomers is HARD.

I’ve heard all the problems when it comes to hiring groomers… candidates don’t have enough grooming experience, not enough resumes or applicants, it’s hard to keep groomers….

It also doesn’t help that the whole pet grooming industry went all haywire since COVID.

Groomers seem to be in short supply in a lot of places. Too many dogs, not enough groomers.

But rest assured, even though they are difficult to locate - I am here to say that yes, they can be found 😎.

Hiring is general is never easy. It takes time and effort to find the right candidate for your team.

So this week I talked to business owner’s who have hired reallllyyy good groomers.

And I got all of their hiring secrets

I want to make sure you put your best foot forward when it comes to hiring groomers, so I wrapped up all of their secrets into an 8 step checklist.

Let’s get into it 👇

1. Ask yourself the most important question

This is a common step that people often skip… before going through an entire checklist dedicated to hiring, I want you to stop and ask yourself one thing: “Do i even need to hire?”.

Hiring a great quality groomer is EXTREMELY challenging and frustrating. So before you go through this, think about alternatives… could one of your groomers pick up new shifts? Could you charge more to make more? Could you re-work the scheduling so your groomers can see more dogs?

If the best solution is still hiring… let’s actually get into it! 👇

2. Write the job description

Whether you’re going to post the opening on a job board or just ask around your network, you need to write a job description. I know it’s boring and kinda sucks, but this is important!!

Why? Writing this will help you think through what that perfect candidate looks like.

Since I like you guys so much 😉, I wrote 2 sample job descriptions for you to copy and re-use for your own hiring. I would recommend adding your own flare as these are just starting points: Free Job Description Templates

3. Post your job in the best places not the biggest places

This might be the biggest secret of them all… You want to know where most successful business owners told me they found their best groomers?

In grooming Facebook groups.

Is there one for your city or state to connect with local grooming talent? Our Daily Groomer Facebook Group is a good place to start and I would also recommend the Groomer For Hire group.

We only really see grooming jobs posted on Indeed and other large job sites that are corporate jobs or salons started by non-groomers. Not saying these places won’t work but be prepared for the inevitable onslaught of “I bathed my Cocker Spaniel once so I can groom dogs” applicants 😂. You’re better off starting with a more targeted approach to hiring than aiming to blast your job out there to the masses.

4. Connect with the local schools in the area

Local schools can be a great pipeline for new grooming talent. There’s a common misconception that hiring groomers fresh out of school isn’t smart, but we actually disagree.

Most groomers that spend the time and money to go to school are serious about what it takes to become great. Graduating often shows that they’re great listeners and ambitious to make a difference.

🤔 Some ideas to standout? Bring fresh donuts to local grooming school once a month, ask the instructor if you can teach a seminar or a class for free, or offer apprenticeships to the students.

5. Review the applications

The devil is in the details here! How do these candidates look and sell themselves on paper? Relevant experience is the dream. Ideally, the candidates’ resume is some what experienced in dogs - and better yet - grooming dogs.

But that’s just the starting point.

You’re also looking for clues that this future hire is someone who’s reliable, punctual, compassionate, honest, and a team player. (A history of job hopping - 3 months here, 4 months there - ain’t gonna cut it!)

Most likely you’re going to fill the position with someone who needs training so really focus on the intangible attributes of the potential hire during your application review.

p.s — Don’t get desperate and hire just anybody when deciding whether to move forward with someone’s application. In the long run - it will hurt you way more than it will help you. Trust me on that one! 🧠

6. Make sure they are an “animal person”

How the heck do you do this?! This is not a line item on a resume, Indeed doesn’t check for this!!

Well, in our experience there are 3 tell tale signs for an “animal person”.

  • They get more excited to talk to the pet versus the owner.
  • They care more about their reputation than the pay.
  • Do some research on a new candidates social media pages… this will tell you a lot!

And hidden gem alert
💎 Ranch and Farm Workers. You may have to train them up a bit, but these candidates work with large animals such as horses, sheep and other farm animals. They do not scare easy, are un-phased by poop duty, and often pick up the grooming trade very quickly.

7. Run a technical “hands-on” interview

Watch for how they handle the dog before the bath - this will show how much “hands-on” experience they truly have. During the bath, watch to see how thorough they are. Were they lifting the tail scrubbing the butthole? Were they really scrubbing the eyes? Flipping over the ear and scrubbing the base? Getting between the toes?

After the bath, pay attention to how long they take to do the groom. Are they rushing or taking their time? Are they conscious of the dog’s well-being?

The biggest tip here:
Make sure you pay for the working interview. If not, that can be a red flag 🚩and show people you’re not serious or you’re a “cheap” owner.

8. Craft a “no-brainer” offer

This is the most important step. How do you make sure you make an offer that is so good, they won’t have to think twice about it?

There are really no “right” answers for this, but there are a few things that can make your offer a no-brainer:

  • Decide if you’re going to pay hourly, salary, or commission only. In the research we’ve done, most groomers are paid on commission only (35-50%). How to make your offer a no-brainer? Offer a combination of commission + a low hourly base.

  • Most shops really don’t offer any benefits. Maybe paid time off here and there, but it’s usually pretty bleak out there when it comes to this. How to make your offer a no-brainer? Offer awesome benefits!! Think about some of the more “boring” ones like dental, health, and vision. But also some of the “crazy” ones like vacation time, a “continued education” budget, weekly bonuses, and birthday parties!

  • Most shops offer tip-sharing. Where the groomer keeps 80-90% of their tips where the other 10% or so goes to the store. How to make your offer a no-brainer? Offer 100% of the tips to the groomer.

Alex Martin
Top story
March 8, 2024

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