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Esthetician Shortage Stunts Spa Industry Growth

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In last week’s Globe and Mail, writer Jessica Leeder wrote a fascinating piece on the esthetician shortage. Despite reports that the wellness sector is growing in leaps and bounds, Jessica reports that spas are struggling to fill their employee ranks with qualified skin care professionals.

She states “your favorite aesthetician is likely plotting her next move – to a similarly trendy spa that will pay as little as a dollar more an hour, has a “nicer” staff culture or will give her a weekend day off”.

In full disclosure Jessica reveals that she was the owner of beauty bars. Despite her success, she cut her ties to the spa industry because “it seemed my hiring cycle had no end. Many of my fellow franchisees were in the same boat”.

Katherine Johnston, senior research fellow with the Global Wellness Institute projects that 500,000 esthys will be needed by 2018. She further shares ““Every single person we talk to in the spa business says recruitment and talent is their No. 1 challenge. People aren’t getting the message that this is a growing, high-demand career.”

Personally, I think that people are getting the message. But it’s not positive.

Currently more millennials are entering the spa industry than any other demographic. A recent Harvard study shows that skill development and training is what attracts and retains this group.

The spa industry is also disproportionately populated with introverts.

So how ironic is it that even at many Five-star companies, employee training above and beyond product knowledge is often a point of contention? And when courses in development are provided which would improve overall performance, they’re often generic and not designed in a way best suited to how introverts learn.

Oprah Winfrey said “We all want to be validated, we all want to be seen”

I am certain that the spa industry will connect the dots. When it demonstrates without a doubt that it sees the uniqueness of its employees, word will spread. And the shortage will quickly begin to subside.




Linda Harding-Bond
Linda Harding-Bond is shifting the paradigm on spa retail training. Her Express Online Retail Training Course is exactly what's needed for post-COVID-19 spa re-openings. Designed to bring your therapists' retail skills up to speed, it will quickly position retail as a robust alternate revenue stream. Linda has provided training for many world-class organizations including The Oberoi Group, St. Regis Hotel, Anantara Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels, The Resort at Pedregal, GoldenEye Resort and Spa and Six Senses Resorts. She is author of "Listen, Engage, Sell!: The Foolproof Method for Increasing Spa Sales in 7 Days or Less" and "The New Esthy Handbook: an Essential Guide for Novice or Nervous Estheticians". Connect with her at Linda@Moontideconsulting.com .
Linda Harding-Bond

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