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The Great Staff Shortage of 2022

The Great Staff Shortage of 2022

Remember that feeling, when lockdown was finally lifted and we were able to open our salons? Remember the relief as bookings came flooding in and our staff rejoiced in being able to get back to work?

Fast-forward to winter 2022 and we’re in the midst of another catastrophe – the great staff shortage.

While lockdowns are (hopefully) a thing of the past, isolation rules are still in place for anyone that tests positive to COVID and, given the soaring infection rate – that adds up to a lot of people.

Sydney-based eyebrow queen Kristin Fisher took to Instagram this week to voice her frustration at the situation.

“Feeling for all my cohorts in the service industry,” she wrote. “Beauty, hair…none of us can get staff. We’re losing staff every week to the flu and COVID, and therefore revenue is down exponentially. It’s very hard for small businesses to dig themselves out of the debt accrued during the lockdowns.”

It’s a tough situation. We all know the rules: not isolating with COVID isn’t an option. But it’s also leaving some of our salons with no choice but to close.

“Some business owners have their hands tied – who’s going to carry out the services if everyone is off sick?” says HR expert Carolyn Jenkins. “With no one to work, they simply can’t open their doors. It’s a let-down for the workers, the business owners and the customers. But there really isn’t an alternative at this point.”

If you find yourself in the situation that you don’t have enough staff to sufficiently operate, Carolyn says the first people you need to let know are your customers. “They may be travelling a fair distance for their appointment, and you need to let them know right away that you’re closed for the day, the week, whatever it is. Be transparent and inform them that due to sickness, you’re short staffed. Assure them that you’ll be in touch as soon as you’re able to reschedule them. And then make sure you do make that call, before they book in somewhere else.”