Guest blog: the challenges of spa recruitment

Amy Downton, spa manager at The Malvern Spa in Worcestershire, which won PB’s Spa of the Year: Midlands 2016 Regional Award, explores the challenges of spa recruitment and how incentives that promote a good work-life balance can attract the right therapists to your business.

One of the biggest challenges of running a successful and profitable spa is the difficulty of recruiting and retaining a group of world-class therapists. You’d think there would be therapists lining up to work in beautiful spas, keen to train, learn and develop – right? Wrong. This simply isn’t the case.

When it comes to recruiting the “right” therapists I’ve experienced the struggle first hand. For me, I want staff who are passionate about treatments and products, and who are eager to take on the challenges of holistic massage and advanced body treatments. Unfortunately, this has become harder and more difficult to find, particularly in the past two years.

Long hours, physically demanding treatments, having to work weekends and late shifts, and the perception of lower paid wages in the industry are all factors which put potentially fantastic therapists off working in a modern, busy spa.

The simple fact is that great product house training and a nice working environment is not enough to sustain therapists anymore, maybe in the short term but definitely not in a medium or long-term basis.

We must adapt and listen to what our staff need in order to gain a committed and sustainable team. A team who feel motivated and passionate about providing the best treatments to clients.

It took me a while to establish exactly what these factors were but now I’ve implemented a variety of new initiatives to promote a better work-life balance for staff. These include:

Now I’m finding myself in a much better situation to recruit, as well as retain, great therapists for the long term.

Pic caption: Amy and 20 of her therapists when they undertook the Pure Massage training at sister hotel Colwall Park. 
Image: ©The Malvern Spa