SHE doesn’t have the scary reputation of Lord Sugar.

But when it comes to finding a new stylist for her salon, Louise Hunter is definitely thinking along the same lines as The Apprentice star.

She has thrown the conventional job interview out of the window and replaced her search for her next employee with a task.

The boss of Lindley-based Rubies Hairdressing is asking her top candidates to impress her with their creative skills.

The chosen few will spend the day working with models to showcase their best styles.

The stylist judged the best will win a full time contract and spend time training in Tuscany.

Louise opened the salon, based in the Heritage Exchange on Plover Road, ten weeks ago.

In the coming months Rubies is moving to a larger space downstairs, the last area of the former Wellington Mills complex to be converted.

In preparation for this, Louise is looking for a new member to add to her team.

And she decided to go against the route of advertising the role and holding behind the desk interviews.

She said: “I wanted something different to the usual recruitment scenario, plus hairdressers are meant to be really creative so I wanted this aspect to it.

“It’s a bit like The X Factor and Apprentice, which is where I got the idea from – although I’d like to think that I’m not as scary as Lord Sugar!”

Louise is asking interested stylists to send in their CVs, which can include pictures of their own cuts, colours and styles.

As she is looking to eventually expand her salon brand, unique and funky looks are at the top of the Cowlersley woman’s list.

Those who impress will be invited to an initial interview and then Louise will select three to take part in a practical “road test”.

She said: “The day will enable me to see how they work in the salon environment.

“I will provide models but I will leave what they do up to them, it’s their chance to show what they can achieve.

“I’ll be there with my clipboard, as well as my colour technician Jade and another stylist friend of mine.

“I think a lot of people can come across as fantastic in a job interview but for me it’s only when they are on the shop floor that you can get a feel how it’s going to go.”

The “winning” stylist gets a permanent contact with the salon as well as an intensive training programme, covering aspects like cutting, colouring, putting hair up and consulting with clients.

The prize includes a three-day trip to Tuscany for some of the training.

Louise, a hairdresser for 15 years, said: “It’s a great opportunity, the training will give them the skills they need to one day run a really successful salon.

“The job market at the moment is quite depressing so I’m hoping that this will spark some imagination in people.”

Applicants must have a minimum of two years experience in a salon or NVQ Level 2 and the closing date is May 31.

For more information visit or call 01484 489329.