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Employment for Aspiring Innkeepers


WANTED – LIVE-IN ASSISTANT INNKEEPER(S)

Wayne is not only the owner, but also the on-site Master Innkeeper and General Manager of this beautiful inn located in the Downtown Historic District of Harrisonburg. The ‘Burg, as it is called, is in the center of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It is an ideal second career for a mature, financially stable person or couple who really like to be with and take care of people. It takes 4-5 people to operate this inn comfortably, and you can meet our current staff on our About Us page.

Wayne is looking for a mature, full-time person or couple to assist in the team operation and management of this thriving, ten-room inn. While he is looking for an experienced Assistant Innkeeper, a mature inexperienced person(s) with good allied experience to train would be considered. Persons who have the aptitudes and personal qualities that match the profile of successful B&B Innkeepers would be considered for an Aspiring Internship to train for that management position In either case, a two-week voluntary try-out qualifying work sample/probationary period is required as part of the successful post-interview application process. This will ensure that the applicant and the Inn will have an informed basis for any internship offer, employment contract, and/or level of compensation package that is negotiated. Only serious career-oriented people need apply for this professional position. For the inexperienced “aspiring” person, the Innkeeping Internships will qualify you for this at this inn, or at another similar one.

The trial work sample duties involve the mastery of housekeeping procedures, taking telephone and online reservations, cooking/serving breakfast, checking guests in and out, interacting with and assisting the guests, helping with luggage, giving directions and/or making reservations at one of the local restaurants, concerts, or university functions. So, the basic qualities you need to have are: excellent people & management skills; the willingness to learn to cook a gourmet breakfast; good judgment; be well-groomed, energetic, and eager to work; be able to lift 40lbs and negotiate four flights of stairs easily; be willing to clean with attention to detail; have a “green thumb”; and feel at home doing all the constant daily tasks that a well-run inn requires.

You must be drug-free, pass a background and financial review, and demonstrate stability and maturity in personal, health, and occupational history. Character, financial, and occupational references will be interviewed. In all cases, possessing an aptitude profile for successful innkeeping — including personal maturity and financial stability — are essential. If you have uncertainty about your suitability please read So You Want to be an Innkeeper.

So, the requirements for being a successful B&B Innkeeper cover a wide variety of qualities and skills. As one who is responsible for the safety, enjoyment, and well-being of guests, one must be able to function easily and with good judgment in all crisis situations. Having good housekeeping, cooking, serving, and conversational skills are essential. Social skills along with a pleasant persona and temperament bode well as guests expect you to be a warm and skilled personal host for their visit. Social judgment and the protocol of sincere courtesy is expected. Personal grooming and presentation leave a lasting impression as it goes without saying that a pleasing personal attractiveness is always appreciated by guests.

Being handy with property maintenance is a frequent requirement, sometimes essential (plumbing disasters happen!). Having a “green thumb” with houseplants and outside flower gardens and pots is a real plus. Yard work, snow shoveling and removal, painting, and minor repair skills are all needed frequently. Knowledge of good business practices, budgetary planning and bookkeeping, along with marketing, are essential as well. A B&B is an entrepreneurial business enterprise, so one must have aptitude and skills in all phases of business planning and operation. It is a challenging and exciting cottage business that tests one in all phases of the hospitality industry. One must be ready to deliver competent service from simple housekeeping to those of a Chief Executive Officer of a small business.

SALARY & LODGING:
Salary levels will be negotiated depending on your interview and work sample qualifications and will be competitive with the going rate for the B&B cottage industry using the Professional Association of Innkeepers Intl’s 2011 comparable research data. That data reflects that Aspiring Internships are compensated with all lodging expenses, a training stipend of $400-$800/month to cover food and other personal expenses. Qualified and Experienced Assistant Innkeepers generally are paid an annual salary of somewhere between $12,000-$20,000, with all lodging expenses + incentive bonuses or a profit sharing percentage. As the Assistant Innkeeper’s position is at the management level, the compensation package is situation-dependent as it reflects the size and occupancy of the inn as well as the kind of responsibility and the qualifications of the person.

On-site lodging is required and is provided as part of the compensation package in an apartment on the first floor of the Inn (see pictures). Free lodging will be provided to all applicants who are doing their voluntary work sample during the probationary period.

TO APPLY:
Please send me your portfolio which would consist of: an appropriate resume and a helpful narrative giving your personal history and description of your situation (why you think you would like living and working at this B&B). A picture would be helpful. Wayne will respond to all such applications with a telephone interview. Remember, you must be willing to invest in a non-paid, qualification “try-out” two week work sample at the Inn at your convenience, unless other alternative arrangements can be made to accomplish a performance-based mutual assessment of compatibility. Then, if selected, you will be offered a position contract commensurate with your skills and abilities.

We have a beautiful place and a winning hospitality team. If you are mature, like responsibility, and have the personal qualifications, we would love to welcome you on board our team. We enjoy what we do. You probably won’t become a millionaire, but you will have a good position and lots of fun! Be advised that being an Innkeeper is a position and a professional career that involves 24/7 hospitality caretaking, is labor intensive and service oriented, and it is not a shift or hourly production job. If you have the dream and the “right stuff,” the Stonewall Jackson Inn can make things happen for you! As the entire hospitality team interacts with the guests, we want only smiling faces that project “I love this job!” and “I want to make you happy!”

Hope to hear from you soon,

Dr. Wayne Engel, Owner/Innkeeper
Stonewall Jackson Inn
547 East Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
540-433-8233

Email your resume portfolio (include picture) to
Wayne owner@StonewallJacksonInn.com or send by post.
We will answer all inquiries!

Pictures of the apartment available for staff/interns:

kitchen
table
bed2
living-room
bed
bathroom

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