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. If you have dreamed about working in upscale surroundings with other well-trained and easy-going staff, this may be a dream come true for you. 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. Currently, Wayne is operating the Inn with temporary Innkeeping Interns from James Madison University where he is Professor Emeritus. It takes 4-5 people to operate this inn comfortably.
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 insure 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 this inn, or at another similar one.
The trial work sample duties involve the mastery of housekeeping procedures, taking telephone and on-line 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” available in any bookstore.
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 situation. 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 is appreciated by guests.
Being handy with property maintenance is a frequent requirement, sometimes essential, as in a plumbing disaster. 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 & bookkeeping, 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 ones 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.
On-site lodging is required and is provided as part of the compensation package in a new apartment on the first floor of the Inn (see pictures below). Free lodging will be provided to all applicants who are doing their voluntary work sample during the probationary period. If hired, monetary compensation will be in the form of a salary at the management level for assistant Innkeepers or at a training level for inexperienced innkeepers.
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.
If you wish 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 have a winning hospitality team. If you are mature, like responsibility, and have the personal qualifications, we would be happy to have you as an Innkeeping team member. 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 care-taking, 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
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: