GUARDSWELL JOB- HEAD OF HUTS + HOUSES
WHAT IS GUARDSWELL…?
Guardswell Farm, based between Kinnaird and Abernyte in Perthshire (PH149QZ), is a hilltop farm shared with those who want to step away from hustle and bustle, and throw themselves into a life a little slower, and a little cheerier. We love relaxed and fun events and weddings- packed full of family and friends, old vases filled with contorted branches, plates piled high with locally grown food and munching on midnight pizza from the wood oven.
We have accommodation to suit the modern world escapee- 3 huts and 3 houses (sleeping 30 in total)- perfect for those who fancy themselves running a micro-farm, switching off from their digital dependence and taking a deep breath of Perthshire air.
We are a small, mainly family based, team- who are pretty laid back and want to build “work” into our lifestyle. We are looking to grow our team this year-including this role, Head of Houses + Hutting (or in grown up terms, Accommodation and Experiences Manager).
WHERE DOES GUARDSWELL WANT TO GO…?
We are so bursting with ideas, and we’re now at a point where we can’t do it all ourselves and need a bit of a helping hand. Our huts and houses are so important to us- but even more important are the awesome people that come to stay in them. We want their experience to be something to truly remember- how they felt upon booking, what it was like when the arrived, the different things they could do when you were on the farm- and we need an ace team to make that happen.
Organising weekend yoga classes on the front lawn for the guests staying on site, thinking up brilliant breakfast baskets, lighting firepits and putting together smores kits, sending kids off on a big adventures to look for cones and feathers with their parents as trusty map readers.
WHAT IS THE JOB… ?
We are looking for someone to look after our Houses and our Huts, their
bookings, the people within them and anything relating to them. The role also includes some sales work, guest experience (organising excursions, lighting firepits, suggesting walking routes), health and safety relating to accommodation, check-ins and outs, organisation of maintenance, sometimes a little housekeeping, amongst other things. Generally- we want someone who will ensure that anyone who stays at Guardswell has a brilliant time- before, during and after their stays.
This person will allow us to come up with lots of new ideas, improve what is already here and think about the future of Guardswell… we love this person already.
As well as the more hands on parts of the job- like keeping the huts looking awesome, and showing guests around the farm- the role is entirely responsible for the administration of the accommodation part of the business- which includes things like monitoring bookings, keeping calendars up to date, responding to enquires- but also looking at how we can improve these processes and making the whole customer journey pretty ace!!
BUT WHO ARE YOU…?
You are all about wanting to make sure people have a truly incredible time on the farm! You are really detail orientated, very organised, super friendly and love people and making sure that they always have a smile on their face (you are pretty smiley too!). You want a job that fits into your lifestyle- as well as one that aligns with your values and passions. You have an eye for making things look perfectly un-polished, but you also spot the little things that need changed. You are creative and inventive, you can change a gas bottle with one hand as the other arranges some flowers in a stoneware jug.
You are an excellent communicator, negotiator and maybe even marketeer. You’re aware of what’s going on in Scotland (and the rest of the world) that’s interesting and different, and working in a sustainable and ecological way comes second nature to you. You absolutely get a kick out of making sure people have an awesome time- you are thrilled by the squeals of joy when kids meet the donkeys for the first time, or enjoy teaching people the quiet skill of lighting a fire. You are energetic and up for a hike- our huts are spread out across the farm, so theres usually a little bit of walking in between.
Having some basic DIY skills, or a general willingness to try, would be so wonderful. Sometimes there isnt time to call in maintenance to tighten a couple of screws- so not being afraid to do something like this yourself is awesome! There are also opportunities to get your hands dirty- helping with gardening and keeping areas around huts looking beautiful, as well as other farm tasks like chopping kindling and helping with animals.
As the role is part hands on and part administrative- we would love someone who being super organised comes second nature to. Someone who can jump from wellies to the desk in the blink of a hat. Although a lot of the role can be fun and physical, those parts aren’t possible without the organisation behind them- from pre-empting when the natural fire lighters might run out, to writing up housekeeping rotas, and making sure accommodation enquiries are all dealt with in a timely manner.
WHAT ELSE MIGHT YOU LIKE…?
You love animals (our dogs are in the office), and don’t mind getting a bit mucky sometimes (donkeys occasionally escape, hands get dirty). You can think on your feet in an unforeseen situation, and are very practical- can you re-wire a plug and are you happy to drive about the farm in an off-road buggy (don’t worry, we can teach you, you just have to be willing to learn)? You’re probably pretty outdoorsy and happy to work independently.
This role has a certain “tick list” of things that have to be achieved, and there are definitely days that require you to be on site (when guests are checking in and out, at least two weekends a month are included in that).
We are looking for someone with some previous experience working in
accommodation or hospitality. This could be a high end hotel chain, or a
glamping site. Customer service experience is beneficial, and you must be relatively competent with regards to computer usage as we use website based booking platforms.
RESPONSIBILITIES (OR SOME OF THEM ANYWAY, JUST ASK AND WE CAN SEND A MORE DETAILED LIST)…
- Before, during and after care of guests- including answering email
enquiries, planning for their stays, welcoming guests, ensuring highest
level of guest happiness onsite and feedback after their stays. Overnight emergency on-call for guests when onsite.
- Liaising with housekeeping staff regarding change overs and being
responsible for rotas for housekeeping and accommodation related staff, plus occasional housekeeping help.
- Responsible for the management and performance of the housekeeping team- so previous people management experience would be desirable.
- Accommodation sales with specific targets
- Managing the digital availability calendar and working alongside the events team to block off accommodation required by them.
- Health and safety requirements for accommodation.
- Guest experience- organising and informing guests of activities,
organising and leading free of charge on farm activities, developing
extra package items for stays (i.e. breakfast hampers etc),
- Liaising with outdoor and maintenance team to keep Huts and Houses
looking at their best and stores filled (e.g. logs)
- Improving our overall guest experience with creative touches such as
the improvement of welcomes, overall customer journey, etc.
DO I HAVE A TITLE… ?
We can come up with your title together… Currently “titles” at Guardswell include “Donkey Manager” and “Head of Sideprojects”…
Usually 5 days a week, including some early starts, late nights and long hours (you’ve gotta be a tough cookie) depending on when guests are checking in and out (we think its really important to be here for them), as well as at least 2 whole weekends and occasional Saturdays or Sundays in between depending on guest check-ins. But, lots of fun time in between- and opportunities to love Guardswell as much as we love it.
- Must be relatively local to Guardswell due to the job including late
nights and early starts- as well as emergency/late night calls if there are accommodation related issues. Ideally within 20minute drive (inclusive of Perth/Dundee).
- Proficient in Word/Excel, and if you know how to use Adobe InDesign,
that would be ace.
- Decent understanding of technology (Sonos, cloud based filing and
diary, google analytics, app based lighting system etc used at
- Driving license and own car essential- and bike if you live a little closer.
- Understanding of Social Media marketing.
- Any form of accountancy/book keeping experience would be wonderful.
- First Aid/DBS check/Food Hygiene Cert would be great but not essential.
- A good pair of outdoor boots.
- References welcomed.
Reckon you fancy being part of Team Guardswell…? If so, please send something (a diagram, a video, a CV, maybe even a poem- whatever you feel will show us who you are) to...
and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Closing date: 24th October 2021
Potential start date: Ideally as soon as possible- before Late November, early December. We do not have guests on the farm in January- so keen to get started before they all disappear for the year.
Competitive salary based on experience, lots of fresh veggies and goat kid
Head on over to our website www.guardswell.co.uk, or our
Instagram account @guardswellfarm to get more of a feel.