I have been working at Wag Hotels part-time (Less than a year)
• If you are a student pursuing a degree in Veterinary Technology or Animal Science and are looking for animal handling hours, this is a great place to start gaining relevant entry-level, hands-on work experience.
• If you are looking to change your career, this is also a good place to explore. Some examples:
- your background is in security / investigations and you want to consider a career as an Animal Control Officer (typically requires minimum 1,000 hours of animal contact and handling experience)
- your background is in teaching or psychology and you want to apply those skillsets as a dog trainer
- your background is in hospitality management or daycare and you want to explore how that translates into the animal care industry.
• If you love dogs and cats and want to have a fun, part-time job in addition to your regular job that actually pays the bills, the daycare attendees and boarders here really enjoy and appreciate your company while their parents are away. Nothing more rewarding then being greeted by a happy, tail-wagging boarder that wants to be read the same Winnie-the-Pooh bedtime story over again or a cat that rolls over the moment you open their suite.
• The company recently instituted a training outline for each department so that you can set concrete training goals for yourself.
• Cross-training with other departments allow you to gain experience in other related areas that would be much harder to get if you were working at a veterinary clinic, hospital or in a lab setting.
• Work environment is more aligned with 21st century Silicon Valley culture: it is a lot less hierarchical and adaptable than in a traditional veterinary hospital, shelter or a lab environment. At Wag Hotels, you take ownership of your tasks; they empower team productivity.
• Better return on time invested. Think again before you take on that "dream" internship at a vet hospital, clinic or a shelter: you could be spending the majority of your time washing towels, disinfecting exam room tables and autoclaving surgical instruments. If you want more hands-on, try mobile clinics - while the scope of care may be limited to wellness exams and basic treatments, you get direct animal contact hours the entire time ... or work at Wag Hotels and you get dog handling experience from day one, exposure to dogs of all sizes, breeds and temperaments, chance to observe and learn how they interact in a pack environment as well as when they are on their own, come up with ways to keep them engaged, get up to speed quickly on feeding, medication and proper kennel maintenance, cross-train with other departments and attend lectures on canine behavior. That's a summer or winter break well spent.
• Wag Hotels does a fantastic job with brand management and marketing services - something other segments of the veterinary industry like hospitals, clinics and traditional pet boarding and grooming businesses can learn from.
• Flexible schedule.
• High turnover.
• Outdated, slow computer system that hinders productivity, rather than enhance it. Surprising, considering we are located in Silicon Valley, the heart of technology.
• If you only work a few hours a week, it is easy to get glossed over for training opportunities (easier for the Team Lead to give you housekeeping chores that no one else wants to do - washing peanut butter kongs are a pain - than to take the time to train you on a new task).
• Hourly wages are not commensurate with cost of living and market rate in the San Francisco/Bay Area:
- starting wages in San Francisco as of August 2016 is $13 per hour (with $2 shift differential added for graveyard shifts) when minimum wage is going to be $15. - starting wages in Redwood City is $12.25 per hour (with $2 shift differential added for graveyard shifts). Pay rate for In-and-Out Burger in nearby San Carlos starts at $15 an hour and Kennel Attendant/Dog Walker positions in nearby Belmont are paying $15-$16.
• Continually understaffed in Housekeeping so that other departments have to pick up the slack (staffing agencies for cleaners in the area pay up to $22 an hour and many of the San Francisco hotels pay $22 starting due to union - so it is hard to compete when you are only offering $12.25). There is a lot of cleaning involved in the animal care business and you understand and accept that going in; however, if you are here for animal contact hours, none of the hours you spend doing housekeeping (e.g. washing dishes) count, which sucks.
Advice to Management
Review hourly rates and adjust the pay scale often so that Wag Hotels can attract and retain quality employees. It costs more to continually recruit and train new staff than to pay those that are already here a little bit more to retain them.
I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at Wag Hotels (Redwood City, CA) in May 2016.
1. Submit an online application.
2. HR in Sacramento reviews the application and contacts you to set-up a phone interview. Wag Hotels also holds on-site interview fairs from time to time on weekends, especially during the summer.
3. If phone interview is successful, an in-person interview is set-up with the store manager or HR.
4. If an in-person interview is successful, you will be notified via phone or email.
If you already have a full-time job, it may take some time to set the interview up as HR stated they can only schedule interviews between 9AM - 4PM, even if you are applying for an evening or graveyard shift.
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