Hospitality is definitely a one-of-a-kind industry. Its purpose is to make people feel comfortable, safe, and happy, often supporting them in something that they’re doing or helping them escape the tedium of daily life. When done well, hospitality refreshes and invigorates the body and mind. Whether you’re in lodging, cruises, amusement parks, event planning, tourism, or other subfields of hospitality, customers trust you with one of their most precious needs—the need to rejuvenate. To help others feel secure and renewed is a very respectable—one might even say noble—profession.
Pulling it off effectively requires some a large-scale suspension of disbelief; your customers must feel apart from the rest of the world and immersed in a different (and more relaxing or entertaining) one. Can you imagine a worse suspension of that disbelief than having one of your own employees—someone tasked to maintain this space—breaking through the illusion?
When It’s Not Fun Anymore
A small mishap here and there is inevitable and usually not a big deal, but there have been occasions of serious crimes committed in hospitality venues. For example, many hotels have had to handle cases of horrific violence enacted upon their guests by their employees. Others end up hiring workers whose records indicate that they’re unrepentant thieves or unreformed drug addicts. Expensive lawsuits or public derision have been the results more than a few times.
People can change, and maybe some former criminals would be wonderful faces for your company, but you should be aware of anything that could jeopardize its integrity.
In any case, many awful episodes that have resulted from hiring criminal offenders who didn’t change could have been avoided with a background check that would have revealed the offending employees’ criminal records and/or problems at previous jobs. It appears to be a greater problem in the hospitality industry than most others. However, it doesn’t have to be a problem in your company.
Background Checks Can Help
To attract a regular customer base with your top-quality service, you need employees whose histories demonstrate to you that they can be trusted in environments and positions that require them to be present with customers in one of their most vulnerable states (vulnerability being a necessary condition to fully enjoying hospitality). To ensure that you’re getting employees like that, background checks are nothing less than an absolute necessity. Every position in your company has the potential to bring joy or harm to any of your guests, and one bad incident is already too many.
At the very least, a hospitality company should order a thorough criminal screening on every candidate they hire. Keep in mind, too, that state records will often unveil more details than federal ones. The fewer stones you leave unturned, the less likely it is that you’ll inadvertently hire someone who will take advantage of the access into privacy afforded to them by many hospital venues and cause damage—physical or otherwise—to your customers. It doesn’t matter if the job is seasonal, temporary, or menial—screen, screen, screen.
Of course, it’s recommended that you also verify education, employment, and any other pertinent items of information for employees in leadership or management roles. In hospitality, however, nothing is more important than knowing that the people on your payroll can handle the sensitive information and situation that comprise every subfield in the industry.
Let’s All Take Care of Each Other
As the worldwide economy starts picking up steam again, more money can be spent on such items as hotels, parks, cruises, tours, events, and other luxuries and recreational activities. Obviously, then, jobs in the hospitality industry are expected to grow quickly—especially in the field of event planning, which promises a whopping 33% job growth.
Expect a rise in demand and jobs. Consequently, expect a rise in applications from candidates who may be trying to hide something. Expect that you will need background checks more than ever before, and be ready to establish a relationship with a background agency that will help you hire the workers most capable of doing their part to suspend your customers in disbelief.
Your background check agency should do what it does best—which is take care of you—so that you can do what you do best—which is take care of your guests.