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Employees in the hospitality industry engage in numerous sensitive tasks, such as handling money, serving or preparing alcoholic drinks, entering guest rooms and representing the company’s brand of respectful service to guests. Since hospitality operations can have high turnover rates, employers sometimes carry out background checks to determine whether potential hires will be a good fit for available jobs. The type and depth of your background check can relate to the company’s size and the level of security management desires.
Hiring Professionals to Check Backgrounds
Hospitality employers may perform a number of background checks on prospective employees. Some companies contract with firms specializing in background checks to complete very thorough examinations of your personal and professional records. Your criminal history might be checked out, including whether you are a registered sex offender. Employers might call to verify your professional references and previous employment or check with your university to see whether you earned the degrees or certificates indicated on your application. Professionals might run your credit report and Social Security number and you might be asked to take a drug test.
Some Employers Handle Their Own Investigations
Small companies might not want to pay the fees for full-scale background checks, but they still might want to look into your background before hiring you. They may conduct more casual background checks and call previous employers or personal references to learn more about your experience level and work ethic. Given the easy access of online information, employers could also type your name into a search engine and see what turns up. It doesn’t hurt to give prior hotel or restaurant managers a heads-up that a new boss might be calling, or research your own name online to see what shows up. If there is incorrect information, you can alert potential employers.
Issues That May Affect Hiring Decisions
When completing background checks, hospitality employers take a number of factors into consideration if negative information surfaces. According to the website Restaurant Hospitality, potential employers may consider the type of incident, how serious the incident was, how long ago it occurred and whether it relates to the job at hand. For example, if you were found guilty of intoxicated driving last year, you might not be hired as a bartender. However, if you had a DUI conviction six years ago, have attended required alcohol safety classes and are applying for an assistant concierge post at a hotel unrelated to alcohol consumption, the hotel manager might overlook the past mistake.
Overcoming Past Mistakes
If you have negative marks on your personal or professional record, don’t be disheartened. The Hotel News Now website recommends that hospitality companies meet with potential employees after finding negative information in a background check to give applicants an opportunity to explain why issues should not disqualify them from consideration. If this happens to you, use it as an opportunity to describe what you have learned or how you have grown from your past mistakes. Point to volunteer work in the community, a stellar academic record or positive references to demonstrate that your professional history as a whole outshines a past mistake.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.