Screening hotel employees must take into consideration,
not only the safety of the other employees as in most
businesses, but also the safety of the customers: the
guests. While normal employee background checks must
be used, these should go a bit further and deeper, and
hotels should take steps to design employee psychometric
screening to suit their own specific needs.
These standard background checks include previous employments,
the applicant’s previous addresses and criminal record
checks. These are actually connected in that any gaps
in the first two could infer the third. Thus, if an
employee cannot satisfactorily explain a gap in their
employment, then it could indicate a period in a penal
The same could be true if there is a gap between the
residential addresses provided. Many try to explain
this away as ‘between jobs’, or ‘between addresses’,
but a social security check should be able to provide
more information on this. Also, while a criminal record
check is not easy to carry out since there is no national
criminal record database that is open to anybody except
law enforcement officers, it can still be done by checking
through the court records in counties in which the applicant
has previously worked or lived, especially during the
What you are looking for in a hotel employee is somebody
that is not only honest, with no previous convictions,
but one for whom a hotel job is more than just a temporary
job until something better for them turns up. They must
have a commitment to the type of work, and be the type
of person for whom looking after guests is a worthwhile
job and something they want to make a profession of.
They should be more than just people looking for a summer
vacation job, but potential full time professionals.
For that reason the interviewers should be professionals
that can spot those not genuinely interested, and can
choose the right type of applicant for the job. Standard
screening is also essential, and all hotels should carry
out drug tests; urine tests can provide results within
48 hours. Most hotel employees appreciate working with
colleagues that know to be clean from drugs.
Other screening tests should be designed by each individual
hotel based upon its own needs and experiences. Much
depends on the job being offered, and you will be looking
for a higher educational standard in a potential manager
than in a maid. However, both must be equally trustworthy
and lack any criminal record whatsoever. They should
also preferably have previous hotel experience, and
have left their previous hotel with a good reference.
This should also be checked.
Many hotels design their own screening tool to achieve
this, taking the view that a guest-centered profession
should reflect that need in their employees rather than
using just the normal employment background checks.
Much of the screening in these tools uses psychology
and multi-option questionnaires designed to determine
exactly how suited the applicant is to the job being
Such psychometric tools can be changed to suit the
needs of each position within the hotel, with emphasis
being given to the activities and security levels required
in each of these positions. That is something that every
hotel could consider developing for themselves, with
the help of professional psychometric screening companies.
This, of course, does not detract from the fact that
the usual background checks have to be made. Apart from
the employment, residential and criminal record checks,
you are advised to carry out credit checks, checks on
the applicant’s driving record, especially if the job
could involve driving.
Screening hotel employees is very similar to that of
any other employee, only the honesty of the employee
must be very carefully checked and their ability to
work closely with guests determined. Psychometric testing
can be crucial in helping employers to make these decisions,
and in most cases the applicants potential is more important
than experience since that can be taught, but potential