Who Are We Trusting with Guest's Valuables?
By Alan Zajic Independent Security Consultant, AWZ Consulting | March 11, 2012
Co-authored by Derk J. Boss, CPP, CSP, CFE
The guests that rent rooms in our hotels have an expectation that the proprietor has done some form of due diligence in screening the employees who have access to their valued possessions left in a hotel room. It really does not matter to them that you may provide an in room safe, install expensive door hardware and have appropriate window stops if you have not taken the time to investigate the employees that you grant access to their personal and often treasured possessions.
The hospitality industry is sometimes fragile and susceptible to large revenue losses as a result of a single negative event such as theft of valuables of a guest who just happens to be with a large convention group. Word travels quickly with these groups and meeting planners can be quite adept at researching these issues when deciding on a hotel for their convention.
Conducting Background Checks
Although the law varies from state to state most jurisdictions hold that an employer can be held liable for not conducting a pre-employment background check if that investigation would have resulted in the knowledge that they were a potential risk. The courts have repeatedly taken the position that an employer should take reasonable steps to conduct pre-employment screening to include a background investigation.
The cost of conducting these investigations can be expensive especially in those labor markets where high turnover and a lack of qualified candidates create a challenge for the hotel proprietor. Many companies advertise primarily on the Internet that they can conduct a background check for as little as $12.95. Serious research should be conducted to determine what information you are requiring and the validity of that information. A background check that utilizes just database information is not a true and accurate investigation. The only true method for an accurate criminal check is actual court checks in the jurisdictions in and around where the perspective employee has resided.