The biggest challenge for felons after returning home is finding a job. Even companies known to hire felons typically do a background check. In looking for work, a felon who has experience working in the hospitality industry may want to apply for a job at a hotel.
This blog post will cover whether or not hotels run background checks.
- What is Included in a Background Check?
- Hotel Application
- An Opportunity for Felons?
- Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
- Tips for Getting a Job at a Hotel
What is Included in a Background Check?
As many as 10% of all job candidates in the hospitality industry have some type of criminal record. The percentage is higher for part-time, seasonal, and minimum-wage staff members.
Hotels are not required to run background checks on all potential employees. Background checks for hotel management positions are standard because managers have access to sensitive information regarding the hotel and guests. For lower-level positions, background checks may not be done because of the cost involved.
Hotel personnel who review an applicant’s background don’t want someone who doesn’t succeed after starting a job.
The benefits of conducting a background check for hotel positions include:
- Protecting employees and guests from violence
- Reducing the threat of employee theft
- Providing a positive experience for guests
- Increasing repeat business
- Reducing the risk of negligent hiring
- Discouraging dishonest applicants from applying
- Reducing costs of training and turnover
- Avoiding employee attendance problems
- Dealing with dishonesty on the job
The last category is the biggest issue for felons. Their criminal history can be a problem even if they are now committed to living an honest lifestyle.
A hotel hiring manager may view credit reports, driving records, and educational records in addition to criminal offenses. Background information helps a hiring manager to determine a candidate’s past mistakes, character, financial fitness, and to identify hiring risks for security and safety for the hotel.
The criminal record review of a background check includes examining criminal-history files for any criminal offenses, which will reveal all convictions and non-convictions, including cases not prosecuted or those dismissed. Convictions can be reported without a time limit while a non-conviction will show up for seven years. A crime will not show up on a background check if a felon has his or her record expunged.
Nearly two million individuals are employed in the hotel industry. Positions include manager, desk clerk, housekeeping personnel, food preparation, and bell-hop roles. Duties for workers in each hotel role varies, but they all help create comfortable accommodations for guests during hotel stays.
Entry-level positions at hotels have a minimum age requirement of 16 and do not require any formal education, although some hotels may specify a high school diploma or a GED. A management position may require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as hospitality or business.
Hotels may also expect different amounts of previous experience, with housekeeping jobs requiring less, desk clerk positions more, and manager positions the most.
The interview policy is different for each hotel. For the majority of hotel job interviews, an applicant will meet first one-on-one with the hiring manager. These interviews will involve questions such as:
- Why do you want to work for this hotel?
- If you are hired how long would you work here?
- What makes you the best qualified for this position?
- What does good guest service mean to you?
- How would you handle a conflict with a guest?
- How would your former employer describe you?
- Do you consider yourself an honest person?
- What experience in hotel work do you have?
Front desk agent positions involve interview questions focused on customer service. Housekeeping job seekers may respond to questions about working irregular hours or maintaining energy throughout long shifts. Managerial interview questions may include questions about being organized and having previous manager experience.
Employees in the hotel industry have many sensitive duties, such as handling money, serving in or entering guest rooms, and representing the hotel to guests. The depth of a background check relates to the hotel’s size and the level of security involved for a position.
During the application process, an applicant will typically be asked to consent to a pre-employment background check. Any employment offers that are made will be contingent upon passing this background check. An applicant may also need to consent to a pre-employment drug screening.
An Opportunity for Felons?
While hotels do hire felons, they typically do not hire anyone with a violent or sexual offense. They also usually don’t employ individuals with a conviction of theft or forgery.
For other crimes, a hotel will often consider an applicant based on:
- The nature of the offense and the circumstances
- Length of time since the conviction
- Previous work experience
- An applicant’s skills related to the position for which they are applying
The background check is run for the hotel to protect itself, its employees, and its guests. In evaluating the results, the hotel hiring manager will look for discrepancies between the report and their responses on the application. The hotel also evaluates the nature of any criminal offenses discovered by the report.
The hotel industry recommends that hiring managers meet with applicants after finding negative information in a background check to give candidates an opportunity to explain why issues should not disqualify them from consideration. If this happens, a felon can use it as an opportunity to describe what he or she has learned from past mistakes and the growth as a result.
Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
Doing a background check on him or herself before applying at a hotel will allow a felon to know exactly what will be discovered when the hotel does its review. A felon with any questions can contact an attorney. It is essential to take action and not risk a chance on the results.
There are different kinds of personal background checks that a felon can run:
- From the court in which he or she was charged
- A credit report which will help determine how financially responsible an individual is
- Driving records for any job involving driving, such as a truck driver
- An educational report through the National Student Clearing House
Tips for Getting a Job at a Hotel
Suggestions for a felon to increase his or her chances to be hired at a hotel are:
- Arrive early to practice answers to basic interview questions
- Dress appropriately
- Make a positive first impression on the interviewers
- Show a friendly, courteous, and energetic personality
- Make consistent eye contact with hiring representatives
- Sit with good posture
- Speak clearly
- Make a case for a new job opportunity
- Emphasize experience and skills related to the hotel industry
- End the hotel interview with a firm handshake
- Express gratitude for the interview opportunity
A felon shouldn’t hide the fact that he or she has a felony conviction if it comes up. Instead, explain the facts about that conviction without being emotional.
It is never a good idea to lie about one’s past on an application. This could result in not being considered for a job if the hotel finds out about it. Felons must highlight skills and abilities that qualify him or her for the job, focusing on them during the interview.
Take responsibility for past actions and explain how he or she is putting his or her life in order. Doing his or her own background check allows a felon to know what an employer will see on his or her record.
A felon needs to remember that he or she is not defined by his or her crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but in how we recover from them. He or she must be willing to see him or herself in a different light, ready to establish an honest life.
The best opportunity for success in a new life begins with having support from family and friends.
So, what do you think about this blog post about whether hotels run background checks? Have you or someone you know had a hotel run a background check? What was that like and were they successful in being hired? Please tell us in the comments below.