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The Caterer

Hotel chains are not checking up on staff

27 July 2004
Hotel chains are not checking up on staff

Almost three-quarters of the country's biggest hotel chains are failing to protect their guests by not carrying out checks on their staff.

According to research from hospitality recruitment consultancy Indago, a massive 74% of the major UK hotel groups are failing to carry out in-depth security checks on potential employees.

Overall, 57% of UK hotel companies do not do the checks and Indago discovered that hoteliers rarely took any notice of what the screenings discovered, with almost 80% employing an applicant even if negative results came back.

The survey said hoteliers were paying too much attention to personal references, absenteeism and academic qualifications and too little to criminal record and county court judgment checks.

The major hotel chains beg to differ, however. Both Hilton and InterContinental said they conducted security checks on all staff they employed directly, but added that the onus was on recruitment companies for any agency staff they employed.

A Hilton spokesman said: "Hilton takes every practicable precaution before employing new staff, with all documentation and references checked for veracity before employment begins. If anything is not satisfactory, the recruitment process is stopped."

A spokeswoman for InterContinental added that any negative references it received were passed on to the company's risk management department, which delved deeper into the applicant's past.

George Glennie, senior risk control consultant at security firm Gauntlet Risk Management, said he was not surprised by the number of hotel companies failing to screen new employees because of high staff turnover within the industry.

He added hoteliers should be doing checks regardless: "A lot of guests could be bringing in all sorts of valuables so hoteliers should really know who they are employing."

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