While every business needs to screen both potential and current employees, it’s critical for the hotel and hospitality industry. Hotels, motels and any establishment that offers lodging has a unique level of exposure if a bad hire is brought aboard. When background checks and proper screening protocols slip through the cracks, job candidates who represent a danger to guests and staff might be hired. And the results can be devastating.
When Background Checks Aren’t Done
In March of this year, Spring Break in Panama City, Florida was in full swing. Throngs of young people had descended upon the city to enjoy time away with their friends. An 18-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Alabama was among them and was staying at one of the many hotels that litter the city. A man named Shawn Wuertley worked at the hotel as a security guard. At 1:00 a.m., Wuertley entered the teen’s room and attacked her. The struggle ended when Wuertley threw the teenager off her room’s balcony.
She was on the 6th floor, yet lived.
Because of the incident, background checks were done. The hotel was stunned to learn that Wuertley had a criminal record in Indiana and had served time in prison between 1998 and 2005.
Screening Hotel Employees
While the incident in Panama City received national attention, it’s far from being an isolated event. There are many examples that illustrate the need for more rigorous hiring practices for hotel employees. That includes screening current hotel staff on a recurring basis as well as doing exhaustive background checks for prospective hires.
The people whom you employ to address and take care of guests have an incredible amount of exposure to those guests. They encounter them in secluded hallways. They clean their rooms and serve them food. Each case presents a potential risk. Whether you’re hiring room service staff, security guards, or housekeeping employees, your hiring practices should include intense screening and thorough employee background checks. Your guests’ safety may depend upon it.
Subscribe to our blog via email or RSS to get more tips and articles on employee screening.