The hospitality industry covers a broad range of job roles, predominantly associated with leisure and tourism. This means it can cover everything from hotels, bars and restaurants through to theme parks, casinos, leisure centres and cruise ships.  The common theme connecting almost every job within the industry is that employees will inevitably spend a lot of time engaging directly with customers. How pleasant an experience that is will contribute significantly to a customer’s level of satisfaction – and the feedback they provide. As the face of a hospitality company’s brand, an employee’s competence, conduct and behaviour is something that few employers can afford to overlook.

Background screening is not mandatory for many people working within the hospitality industry. Nevertheless, employers will most likely want to check that potential new hires are eligible to work in the UK, that their employment history is legitimate and that there is nothing to indicate that they could pose a threat to their brand and reputation.  However, where employees may find themselves handling credit and debit card data, hospitality employers will need to be aware of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). This global standard was designed to improve the security of card payments, protect sensitive cardholder data and reduce card fraud.  While stopping short of stipulating exact background screening checks, the Standard does recommend a best practice combination of identity, criminal records, employment references and credit checks. We cover PCI-DSS in more detail on our Retail page.

There are also several clearly defined roles within the hospitality sector which are licensed and therefore subject to background screening. For example, the Gambling Commission stipulates that screening is required for roles within casinos that require a Personal Functional Licence, such as dealers, cashiers and supervisors. A further example is the Personal Licence required for the sale of alcohol. This is subject to an application process which includes criminal record checks, proof of UK employment eligibility and proof of holding the appropriate professional licensing qualification.

The process of using background screening to avoid employing unsuitable candidates is made more challenging by the seasonal nature of the industry. Temporary workers are often employed on short-term contracts and with little or no notice. This can result in background checks being undertaken in the most cursory fashion - or even being dispensed with altogether – as employers look to balance risk management and pragmatism.  While we do our best to understand the rationale for such a trimmed down (or non-existent) approach, we’ll also always help clients to understand the risks they may be opened up to as a result of doing this.

Checks that employers may want to consider running in this sector

Right to Work: We’ll ensure that a candidate’s documentation meets the current Home Office requirements. We can also repeat checks as and when needed for individuals who have a limited entitlement to remain in the UK.

Identity checks:To prevent employers falling victim to identity fraud, we can undertake electronic verification checks on identity documents provided by a candidate. Alternatively, we can provide online identity checks, using biographical data.

Criminal record checks: We’ll undertake the appropriate level of UK criminal record checks, subject to strict eligibility guidelines. We’re also able to obtain overseas criminal records for candidates with an international background.

Employment history: We can verify a candidate’s work history and references for the past three years, including checks on the existence and authenticity of all listed employers. Using our CV comparison service, we can also check for any discrepancies between the CV used to secure an interview and the subsequent findings of the full background check.

Professional and academic qualifications: Where applicable, we can check the validity of someone’s professional accreditations or registrations while also checking that their academic qualifications are genuine. For all professional and academic qualifications, we’ll always check at source with the awarding body.

International fraud and sanctions watchlists: We’ll check to see whether a candidate’s name appears on any of the hundreds of publicly available watchlists worldwide, relating to anything from terrorism and fraud through to being a barred or politically exposed person.

Credit checks: We’ll establish a candidate’s identity, address history and financial status via credit referencing agency records. The search will reveal details of financial probity and information including County Court Judgements, bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements within the last six years. This search will be recorded on the candidate’s file but will not be visible to other parties and will not affect the candidate’s credit score. 

Social media checks: An increasingly popular – and relevant – check for employers keen to understand whether someone’s social media activity could damage their brand, reputation or client relationships. As well as highlighting illegal activity and undesirable characteristics, such checks can also play a part in authenticating a candidate’s employment history.

Driving licence checks: We’ll check that the candidate does indeed have a valid driving licence. We’ll also check for any endorsements or disqualifications currently on their licence.



Our clients in this industry include