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Do Hotels Run Background Checks?

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If you have thought about working at a hotel after your release and have experience in this line of work, you might apply to one. 

The issue is whether or not hotels run background checks.

Let’s look at this question.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

  • Do Hotels Hire Felons?
  • Hotel Application Process
  • Background Check?
  • Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?
  • Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
  • What to Do if You Fail a Hotel Background Check


Do Hotels Hire Felons?

Yes, hotels are known for hiring felons. Many of the largest hotel chains often employ those with a criminal record, even a felony conviction.

This doesn’t mean that they will hire all felons. So, before you just think that you can easily get a job at a hotel if you apply, not so fast.

Each hotel sets its own standards for which felons they might consider hiring, but each hotel has a number of different departments that are almost always looking for help. These areas typically are in housekeeping, maintenance, and kitchen staff among other areas.

In saying that, it doesn’t mean that those are the only departments that will give felons a chance. They just almost always need help because of the high turnover rate in the hotel industry.

Hotel Application Process

As you might expect, the application process at a hotel will vary according to the particular hotel or hotel chain.

Let’s look at how the hiring process works for many hotels and hotel chains.

There are approximately two million employed in the hotel industry. Positions vary greatly as it takes a lot of workers to maintain a hotel. Typical positions include manager, desk clerk, housekeeping, food preparation, and bellhop roles. 

While duties vary, the most important role of hotel employees is to create comfortable accommodations for guests during hotel stays. There are many entry-level positions at hotels with an age minimum of 16 years old.

Most jobs 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. 

Front desk agent positions involve interview questions about customer service. Housekeeping job seekers may respond to questions about working irregular hours or maintaining energy throughout long shifts.

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 typically involve questions about why you want to work there, what makes you qualified for a job there, how you would handle a conflict with a guest, and more such as your previous experience in the hotel field. Questions will also vary according to the position you are interviewing for.

Background Checks?

Do you need to wonder about that? Of course, there is a background check.

Working for a hotel is a sensitive area. Guests expect the best service, and the hotel expects the best actions on the part of its employees. Employees in the hotel industry have many sensitive duties, such as handling money, serving or entering guest rooms, and representing the hotel with 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. 

However, for some entry jobs in areas like housekeeping or working on the kitchen staff, there might not be a background check.

Hotels typically have difficulty keeping employees in these most basic positions. Due to the high turnover rate and the need to maintain all necessary services, sometimes a hotel may not do a background check.

This policy will vary according to the hotel or the chain. It will be important to find this out when you are considering applying for a hotel job. This could give you easier access to a job.

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.

You can probably expect that any background check that is run will cover the past seven years and look for criminal convictions, especially felony offenses.

Again, it depends on the hotel or hotel chain as to what is included in a background check. That is what would be included for most entry-level positions. The higher the position, the more in-depth the background check. 

As you get into management jobs, there may also be a credit check that will be involved. Positions involving handling money or other financial options will of necessity want a look at how you deal with finances and credit.

Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?

You can believe that the type of felony will make a significant difference when it comes to being able to pass the background check and have an opportunity to be hired.

When considering the type of felony, it is important to remember that most jobs at a hotel are carried out by employees that are working there with minimal supervision. 

Typically, there is no one keeping a close eye on those who clean the rooms, cook and serve meals, and so on.

That doesn’t mean that a hotel doesn’t care about the work they do, it just indicates how difficult it is to closely supervise most hotel employees. The hotel management cares a great deal about the safety and security of its guests. That is why a hotel will carefully evaluate those hired to work there.

By so saying, you can expect that serious felonies will virtually eliminate you from being hired there. If you have a violent crime or a sexual offense on your record, you can forget working on most hotels.

Theft, fraud, and embezzlement will also work against you as guests will either have cash, credit cards, of other valuable items with them. It is up to the hotel to ensure their security. Other crimes against persons, such as assault will also likely keep you from being hired at a hotel.

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

Yes, you can. Just like a potential employer would do if you applied there.

Running a background check on yourself before applying for a job at a hotel will let you know exactly what will be discovered when a hotel does its review. 

If you have any questions, you can contact an attorney. Take action and don’t risk a chance on the results.  

Give yourself the best chance at success by being in the know regarding your criminal history, so you aren’t taken by surprise.

What to Do if You Fail a Hotel Background Check

Don’t let that bring you down.

Even after running your own background check, a hotel may still not hire you based on their results. After all, you can’t expect them to hire all felons.

If you think there was a mistake on your background check, you can challenge the results. If you aren’t hired, the world won’t end. Be ready to move on.

Learn from your experience, and get ready for your next job application. There are jobs available with other employers. Look somewhere else and find a job that might fit you better. Just don’t give up. 

Be prepared and give yourself the best chance in the future.

There’s an employer who will give you a chance. You just haven’t found that one yet. It takes perseverance but keep at it. 

Keep on looking until you find the one that will give you an opportunity.

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 what happened with it? Please tell us in the comments below.

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