Sector focus - Hospitality and Leisure

Sector focus - Hospitality and Leisure

In hospitality and leisure, employees are the forward facing ambassadors of your business, and your reputation relies on their conduct, honesty, and capability. Because the success of your business rests on their shoulders, the risks involved in hiring the wrong person are that much more serious.

Staff fraud in the hospitality, travel, and leisure sector is rife. According to research undertaken by Kroll, rates of fraud committed  by employees in this sector are between 5 and 10% higher than the cross sector average for incidents including theft of physical assets or stock, financial fraud, and information theft.

With staff turnover rates in hospitality at twice the overall UK average, and post COVID-19 staff shortages being widespread, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant when hiring. With both your reputation and bottom line at risk, ensuring all new employees undergo screening processes can protect your business from hiring the wrong individual, whether in public-facing roles, management positions, or specialist posts such as chefs.

At Reed Screening, we have defined best practice screening packages designed to mitigate risks and ensure your hospitality or leisure business’s reputation is safeguarded. Here are some of the most important checks we recommend for new employees.

Referencing and work history checks

For many roles in hospitality and leisure, meeting targets or attaining performance goals is difficult to prove, with more emphasis being placed on references and previous experience to gauge a candidate’s suitability for a role.

According to recent data, it’s estimated that 40% of people lie on their CVs, including embellishing the responsibilities that they had in previous roles, lying about gaps in their work history, and misrepresenting their work experience. Therefore, checking a candidates work history for lies or exaggerations offers a good measure of how honest they are.

Work history checks include a full review of cross referencing information supplied from application to CV, and then further analysis of those gaps in between. This can include candidates supplying evidence of their activity in the form of bank statements or travel proof.

A thorough review of the employee’s work history, their CV, gap evidence, and references themselves including analysis of the dates supplied and explanations required for any misleading information allows any discrepancies or signs of dishonesty to come to light.

It's also important to verify the source of a reference, to confirm that the individual providing the reference is in a position to do so, and also by checking the details of the establishment the worker was employed by eliminates any false information being taken into account.

Credit checks

Particularly important for management roles, credit and fraud checks protect businesses against hiring people who are likely to commit fraud or theft.

While employment credit checks do not have any bearing on a candidate’s ability to perform a role, they can identify candidates who are in financial duress, and therefore more likely to be motivated, induced or coerced to commit fraud, theft or numerous other crimes that may be of financial benefit.

Employment credit checks are an essential element of mitigating the risk your staff pose to the business, by assuring you that there are no financial factors that could influence their motivations from benign to desperate, or even malicious.

Fraud Checks

Cifas fraud checks can uncover any history of fraudulent behaviour. Cifas, the UK's fraud prevention agency, is key to conducting effective fraud checks. With hundreds of member organisations sharing data on cases of every type of fraud, their databases offer the largest and most comprehensive dataset of consumer and insider fraud in the UK, trusted by government bodies, financial institutions and industry leaders across the country as a primary line of defence against the threat of fraud.

Members of the Internal Fraud Database can conduct searches against it to ensure that their current or potential employees have not been linked to, investigated for or found guilty of cases of fraud by their employer. Members can also file cases of internal fraud they identify to ensure that other members are not harmed in future by an individual with a previous record of fraudulent activity.

Conducting these checks for hospitality roles, particularly in management or money handling positions, can protect your business from criminal activity.

ID and right to work

Verifying an employee’s ID and right to work in the UK is a legal requirement, and also good sense overall.

Ensuring that new hires are who they say they are and have a legal right to work in the country is a basic check that all employees need to go through – and provides assurance that the employee is honest and covers your business legally.

Previously, all checks needed to be conducted via face to face meetings and original ID documents needed to be physically presented and verified in person. This was often a tricky and time consuming process, especially if hiring people remotely, however since lockdown, these checks can now be completed digitally, meaning a quicker and easier process for both new employees and your team.

How can Reed Screening help?

Reed Screening provides screening packages designed specifically for the needs of the hospitality & leisure industry, with packages pre-tailored to mitigate risk when hiring for popular roles such as wait staff, front of house, chefs, specialist staff, restaurant managers or hotel managers. We cover everything from permanent hires and fixed term contractors, to temporary/agency supply chain.

With a minimum of effort on your part, we can provide you with the assurance that your flexible and ready-to-go workforce are responsible and reliable for all your hospitality and facilities requirements.