Tourism Season is Almost Here – Has Your Restaurant Server Been Background Checked?

We know all about the industries where background checks are REQUIRED – transportation, healthcare, child care, security, education. Then, there are the industries where background checks SHOULD happen – ministries, insurance, youth sports leagues, non-profit agencies.

But that got us thinking – what about seasonal work, especially in tourism-heavy areas? We’re talking restaurants, retail, eco-tours, vacation rentals – things like that. These areas are fast-moving, and often rely on new talent each year. If you don’t know someone’s background, how can you trust them to handle the volume or credit cards and cash that they’ll be exposed to everyday?

It’s almost tourist season here in Southwest Florida and job postings are popping up everywhere. From restaurants to retail, employers are searching hard for quality, seasonal workers. It’s curious, and perhaps a little naive, that hardly any of the job postings mention a background check.

Here’s a few (shortened) examples:

If you are looking for a place to call home this season welcome to ***. We are looking for motivated staff members in all aspects of the F&B operation.

Sous Chef: Must have at least 2-3 years of experience in a high speed high pace environment & remain cool under pressure. Must have leadership qualities in a team atmosphere with great communication. Poses knowledge of food cost & cost controls. Creative with special / plate presentation & the ability to think outside the box.

Servers: Must have food & wine knowledge. Must be polished, seasoned & work in a team environment

Bartenders: Knowledge of pour counts drinks & wine. Be able to work at high pace. A great sales person with the ability engage in a conversation with our patrons.

Please forward your resumes. Potential staff members will contacted.

Part-Time Day, and Part-Time Night Ladies Clothing Retail Sales Associates needed. *Welcomes customers by greeting them; offering them assistance.*Advises customers by providing information on products. *Helps customer make selections by building customer confidence; offering suggestions    and opinions. *Processes payments by totaling purchases; processing checks, cash, and store or other  credit cards. Qualifications:  Listening, Customer Service, Meeting Sales Goals, Selling to Customer Needs, Product Knowledge, People Skills, Energy Level, Dependability, General Math Skills, Verbal Communication, Job Knowledge

What’s the Current Picture?

We did a little research to find out the usual requirements for restaurant jobs. Luckily, we found this well-written blog post that paints a pretty good picture of how the industry operates. The post says:

“Restaurants should, at the very least, require a completed job application form, a driver’s license or other photo ID, and proof of citizenship or legal residency before making a hiring decision.”

So, in most cases, a background check is not a required part of the hiring process.

What’s the Reasoning?

There are several reasons why most tourism-heavy restaurants and retail businesses don’t run background checks.

Many of them are small mom and pop operations who are just hoping to have enough RELIABLE staff to cover the tourism season.

Low-end positions like dishwashers and stockists require long, odd hours of work that offer little benefits and weak pay. These positions are some of the only entry-level gigs that low-skilled workers, or ex-offenders, can get. A background check might eliminate their chances of getting the job, and leave the restaurant or shop in the lurch with finding employees.

Plenty of restaurants and retail businesses still subscribe to asking applicants to disclose their criminal history on job applications (unless those businesses are in a state where a Ban the Box law has passed). It’s up to them how to use that information, however, “jails, state prisons, and other correctional facilities often require inmates to participate in their own food service programs, thereby giving participants useful skills that can be used to find and hold steady work once released from their incarceration.”

Restaurants have other requirements like, a valid driver’s license or other photo ID, and proof of citizenship or legal residency

They don’t want the hassle of complying with federal law like Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and don’t want to endure an EEOC lawsuit like the ones that have affected plenty of other food and beverage institutions.

Does Something Need to Change?

Considering the sensitive material that exchanges hands in restaurants and stores, it’s imperative that employers know their employees are trustworthy. Credit card skimming, fraud, identity theft and straight up stealing is common – especially in tourism heavy areas. So maybe it’s not so crazy to suggest that employers should re-examine their hiring practices and invest in a background screening policy.

Active Screening is here to help employers who are investigating background checks for the first time. We have extremely user-friendly and affordable solutions that even novice employers can implement with our Active Screening team. If you’re serious about protecting your customers and ensuring you’re hiring the right people for the job, you need to call us. 1-800-319-5580.

This entry was posted in Applicant-Entry Solutions, Background Screening, Criminal Records, Driver’s Records, General, Identity & Credit, News, References & Credentialing, Seasonal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

"Working with Active Screening over the last year and half has been a wonderful experience. They deliver fast and informative results at the best price. Their level of professionalism and the speed they respond to our issues is a benefit that any company can value from. I would highly recommend using Active Screening and their amazing team."

Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.