London hoteliers are failing to take the threat of terrorism seriously when they recruit staff, according to new research carried out last month by hospitality recruitment specialists Indago.
In contrast to the tightened security at the capital's airports, tourist attractions and transport systems, Indago found that 57% of the capital's hotels failed to carry out in-depth checks on potential employees.
Major international and domestic hotel brands proved to be the least security conscious - a staggering 74% of those surveyed did not conduct any pre-screening processes when taking on new staff. Those that did, however, carried out checks on all applicants, from floor level to senior head office.
Although 90% of independent hotel operators operated full pre-screening processes when recruiting, this was only for staff in team leader positions upwards.
Even where companies did dig up negative facts about potential staff, Indago reported that only 21% would halt the recruitment process at that point while the remaining 79% would employ the dubious candidate.
Indago was also surprised to find that most hoteliers were content to seek personal references and regarded an applicant's academic qualifications and absenteeism history as more important than criminal record checks and county court judgements.
"Where airlines, etc, are rigourous with their pre-screening processes, hotels must surely follow suit," said Indago director Dominic Armstrong.
"Tourism is at threat in any country, and with the UK wooing the dollar back into the country post 9/11, plus bidding for the Olympics in 2012, we cannot afford to give tourists any cause for concern."
by Angela Frewin
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