The hospitality industry is thriving and necessitating thousands of new hires each year, all of which require hiring managers and HR departments to be efficient and adept at facilitating the Form I-9 and E-Verify processes. The problem for many businesses under the hospitality umbrella is that due to high turnover rates, the amount of onboarding they need to do in a specified time period is more than what they are often capable of completing.

For this reason, an increasing number of hospitality businesses are enlisting the help of I-9 intelligence professionals to assist them with onboarding employees in a more efficient and timely manner. These companies bring the invaluable resource of digital I-9 compliance software to the table, and it has the potential to be a game changer for hiring managers.


What Employers Within the Hospitality Industry Require Form I-9s?

Per the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, the federal government requires new hires to complete a Form I-9 to ensure an individual’s identity and authorized eligibility to work in the U.S. Employers within the hospitality industry must hold themselves and their employees to the same standards.

New hires in the below or other areas of the hospitality industry must complete a Form I-9 in its entirety and while meeting all guidelines and deadlines:

  • Arts
  • Casinos
  • Cruise lines
  • Entertainment venues
  • Golf clubs and courses
  • Hotels
  • Nightclubs
  • Resorts
  • Restaurants
  • Spas
  • Travel
  • Wineries

The above is simply a broad stroke of some areas of the hospitality industry, but a more detailed list could go on for pages. Employers in the U.S. hospitality industry are not above the law and are required to have their employees complete a Form I-9 and follow designated protocol.

Common Compliance Challenges Found in the Hospitality Industry

Every employer faces challenges when it comes to meeting Form I-9 compliance. There are numerous guidelines and deadlines that must be met. However, there are some compliance challenges such as the following that can be more unique to the hospitality industry:

  1. Lack of training for hiring managers. Especially within hospitality, it is not unusual for a business such as a hotel to have multiple locations. This can further complicate the issue of ensuring that a hiring manager at each location is adequately trained for properly onboarding employees. These individuals are typically tasked with working with employees to get the Form I-9 completed as well as following best practices for maintaining the forms as stipulated by federal law. Multiple locations or not, hiring managers must be well trained in all aspects of new hires. To not do so frequently creates compliance issues which can negatively affect a business.
  2. Staff turnover. The hospitality industry is known for its high turnover rates. This can be due to any number of reasons such as a change in responsibilities, a move, a different job, etc. The more people that are exiting a business or industry, more new hires are then necessary to replace those vacant positions. From a compliance point of view, an ongoing flow of new hires requires frequent training sessions for hiring managers to ensure that whoever is designated with the task understands how to do it correctly.
  3. Rehiring of employees. Almost as common as the high turnover rate is the tendency for workers within the hospitality industry to move around to other businesses and then sometimes return to a previous employer. This act of rehiring does require some special attention to the Form I-9, and those handling the hire must be clear on exactly what their responsibilities are in this type of situation.

Together these three challenges form one of the top reasons that employers in the hospitality industry are turning to professional I-9 intelligence companies to help facilitate onboarding responsibilities.

How Digital I-9 Software Can Help the Hospitality Industry More Effectively Process Hiring

The single biggest challenge for hiring managers within the hospitality industry can be time. With a number of other responsibilities related to hiring, these managers must be able to onboard employees quickly and accurately. The problem is that when time becomes short and work is rushed, that is when mistakes are most likely to happen, and although they may be innocent mistakes, they can come at the cost of compliance.

The solution for many employers and hiring managers can come in the form of digital I-9 software which offers especially crafted features to facilitate compliant onboarding, such as:

  • Checklists. The software contains printable checklists for employers and employees to help both parties keep track of the information needed and the deadlines for submittal.
  • Prompts regarding incomplete or blank spaces. A common mistake in filling out the Form I-9 is incomplete or blank spaces. This could happen as the result of the hiring manager moving too fast in trying to onboard multiple employees at once while handling other demands of the job. Fortunately, digital I-9 software prompts employers regarding any visibly apparent incomplete or blank spaces before submittal, which can prevent them from becoming compliance issues.
  • Alerts for upcoming deadlines. Each section of the Form I-9 has specific deadlines the employee and employer must adhere to for compliance’s sake. These deadlines can be easy to lose in the shuffle, which could present a compliance issue. A reputable I-9 compliance software program should alert employers of upcoming deadlines before they become a problem.
  • Alerts for soon to be expiring authorizations. Some employees may have a soon to be expiring work authorization. Once expired, this is a compliance issue. To help prevent this type of situation, the software provides alerts to employers about expiring authorizations before they happen. This convenience can give employers time to rectify a situation before an expiration occurs.
  • Audit trails. In the event that a business is audited, employers need not panic. Not only is the software equipped to provide auditors with explanations and audit trails, the company providing the software should also offer to do mass printing of forms as needed.

The hospitality industry is one of the fastest growing today. This expansion requires a regular influx of new hires. Why make onboarding harder than it has to be when you could enlist the help of a professional I-9 intelligence company that also offers digital I-9 compliance software?