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16 Feb 2022

Establishing Ethical Recruitment Practices in the Hospitality Industry

This document provides practical guidance for the hospitality industry on how to ethically recruit international migrant workers within business enterprise operations and supply chains. It has been developed by IOM in partnership with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

This guidance aligns with ethical recruitment principles from IOM’s IRIS Ethical Recruitment initiative and the IRIS Standard, which is a global, multi-stakeholder standard that defines and establishes an operational benchmark for ethical recruitment. It is also closely aligned with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s Principles on Forced Labour: (a) every worker should have freedom of movement; (b) no worker should pay for a job; and (c) no worker should be indebted or forced to work.

This guidance is global in nature and designed primarily for hotels. It is applicable to both multinational enterprises and small- and medium-sized enterprises. It can also serve as a resource for other tourism-related industries, as the principles of ethical recruitment are universal.

Guidance Notes and Tools:

Guidance Note A: Establishing Ethical Recruitment Practices in the Hospitality Industry
Guidance Note B: Building the knowledge and capacity of hotels to implement ethical recruitment
Guidance Note C: Working with civil society and including migrant worker voice
Tool 1: Working with labour recruiters and employment agencies
Tool 2: Interviewing migrant workers about their recruitment and employment experiences
Tool 3: Incorporating ethical recruitment into procurement practices
Tool 4: Access to remedy and business grievance mechanisms
Tool 5: Frequently asked questions about migrant workers and recruitment

  • Introduction
  • 1. Migrant workers and the hospitality industry 
    • This section outlines how migrant workers can be vulnerable to exploitation in the hospitality industry, including during their recruitment. 
  • 2. The vulnerability of the hospitality industry 
    • This section examines some of the common characteristics of the hospitality industry and how both MNEs and SMEs can be vulnerable to unethical recruitment practices. 
  • 3. Initiating action on ethical recruitment 
    • This section outlines what a commitment to ethical recruitment means in practice, including detailing the five essential elements of ethical recruitment. 
  • 4. Practical tips for getting started
    • This section provides practical recommendations for MNEs and SMEs in implementing ethical recruitment within their business operations and supply chains. It includes questions to ask migrant workers, labour recruiters, employment agencies and suppliers. 
  • 5. Useful resources
    • This section provides links to key resources from international organizations, multi stakeholder initiatives and civil society relating to responsible business conduct. 
  • 6. Terminology 
    • This section provides definitions for common terms relating to ethical recruitment.