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Beyond the Pitch

Portal Green Assesses Integrity To Improve Hiring

Portal Green

Imagine trying to operate a successful business when seven out of 10 employees depart the company annually. Employers in the U.S. hospitality industry face this reality year after year.

Experts agree that the single best way to reduce turnover is to hire the right people in the first place; doing so leads to lower turnover, improvement in company culture and better customer experience. Yet many business owners in the hospitality industry don’t use pre-employment screening tools, either due to perceived cost, a cumbersome process, or doubt as to their effectiveness.

Portal Green, a Columbus-based startup, helps restaurants and hotels navigate pre-employment testing by providing a cloud-based pre-employment integrity test.

Querying Facts and Attitudes to Assess Integrity

“Our goal is to help employers in the hospitality industry hire right the first time,” said Portal Green CEO Jody Shaffer.

Shaffer leads a team of founders and advisors from the hospitality industry who bring experience in legal matters, risk management, and human resources.

“We have all hired, helped hire, and tried to recruit the right people for restaurants and hotels,” she said. “It can be very costly and time-consuming for hiring managers to give and analyze integrity tests.

Portal Green’s cloud-based test, which has been validated by researchers at Michigan State University and additional authorities in the field, is a low-cost solution tailored to applicants and hiring managers in the hospitality industry.

“By revealing attitudes toward counter-productive behavior, our test helps hiring managers reduce the risk associated with hiring and ultimately reduces turnover,” Shaffer said. “There are a lot of people who have high integrity and make good decisions. If hired, these employees will positively influence others.”

At the same time, companies don’t want a test that is so stringent it eliminates every candidate who applies for a job.

“Integrity testing can limit the pool of applicants,” Shaffer said, “but effective hiring isn’t about quantity. It’s about quality. Hiring someone who is a risk will contribute to high turnover anyway.”

Initially, Portal Green is targeting medium to large food and hotel franchisees that own multiple locations. This type of business owner recognizes the need for help with hiring and other employment-related matters but don’t typically have in-house resources robust enough to handle them.

“Portal Green can, therefore, be an extension of their existing resources,” Shaffer said.

Pre-employment integrity testing is just the start for Portal Green. “There is so much we can do for these employers to help them mitigate employment-based risk,” she said. “The next phase of our product will do just that. For now, though, I’m  excited to help hospitality employers in an area where we can make the biggest impact.”

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