It Feels Great to Make a Positive Difference

Here at Cangrade we are excited about science and technology. We could go on about algorithms, predictive analytics, and big data until you are unimaginably bored. We also have plenty to say about relevant topics such as how to predict success in the workplace, the value of hiring effective employees, the value of equal opportunity hiring, the hidden costs of employee turnover as well as the more obvious ones, and ...
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Take a Vacation to Reduce Conformity

Working in groups and teams can have benefits. Other people can add a range of perspectives and creative solutions that you, as an individual, might not consider or come up with on your own. Working in groups and teams can also lead to conformity. This reduces the range of perspectives and creative solutions that you might contribute, and that others are even willing to consider. Conformity affects us more than we think The ...
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When Does Stress at Work Keep You up at Night?

Workplace stress is the most commonly reported cause of trouble sleeping. To learn more about what actually disrupts our sleep (and what actually makes us feel tired), let’s break workplace stress down to the 7 basic sources identified by a large-scale analysis of 79 research studies (also see this previous post about workplace stress). These are the 7 basic sources of workplace stress: Interpersonal Conflict: Negative workplace interactions such as disagreements, arguments, or ...
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Top 5 Ways Stress at Work Can Make You Sick

It is estimated that employee stress costs US companies between $200-300 billion annually. Between the direct and indirect costs including healthcare, compensation claims, absenteeism, turnover, and reduced productivity, it all adds up. A recent large-scale analysis crunched the combined numbers from 79 research studies spanning several decades. With all this data, they identified 7 sources of workplace stress that are significantly related to negative physical health symptoms. Here we count ...
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How a Person’s Name Biases Our Perceptions

The satirical newspaper The Onion often derives its great sense of humor from presenting seemingly absurd scenarios that are actually grounded within very real phenomena. One of their classic articles from almost 20 years ago, ranked here as one of the top 10 stories on their 25th anniversary, focuses on the way that we perceive people based simply upon their name. [well]Clinton Deploys Vowels to Bosnia Cities of Sjlbvdnzv, Grzny ...
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Are You Making the Right Decisions? 4 Things You Need to Know

The process of decision making almost always involves some degree of uncertainty. Some strategies can be more valuable, more beneficial, or less risky than others—but how do you really know what works best? In this post we describe the 4 things that you need to know in order to really find out. For the sake of simplicity we will limit decisions and outcomes to a “yes” or “no.” For example, ...
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Equal Opportunity Hiring is a Valuable Opportunity for Employers

You have probably noticed that some job postings include a statement at the bottom indicating that the organization is an “Equal Opportunity Employer.” What you might not realize is that the organizations that make such statements are just as likely to discriminate in the hiring process, sometimes even more so! While employers increasingly endorse values of fairness and equal opportunity, discrimination remains persistent and may even be increasing. Compared to the previous ...
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Interactive Calculator: The Cost of Employee Turnover

In this week's post, we provide you with an interactive calculator that can be used to add up just how much it costs when an employee leaves an organization. Even this long list of possible costs is not comprehensive, but the numbers are dramatic nevertheless. Note: The default numbers included are just there to give everyone a sense of how it works. Feel free to enter your own numbers and see ...
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Introducing CAP: The Candidate Assessment Platform

We would like you to meet CAP, the all-in-one Candidate Assessment Platform that combines everything you need to find and hire the best employees. Create a job description and automatically post to job boards. Automatically identify the personality traits that drive performance on the job, using Big Data and state-of-the-art Predictive Analytics. Assign ready-made Skills Tests, or even create your own. Then just sit back and relax. The application and assessment process all happens ...
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The Hidden Costs of a Bad Hiring Decision

We can all agree that hiring decisions are important. In previous posts, we have discussed the value of hiring effective employees (here) and the competitive advantage enjoyed by organizations that retain them over time (here). In this post, we focus on broader implications that often “fly under the radar” when we think about hiring. Here is a simple example of how we often tend to think. Employee A is a ...
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3 Things That Make Employees Want to Stay

Companies that successfully retain their employees have a substantial competitive advantage over those with higher turnover. They have lower costs and higher levels of productivity. Given the greater value of a cohesive organization, it is important to understand what makes employees want to stay—and what makes them want to leave. The traditional conception of turnover focuses on the employee’s perspective: Are they satisfied with their job? Are they committed to ...
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Bad News: Intelligence Doesn’t Necessarily Lead to Better Decisions

Dostoyevsky’s classic Notes from the Underground provides an uncanny portent to several theories that today are at the very foundation of contemporary psychological knowledge. Through the apparent ramblings of a spiteful and isolated retiree emerges a philosophy that rejects order and rationality as human ideals—and even suggests the possibility that we might be better off with less intelligence. As strange as it may seem, the philosophy espoused by the unnamed ...
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How to Hire Employees like Google Does

Google is one of the most enviably successful and innovative companies around. When they do things, people pay attention. Not surprisingly, a great deal of discussion about hiring practices has been generated by two recent New York Times interviews with Google’s Senior VP of people operations. In this post we will discuss what Google tried that didn’t work, what they did to reinvent their hiring process, and (most importantly) how you can ...
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The Bottom Line: Effective Employees are Worth Money

Employees impact the financial success of organizations. Decades of data have been collected from thousands of organizations across virtually every industry, and the results are clear: The average value that an employee adds to their organization varies by about 40% of their salary. In practical terms, this means that high-performing employees add more value to an organization than the typical person in their field. How much more? Given that this ...
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How to Predict Success in the Workplace

Everyone has a stake in figuring out what drives success in the workplace. Recruiters, HR professionals, and managers want to find and hire the candidates that are most likely to fit open positions in their organizations. Candidates want to find and apply to the positions in organizations in which they are likely to fit. The direct and indirect costs of making a bad hiring decision are high for everyone involved ...
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The Power of Self-Persuasion

Imagine that you are placing a bet on a horse race. You have two options: the first horse is named Red and the second is named Rod. They are otherwise pretty much indistinguishable in their chances of winning. Which one would you pick? It is more likely that you will bet on Red. Why? Let’s try that one more time. You have two options: the first horse is named Rod ...
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The Common Thread in Every Social Influence Strategy

Pop quiz: Imagine that you need another person to help you with something. Of the three requests below, which one is the most likely to be effective? “Will you help me?” “Won’t you help me?” “You will help me, won’t you?” (We will help you by giving the answer below.) The ability to influence other people can determine your success or failure in many ways. Not surprisingly, the question of how to ...
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Your Aging Brain: 3 Misconceptions About “Cognitive Decline”

Cognitive development is an amazing thing. Babies start off understanding very little about the world around them, and largely unable to consciously learn or remember anything. As development continues, we increasingly demonstrate an enormous capacity to learn, communicate, explore, and understand mental and physical aspects of our environments. However it might seem that, at a certain point, cognitive development comes to an end. After that point, our trajectory over time ...
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Learn About Yourself!! Take the Forer Personality Test

Below are 13 statements. Decide—True or False—whether each statement accurately describes you. Then add up the total number that were True. You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to ...
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New Experiences: Awesome or Scary?

What makes someone or something “cool?” It's a complicated question with several scientific explanations. A large part is explained by the appeal of things that are new and different. New experiences are especially rewarding because they help us gain new physical resources or aid in the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities. There seems to be—across many living creatures—an attraction to the novel and unfamiliar. But then again, the world is full of ...
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Why You Really Should Apologize for the Polar Vortex

2014 began with a dip in the polar vortex that brought about extremely cold temperatures and a variety of unpleasant outcomes related to such nasty weather. Today, the White House’s “We the Geeks” program brought together a panel of experts for an in-depth discussion of extreme weather events, and how they may be related to broader climate change. As we continue to observe extreme weather such as the polar vortex, ...
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Science Explains What it Means to be “Cool”

What makes someone or something “cool?” Even defining it is a challenge. Wikipedia’s entry on the subject provides some cultural and historical context, and a definition that can serve as a decent starting point: “…an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist.” However, the entry continues: “Because of the varied and changing connotations of cool, as well its subjective nature, ...
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The Perils of Video Interviewing

With the increasing availability of high-speed internet and videoconferencing technologies, many companies are considering their use for pre-employment interviews and employee selection. While these new technologies likely can help companies save time and money over more traditional face-to-face interviews, there are a number of serious concerns about their use. Most of these concerns are related to the possibility that a video interview medium might influence the impressions made by employers ...
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3 Ways to Bust Bad News Stories on the Internet

People like to take shortcuts. When it comes to the information that people choose to believe and share with others on the Internet, these shortcuts often come in the form of articles that provide a secondary account (not first-hand) of the information in question. Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of room for misinformation, ranging from deliberate deception to naïve misinterpretation. Here are 3 tips to help keep you on the ...
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