Why Personality isn’t Simple: The Case of Extraversion and Sales Performance

Although using personality tests for hiring is common, using them well probably isn’t. When people see a candidate’s personality traits (or meet a candidate for an interview), we often choose a few traits we imagine to be important for the job and focus only on those.  On its face, this seems like a sensible approach: Only focus on what “matters.”  The problem is that in practice things are rarely this ...
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I Understand the Individual Words – but I don’t Understand What They Mean Together: The Art of Effective Communication Pt. 1.

“Through exploiting our synergies we will shift the paradigm…” That was the opening line of an email that I received recently from a CEO of an established CRM that wanted to work with Cangrade. I am generally all for penetrating verticals by leveraging synergies and exploiting best practices to create disruption and empower innovation – but even I have my limits. Businessy people (like myself) have something of our own ...
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/ / Talent Analytics

Beware the “Success Story” (The Mismeasure of Candidates, Part 2)

Here is an amazing true story: I flipped a coin 20 times, and it came up heads 20 times. Twenty times! This was not a trick coin or anything like that. It was a regular “fair” coin that normally would come up heads about 50% of the time, and tails the rest of the time. I must be a great coin-flipper. The chances of this just happening randomly are less ...
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Browser War and Peace

In his previous post Steve made some very good points about differences between profiling and excluding people, versus diversity and inclusion. To many of us, the idea of being open to diversity makes a lot of sense. When we consider a wider range of people, there may be a wider range of benefits and positive qualities available to us. How we put out judgments into practice is a slightly different ...
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A Story about Diversity, Superstorm Sandy and Symphony Orchestras

On issues like immigration, I have always been something of a moderate.  I recognize that a social system must control itself to “stay safe.”  (Psychologically, it’s probably one reason we take care of those we love.)  On the other hand, I personally believe any solution to a problem like immigration must treat all human beings as people.  No matter what the book (from Darwin to the Bible) or the cover ...
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A cup of work with a pinch of play

I've met many people who feel that getting too involved with their coworkers is a bad thing. They feel as though they should just go to work, get their work done and go home. The whole “I’m here to make money, not friends” attitude seems to be growing more and more popular. I have never been a fan of just doing work at work, and I think being too unsocial ...
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/ / Talent Analytics

The Mismeasure of Candidates

In 1981 Harvard biologist Stephen Jay Gould published a ground-breaking book on the history of scientific inquiry into human potential. Dr. Gould identified many pitfalls (some intentional and some not) that had long prevented biologists, psychologists, philosophers, historians, and many others, from reaching a solid understanding of human nature. Providing readers with a basic understanding of scientific methods, and the many factors that can undermine the pursuit of knowledge, allowed Gould to ...
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What are Today’s Most Popular IT Skills?

The IT industry is hot (again), and the question that I’m being asked a lot by people who are looking for a job or starting their career in the industry is: “what are the skills that are popular today in the job market?” Usually in my answer I sight all the new and cool stuff that makes a lot buzz lately like HTML5, Mobile, jNode, NoSQL etc. but in the ...
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Come to Cangrade and Feel Like in Switzerland

If you are using Cangrade for hiring or being hired you must have noticed that a lot of things started to look differently lately. That is because in the last few months we worked hard on giving Cangrade a new look. This is our way of saying “we care about our users, and we want them to feel comfortable when they use Cangrade.” When we started thinking about the new ...
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Cangrade Column in iLab

It's hard to keep up with all the news that happen in Cangrade but among other things we have moved in to Harvard's i-Lab - an awesome, awesome space with unbelievable energy of inovation and entrepreneurship. Here is Jacob (our visualization artist) completing a little column art project ...
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Do Unconscious Biases Make You Choose the Wrong People?

If you were choosing a partner to compete alongside you in a quiz show, upon what would you base your decision?  Intelligence?  Quiz show experience?  What about how fat or thin his or her face is? Most of us understand that we can be unconsciously biased.  Even Jesse Jackson, the famous African-American politician and activist, admits to being relieved when hearing footsteps behind him, he looks over his shoulder and ...
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Cangrade Welcomes Gunjan!

A huge Cangrade welcome to Gunjan Aggarwal, SPHR. Gunjan is the Global Head of Talent Management, Organization Development and Staffing at Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, and brings over 14 years of experience in senior HR roles across US, UK, Switzerland and India to the Cangrade team (full bio is here). We are absolutely thrilled to have one of the best practitioners in the world sharing her real hands on experience ...
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Why are manhole covers round?

Some time ago I mentioned interview questions used by Thomas Edison. It is quite safe to say that Edison company back then was what Google is now. So what does Google ask (or used to ask) their candidates in the job interview? Well, it actually seems to be well in line with Edison's tradition. Questions like "Why are manhole covers round?" became a whole-mark of being interviewed by Google. Here ...
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/ / Job Interviews

Long silence broken

Actually it was not silent at all. In fact it was so packed with events, meetings and plain old work that updating the blog kept being pushed out to a better day... So, this is a better day, and here are the main news: We would like to welcome on board Dr. Greg Willard. Greg has extensive experience in Cognitive and Neuropsychological Research and he joins forces with the rest of our team ...
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Cangrade at Mass Innovation 12/14/2011

Check us out: Thank you to everyone who came out to see us. The event was packed and we all had a blast! We really enjoyed connecting with some awesome and influential people in the Boston entrepreneurial scene. A huge thank you to Bobbie from Mass Innovation, a massive shout-out to everyone who stopped by our table and saw us present, and a big hug from me personally to the ...
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On-line resume: give it a character!

The idea of on-line resume is almost as old as the Web itself. After all what can be more logical than to let the World know who you are and what you can do (professionally speaking). As some of you might recall the use of this was somewhat limited to academics and geeks (which are not necessarily two distinct groups). Now skip 10 years forward and you have the social networks ruling the cyber ...
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Check us out in Waltham, MA on December 14th!

This is our page: http://mass.innovationnights.com/products/cangrade We are excited to be in the running to present Cangrade at Mass Innovation Nights on December 14th. If you can make it to the IBM Innovation Center in Waltham, MA, stop by and say hi. If you can’t we plan to have some really cool videos to show you Don’t forget to vote for us here: http://mass.innovationnights.com/events/december-14-2011-mass-innovation-nights-min33 ...
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Skill in the resume is worth two in personality?

This is one of the statements that we have grown to accept as an axiom: "good skills make good employee".  More so, we now live in the world so complex that skills become more and more specific and narrow. We dig deep but not wide. Every skilled worker is focused on just a handful of skills. It takes years to acquire the new skills... Or is it so? Well, I'm a no expert in nuclear physics or ...
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Jobs, Character Proxies, Credit Scores, and “Counterparty Risk”

To everyone waiting for part 2 of the Resume SEO post, I have to apologize…. It will be coming soon, but a different topic grabbed my fancy a few days back when a friend of mine wasn’t hired for a job because, she believes, her credit score was in the dumpster. Have you noticed that most times that you are going through the final stages of a job application, they ...
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What is the lightest wood?

Nothing new under the sun. It turns out that psychometric tests has been used for candidate evaluation for almost a century. Here is a very interesting example of a Test that was used by Thomas Edison to evaluate his candidates. So, "What is the lightest wood?" - no wonder Einstein failed the test... - I'm sure we will do a little better than that. Wander what Cangrade Einstein would get ;) ...
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Resume SEO

Now that we are telling people about Cangrade, we are getting a lot of feedback and opinions.  One of the best new terms that I encountered lately and now one of my favorite is “Resume SEO”.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a concept developed to promote websites on major search engines (like Google), to optimize the website by including certain keywords and other  criteria that Google “likes” so that the ...
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start early and do it often

I continue to have offbeat discussions with friends on mine and casual encounters about how they hire people also what we are doing at Cangrade (just to remind: what we do is putting together the best of science and technology to match people and jobs). So here are the factors that people seem to consider in hiring (with no regards to the order): Skills Motivation Right personality (whatever that means) ...
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“human resource department” vs “personnel department”

This question crossed my path a little while back why is it that years ago we called the group of people who managed people the “personnel department”, and now we call the same people with the same job the “Human resource department”? It could just be a naming convention thing... names for things tend to change for no apparent reason other than fashion – B2B became Enterprise, SaaS became Cloud ...
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toothless hiring

Today I had to visit my former dentist in Perth - an old high school buddy of mine. While in the dental chair but with my mouth still not plugged we went through the normal small-talk flow talking about kids and so pediatric dental services, week-ends, movies and stuff. Finally he asked me what am I doing these days. I gave him my normal elevator (well, in this case rather ...
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culture shock

I was speaking with a buddy today about the how cultures in the work place differ from one place to another.  A while back my buddie's company hired a senior management guy who came from a company best known for making microwaves, washers and driers, but they have a huge money management wing as well… and they are the prominent punch line of one of my favorite TV shows, also, ...
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