How do you measure success?

Measurements of employee performance and success are critical data points that fuel hiring, retention, and promotion decisions. (At Cangrade, these data are the basis for all of the sophisticated AI that goes into building our customized Success Models.) So, when it comes to measuring employee performance, hearing that someone is doing “fine” just doesn’t cut it – but getting a better answer takes careful planning and consideration. In this blog, ...
Read More

Grit: The Science Behind the Buzz

For the past decade, Angela Duckworth has championed “Grit” (defined as passionate persistence) as a critical driver of cross-domain success, including in the workplace. When researchers started to dig into what made “grit” so powerful, though, they found that it is basically just a rebrand of an already well-known product – conscientiousness. Why is conscientiousness so great? Conscientiousness is a personality trait that has long been widely known to predict ...
Read More

This AI figured out who should sit on the Iron Throne (hint: it’s not Bran)

Millions of people tuned into HBO to learn who would get the most coveted job in Westeros, with many disappointed with the final decision.  This invites a challenge to all us fans: Can we do better?  Well here at Cangrade we’ve built an AI with the sole purpose of matching people to jobs, so we figured we’d give it shot! How does this work?  We had Game of Thrones superfans ...
Read More

Scene from the Westeros Human Resources Department

“Thanks for coming everyone. We’ve had some more . . . unexpected turnover in senior management, and need to consider some new candidates to sit the Iron Throne. You know what we say around here, chaos is a ladder." Our first candidate is Cersai Lannister. She has been filling the role on an interim basis, and is very keen to retain it. Cersai would be an internal promotion. She has ...
Read More

The Collateral Damage of a Competitive Workplace

One of the very first Social Psychology studies, conducted over a hundred years ago, pitted children against each another in a contest, and found they outperformed their own solo efforts. Why? It’s in our brain chemistry. Competition causes a stress response that activates energizing hormones (such as adrenalin). Success brings the activation of our brain’s reward system: feel-good hormones (such as dopamine). So then why wouldn’t competition bring out the ...
Read More

5 Great Ways to Diversify Your Hiring Pipeline

A diverse hiring pool leads to better teams and stronger bottom lines. Diversifying the workplace has been shown to increase creativity, productivity, and workplace satisfaction. However, even when executives try to hire diverse employees, they may fail simply because the candidates applying for their open positions are more of the same. This is what’s known as a hiring-pipeline problem, and it is a big stumbling block for many companies. How ...
Read More

Artificial Intelligence will Revolutionize Talent Management — Are you ready?

Where did Artificial Intelligence come from? As modern as it may seem, the term “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) was coined by a group of researchers back in 1956. Its early iterations had nothing to do with killer robots or surrogate romantic partners. Instead, they used the term “Artificial Intelligence” as a catch-all phrase for recent advancements in computing theory that had rendered computers “human-like” in their ability to perform certain tasks, ...
Read More

Science Helps you Hire Better: 3 Top Tips for Effective Job Interviews

What works best to spot your next star performer? Here are three scientist-tested tactics that will get you results. Prepare Structured Questions Asking all candidates the same specific questions keeps answers relevant, draws a complete picture of each candidate, and allows for direct comparison later amongst candidates. This increases the validity of the interviews by mitigating any potential biases (whether based on demographics, familiarity, or just recency of the interview) ...
Read More
/ / Job Interviews

Insincerity: What is it Good For?

The customer is always right. Greet every customer with a smile. Always greet your employees enthusiastically. Always go to the office holiday party. The American work experience is riddled with these tiny moments of insincerity that are often scripted or actively encouraged by employers. But is exhibiting insincerity with customers or co-workers helping or hurting an employee’s chances of success in their role? Well, there are a few determining factors ...
Read More

Fighting Off Toxic Workplace Culture

The signs are all there: Lack of positive reinforcement. Bad blood with managers. A general cloud of unhappiness descends over the workplace... The diagnosis? Toxic workplace culture. How do workplaces end up here? There are many factors that can create a toxic culture in the workplace, including: Lack of clear expectations and incentives No sense of community Demands that exceed resources Unfair compensation structure Why should companies care? Toxic workplace ...
Read More

Neuroticism: A Counterintuitive Edge

How does the ideal employee respond to problems? Most hiring managers would tell you: with a steady hand and a level head. In a culture that values confidence, hiring managers may see social anxiety and self-doubt as a recipe for disaster. But they might be wrong. A growing body of research suggests that, in many situations, a neurotic employee is the most effective. What is neuroticism? The American Psychologist defines ...
Read More

The Hidden Danger of Hiring the Confident Charmer

Confident. Resilient. Charming. For many hiring managers, these words evoke an image of the perfect employee -- a true “go-getter” -- self-assured in a crisis, but also likable. They favor people who exhibit these qualities in interviews and are more likely to promote them. Unfortunately, these qualities may come with a hidden price. Confidence, resilience, and charm are also key aspects of the DSM criteria for psychopathy. How do these ...
Read More

Filling the Skills Gap: Soft Skills are the Key

When faced with the choice between technical expertise or intangible personality traits, hiring managers choose the former. This preference is amplified in more technical fields like engineering, programming, and project management. Unfortunately, this approach is unsustainable. Why? First, millennials are career-hoppers. Recent studies have found that millennials change jobs four times during their first decade after college -- often from one career to an entirely different one.  Companies that lock ...
Read More

The Origin and Future of Psychometrics

Psychometrics is a rigorous and long-standing field of study that attempts to measure personality and aptitude. Lately, however, the most accessible prototypes are Buzzfeed quizzes that tell you what Disney Princess you are – needless to say, its reputation in popular media has faltered. Despite this bad rep in the pop psych consciousness (i.e. Cambridge Analytica), psychometrics has wide-reaching implications – especially when it comes to modern hiring practices. 71% ...
Read More

Race, Responsibility & Hiring Algorithms

Frankenstein’s monster or Dr. Frankenstein? Algorithms provide a cloak of objectivity – but that doesn’t make them infallible. Just like humans, algorithms may rely on stereotypes that reinforce discriminatory hiring practices. Why is this? Because that’s what they’re designed to do. The backbone of many of these potentially discriminatory algorithms is something data-scientists call “satisficing,”. Satisficing is a decision-making strategy that aims for a satisfactory or adequate result, rather than ...
Read More

Groundhog Day 2018: When More is Better

Happy Groundhog Day! The big prediction is in for 2018. Punxsutawney Phil—the star of the most popular annual Groundhog Day event—saw his own shadow this morning (as he does about 70% of the time). According to tradition, this means that there will be 6 more weeks of Winter! But how likely is that prediction to come true? As a much more recent tradition, the Cangrade Blog shows you exactly how ...
Read More

Are Work Meetings Really Worth It?

Work meetings can be a controversial subject. Some people think that meetings are essential. Some people see meetings as a big waste of time. But then again, everyone can agree that communication is important. And of course, we can all agree that it’s possible to spend too much time in meetings. What does the research show? Researchers recently analyzed the data from 150 studies (including nearly 10,000 teams). Perhaps their ...
Read More

Happy Holidays from the Cangrade Team!

Warm holiday wishes from all of us here at Cangrade ...
Read More
/ / Uncategorized

Best of 2017: Most Popular Articles of the Year

2017 was a really good year. (When it comes to interesting new research, anyway.) Let’s take a look back at the most popular articles. January: Interview Better with This Trick How can you make the best impression in an interview? The most charismatic, funny, and witty people can think fast. Eye contact tends to slow down your thought processes. Looking away at the right times can speed up your responses, ...
Read More

Do You Believe in Destiny? Here’s How It Affects Your Career

Do you believe in destiny? Some people believe that the outcomes in their life were “meant to be.” Some people believe in “free will.” And quite a few people are somewhere in between—maybe some things are up to you, while other things were somehow predetermined. Did you know that these beliefs can predict what happens in a person’s career? Let’s not stop to ponder if our ability to predict career ...
Read More

The 3 Gifts People Really Want

The holiday season is here. For many of us, it’s time to start thinking about finding gifts for the important people in our lives. Finding the right gifts can be time-consuming and stressful—and you still might not end up getting something they really want. How can you know what people really want? Research has shown that it comes down to 3 basic things. People want… 1. What they ask for ...
Read More

A Surprising Trait Predicts Who Tells Lies

What kind of person would lie to you? If we’re talking about personality traits, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the “Dark Triad.” These 3 disturbing traits (Psychopathy, Narcissism and Machiavellianism) often seem to go together. None of that is at all surprising. We pretty much expect that kind of person to lie to us. But it turns out there’s even more to the story. [well] Related ...
Read More

The Bias that Changes Every Career

Let’s talk about a bias that affects every person’s career. Researchers recently discovered this bias by analyzing nearly 20 years of career data across 57 different countries...then they confirmed it further with two new experiments. What is this bias? Why does it seem to happen everywhere? To understand it, we first need to acknowledge a couple of basic things about careers. Career trajectory The trajectory of your career is ideally ...
Read More

Does Working with Friends Increase Performance?

Does working with friends make you perform better on the job? Or would it be better to work with strangers? Results from a recent analysis—including results from 26 different studies and nearly 1,000 teams—give us some interesting answers. Working with friends There are reasons to think that working with friends can increase job performance. For example: Feeling uninhibited can make people happy. Happiness can increase job performance. A positive workplace ...
Read More