Cangrade’s soft skills assessments can help your team root your candidate selection process in data.

How to Find Your Purple Squirrel: Putting Soft Skills Assessments to Work

If you’re a talent acquisition professional, you know finding candidates isn’t the tough part. The struggle comes when trying to find the right candidate. Job descriptions usually come with a laundry list of skills-related qualifications attached.  Why is this an issue? Well, it’s recruiters and HR managers then that face the so-called “purple squirrel” problem. The term “purple squirrel” describes the perfect candidate with precisely the right education, set of experience, and ...
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Unconscious bias can lead us to sabotage a person’s interview, in a phenomenon psychologists call “the self-fulfilling prophecy”.

How to Mitigate Unconscious Bias in Recruitment – Where Interviews Go Wrong

Why aren’t more women in the boardrooms of major corporations? Why don’t more African-Americans work in the burgeoning tech industries? When asked, companies often claim a lack of qualified candidates. However, many of these companies might consider the lesson that orchestras across the nation learned in decades past - unconscious bias may play a role.  Prior to the 1970s, 95% of orchestra members were white men. Orchestras told themselves their ...
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Research has found no link between the MBTI and workplace performance or job fit. Learn why to ditch it in your talent management strategy.

4 Reasons to Ditch the MBTI in Talent Management

There are many aspects of human behavior that puzzle psychologists. One such aspect is how the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) remains so widely used in the talent management space. Decades of psychological research show that it is a poorly designed instrument that shows no particular ability to identify the right candidate for any job. The History of the MBTI The MBTI is arguably the most popular personality test in the ...
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Make sure your employees trust that they won’t be penalized for using their vacation time.

Why Employee Vacation Time is Good for Business

Employees list time off as second only to health care as a desirable employment benefit. The research on the benefits of paid time off couldn’t be clearer. Employee vacation time is associated with better mood, higher life satisfaction and better health. It has been estimated that workplace-related stress is responsible for $190 billion dollars in health care spending, and contributes to 120,000 deaths a year. Looking at the evidence, a ...
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3 Quick Business Reads to Make Your Thanksgiving Travel More Productive

“Are you Gus’ son?...You the shower curtain fella?” If you have no idea what that means, you’re about to find out. If you do recognize those two questions, you have great taste in cinematic entertainment! Thanksgiving is next week and I can’t wait! It’s the second best holiday of the year, in my opinion. Quality time with family, friends, football & food! This also means a few days off of ...
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/ / Leadership & Teams

Five Red Flags to Look Out for When Making Your Next Sales Hire

Ask a veteran sales executive how to hire a successful salesperson, and they’ll often say: “you know one when you see them.” However, when it comes to what personality traits predict a successful sales hire, the reality is a bit more complicated. We crunched the numbers on REAL client data, and as it turns out, some of the personality traits that match the “sales-y” stereotype you might have in mind ...
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Workplace Friendships are Good for Business

It doesn’t sound groundbreaking to say we humans are happier when we have friends. But it’s more than just happiness. Research finds that people with more friends also live longer. Why? Humans have a “need to belong”, which is comparable to our needs for rest, food, and water. Our brains are so wired to prioritize social connection, so much so that social rejection activates the same regions of our brain ...
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Why Should You Use QR Codes in Your Next Job Fair?

Job Fairs are a common way of attracting a lot of potential candidates in one place at the same time. They can make your recruitment process more personal and showcase your company's hiring brand. Job Fairs can also present a couple of significant logistical challenges: Tracking applicants in person is not as easy as doing it online via your ATSAttracting candidates to your company's booth (unless you are the only ...
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Top Tips to Decrease Employee Turnover

When new hires don’t hang around long enough to justify the time, resources, and money put into hiring and onboarding them, it’s both frustrating and expensive for the company they leave. To make matters even worse, having a high level of turnover company-wide is associated with decreased customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability. How can you decrease turnover rates? Keep employees happy. Make sure your new hires are happy. Research has ...
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Delivering Effective Feedback with Self-Affirmation

Ever heard the expression “don’t shoot the messenger”? It exists for a reason. Research has shown that no one likes the bearer of bad news. But, like it or not, managers do sometimes have to deliver negative feedback to their subordinates. So, how can managers give negative feedback without the blowback? The Psychology of Self-Affirmation can provide some important insights as to why negative feedback stings so much, and how ...
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Employee Development: How To Do It Right

Every company wants to bring out the best in their employees. Not only does this help with employee retention, it also helps the bottom line. But what’s the best way to do this? Feedback? Mentoring? Tuition credits? Management trends come and go, but the idea of training your employees to diversify their skills and improve their performance has stuck around. Despite the fact that management training can be prone to ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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) ...
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/ / 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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% ...
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