The Real Problem with Hiring Bias

Bias can enter the hiring process in many forms. Some forms are blatantly illegal or unethical. Some are so subtle, we might not even notice them. But they all create the same basic problem. The key to understanding the causes and consequences of hiring bias is social cognition—the psychological processes we use to think about ourselves and others. Let’s start with you.   How do you evaluate yourself? We can ...
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How Personality Leads to Happiness

What makes people happy? The answer varies from person to person. For example, think about attending a social gathering… Some theories (and even basic intuition) would suggest that a very extraverted person would be happy in this situation, whereas a more introverted person would be less happy—they might even wish they’d just stayed home. But this isn’t what really happens. Accurately predicting people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors requires a data-driven ...
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What is Data-Driven Assessment?

There are tons of assessment solutions out there. They tend to look very similar, and to make similar claims. But they aren’t all equally useful. How can you tell the difference? There are a number of important considerations, but probably the most important is the distinction between theory-driven assessment and data-driven assessment. Theory-Driven Assessment Some of the most popular assessments openly acknowledge that they are theory-driven. For example, the MBTI ...
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Groundhog Day 2016: Predicting the Future

Groundhog Day is next Tuesday, February 2. Will we see an early Spring this year, or 6 more weeks of Winter? According to tradition, a groundhog emerging from its burrow on that morning can show us what to expect. The groundhog will have one of two reactions: Sees its own shadow and retreats back into its burrow. Expect 6 more weeks of Winter. Doesn’t see its own shadow. Expect an early ...
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Personality Types Don’t Exist

What’s your personality type? Some of the most popular assessments claim that people have distinct personality types, and that you can take the assessment to find out yours. They also claim that the information they provide can help you to learn something important about yourself and the people around you. But there is no evidence that any of this is actually true. Personality types are usually wrong This sounds surprising ...
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Hiring Faster and More Efficiently (And 3 Reasons Why You Should Do It)

Technology can make hiring faster and more efficient. Computerized algorithms and processes work very quickly. They also tend to be less biased than humans. Even compared to expert hiring decisions, they can increase decision accuracy by more than 50%. But do we really want to let machines make such important decisions about people? Not exactly. The goal is to empower recruiters and hiring managers. Let them focus more time and energy ...
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3 Ideas That Will Change Everything in 2016

Economic recovery. Rapidly advancing science and technology. These and other trends will transform how business is done in 2016. Here’s how you can keep up. 1. Protecting investments In recent decades, organizations in finance and infrastructure have increasingly found that it isn’t a good idea to base their decisions entirely on expected return on investment (ROI). They seek to actively protect their assets and investments with Risk Management. Rather than ...
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Why Every Year Seems to Go By Faster

Can you believe it’s 2016 already? If you feel like time keeps moving faster every year, you’re not alone. But why does this happen, and what does it really mean? Here comes that New Year’s ball. Again. A matter of perspective? One possible reason that time seems to accelerate is that each new day, month, or year represents an increasingly small fraction of your entire life experience. Here’s what happens ...
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Happy Holidays!

Warm holiday wishes from all of us here at Cangrade. We’ll be back in 2016 with tons of great tips and advice, science and technology, and more. Cover image: Lendog64 ...
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How To Deal With That Negative Coworker

A negative coworker can bring everyone down. Their negativity can lower morale, reduce productivity, or just take up your time with complaining. If the number of advice articles on the subject is any indication, this is a common problem that many of us have experienced. Unfortunately there’s also a lot of bad advice out there. For example, there are a number of articles suggesting ways that you can ignore or avoid ...
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Moneyball Isn’t Just About Recruiting

Moneyball methods use statistical analysis to find out what really matters. What metrics actually predict important outcomes? Organizations can recruit more effectively once they discover that some things are traditionally overvalued—and they often find great sources of undervalued and untapped potential at the same time. This provides a particularly strong competitive advantage when organizations need to compete for talent. Outside of sports, employers traditionally focus on recruiting for specific skills ...
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Happy Thanksgiving from the Cangrade Team

We wish you all the best for the coming holiday weekend, and sincerely thank you for subscribing, reading, and sharing our articles. We couldn’t do it without you! We will return next week—still in the holiday spirit—with a new article on the science behind employee recognition. If you just can’t wait to read more, here are some related articles you might like: The Power of Sharing Employee Stories 3 Must-Know ...
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5 Performance Management Tips that Really Work

Want to increase the chances of achieving your goals and objectives? Track key outcomes and progress over time. With this information, you will know where things stand, what has been done, what still needs to be done. This is the essence of performance management. Not all performance management interventions are created equal. Some can be very effective. Others are less effective. And some are just a distraction or waste of time - visit ...
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Is There a Best Time to Fire an Employee?

Let’s face it: there really isn’t a “good” time to fire someone. But sometimes it just has to be done. In extreme cases (such as inappropriate behavior, theft, property damage, or even violence) you should take immediate action. The rest of the time, you probably have more flexibility. You want to respect the departing employee, maintain their dignity and privacy, make the experience less negative or psychologically damaging. Is there a ...
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How Machiavellian Are You?

Niccolò Machiavelli is a famous historical figure...with a controversial legacy. His influential writings popularized the idea that decisions should be evaluated by their consequences, rather than by the actions taken to achieve those consequences. In a competition, the person who is willing to do anything to win has the advantage. The ends justify the means. If you believe these ideas, you are a Machiavellian. How Machiavellian are you? Take the Quiz to ...
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Is Your Job Application Haunted?

A few years ago, something spooky happened. Complete strangers in my neighborhood began to approach me on the street. They would ask rather personal questions, about how I was doing or if I had plans later. One time, a person even congratulated me for something—apparently I had done a great job yesterday! It turns out they thought I was someone else. Someone else in my neighborhood (apparently) looks almost exactly ...
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3 Ways Performance Reviews Actually Influence Performance

People can have very different reactions to performance reviews. Some dread giving or receiving them. Others look forward to the opportunity. We know that it’s important for organizations to collect performance data in order to create and implement evidence-based business strategies, and to back up their employment decisions about specific people. We also know that it’s important to give employees feedback about how they’re doing, they need to understand work ...
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4 Simple Steps to Become a Better Manager

Managers play an important role. Their actions help determine the success (and happiness) of everyone around them. How do we actually decide who to put in charge of other people?  It’s usually some combination of credentials, previous experience, and performance in relevant job roles. But a great employee—even a very experienced one—isn’t necessarily a great manager. And it gets worse. Research has found that the most incompetent managers are also the least motivated to improve! (Because they are also ...
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Data Science Takes Your Job Interviews to the Next Level

The main purpose of the job interview is to evaluate candidates. But that probably isn’t your only goal. It can be just as important to show a personal interest in each candidate. After all, a positive interview experience can increase the chances that the best candidates will actually accept a job offer. The problem with more “personal”  interviews is that they typically aren’t very reliable or valid. Without planning ahead, it can be very difficult to stay on ...
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The Best Time to Ask for Advice

If you need to make an important decision, it’s often good to ask other people for advice. Not only can the advice be helpful, but asking for advice is often seen as a sign of respect, trust, or even intelligence. Perhaps a more interesting question is not if you should ask for advice (it’s usually a good idea) but instead when in the process you should ask for it. So you ...
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Can Your Job Change Your Personality?

Can what you do for a living actually change who you are? We generally think about personality as relatively stable over time (and it is). But then again, personalities can change. Especially with experiences that are repeated, day after day and year after year. Researchers recently published a study following a large group of employees over the course of 3 years, while repeatedly measuring their personality and working environment. They focused on a set of ...
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3 Myths You Probably Believe about Workplace Conflicts

Should companies encourage or discourage workplace conflicts? A recent New York Times article about the corporate culture at Amazon generated a great deal of critical discussion about this. If you have a conflict with someone in a professional context, what is the best response? Option A. Just ignore them and get back to work, try to avoid them in the future. Option B. Actually confront the person. A recent survey including a wide range of working professionals found ...
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4 Interviewing Tips to Reduce Snap Judgments

First impressions count. We all know this. What happens when you show up for a job interview? Within the first few minutes—maybe even the first few moments—the interviewer has probably already made up their mind about you. Sounds true enough…but is it really that simple? Researchers recently tested this question by looking at the decision speed of more than 150 interviewers as they conducted about 700 job interviews. Consistent with common ...
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4 Employer Branding Strategies with Amazing Benefits

Employer branding is a hot topic. As the economy continues to rebound, job seekers have access to a wider range of opportunities. It’s much less of a “buyer’s market” for employers, and there is an increasing need to actually compete for talent. The effort to highlight desirable qualities of a job and company does more than simply attract attention and generate interest. Research conducted by LinkedIn finds that a strong ...
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This Everyday Habit Can Recover Lost Memories

Can we recover previously forgotten memories? This is a controversial question. Attempts to retrieve long-forgotten memories can result in stories of past lives or alien abductions. Some have tragically resulted in false accusations or eyewitness testimony implicating innocent people. There is good reason to be skeptical. It can happen to anyone. A recent Internet phenomenon found many people second-guessing their own childhood. Why? Because things they vividly remember from the ...
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