Cangrade Researchers Uncover Hiring Method That Can Minimize Bias
New approach to personality-based selection increases the strength of the hiring process as it minimizes adverse impact and unintentional bias
BOSTON — April 28, 2014 — Cangrade today announced research findings that could potentially drive human resources professionals and hiring managers to automate the first steps in the employee-screening process. Multivariate personality assessment—a method gaining popularity in the selection community—can not only help hiring professionals find better employees, but actually help companies build the diversity of their teams.
Cangrade’s team spent years researching the effectiveness of different pre-employment selection methods using a statistical technique called meta-analysis. Their analysis combined the results from hundreds of published research studies over several decades, and statistically modeled both the effectiveness and the potential for bias in different job candidate screening methods.
The results show that some criteria employers commonly use to screen applicants, such as college GPA and phone interviews, show only very small relationships with future job performance. However, these same factors inadvertently create disparate treatment of qualified applicants by aspects such as race. Relative to the other methods, multivariate personality assessment models were better able to identify good candidates, predicting over 30% of the variation in job performance versus less than 10% for most other screening methods. Even more startling, the multivariate personality assessment method simultaneously reduced the disparate impact associated with other methods to nearly zero.
“Modern psychological science clearly shows that all people are prey to biases beneath our conscious knowledge and control, and that these biases undermine the quality and fairness of our decisions,” said Steve Lehr, Chief Science Officer at Cangrade. “These issues are garnering international attention, with coverage in bestselling books such as Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow . Many legal scholars and human resources professionals are taking notice.”
“More and more often, business leaders are actively looking for advice on how to minimize the effects of unconscious bias,” said Mahzarin Banaji, Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University and author of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People . “Since all people hold these subtle biases, one solution is for organizations to explore more objective tools and processes that sidestep them.”
For those worried about bias creeping into their hiring processes, multivariate personality assessment is a promising tool to make employee selection more objective. This technique assumes that each job candidate is complex, with many different aspects of their personality combining to form a unique “whole” person, and then uses predictive statistical analysis to estimate how likely each candidate is to perform well in a particular job.
Cangrade’s Candidate Assessment Platform (CAP) offers multivariate personality assessment on a cloud-based software platform for automating the hiring process and predicting employee success. By enabling businesses to make fair and objective hiring decisions as well as hire the best people, CAP has the promise of creating a shift in the traditional paradigm businesses use for hiring employees.
“These results are striking, and may explain the increased industry interest in modern personality testing and predictive analytics.” said Greg Willard, Senior Vice President at Cangrade and a lecturer at Harvard University. “It goes beyond diversity initiatives or legal compliance. We can now clearly see that objective hiring tools can affect the bottom line. When used correctly, they can help employers make better hiring decisions while at the same time increasing the diversity of their teams.”
Cangrade helps businesses hire the best people by uniquely combining predictive analytics with an easy to use candidate management system. Cangrade measures both hard skills and softer personality traits to fully evaluate a candidate. Then, based upon its unique, cloud-based Candidate Assessment Platform™ (CAP), Cangrade uses millions of real world data points to automatically grade every candidate and predict future job performance. By reducing bad hires, Cangrade dramatically lowers hiring costs while boosting business performance. Cangrade, helping businesses hire the best people.
Contact: Beth Bryant