New Research Puts 4 Common Hiring Myths to the Test

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--Harvard University Professor and Cangrade Senior Vice President Dr. Greg Willard teamed up with Cangrade’s Chief Technology Officer Gershon Goren to research common hiring myths. Analyzing over 1,000 job applicants, they discovered surprising relationships with expected job performance. This is the beginning of groundbreaking research that so far has shattered several myths, including the common notion that an applicant with more skills listed on their resume will perform better on the job.

“We all take mental shortcuts,” said Goren. “Evolution equipped us with the ability to quickly form an (often inaccurate) impression of a person’s character before ever exchanging a word with them. Technology presents us with an ever-growing number of new shortcuts that we are tempted to use when hiring. Like first impressions, some employers use computer programs to evaluate a job candidate’s resume without actually reading it. Not unlike the Discovery Chanel’s MythBusters, we decided to put some commonly used technology-for-hiring myths to the test.”

“Our research demonstrates that candidate evaluation technology is a tool, and as with any tool, it can be used in ways that are beneficial or detrimental,” added Dr. Willard.

1. Internet Browser.

This is a myth that is somewhat popular in the Tech world, and goes something like this:

Chrome Users – are savvy and modern
Firefox Users – are OK but a bit old-fashioned
Internet Explorer Users – are IT illiterate
Safari Users – are huge Apple fans and out of touch
Opera Users – are from a different planet

We analyzed different internet browser users and discovered that no browser group was different from any other in their expected job performance. In other words IE users are as good as their Chrome counterparts at what they do. Browser Myth – BUSTED.

2. Email Provider.

This myth is based on a common belief that users of some are email providers are “smarter” and some are “dumber.”

We identified 7 different types of email providers commonly used by candidates when applying for jobs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail/Outlook, ISP-based, .edu and OTHER). We then looked at the expected job performance of each group. Two types of providers had lower expected job performance: AOL and ISP-based emails (e.g. Comcast, Verizon, etc.). Both groups are relatively small minorities though (about 1.2% of candidates used AOL and about 1.5% used ISP-based emails) so we cannot be confident in these differences. Until more research is done the Email Provider Myth is INCONCLUSIVE.

3. Number of Skills.

If you have a specific skill that you are looking for in your candidates, obviously it’s a good idea to check if a candidate lists it. Otherwise, we found no relationship between the number of skills listed on the resume and expected job performance. In fact, we actually found a very small negative correlation. The belief that you can evaluate a resume, based just on how many skills a candidate lists, is inaccurate. The Number of Skills Myth is BUSTED.

4. Resume Summary “Wordiness.”

The “resume summary” is the first part of a resume in which the candidate creates a first impression and provides basic information. We analyzed the length of this section on each resume (word count) and discovered that it had no relationship to expected job performance.

An interesting observation was that “.edu” email users describe themselves in the summary using significantly fewer words than others, and Hotmail/Outlook users used the most words. The Resume Summary Wordiness Myth is BUSTED.

“We are always trying to learn something new about the hiring world,” said Michael Burtov, Cangrade’s CEO. “If anyone has ideas for more hiring myths that we can test, we’d love to hear from you.”

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About Cangrade

Cangrade’s team of psychologists analyzed the personality, skills, motivation and performance of over 200,000 employees from over 500 companies and developed a breakthrough platform to organize, track and evaluate your candidates, collaborate with co-workers, set-up intelligent hiring criteria and use it all on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

We are also proud to power industry leading sales training tools that assess, benchmark, coach, engage, and train sales reps. for some of the most successful organizations in the word.


Michael Burtov, 888-871-8778, ext. 8

Release Summary

Harvard University Professor and Cangrade Senior Vice President Dr. Greg Willard researched common hiring myths. The team analyzed over 1,000 job applicants and discovered surprising


Michael Burtov, 888-871-8778, ext. 8