In the last few years, many companies have begun to employ the use of various aptitude tests during the hiring process in an effort to find a standardized method potential hires can be judged by. It can be difficult to compare and contrast the qualifications of several candidates against each other and the consequences of taking on the wrong person can be an economic nightmare. That’s something one business is trying to change.

bannerCangrade is a company that touts itself as the next generation in candidate screening and already boasts some heavy-hitting clientele including Gannett, Ericsson and Salesforce. The startup was founded by serial entrepreneur and business development expert Michael Burtov; IBM veteran, Gershon Goren; and Harvard psychologist, Steven A. Lehr. With help and advisement from academic leaders, as well as business professionals, the company has managed to automate a part of the HR hiring process with their innovative candidate grading software. This program is a pre-employment evaluation tool, developed through advanced science and technology, to measure a job seeker’s qualifications, determining if they are worthy of a long-term investment by the hiring entity.

The Massachusetts-based company spent years researching millions of data points for the product, studying over 200,000 employees at over 500 companies:  Lehr said, “[We studied questions such as] Under what circumstances do employers unconsciously display costly biases in decision making…What factors lead people to act more or less ethically in different situations? “  By addressing these complex questions and issues, Cangrade was able to develop a platform that is able to accurately predict employee success based on information about personality, skills, motivation and job fit.

cangradeThe employer sets up the job opening using the platform, which they can then advertise through various online mediums, such as social media and search engines. The posting can even be embedded into a company’s website. As candidates apply through the supplied Cangrade link, they are automatically organized and graded using a series of metrics and measurements, automatically ranking their resume from multiple sources. When this is finished, the hiring manager can review the scores and choose the best applicants to interview, ensuring the company is only meeting those recruits with the most potential.

Cangrade reports that the software can lead to increases in productivity while reducing staffing costs. It allows job-specific skills to be tested and provides a straight-forward assessment of candidate’s aptitude and personality. But with more start-ups jumping on the bandwagon in an attempt to make the lives of hiring managers everywhere easier, it does raise some ethical questions: Should companies be allowed to reduce people to a grade or a pre-screening video? Do these technological advances streamline the hiring process or are they more likely to cause a company to overlook talented applicants?

Lehr contends, “I believe Cangrade can be used as a forum to help employers and job-candidates make more objective selection decisions while furthering the study of psychological science.”

You can find out more about Cangrade’s software and its founders on the company’s website:

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