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Could Your Browser Make You a Better Employee?

The answer could be yes…if you use Firefox or Chrome

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smithsonian.com

Which browser do you use? New research suggests that if the answer is Chrome or Firefox, you might just be better at your job. The Atlantic reports that a recruitment software company has crunched big data that shows people who use non-default browsers perform better on the job and stay on the job longer.

Recruitment software developer Cornerstone OnDemand found a correlation between job performance when it crunched data related to an online assessment tool, Joe Pinsker reports for the Atlantic. It looked at numbers from around 50,000 people who took a job assessment online, then went on to nab the job—and found that when job hunters took their assessment using Firefox or Chrome, they stayed at their jobs 15 percent longer than those who used standard browsers like Internet Explorer and Safari.

Why the difference between browsers? Perhaps it comes down to initiative, Pinsker reports:

Michael Housman, the chief analytics officer at Cornerstone, said that while the company’s research hasn’t identified anything to suggest causality, he does have a theory as to why this correlation exists. “I think that the fact that you took the time to install Firefox on your computer shows us something about you. It shows that you’re someone who is an informed consumer,” he told Freakonomics Radio. “You’ve made an active choice to do something that wasn’t default.”

News of a link between browser choice and job prospects comes at a precarious moment in the world of browsers. Despite its potential job-hunting benefits, Firefox continues to lose market share. (February statistics show the browser has lost 54 percent of its share since 2010.) And though Chrome has captured about a quarter of the desktop market, Internet Explorer is still the gorilla in the room with over 57 percent.

But recent news of IE’s demise begs the question—will replacing it help Microsoft mold better employees? Perhaps not…but it may just help Microsoft give its users some tech street cred. “It feels a little mean celebrating Internet Explorer's demise...as if one's kicking the runt of the litter,” muses the Washington Post’s Hayley Tsukayama. Still, she concedes, “it gets you no cachet with anyone even remotely ‘techy.’”

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