Your choice in Internet browsers apparently says a lot about how well you’re doing at work. That’s the conclusion of a study conducted by recruitment and retention software maker Cornerstone OnDemand, which found that sales and customer-service employees who use non-default Web browsers stay longer at their jobs and perform better than their more conventional coworkers.
In an analysis of data from 50,000 applicants who took its online job assessment test, researchers at Cornerstone found that people with a preference for third-party browsers like Chrome and Firefox had higher rates of job efficiency and retention than candidates who stuck with default browsers (i.e., Internet Explorer and Safari).
Chief Analytics Officer Michael Housman offered an explanation for the results in an interview with Freakonomics Radio. “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 said. “You’ve made an active choice to do something that wasn’t default.”
Even though it may be useful, Cornerstone says data like browser preference would be too intrusive to consider in weeding out would-be employees. The company instead relies on more obvious patterns when advising its clients on making hiring decisions, like the presence of the word “boozy” in e-mail addresses. Regardless of their browser choice, people with unprofessional email addresses probably aren’t the most appealing candidates.
Your browser of choice may not be under scrutiny, but still, considering the many advantages of Chrome, Firefox, and others over languishing alternatives, switching might not be such a bad idea anyway.