At Unleash Amsterdam Recruitment Tech TV spoke with Andries van der Leij from Brainsfirst. Brainsfirst is a company that provides answers to questions that cannot be answered with CV’s, grade lists or IQ tests.

About Brainsfirst

Since past performance doesn’t give any guarantees for the future anymore, BrainsFirst provides answers to questions that cannot be answered with CV’s, grade lists or IQ tests.  Brainsfirst assesses someone’s future potential on particular jobs by measuring brain power objectively with brain games. This happens bias-free and data-driven.

Messi vs. Einstein

Brainsfirst was founded by neuroscientists trying to say something about talents in sports or business by looking into brain metrics. Andries van der Leij tells about the very beginning of Brainsfirst: “We started in sports with the thought experience of Einstein. Einstein is smart, right? And Messi? Is he smart? But would you put Messi in front of a university class? Probably not. And would you make Einstein a midfield player of Barcelona? Probably not also. So with this in mind, we talked to people in professional sports and asked them what is it that makes a professional football player? We started with sports clubs and we found out that the brains skills are actually contributing a lot to becoming a professional player or not. And then we moved to business and basically, we do the same there.”


Andries van der Leij explains how this works: “Brainsfirst provides a simple battery of games which people can play online on a laptop or tablet. The games tap into low-level features that say something about brain skills such as the ability to remember many things or the ability to respond quickly to incoming information or the ability to adjust a plan depending on new information. These metrics we use to create a unique brain profile of a person which we match against the benchmarks we set with companies and sports clubs.”


“We help companies with high cognitive functions to collect more relevant information on the people that apply for the jobs.” Van der Leij adds another benefit: “There’s a huge upside for the candidate too since the candidate will receive a report in the end and they can learn a bit about the hidden drivers of what makes their brain unique.” According to Van der Leij the benefits continue after the hiring: “Once a candidate is hired, HR together with the candidate can take the report to craft the job around the candidate. Because even the candidate with an 80% score will have some skills that are less beneficial for the job setting. Take me for example. I am a pretty good coder, but in spaces with a lot of people, I am easily distracted. So I can work in a quiet room or put a noise-canceling headphone on. Basically, HR can help with maximising the match.”



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