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Ep 329: Assessment Lessons From Elite Sport


Understanding and assessing talent is something I don’t think we talk about in enough detail in our industry. Advances in both technology and neuroscience are challenging traditional thinking in recruiting if this will be another key topic for me this year.

To get the conversation started my guests this week have a simple fascinating story to share. Eric Castien and Andries Van der Leij are the founder and CTO of Brainsfirst. Brainsfirst is a Dutch company that uses cognitive psychology and machine learning to help elite football teams identify future talent. They have brought their learnings into the business world and have some incredible insights to share.

In the interview, we discuss:

▪ Talent identification in elite football

▪ Studying the link between specific brain function and performance

▪ Learnability over capability

▪ How understanding brain skills can drive talent redistribution

▪ Only assessing skills you can actually quantify

▪ Seeing a role as a set of desired behaviours

▪ Focusing on future fit

▪ Eliminating bias

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