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Global funders back Applied, first spin out from the Behavioural Insights Team

8th Nov 2017

We are delighted to announce that Applied, the online recruitment tool spun out from the Behavioural Insights Team, has successfully raised funding which will enable it to scale its operations worldwide.

Applied started as a project within BIT, when we began to change our internal hiring practices in line with latest research. We discovered that there were big challenges, even for BIT, in doing so. For example, to ‘name blind’ applications, we would manually remove the names of individuals from their application forms. The process was time-consuming and imperfect.

We decided that we needed to go further. The Applied team was created to do just that.

Working closely with Harvard Professor and behavioural expert Iris Bohnet, we combined these manual practices, together with many other insights, into a simple online platform that any organisation can use. Its mission: to help organisations hire the best talent, regardless of their background.

Over the past year, 1,000 people across 5 continents have used the platform to process more than 19,000 applications for over 700 jobs. The organisations using Applied range from small charities, to governments, and global corporates.

They include Penguin Random House, the UK Civil Service, Hilton, L.E.K. Consulting, BCG’s Centre for Public Impact, Berwin Leighton Paisner, and of course BIT itself. All the organisations want to make sure that their hiring decisions are fair to all, and help to promote diversity.

In its first funding round, Applied has raised £330,000 from Nesta Impact Investments, the Trawalla Foundation, Public and six angel investors (including Adam Grant, Wharton School professor and bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B, and James Callander and Adam Clements of Freshminds recruitment consultancy).

The funding will be used to rollout the product within Applied’s existing blue-chip client base and extend it to new clients, enabling them to strip out bias in their recruitment, improve hiring speed and quality, and provide the best candidate experience possible.

Applied is a great example of what BIT has long recognised: that very often the solution to a policy problem is not a new policy; it’s a product or a service. That’s why BIT has created a new wing to the team that we called BI Ventures.

The mission of BI Ventures is to use behavioural insights to build scalable products with a social impact. Applied is the first of what will be a host of new tools that will help organisations use behavioural science in new, more efficient ways.

Applied’s been a team effort and has benefitted from some amazing partners in Nesta, BIT and the Cabinet Office. Special thanks go to Theo Fellgett, who’s played a pivotal role in getting the product to this exciting stage.

To learn more about Applied contact the team on

For press enquiries contact the CEO Kate Glazebrook or


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Kate Glazebrook