Direct Channel Manager | Sales & Marketing Manager of Robotical Ltd – Ben Henderson-Palmer tells about his experience hiring two Business Development Representatives (Annabelle Urquhart & Ifeoma Ogbunugafor) through AAI.
“If you’re hiring for an entry-level role you should have a conversation with the team at AAI. They helped us at Robotical save time and money by finding candidates that are likely of a higher calibre than if we had tried to do it ourselves, they helped us hire the right people for the job.“-Ben Henderson-Palmer
Please tell us about your organisation. Why did you need to bring someone into the team?
Robotical (The company behind Marty the Robot) is on a mission to breathe new life into learning teaching a new way of thinking, opening eyes and opening minds. Learning comes alive with Marty – a walking, sensing, dancing, eyebrow-wiggling robot programmable in Scratch and real programming languages like Python. We brought on Annabelle and Ifeoma primarily to further our mission and grow the number of students being inspired by Marty the Robot.
We had been testing a new method of selling to schools, a sort of ‘try before you buy’ trial which ran over 2 weeks during which time we would send robots to schools and deliver teacher training free of charge in the hopes that this level of service would be reciprocated with an order for the classroom or entire school. This approach was working well and we wanted to push it even further by growing the team to reach more schools and ultimately bring STEM to life for a greater number of children.
Why did you choose to hire a graduate for this role?
The positions are both permanent ones. We felt confident that hard-working graduates with a hunger to learn and an interest in making a difference in the world would be a better fit for the company compared to experienced salespeople driven by financial incentives. I’d hired graduates in previous companies and was very impressed by their commitment and energy.
How did you hear about AAI and what was the process like working with us?
I first heard about AAI through a giveaway – I was given a ticket to attend an SCDI Forum. More recently I met Nick and was reminded of the organisation and what they could do for us at Robotical.
Please tell us about your new team member. In what ways did they contribute to your business? How did they fit in with the existing team?
Ifeoma was brought on to help boost efforts with school sales in the UK while Annabelle was brought on to help us take a stab at the US market. I and Annabelle went over to Boston to make a start there, I stayed for a month with her and she ran US school sales for another 2 months afterwards. Both Ifeoma & Annabelle have been great additions to the team and have helped us continually improve on our service and product.
What is the most valuable thing that you learned from your experience of hiring through AAI?
In a startup where it’s common to juggle multiple roles, it makes a lot of sense to outsource what you can instead of trying to do everything yourself. AAI helped make the most of our time by doing the initial filtering in the recruitment process, which freed up more of the senior leadership team to continue their work on the business instead of going through CVs and phone interviews.
What would you say to other employers about using AAI and their diverse graduate audience to find talent?
If you’re hiring for an entry-level role you should have a conversation with Nick and the team at AAI. They helped us at Robotical save time and money by finding candidates that are likely of a higher calibre than if we had tried to do it ourselves, they helped us hire the right people for the job.