“My eyes were opened to what was out there and what I could be doing.”
Robert Hodges spent the past eight years working for Samsung in senior innovation roles. His journey has taken him from Strategy and Insight Manager to Head of Business Innovation, responsible for a multi-million-pound budget, via an 18 month stint at Samsung HQ in Seoul and a year in product innovation.
Robert was recently placed by Adam Founder Leon Milns, at The Upside, an innovation agency who work with stellar clients including Google, Adidas and Heineken to name but a few. Based in London, The Upside combine strategic and commercial expertise, deep digital understanding, start up speed and user focus to provide innovative solutions to global corporations.
We caught up with Robert to find out about his background, what led him to his new role and his experience of working with Adam.
A chance encounter
Robert wasn’t looking to move roles before he met Leon (Adam Recruitment’s Founder). He explains:
“I wasn’t actively looking for a role at the time but I saw an advert on LinkedIn that caught my eye which Leon had placed, and I decided to get in touch to find out more. I sent him my CV, and he came straight back to me to organise a meeting at his offices.”
“We met and had a very interesting discussion. Leon took great interest into my career to date and wanted to understand what I’ve been doing as well as I liked, and didn’t like, about my previous roles. Through this process he understood what kind of companies would be a great fit for me and could explain to me about what they do and how they work. Leon opened my eyes to the kind of roles that are out there and what I could be doing. Otherwise, the job I have now would have been unknown to me.”
Leon put forward a couple of roles to Robert, but it was The Upside which proved most exciting. His interest peaked further after a very positive first interview with the business. Robert explains:
“When I met them, they seemed like a really good company. They had a lot of experience in the industry, and they’ve grown this agency from nothing to a sizable concern in a short space of time, with an impressive portfolio and excellent client testimonials. I knew I could learn a lot from these guys, and I that I could also bring a lot of experience from my days at Samsung and previous roles. I could see the challenges they were facing, and how my skill set could help them solve them.”
Support from beginning to end
A thorough but focused interview process resulted in Robert being offered the role of Strategy Director where, in a similar way to his past roles at Samsung, Robert manages innovation projects for The Upside.
“I focus on growing their business through project management delivery and planning various innovation projects. I also look for new business opportunities to help scale their growth. The role will be client facing, but also work on internal projects.”
Robert was pleased with how quickly the whole process took.
“There was a period of about three weeks where we negotiated on the finer points of the role, but the whole process took just two months, from the point of meeting Leon to discuss my options to having an offer on the table. Things moved very quickly.”
“Leon was always checking-in with the company and with me. I felt like I had his full support throughout the whole process. If I wanted to speak to him, I could contact him at any time. The open communication allowed everything to go smoothly. There were no delays or holdups.”
We asked Robert if he would consider using Adam in the future for his own internal recruitment.
“Absolutely. Having seen and spoken to Leon, I know he places high-caliber people in these types of innovation strategy roles,” he said. Recruitment is difficult, and I have found that the types of candidates available are rarely exactly what you want. I feel that with Leon, you don’t have to wait for six months to find the right candidate, and then accept someone who’s not perfect because that’s all you’ve got. I’d feel confident getting in touch with him again knowing he would be able to find excellent candidates when I need them”