Just a sales lunch
Nearly five years ago, I sat in a Newport Beach restaurant waiting to meet Kelly Robinson, the CEO of Broadbean Technology. I was trying to sell banner ad space on RecruitingBlogs.com to Kelly but he was in hard core selling mode, as well. By the end of our lunch, he had offered me the job of Marketing Director at his recruiting tech company – a multi-posting job distributor which dominated the UK market and was just putting their big toe in US waters. I was surprised by the offer but had done my due diligence and studied up on Kel and Broadbean prior to our lunch and it appeared he had done the same in regards to me. I quickly and without hesitation accepted, pending a written offer and some final formalities.
Given that the Bean was based in London, there was a bit of red tape to wade through, but within a few months, I was sitting in a small executive suite setting up a Twitter account for Broadbean. My small Ikea desk butted up to Kelly’s, sandwiched between the desks of the first two US employees, Sales Exec Jonathan Pierce and then Client Services Rep, Heather Wallace, both of whom are still happy employees at the Bean today.
Love the Bean
It must be said – and anyone who knows me, knows that this to be true – it was love at first sight. I fell in love with the Bean and I fell hard. I loved the energy and the vision, the work hard and play harder ethic, but most of all, I loved working for the entrepreneurial spirit, tech visionary, and infectious genius that is Kelly Robinson. His drive and happy personality can easily be blamed for employee loyalty, low turnover, and lengthy retention of quality employees. He was also chiefly responsible for client retention early on, and even now along with the many client service reps he has helped train and injected with his love for recruiting and providing quality client care.
Back in 2008, Broadbean Technology was acquired by DMGT, of which London’s well-known paper, Daily Mail is a part. Kelly stayed on and launched Broadbean’s US operations in 2009 and APAC ops in 2011. I was lucky enough to be part of the Bean Team for just under four years. I loved every minute of working at Broadbean and consider it one of my greatest work experiences. Each new experience prepares us for the next and my time at Broadbean and Evenbase most certainly prepared me for my current role of VP of Product Marketing & Strategy at Technomedia – my new love. And this move, I know never would have happened were it not for Kelly Robinson – he encouraged me to take risks and to not be afraid of challenge or to challenge, for he taught me to stand up for what I believe and do it with pride, backed by knowledge.
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What’s Next for Kelly and the Bean?
And now? Kelly and the Broadbean team are ready for their next challenge. Last night, it was announced that CareerBuilder has acquired Broadbean Technology for an undisclosed amount. I called Kelly right away to congratulate him and, of course, I was caught up in his enthusiasm and happy attitude as he talked about the next steps for Broadbean. He wants what is best for his team – this was always his first thought and it was clearly evident during our conversation that this main thought continues today.
Kelly was eager to share how he felt about the acquisition, “I am really excited to be joining the CareerBuilder family – one particular moment that was relevant to me during during the M&A process was when they asked the question, What are you looking for? and What does the team want to do with this business? I realized at that moment that here is a company which considers people and their importance in the success of any business. That just works for me and the culture of Broadbean!”
Power is Most Powerful When Shared
I had worked at Broadbean for about 6 months when Kelly came to my office, tapped on my desk, and asked if he could sit down. I pushed away from my computer and said, “Of course.” For a moment, I thought maybe I was in trouble. He looked up at me and said, “I know you have had to fight for everything you have, Ray. I know it has been hard for you and that what you have gone through as a single mum has been so very difficult. I want you to know that you don’t need to fight anymore. You are here. This is your home. And you don’t need to fight anymore.” I am not sure if he knows the impact of that moment, that those words had on me, but even now – four years later, I am crying as I remember them. This is the type of leader he is. This is the type of man he is.
I just want to thank you, Kelly Robinson. Thank you for pushing me, for respecting me, for challenging me, for preparing me, and for giving me a chance when I was just about out of chances.
You are a hero for so many – for your wonderful family, your many friends all over the globe, for those you employ, for the young men you coach in soccer, and for those you continually inspire.
Thanks for seeing potential all around you and knowing how to make it bloom.
Some of the Bean Team at ERE 2010