Scottish EDGE, AAI and Triyit
Can Do Collective speak with Jack Proctor, Marketing & Comms Manager at Scottish EDGE and Nick Murray, Marketing and Partnership Lead for AAI to find out more about why collective impact was so important for the success of placing a Partnership Manager into the Triyit team.
Scottish EDGE and AAI EmployAbility have been in collaboration since EDGE formed in 2014 – with AAI supporting the hire of their first-ever team member. Since then, AAI has joined EDGE as a Business Growth Support Partner, offering tailored employment support for EDGE finalists.
Scottish EDGE looks to offer its winners an all-encompassing level of support which expands beyond the initial cash funding. Part of that process is ensuring that the businesses have access to vetted, exclusive support services at a free or heavily discounted rate.
Supporting growing startups is at the core of what drives AAI’s operation. Often, entrepreneurs struggle with the transition to becoming employers, so AAI offers consultation support to all EDGE finalists as well as a 60% discount on their premium inclusive recruitment service and aftercare.
The main aims of this partnership are to support Scottish high-growth potential entrepreneurs by demonstrating effective recruitment practices from the outset – with the additional benefit of creating valuable job opportunities for AAI’s diverse audience.
Nick Murray, Marketing and Partnership Lead for AAI comments,
“When EDGE began, we were doing a lot of work with the government around encouraging small teams to hire graduates and use short-term internships to unlock the potential of Entry-level candidates. We’ve been working with all of the EDGE finalists and guiding them through the transition from being a solo entrepreneurs or small founding teams holding on tightly to their plans and ideas and supporting them to make that difficult transition into becoming a leader and an employer. This is just one case study of so many EDGE finalists and winners that we have been able to support.”
Triyit, a product discovery club, on a mission to help consumers find their new favourite products, initially did a recruitment round with Indeed and weren’t happy with the process or applications that came through. Following this, they approached AAI just as they were making a transition to expand beyond the remit of graduate roles. Upon being approached by Triyit, Nick did everything he could to help and eventually found Ashleigh through an extensive LinkedIn head-hunting exercise. He opened up conversations with her and quickly found that she wasn’t feeling fulfilled in her existing role. “The funny thing about this case study is that Triyit wanted to manage recruitment themselves because they thought that AAI at the time was about graduate internships and they were looking for a business development and salesperson with a couple of years experience. The catch twenty-two here is that young people don’t often choose to get into a sales role and the ones that are good at it, often don’t know that they are,” says Nick.
Ashleigh was very interested in the role and after Triyit had completed their first round of interviews and still not found anyone, Nick convinced them to interview Ashleigh. Triyit went on to recruit her into their team and she has since become a core part of the business.
Derek Connor, Director at Triyit, said,
“After being burned a couple of times looking for candidates in this role, we were cautious about this partnership, however, the effort that Nick specifically went to in order to find us the right candidate was above and beyond what we ever could have expected. Ashleigh is a huge asset to our organisations, and we are so pleased that AAI helped us to find her.”
Jack Proctor, Marketing & Comms Manager at Scottish EDGE comments,
“Our relationship with AAI really helps us get the right people into the right business and when it’s put to the test like this, the proof is in the pudding. Good employees are critical in supporting organisations to stay afloat, especially in these challenging times and Triyit is faring well over the course of the pandemic.”
Jack feels that from a partnership perspective, AAI goes above and beyond to make the collaboration work and continually make sure that they are really delivering on it. He comments,
“One thing that we are really adamant about with the partnerships is that the people we support are the ones that benefit most, and we ask our partners to put something on the table that is of genuine value to those businesses. I can’t think of a round where AAI hasn’t in some way collaborated with the businesses we have supported, and that support can be anything from giving them business advice, right through to placing someone in a team.”
So far AAI has supported 49 Scottish EDGE-winning businesses, creating 126 jobs in Scotland. Jack feels that the partnership with AAI ultimately creates a stronger support offering for the businesses who come through the competition. “We pride ourselves not only on the opportunity a win at a Scottish EDGE final can give a company, but also the support we can offer after. We monitor the survival and success rates of every EDGE winner, and how they grow their teams is a huge factor in how sustainable they’ll be in the long run.”
Nick comments, “I was an assessor for applications for EDGE right at the start of the pandemic and it was really difficult looking at some of the businesses, knowing that many would be deemed unviable as a direct result of COVID-19. To see what has come through in the last round, diverse businesses that I had never even heard of, doing incredible things, is testament to the entrepreneurial talent that Scottish EDGE attracts. For us to be able to go out and listen to their pain points and advise on what a job position could be, and work with them to create really interesting and diverse jobs for candidates, is so rewarding. It’s about sustainability, it’s about relationships and it’s about helping these people unlock their potential in Scotland.”
“Entrepreneurialism is a big organism in Scotland, it doesn’t operate in isolation and you can’t expect anything to reach its full potential when it’s a single entity. You need all of those different parts feeding in. We can provide the funding but without the right people coming in to direct the spend in the right place it wouldn’t be worth as much. We have a really specific role within a business and as impactful as that is, it wouldn’t be anything without those extra parts coming in.”
Nick concludes, “We speak to early-stage companies all of the time and I’m always saying, have you applied to Scottish EDGE? We are continually directing people to the platform so it’s a closed circle in terms of collaboration.”
Scottish EDGE has also created 4 jobs over the last 5 years with AAI, which further reinforces the strength of this partnership and the mutually beneficial opportunities that it creates for both organisations.
Growing companies that have been trading for less than 5 years, looking for that next stage of growth should contact Scottish EDGE directly for more information.
Businesses who want to work with a not-for-profit recruitment agency that is centered around people, inclusion and reaching a diverse audience should contact AAI EmployAbility.