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Rob Scott, MBA, FCMI
As a typical 'child of Thatcher' Rob left school at 16 with the intention of retiring at 25 as a multi-millionaire. After joining the stockbroking arm of RBS and making the rather expensive mistake of confusing US dollars with Singaporean dollars the City decided that Rob wasn’t for them. Rob left to travel the world, during which he cycled solo 3,300 miles up the East Coast of Australia, before returning to lead and guide school parties on historical educational tours. After 6 very happy years with very little money, Rob joined the recruitment industry.
Over the next ten years Rob rapidly rose through the ranks of a specialist Sales and Marketing recruitment division of a £0.5BN recruitment group leaving in 2007 as Marketing & Sales Director to establish Aaron Wallis, a leading sales and marketing recruitment agency. Since 1998, Rob has specialised in technical sales recruitment, particularly engineering and electronics sales recruitment, and has over 23-years sales, operational and commercial management experience. During his corporate life, Rob won the coveted best-performing manager award 2004 for profitability (out of 315 group managers) and won numerous other group Awards for both achievements and excellence. Since setting up Aaron Wallis Rob has steered the company to enjoy double-digit growth year-on-year, through turbulent economic times, by maintaining clients and making a difference.
With an MBA (Merit) and a first class honours degree in History, Rob is a factoid nut and in 2007, 2009 and 2013 led the largest surveys of sales professionals in the UK. As a consequence, he is recognised as an authority in both recruitment and sales and has had articles published in the Guardian, FT, the Daily Mail and The Times. Twice featuring on the front cover of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management magazine, "Winning Edge", Rob is also the author of the celebrated 'Career Success Masterclass' e-book and podcast series.
Rob has strummed a guitar since he was thirteen but hasn’t quite progressed from there. Rob is happiest on a family holiday with great views and good food. Rob is Android, not iPhone. Rob’s favourite music genre is classic rock/prog rock. Rob is an anorak. Rob is stubborn. Rob is married with four children and lives in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
Advice for Contacting Rob
More About Rob Scott
1. Describe your role in one sentence?
I’m the MD of Aaron Wallis but still actively recruit and place around 40 candidates every year, predominantly into technical sales roles. My other responsibilities include overseeing marketing initiatives, developing Aaron Wallis as a ‘brand and getting involved in every aspect of commercial and operational management.
2. What is your style?
As a consultant, I’d like to think that I’m knowledgeable and open. I like to offer advice and help clients to make the best possible decisions.
As a manager, I’m the kind of person that likes to give people the tools and then let them flourish in their own style, within a supportive and structured framework.
3. What’s the one thing that you’re best at solving for your clients?
I really enjoy working with clients that have had real problems recruiting and maintaining staff. Then look at their recruitment process, how they manage new staff, how they measure performance and then provide them with the consultancy, and hopefully the right staff, to help them improve their results.
5. What is the favourite aspect of your work?
6. What would you do, as a career, if you weren’t working in recruitment?
Probably, a History Teacher. Although I’d probably get sacked after a year for not following the curriculum and only teaching the exciting stuff!
7. What skills make a great salesperson?
Positive attitude, hard work and process (i.e. working to proven methods, managing yourself against your own KPI’s, setting small goals to achieve the big goals, etc.)
8. What are the personal characteristics and skills you have that you believe are particularly suited to what you do?
I am lucky that generally, I get on with most people, and I’m very straightforward. I care and want to make a difference. I am passionate about what I do – I read at least a book a month on sales or recruitment, together with listening to audiobooks and attending conferences and seminars on sales. I think this helps me to ‘add value’ to employers and candidates.
9. I confess to being bad at...
I talk too much, get bored easily and am not as organised as I’d like to be. I’m a classic ‘lazy zee’ DISC profile – reasonably driven, highly communicative, and easily distracted. Also, if a process can be circumvented to save time I’ll occasionally sneak down that path. Luckily there’s a great member of our team, Jo, who’s terrific at all of the above things that I’m not so good at!
More About Rob Scott as Person
1. What is the mantra, motivational quote or poem that inspires you?
I’ve got a couple of quotes “Nothing Happens until I Make it Happen” by Scott Wilson and “Luck is the crossroads between preparation and perspiration” which is my adaptation of a Napoleon Hill quote.
My mantra which I say to myself when at something like 23 miles into a marathon is “Never been a quitter. Never have been. Never will l be” – it also has a rhythm that helps you ‘stumble on’ when you feel like giving up. My Dad gave me a handwritten copy of Kipling’s “IF” (http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_if.htm) when I went travelling at 18 so that always resonates with me.
Also “Life’s Little Instructions” isn’t a bad way to live your life - http://blog.aaronwallis.co.uk/2012/12/lifes-little-instructions.html
2. What are your 3 ‘Desert Island’ songs?
“Supper’s Ready” by Genesis (it’s 23 minutes long and almost ten songs in one so it’s just being greedy really) then “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd and “Green, Green Grass of Home” by Tom Jones
3. What’s the best impression that you can do?
David Essex. It went out of demand for many years, back again when he was in EastEnders for a stint, then sadly it is again in very low demand.....
4. What would you send to Room 101?
Oh, there are so many things! I'll just go for three.
- People bumping into you that are texting whilst walking – they then look at you as if it’s your fault!
- Men in gym changing rooms flaunting their bits and taking rather too long to get themselves dry (and they’re always men that really have nothing at all to be proud of!).
- Lastly and most importantly, negative people that don’t have a good word to say about anyone or anything – I avoid them.
5. If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you go?
Benjamin Franklin. What a dude to fit so much into one life! Not only did he discover and harness the power of lightning and was a signatory on both the ‘Declaration of Independence and ‘U.S. Constitution’. But, he was also a self-made millionaire by his mid-twenties, set up the first fire brigade in the US, invented the Franklin Stove (but chose not to profit from it so that ordinary people could get warm cheaper - was this then perhaps the first Social Enterprise?), invented the odometer, rocking chair and bifocal glasses, founded the University of Pennsylvania and was the leading advocate of the anti-slavery movement! In addition, he retired in his 40s to follow his passions, was renowned for being a bit of a party animal (coming up with over 260 ways to describe someone that’s had ‘one too many’ – such as ‘drunk as a wheelbarrow’ and ‘well on his way to Barbados’) and was a charmer with the ladies! What a guy!
6. What do you think the secret to a good life is?
Being happy and true to yourself
7. If you were to write a letter today for your grandchildren to read in thirty years detailing 3 pieces of advice for their lives what would they be?
Love your granddad – I know he smells a bit but he’s alright really! No seriously, 1) the Beatles were right “Money Can’t Buy You Love” but it can buy you the choice to do what you want to do. Enjoy what you can do with money rather than chase material possessions and letting it be your master, 2) Invest in your own mind – then only fate can take it away from you and, 3) Laugh lots, take risks, be happy; karma is real – treat others like you want to be treated.
8. Who is a famous person that has inspired you but not many people know about?
Craig Venter - total genius. Famous for decoding human DNA he's also currently investigating artificial life with the aim is to create a microbe that eats carbon dioxide with the waste product being H2O - solving water shortages and global warming in one swoop! When you get an hour watch this video, the 2007 Dimbleby Lecture from the BBC - utterly inspirational
9. What was your ‘Sliding Door’ moment - the event that altered the course of your life?
When I returned from travelling I just wanted a ‘job’ to earn enough money to go travelling again. I was lucky enough to get two job offers on the same day – one was in a call centre for British Gas, and the second was with a School Tour Operator in a sales role. I chose the School Tour Operator (which was £25 a month less) as it offered free tea and coffee, and I worked out that I’d spend more than that a month in the Call Centre! That simple and naïve decision meant I worked with amazing colleagues who had brains the size of counties, I got into sales, I travelled loads with the job (which quenched my thirst for travelling) and I met my wife.
10. When you think of ‘retirement’ what image does it conjure up?
Selling up, buying a Winnebago and heading off without a plan and enough cash to pay for friends and family flights to visit us. A home by the sea and a great walk. Travelling, painting, playing guitar, eating good food, remaining fit, going to loads of gigs, working through my ever-growing ‘bucket list’, growing my hair long, doing loads of degrees, being openly opinionated, falling asleep when I feel like it and still doing silly ‘challenges’.
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