From professional athlete to recruitment

Ross Soutar

A professional gymnast, a national judge at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and a technical official at the 2015 World Championships, Ross Soutar held a number of athletic accolades before making the move into recruitment.

Eight months into his role as a recruitment consultant for Robert Walters in Parramatta, Ross tells us why he made the move and what he enjoys about his new career.


Why did you make the move from gymnastics to recruitment?

I retired from my athletic career and needed a change so I decided to move abroad and start a new career in the corporate world. I was looking for an international organisation that could support me in developing my career and train and mentor me to achieve my new career aspirations. I came across Robert Walters and soon realised that having a unique background is an asset when applying for a role within the organisation – because the culture is all about diversity.

How were your skills transferable?

Gymnastics is complex and requires analytical and technical skills, a sense of discipline, commitment, persistence as well as consistency - all skills that are really valuable in recruitment. Many professionals fear losing their expertise when making a career change, but being a recruitment consultant allows you to use your skills and build on your expertise, to become a specialist in your market. The transition into a role that I had no previous experience in has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time.

How did Robert Walters help you transition into your new role?

This role is my first office job, so the business aspect was completely new to me. The mentoring program and training structure has been extremely useful to bring me up to speed with the latest trends in the financial market in Sydney as well as my understanding of the role itself.

"You embark on a journey where mentors share their knowledge and help you succeed by providing ongoing guidance and constructive feedback."

Since being with Robert Walters, I have learnt a lot about stakeholder management. The strong training is helping me to improve my soft skills, which is a vital part of the role given our business is all about people.

What is the most valuable thing you've learnt since joining Robert Walters?

I have developed the ability to take some knockbacks through objections and subsequently have learnt how to handle them. I now understand that having the right attitude and making contingency plans is crucial to my success going forward. Persistence and resilience are key in this role.

What have you enjoyed the most about your change in career?

I love learning and developing skills that I can apply in both my personal and professional life.  Being a recruitment consultant is fast-paced and requires a high level of commitment to your own goals and your team objectives. I am continually learning about the industry, how to be a better communicator, managing stakeholders, negotiating, planning and coming up with strategies to generate positive outcomes.

What does it take to be successful at Robert Walters?

To be successful as a recruiter at Robert Walters, you need to be passionate about helping people with their business objectives and be a team player to fit in with the company culture.

Interested in a career in recruitment? Please send your up-to-date CV to