Why I made the switch from football to recruitment

Clint Davies

Originally from Perth, Clint Davies was a professional football player in the UK before becoming a recruitment consultant in 2009. We asked Clint why he made the switch, how his skills were transferable and what it takes to succeed at Robert Walters.

Why did you switch to recruitment?

After eight successful years playing football professionally in different teams across the UK, I decided it was the right time to move back to Australia with my wife and to take my career in a new direction. In particular, I was looking for a career that would deliver greater job satisfaction and a better work-life balance. A friend that worked in recruitment shared his positive experience in the industry and explained how working in recruitment could enable me to achieve my career aspirations. After exploring the idea further, I decided that recruitment offered an exciting direction to take my career.

My first role in recruitment was in the industrial sector, specialising in construction and manufacturing roles. This experience taught me the foundations of recruitment and helped me to gain a clear understanding of the Perth market. In 2017, I felt that I needed a new challenge at a global company so I jumped at the opportunity to join Robert Walters as a consultant.

Why did you decide to join Robert Walters?

There were several factors that made Robert Walters stand out for me. In addition to the company’s large global footprint, I really liked Robert Walters’ consultative approach and strong reputation for working with high calibre clients and candidates. I wanted to gain experience working with senior business leaders, including directors, CFOs and CEOs, and the prospect of helping leading industry professionals develop their hiring strategies was a big attraction.

How were your skills transferable?

My footballing background has been a big plus as it has taught me to be disciplined and resilient, both of which are valuable in recruitment. I’d also say that the experience of working in a team as a footballer has been beneficial to my career at Robert Walters. The company has a strong culture of collaboration with a team profit share system, so being able to build trusted relationships with your team and stakeholders in the wider business is key to achieving a rewarding career. 

How does Robert Walters support you in your role?

Robert Walters’ offer fantastic training and support. For me, the peer mentoring programme was instrumental in helping me to adjust my skills to suit a corporate environment very quickly. I really valued having the opportunity to learn from my peers. In particular, I found that mentoring helped me to develop in the consultancy aspect of my role, enabling me to build genuine and long lasting relationships with clients and candidates.

What have you enjoyed most about your career change?

I really enjoy building strong relationships with clients and adding value to a sourcing strategy. It helps that sport is an area of interest for many people – I’ve found that my footballing background can be a great conversation starter with prospective talent and clients, helping me to engage with them on a personal level. I also find it really rewarding to help someone achieve the next milestone in their career.  

What does it take to be successful at Robert Walters?

You need to have a real passion for helping others develop in their career. Additionally, persistence and determination are essential in this role. It’s a long-term commitment which requires you to engage with people and think strategically. For example, sometimes the timing isn’t right for a certain client or candidate, but there’s always potential in a future partnership, so you really need to be committed to building strong relationships. Finally, I’d say you need to have both drive and ambition. Recruitment is competitive, so you need to enjoy being challenged. 


Interested in a career in recruitment? Please send your up-to-date CV to jess.allan@robertwalters.com.