Interview with Rob Fowler Head of Talent Acquisition at Taylor Wessing LLP

30 September 2022

Rob Fowler
Interview with Rob Fowler
Head of Talent Acquisition at Taylor Wessing LLP

Where are you now? Tell us about your role 

Having left RPC almost four years ago now, I lead on all recruitment for Taylor Wessing and I'm in charge of all activity related to Partner acquisition, acting as a strategic advisor to the Board in that context.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Lots of calls. Lots of meetings, both in person and virtually. I manage an ever-growing team of 14 across all areas of recruitment, so that absorbs a lot of my time.

I have regular calls on strategy with members of the Board and the Director of Talent, including in relation to some of the strategic projects I have been working on internationally in Ireland and the Middle East. The role requires a fair amount of travel, and that's becoming increasingly international again, as the world starts to open up following the height of the pandemic.

I have a keen eye on all elements of the recruitment process, continually assessing how we support the firm's strategic objectives, and add more productivity and value through the incredible talent in the market.

What do you enjoy most about your work and what has been your most rewarding achievement?

The people and the culture. That and the fact that I am part and parcel of helping the firm to move in the strategic direction that's a clear focus – that was the same when I was at RPC.

The best part is nurturing my wider team and seeing them flourish. In the last two weeks we've had four promotions in my team which is really rewarding.

Throughout your career – what are your highlights?

At RPC it was definitely being a part of – and watching – the evolution of the firm. When I joined, it was at something like £60m in revenue; that had grown to closer to £110m by the time I left. To be part of that journey was great.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I do a lot of gym-related activity, including boxing, to stay fit. But, more recently, I've got into landscape gardening. We bought a new house about five years ago with a decent garden and I've become very green-fingered. It's fantastic for your mental health and wellbeing.

Oh, and my two kids keep me reasonably busy, too.

What were the most valuable lessons you learnt while at RPC that have helped you in your current role?

I cut my teeth on stakeholder management at RPC. And I also learned the importance of culture and having a collaborative team ethos. I was a headhunter before, which was a very different environment.

I did a lot of work on inclusion and diversity while at RPC, both in the office and outside. Supporting that drive towards greater inclusivity, particularly within the legal sector, is core to what I want to achieve personally.

What is your favourite RPC memory?

I had fabulous colleagues at RPC, and I was backed by both Partners and senior business services people in my role – without RPC I wouldn't be where I am today. I am very grateful for that.

During my time at the firm, I was afforded the opportunity to perform a sales role jointly with my recruitment responsibilities, and worked alongside the Brand, Marketing & Sales team driving brand awareness and BD with the GC community. To be a part of that programme was a fascinating experience for me. You don't get that sort of opportunity at many firms.

What does the future hold for you – if we spoke again in a year, what would you like to have achieved?

I'm currently focused on building a long and successful career where I am now and continuing to play a small part in helping shape the talent acquisition industry of tomorrow.

More immediately, over the next two to three years I really want to do as much as I can to help facilitate change in terms of inclusion and diversity, both in and outside of work.

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