Biz Extra

Published: October 1, 2021 | Updated: October 2, 2021

Best thing about living in Dorset? The beach and the sea. I love just listening to the waves

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

He says the best thing about living and working in Dorset is the beach and the sea, chooses his dad as his childhood hero, gets angry at liars and bigots and would like to be remembered for being a good guy.

Julian Knott, Director of Engineering, Holt Engineering Recruitment, occupies the 20 Questions’ hot seat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: American Pickers or Salvage Hunters. I love the fact that these guys are going out to find unloved, forgotten about items and then sell them on for profits.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: I think this is a common response but it would be Boris Johnson. I would ask him where are we going to find skilled and unskilled workers to fill the 100s of vacancies we currently have available in Dorset.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: There are two things I love about the job. First is my team – we have the best bunch of people and we all get on so well and love being at work. The second is when you make a placement that really changes someone’s life for the better. One of my first placements gave me a thankyou card explaining that he was just about to lose his house as he couldn’t make the repayments and that I had saved his family. That was very humbling.

Q: And the worst…?

A: The let downs. So many times you make a placement and the candidate doesn’t turn up on their first day and then ghosts you. It happens far more often than anyone would think.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: My dad. He was in the Royal Air Force and worked away from home for most of my childhood. I remember sitting in his bedroom looking out of the window waiting for his car to come down the road.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: Vanilla and my girlfriend’s perfume – Chanel Chance.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: The beach. I used to live in Surrey and only saw the beach when on holiday. Now it’s on my doorstep and I absolutely love it.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Do something you love. Coming to Holt Engineering doesn’t feel like work.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: It was a second hand 12” single by The Who – Substitute.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: Liars and bigots.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: Baba O’Riley by The Who.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: It depends on the role but for a consultant it would be drive and ambition. I give everyone the opportunity to grow in my business and would like to see everyone flourish.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: I love Thai food. Probably a red Thai curry.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Steamed sponge pudding with loads of custard.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: The beach and the sea. I love just listening to the waves

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Make hiring people from abroad easier. We currently have so many available vacancies for skilled and unskilled workers but can’t find the staff. We must change the rules to allow agencies to utilise the skilled migrant worker programme and introduce a low skilled migrant worker programme to do those jobs that we can’t fill with UK workers.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: At the moment having 100s of vacancies that we can’t fill.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: I have two. Nerja in Spain, I have gone every year for the last seven years (except this year) with a group of friends, and Cornwall. I was born there and it feels like going home.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: On a boat with a fishing rod catching mackerel for tea.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Being a good guy. I would like to think people like working for me and that I have enabled them to grow within the business. Although by then I will have stepped back from the business I will still pop in to see my colleagues and friends that I have built up over the years.