Arjan Spies

Head of Recruitment, CarNext.com

1. If you could write a brief note to your 13 year old self, what advice would you impart in it?

I would tell my 13 year old self that he is on the right path, follow your instinct, make sure you keep on being interested in so many things no matter what people say, fail more and if the failure feels not as hard as the last, you have not failed enough, make sure that when people say “I wouldn’t do that” think twice and if you want to do it, please do it. Give your mom and dad a hug once in a while they are good people, stay nice and keep giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Oh and make sure you keep your technical lego together this prevents us from having to buy the same stuff when you are older to make it all complete again

2. What seemed like an inconsequential decision at the time, but in hindsight
turned out to fundamentally reshape your life?

When I was joining the navy the officer in charge mentioned to me that given my background and education I would be struggling to complete navy school and probable would be one of the first drop outs. At that moment I hated that officer as I was already enlisted so I had made it through all the selection rounds. But after completing navy school and I had a beer with him, where I was about to say ‘I told you so’, he came and told me that the drive he had seen was something I had to keep having for the rest of your career in what ever you do. That decision to go all in, is one I still use every day: if you go, go all in.

3. What habit or behaviour or belief have you recently acquired? Why is it now in your life?

I was never one to think about these things when moving ahead in live, my motto was to take it as it is, very dull if you look at it like this. Always been very outspoken on what I thought was the right thing but hey if people wanted to do it otherwise please be my guest, as long as we move forward and if things are new and fresh, by all means be my guest.

However recent events in life has given me the strange behaviour to look back and see the moments that actually have been pushed back while they where actually great moments which I enjoyed, and should have been more proud of, I should have cherished those moment more.

So still going forward but actually take more time to enjoy the moments that matter or which makes me proud, both in the workspace as well as in the personal environment.

4. Name a well-known person you admire and explain why you hold them high esteem?

The Wright Brothers, for the simple reason of their pursuit of getting something up in the air whilst everybody thought they where crazy, I admire way more people who have this attitude, over the course of history we have so any people who have been seen as doing weird an crazy stuf and during their endavours they heard ongoing “ that will never work” and they didn’t gave up.

5. If we were to go and speak to people who don't think very highly of you, what do you think they would say?

They would probable say that I am arrogant and a very hard person to work with due to the unrestless efforts to change things even if they are for now working perfectly, this makes me sometimes a very irritating person to work with.

6. What’s one misconception people generally have about you?

That I am arrogant, it is my uncertainty which gives a certain posture that is being fed by the beast that always wants to do more and do it right for everybody.

7. On what topic would you never make a joke?

Health, this is so personal and hard, nobody know what a family or person went through so that is one for me that I will never judge or make jokes about.

8. What is your most prized possession? What’s the story behind it?

2 fishing rods I have, my wife actually almost through them away, those rods I have build myself when I was 14 with the help of a very dear and close friend who has passed away because of an accident. Next to the fact that they are great rods, it reminds me that I should fish more to enjoy life.

9. What is the best purchase you’ve made recently? Why?

I bought a lego technic kit (big big truck) to release the building child in side me, it is so great to build something with lego, makes me relaxe and forget about the day. We don’t stop playing because we become old, we become old because we stop playing

10. If you were to own a bar, and you could design it how you wanted, what
would it look like?

It would be a big ship with multiple decks, and the inside would actually be the same and the mess area would be the bar, but I would leave it as a ship inside.

11. If you were to survive the zombie apocalypse, what role would you play in the new society that would follow?

I would love to be the stand up comedian, that would entertain people after the misery they all went through.

12. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given?

That you are as good as your last hire, this made me aware of the fact that you always have to be keen on improvements, candidate and hiring leaders experiences.

13. What's a skill that isn’t on your resume, but your former bosses would
recognize as one of the reasons you are successful?

Getting shit done whilst building the close relationships on all levels in an organization.

14. What’s the one bad quality you wouldn’t mind in a colleague? Why?

Being a baddass and stepping over the lines, as long as they are aware of 5 simple rules, is it compliant/ethical, what does it do with topline, how does it affect bottomline, what does it do with culture and what does it do with engagement. If they have a solid and positive answer on all they can be the badass they would like to be and I will turn the other way (smilling)

15. Who was the best person you ever hired? Why were they so good?

It is not a single person, it are those people whom nobody would have expected to do it so well. As they are always the persons who are way off from a specialist perspective, they might have been only scratching the surface on the requirements, but their personality and eagerness to learn and positive influx made the difference.

16. When it comes to our work and industry: what scares you most?

The easiness we reject people who showed sincere interest in your organization, there are brains, individuals behind those cv’s, those people applied effort in their cover letter. And yes sometimes they make spelling mistakes, but let’s not forget they apply or they respond as they think we can help them as a company advance their lives and or careers. So please threat all of them with respect. Sometimes it feels that we are all A4 psychologist who can identify talent via a piece of paper or a pdf document.

The bit scares me the most as we have not moved the needle on that end with all the support of technology that we have and can apply to ensure that we give the working world the feedback and the yes or no n their application, we still remain sometimes stuck in the past when it comes to this.

17. What’s one industry challenge you don’t actually think will ever get solved?

The above mentioned

18. Do you have a secret tip, tool or trick that’s contributed to your success?

Stay humble, laugh and go the extra mile

19. What’s the one question that I should’ve asked you, but wasn’t on this list?

Why do you hate/love this work?

20. Who is the next person you would like to see take 20 Questions With?

Suzanne Jansonius

Thank you to Arjan Spies for taking 20 Questions for The Brainfood Tribune. Follow Arjan on LinkedIn

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