Robert was born and brought up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) by English parents, before moving to England and enrolling in the British Army, where he served for seven very happy years. The military taught him many things, but the most fundamental was that of the importance of discipline and teamwork, both of which he has carried forward throughout his business career.

Robert says “I suppose I was always fond of the military because of my father and the stories he used to tell me when I was a child. My father is Peter Stiff, who is a renowned military author, historian and publisher and was once a senior member of the British South Africa Police.”

After leaving the Army to join the world of finance, which was a relatively smooth transition for him, before moving into recruitment.

Robert spent six years building up the infrastructure of the sales teams within a small family business. He was quickly able to identify the most effective methods of increasing sales. He says “My team and I worked very hard and succeeded in raising the annual sales from £3m to a phenomenal £163m during my time there.”

Following this achievement and not being in his nature to rest on his laurels, he was ready for a new challenge. The opportunity came when the company relocated to Cape Town, so in 2005 he finally decided to go for it and created a new company. Team24, a healthcare recruitment agency which initially supplied locum doctors, and then nurses, before he decided to branch out in to the private healthcare market.

Robert says “We had an incredible first five years working with customers ranging from small GP surgeries, remote 'Out of Hours', large NHS trusts, hospitals and private clients in their homes.”

Team24 was by then well recognised in the industry with numerous awards and accolades.

  • In 2010 Team24 topped Recruiter Magazine's Hot 100 list, based on the highest Net Fee Income companies in their sector.
  • Winner of Fast Growth Business Awards, Family Business of the Year.
  • Finalist of Growing Business Innovation/Technology Award, CBI finalist in best use of Technology and CBI finalist Business of the Year.
  • National Business Awards finalist for Growth Strategy of the Year, BCS & Computing UK IT Industry Awards finalist for Small Business Project of the Year and Recruitment International Awards finalists.
  • The Sunday Times Fast Track – listed 16th in 2009
  • The Sunday times Fast Track – listed 15th in 2010

Robert was also recognised for his achievements and was successful in winning the Entrepreneur of the year award from Inside Media in 2011.

In May 2011 Robert sold Team24 to The Capita Group which was incredibly emotional for him but absolutely the right decision as Team24 will continue to flourish under Capita. He remained at the helm for a year until May 2012 when he left to start some new ventures.

Since 2012 Robert has worked on a number of new projects, including starting a number of new businesses.

  • Quicktemp - A Nationwide Recruitment Specialist providing Temporary & Permanent recruitment solutions in the driving, office and education sectors.
  • Hankyz – the ultimate men's accessory for the discerning man. With one of the largest collections of pre-folded pocket squares/ Hankies in the world.
  • Daksta – working across a number of technical areas including Oil and Gas, engineering, shipping and construction.
  • Nursdoc - In June of 2015 Robert went back to his roots and launched Nursdoc – A healthcare recruitment agency working across the UK, specialising in providing temporary, contract and permanent nurse & doctors.
  • Nursing Direct – Dealing with patients with Complex health needs in their homes, in partnership with CCGs as well as direct private engagement.
  • Supply24 – Started in 2017, Supply24 is an education recruitment agency providing temporary, contract or permanent teachers and support staff to educational establishments across the UK.