Anthony Haynes writes: Throughout April we are publishing a series of posts by or about women in our areas of focus – talent acquisition, talent management, and human capital. Here we publish an interview with FJWilson founder and managing director, Fiona Wilson.
Q. If you could give an employer just one piece of advice about how to select a recruitment company, what would it be?
Fiona: Ask yourself how well the recruitment company in general and account manager, in particular, can demonstrate that they understand, and are networked into, your sector – so that they can access the best candidates for your organisation and understand the wider business context in which you operate.
Q. And if you could give employers one piece of advice about how to write a job description for candidates, what would that be?
Fiona: Lose the corporate jargon (especially internal acronyms).
Q. There’s no shortage of talent acquisition companies out there. What in your view distinguishes FJWilson from others?
- Our knowledge and our candidate networks in the sectors we focus on – professional membership organisations and providers of training and education.
- We use candidate-centric methods to source candidates: we conduct over 80% of our candidate calls and meetings in the evenings or at weekends.
- Our contingency planning is strong. For example, we ensure we always have more than one team member who understands and can manage a client ‘s account and the shortlisted candidates for their job vacancies.
- Pace – we combine pace of a generalist staffing agency with the research of a headhunting firm.
Q. What’s the story behind FJWilson? Had did you come to set it up?
Fiona: In 2009 I was made redundant. I wanted to start a family and to combine parenthood with working in business. I also wanted to operate a more agile business model – one that could adapt around the needs of its customers and candidates, without compromising profitability.
I decided the best way to do this was to start my own business, so that I could work full-time but flexibly without compromising long-term service levels: the business is built around strong repeat business with quality clients.
Q. Now that FJWilson is established, what do you most enjoy about running the business?
Fiona: We have developed a flexible, modern, largely virtual, way of working that suits our clients, candidates, and staff.
Q. And what’s your vision for FJWilson in the future?
Fiona: To be recognised as the go-to talent firm for recruiting for senior contract or permanent roles in the sectors we focus on.