Matching the right person to the right job: AAT’s Rob Alder

Rob_Alder_0845Anthony Haynes writes: FJWilson Talent Services (FJWTS) have worked with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) since 2012, initially focusing on a number of new, regional and field-based business development roles.   In September 2014 , we published an interview with AAT’s Rob Alder (pictured right).

Since then, Rob has been promoted from Business Development Manager to Head of Business Development at AAT. He is now responsible for replicating the success of AAT’s UK regional sales structure to its international market.

Below, he shares his perspective on AAT’s successful recruitment experiences with FJWilson Talent Services (FJWTS), beginning with recruiting a new sales team.

Developing the brief

FJWTS added value right from the start, in 2012. Fiona got under the skin of what AAT was trying to achieve and to find the right types of people for the team. She asked very thorough questions – the questions we needed to consider; it was invaluable.

 Candidate knowledge

When the search for candidates began I was surprised at the amazing amount of dialogue about the kinds of people they were putting forward. There was a lot of briefing about each one.  FJWTS had worked out before which people they should approach. It wasn’t simply a matter of sending through a load of CVs:  FJWTS knew each and every one of the candidates they proposed.

 Candidate fit

Since 2012 the team has expanded. FJWTS were again involved in the recruitment. AAT was also looking for another role – the tricky role of head of telesales – FJWTS found exactly the right person regarding their background and cultural fit. FJWTS brief candidates on the types of people at AAT and AAT’s business. Candidates will already know if AAT is right for them. FJWTS make sure the right person gets the right job.

Using psychometric testing

AAT didn’t include FJWTS’s psychometric testing service as part of its assessment procedure for the first batch of recruits, but did for subsequent hires.  This was helpful to confirm our views of a candidate and the information gave an extra bit of confidence. It was easy to use and not too much detail.


It was quite a change for AAT to recruit an external sales team, and we had to approach the whole recruitment project differently. The candidates appointed as Regional Area Managers were a different calibre – they’ve opened up new markets for us. In the past our run rate was recruiting around 30 new providers per year. The Regional Area Managers have lifted it to between 50 and 60 and also targeted those with largest growth potential.

The [more recent] successful candidates have settled in seamlessly. They are very comfortable with the organisation and what’s involved. There’s some mentoring going on within the team – another service where FJWTS adds more value.

It’s always a pleasure dealing with our account managers (Dilly Clack and Fiona Wilson). I’ve found other agencies reactive and slow, and the calibre of candidates not as good. With FJWTS you get the quality and exactly what you want.


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