fiona watson recruitment

Are You Looking To Recruit?

Unless you are an internal recruiter within a business, the task of recruiting staff, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, can fill many people with dread. Balancing the need to fill a critical role in your organisation with the daily workload that already demands your attention can be overwhelming. While the idea of engaging a recruitment agency might not be an immediate thought, having a trusted relationship with a recruiter can make your life a whole lot easier.
Employer interview
At Fiona Watson Recruitment, we make sure that we know all about your business and its requirements before we start to recruit. Many of our clients use us on an exclusive basis as they know we will provide the results every time. We will provide honest support and feedback throughout the process whether it is for a temporary administration assistant or a Chief Financial Officer to join the Board.

The Recruitment Process

Like setting an agenda in a meeting, having a recruitment process in place ensures things will run smoothly.

First things first

Why are you recruiting? Is it to replace a resignation? A new project? To deal with business growth? The reason for a vacancy can be a good selling point when attracting candidates. This is a good time to take stock of what the role will actually be and put a job description together.

Key areas on a job description are:

Who will the role report to?
Who will report into this role?
Main responsibilities.
Key performance indicators (are there specific tasks that can be measured?).
Required qualifications and experience.
Type of person/Team fit.
Is the role on site full time? Could it be hybrid/remote?
Work out when you want the person to start so that you have a timeline in place for the process. Do you want one or two interviews? Skills or psychological testing? Would you like to try someone on a temporary to permanent basis? What salary range are you looking to pay?

Having a clear idea of what kind of person will fir the role best will make it a lot easier when briefing your recruiter and ensure time is not wasted on unsuitable candidates and your shortlist is right first time. Making sure you know what you don’t want is just as important in getting it right. Fully informed about your perfect candidate, the recruiter will then use a variety of methods including database search, advertising and social media networking to find the most suitable candidates.


Your recruiter will go through the shortlist in detail providing a summary on suitability as each candidate has been technically interviewed and fully briefed prior to submission. Your shortlist should ensure that you have a diverse mix of suitable candidates to choose from. You can choose to meet all of the shortlist or only one or two.


Set aside time to conduct the interviews keeping in mind candidates may have work commitments. Technology advances have allowed Zoom/Teams interviews to become very popular. This is your opportunity to promote your business to professional staff and create a good reputation in the market for future. Even the most inexperienced interviewer can appear confident and in control if they have done some preparation. Make sure you have reviewed the CV’s in detail, make notes about particular areas you would like to question further, have a copy of the job description and perhaps even a score chart so that you can compare the candidates.

Use a mixture of general and behavioural questions that are relevant to the role (ie. not asking a CFO their typing speed or a receptionist what their opinion is of last year’s financial report!) End the interview by inviting the candidate to ask questions as this can give a great insight and then give them an idea of when a second interview/decision is going to be made.
Second interviews go into more depth about experience and cultural fit. You may also introduce other staff at this point or give a tour of the office.

Reference Checks

Taking references gives a valuable insight into a candidates performance and is a great way to check work history, skills and experience. Fiona Watson Recruitment provide two thorough references from recent employers but we are happy to provide guidance on questions etc if you would like to take your own. Candidate must always give permission before referees are approached.

Making An Offer

You have chosen the candidate that you want to hire, references have been taken and now it’s time to make an offer. Your recruiter will have been providing feedback throughout the process to ensure the candidate is interested and salary expectations are in line with the role. Make a clear offer of position title, salary (including any benefits) and start date. Once a verbal offer has been accepted an employment contract gives everyone peace of mind.


In the candidate short market of today, companies will try to retain their staff sometimes by making a counteroffer when they resign. This can be an increase in their current salary, a promise of a different role or progression. Try to make sure that you know what has motivated that candidate to look for another role and that your recruiter has addressed the counteroffer with the candidate.


A good onboarding process will get new employees comfortable in their new surroundings and get them working efficiently quickly. Introduce them to everyone they will interact with, show them around the offices, go through the job description in depth pointing out deadlines etc and make sure they have a workstation, computer and passwords on their first day!


Your recruiter will keep in touch with both you and the candidate during the settling in period to ensure everything is going smoothly. If you have any concerns, let them know straight away. A small misunderstanding can be easily dealt with or a bigger issue can be addressed whilst you are still in your replacement guarantee period.

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