Case studies

Cabinet Office

Central Government


Multiple roles across the Financial control and Finance business partnering teams

Client profile

The Cabinet Office is a ministerial department with responsibility for providing support to the Prime Minister and ensuring the effective running of government. The department’s operational priorities include driving efficiencies and reforms that make government work better, and helping to ensure the effective development and implementation of policy.


Robertson Bell was retained by the Cabinet Office to run two large-scale recruitment campaigns across the department’s Financial Control and Finance Business Partnering teams.

Campaign 1

Sept 2019 – Nov 2019: 10 permanent roles and 3 temp roles spanning grades HEO/B2 to Grade 6/AU.

  • Head of Financial Operations
  • Financial Control Manager
  • Financial Accountant x 2
  • Reporting Manager
  • Management Accountant
  • Assistant Finance Business Partner  
  • VAT Accountant
  • Audit Lead
  • Head of Audit
  • Interim Financial Accountant
  • Interim Senior Reporting Analyst
  • Interim Finance Officer


Campaign 2

Feb 2020 – May 2020: 21 permanent roles spanning grades HEO/B2 to Grade 6/AU.

  • Senior Finance Business Partner x 7
  • Finance Business Partner x 5
  • Assistant Finance Business Partner x 3
  • Management Accountant x 2
  • Financial Strategist x 2
  • Reporting Analyst x 1
  • Reporting Manager x 1

Considerations and challenges

  • High churn of personnel within this sector means that hiring managers frequently see the same CVs, so Cabinet Office departments were keen to engage with a fresh, diverse talent pool.
  • Individual role profiles were unique and highly complex, requiring close collaboration between Robertson Bell consultants and hiring managers in order to ensure a precise understanding of requirements.
  • The logistical challenge of running complex recruitment campaigns across multiple levels and reporting lines.
  • Campaign 2 was in progress when the Covid-19 lockdown was implemented.


Our consultants spent significant time with hiring managers in order to develop a deep understanding of role profiles. Armed with these insights, we were then able to create a sophisticated, multi-faceted campaign incorporating comprehensive in-house and third-party database searches plus targeted advertising. We also leveraged our consultants’ impressive connectivity in a wide-reaching headhunt to engage passive candidates whose expertise and experience were aligned with specific role requirements.

Robertson Bell is well-equipped to help employers meet stringent inclusivity guidelines, and for this campaign we reached out to candidates via BAME community groups on LinkedIn, and engaged with diverse audiences through specialist diversity jobs boards. CVs were screened and graded by a panel of three diversity-trained consultants, consisting of one male, one female and one from a minority group. All shortlists were supplied ‘blind’.

Faced with complex demands and challenging timelines, we employed Prince 2 methodologies alongside bespoke KPIs and MI reports to ensure continual campaign monitoring and provide full transparency at all times.

Campaign 2 was in progress when the Covid-19 pandemic began to gather pace, and Robertson Bell took positive action two weeks before lockdown was imposed – seamlessly switching to a virtual process via our In-Sight video platform. Our ability to manage an entirely remote selection process without compromising the integrity of the experience for either client or candidates, demonstrated the efficacy and value of our robust and agile operational assets.


All campaign assets delivered a very strong response and were particularly effective in attracting new-to-sector candidates with broad commercial experience.

Success Profile Framework screening by Robertson Bell produced high-calibre shortlists for each of the roles across the two campaigns, with 150 candidates invited to interview.

All 34 appointed candidates started successfully, energising Cabinet Office teams with fresh insights and innovate approaches.

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