Case studies

Department of Health and Social Care

Central Government


Robertson Bell was commissioned to plan, create and execute a large-scale campaign to recruit 80 interim finance professionals over a period of 12 months.

Client profile

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) supports ministers in shaping policy that delivers the government’s objectives – helping people to live more independent, healthier lives for longer.


Robertson Bell was commissioned to plan, create and execute a large-scale campaign to recruit 80 interim finance professionals over a period of 12 months to support DHSC’s rapidly increasing operational requirements, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key considerations and challenges

  • DHSC’s ambitious operational objectives imposed challenging timescales on the project, which commenced in June 2020, with the majority of roles to be filled by August
  • Managing the complexities of a large-scale campaign, spanning multiple project teams and hiring managers, each with specific role requirements and often conflicting recruitment timelines
  • Due to the sudden, unforeseen, acceleration in recruitment, most roles were absent of a Job Description
  • Sustained, high volumes of recruitment over the 12-month period caused a significant decline in experienced contractors available for new assignments  
  • Facilitating the selection and on-boarding process remotely, due to Covid-19 restrictions


Robertson Bell’s go-to resource in a campaign of this nature is its in-house database of nearly 100,000 professionals in the Public and Not-for-Profit sectors. This is augmented by access to high-value third-party databases, plus cost-effective targeted advertising. As the successful delivery of a project of this size requires significant additional assets, our consultants were able to pivot and make use of the sources available to execute a far-reaching campaign.

Firstly, we assigned a project team of eight seasoned recruitment professionals to gain a thorough understanding of DHSC’s requirements and translate these into a targeted search. Our consultants leveraged their impressive networks on LinkedIn and manipulated our internal CRM system to reach out to a high volume of experienced finance contractors. Crucially, Robertson Bell’s reputation allowed us to engage productively with these sought-after candidates.

By utilising our In-Sight video interviewing platform and supporting technologies, we were able to facilitate effective early-stage selection and create quality candidate shortlists, despite the Covid-19 restrictions. 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 operational assets.

Our candidates frequently recommend Robertson Bell to other professionals within their own networks, extending our reach organically. This supports and accelerates engagement with high-calibre professionals who trust us to present them with exciting opportunities that are well-aligned with their expertise and experience.


Our project team generated up to five best qualified candidates for each role, with initial screening performed by a panel of Robertson Bell consultants before shortlists were passed to hiring managers. The robust selection process, including a series of interviews and skill analysis, resulted in the successful appointment of 80 high-calibre professionals with the skills and experience to match the detailed role requirements.

Robertson Bell also handled the offer management process, providing two-way post-interview feedback in all cases, and collaborating with the Department’s Commercial team to perform due diligence and facilitate delivery of essential equipment to remote-working contractors.

Due to the urgency of the campaign, Roberston Bell exceeded the time expectations by running the process as swiftly as possible. With the sector and market insight, knowledge and resources to make a high-volume series of placements, our consultants had the means and ability to seek out the exact people for these roles and within the time constraints.

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