Case studies

Ibstock Place School



  • Permanent HR Manager
  • Permanent Finance Manager

Client profile

Ibstock Place School is an independent co-educational day school for pupils aged 4 to 18.  The School has a strong family ethos and provides a rich variety of opportunity in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. The School is on the edge of Richmond Park in South West London


Robertson Bell recently worked with Ibstock Place School, a well-respected educational institution, to place two roles within its team in London. The relationship established with this client began in a particularly unique way over 15 years ago.

Our Founder and CEO, Stuart Bell, worked with the client at Ibstock Place School, John Hutchison, almost two decades ago, when he placed John in a private sector role at the beginning of his career. John noted that the service Stuart provided at that time was memorable as it was considered, thoughtful and incredibly knowledgeable. He knew that he wanted to work with him again.

Now in the role of Bursar at Ibstock Place School, John approached Robertson Bell to support his search for a permanent HR Manager and Permanent Finance Manager to join the small team.

Considerations and challenges

  • The position of the HR Manager was a newly created role, and Ibstock Place School had not had this type of individual within their team before. We therefore needed to begin by understanding the specific responsibilities and requirements of the position.
  • The recruitment process started during the Covid-19 pandemic, and so strong experience of working remotely was essential. In addition to this, the candidate needed to perform well during the virtual interview process.
  • The successful candidates needed to be able to apply themselves at both a hands-on level and senior level, from strategy to resourcing. It was therefore important to engage with high quality candidates that had the skills, experience, and confidence to operate in these varied roles.
  • The candidate’s personality was important for this role as there was a requirement to build strong relationships across the organisation.


As a reputable organisation in the sector, Ibstock Place School sought the expertise of our consultants in order to implement a high quality, focused search. Throughout the process we worked closely with the client to understand the specific requirements and skills needed for the position.

The client entrusted Robertson Bell to lead this campaign on an exclusive basis. Our consultants ran a branded advertising campaign across a number of job boards and social media platforms in order to appeal to candidates.

In addition to the targeted advertisements, our consultants searched our expansive database to identify existing candidate pools comprised of talent with a known interest in roles across finance and education. We also utilised our strong networks across LinkedIn and other key resources to reach passive candidates.



As the search took place in the new year, which was an opportune time for candidates looking to secure their next role, the targeted campaign attracted a significant number of high-quality responses for both roles.

For the role of the HR Manager, our final shortlist presented to the client comprised of five professionals which were sourced through applications, existing candidate pools, LinkedIn and internal recommendations. After completing a thorough interview process, the successful candidate started the position in April 2021.

For the role of the Finance Manager, we were aware that the position was going to be vacated by the summer as the current employee was to retire. This enabled our consultants to examine the market with this deadline in mind. Our final shortlist that we presented to the client consisted of six high quality professionals sourced through our existing networks and from internal recommendations.

This successful candidate is due to start in Summer 2021.

Our consultants were able to ensure that the vision of Ibstock Place School was shared by the successful candidates too. The process was consultative, and the excellent service provided by our consultants meant that the client would use Robertson Bell again demonstrating the value of working with a recruitment specialist.

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