Case studies

Kidney Research UK



Head of Finance

Head of Financial Planning and Analysis

Client profile

Kidney Research UK is the nation’s largest charity that funds research on the prevention, treatment and management of kidney disease. The charity’s aim is to stop kidney disease destroying lives, and to free people from the restrictions, fear, anxiety and life-limiting nature that comes with the disease.

With kidney failure numbers increasing, alongside rising diabetes and obesity, the charity is more determined than ever to end kidney disease and give people the power to live better lives.


Robertson Bell was pleased to engage with Kidney Research UK for the senior role of Head of Finance. For this placement, the team at Robertson Bell liaised with the Finance Director and HR Manager at the charity.

Robertson Bell has an excellent reputation within the third and not-for-profit sectors, with extensive experience in placing senior-level financial roles at some of the nation’s most prolific charities.

Our broad network and in-depth methods meant we were able to assign a highly qualified candidate, with an additional role being created specifically for a second candidate as the shortlist of talent was of such a high standard.

Considerations and challenges

  • In recent months there have been fewer active candidates, with many perceiving it to be a risky time to move. Our consultants were able to reassure prospective candidates that both Kidney Research UK and the charity sector as a whole have regained certainty post-pandemic and that now is an excellent time for new opportunities.
  • The client wanted a candidate with prior experience in the third sector, which is highly desirable in the market currently, meaning these candidates can have multiple offers on the go at any one time. 
  • Given the current competitiveness of the market, salary was a key challenge. However, our consultants were able to sell the opportunity based on other factors, such as the excellent homeworking and continuing professional development offering.
  • As the majority of leading charities are based in London and this role is not, the location of the role was also a challenge.


Our consultants took a unique approach by creating a highly effective recruitment campaign while simultaneously making the most of our existing database and network.

The advertising and sourcing campaign used our extensive network, database and connections to access a high-quality pool of professionals and headhunted the leading senior talent within the sector.

Our consultants strived to source talent close to the offices, by running a targeted campaign in the area. We also supported the client in collating the applications they received through their own vacancy adverts and other platforms.

Robertson Bell worked to assure candidates that the charity was in a stable position and was looking to continue its growing success. Many candidates were not actively looking for a new position, but our consultants were able to communicate the benefits of joining Kidney Research UK effectively.

Hiring in the third sector is extremely competitive in the current market, so when the opportunity to place a candidate became available, our consultants worked with Kidney Research UK to make it happen. While only one position was originally sought, the second candidate was such a good fit for the charity that they were able to create an additional role.


As few active candidates were available, our consultants used their considerable skill to reach out to passive candidates and source talent from our network. Our consultants took time to pinpoint and outline the core characteristics of the desired candidate, resulting in a shortlist comprised of five professionals, filtered down to two for the final stage of interviews.

The successful campaign attracted an influx of active candidates, from which we were able to source the leading candidate. The second professional, approached via LinkedIn, was equally as strong a candidate.

By working closely with the Finance Director and HR Manager, Robertson Bell exceeded its task of appointing one role by successfully securing two candidates to head up the charity’s growing finance department. These placements emphasise our position as recruitment partner of choice for both the financial and third sectors and proves the quality of talent we are able to reach.

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