Case studies

Octavia Housing

Social Housing


  • Service Charge and Rents Accountant

  • Service Charge Finance Assistant

  • Finance Business Partner for Development

  • Finance Manager

  • Financial Planning and Analysis Manager

Client Profile

Octavia Housing is a not-for-profit organisation that provides thousands of people with affordable homes in inner London. Octavia follows clear and simple values which they expect staff to behave by to ensure excellent customer care and achieve their primary mission – to create good homes and better lives.


Robertson Bell began working with Octavia in 2019 and has since placed a number of temporary and permanent roles. We have built a solid working relationship with key stakeholders in the organisation, who come to us as a result of the high level of service we provide, and the strong pipeline of exceptional candidates which we have access to.

Consideration and Challenges

  • Octavia prefers candidates who have experience working in the housing sector, which can limit the pool of available talent. At the same time, these candidates need to have strong technical ability, balanced with the need to uphold the organisation’s strong mission and core values.
  • Based in West London, the organisation has occasionally struggled to find candidates who are willing to commute to the office.
  • Salary limitations, compared to similar roles in the private sector, can make it harder to attract candidate with suitable skills and experience.


Robertson Bell has a very close working relationship with the team at Octavia and understands the organisation, its fantastic culture and the skills and high calibre of candidates that it expects.

Octavia offers a friendly working environment, with an extremely sociable office and we have been able to create a compelling employee value proposition, which has greatly helped to attract candidates. Employees have access to health and fitness initiatives, and a healthy work life balance is actively encouraged. Mental Health and wellbeing is a priority for the organisation. Employees are personable and friendly, with everyone working towards the organisation’s strong mission and shared objectives – which all create an extremely positive culture.

Our team of Housing Finance specialists at Robertson Bell are well versed in promoting Octavia’s many benefits, and when coupled with our extensive network of high-quality candidates, we have been able to successfully source candidates for a number of difficult-to-fill, niche positions in the Finance team.


As a result of the high standard of service delivered by Robertson Bell, since working with us, Octavia has reduced the number of recruitment agencies it uses from five agencies to three, as the original five could not compete with our level of service offering. We are fast becoming the go-to recruitment provider of choice for this incredibly important organisation.

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