Case studies

St. Paul’s Cathedral



  • Financial Controller
  • Part Time Finance Manager

Client profile

St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and a world-renowned tourist attraction, yet as the mother church of the Diocese of London, it is also an important place of worship and prayer. As a registered charity, St. Paul’s’ impact reaches far beyond its walls – the organisation works with diverse partners to deliver impactful projects across a broad range of activities, and continually works to conserve and enhance the historic fabric of the building and the collections within.


After enjoying a period of great stability, the Finance Team at St. Paul’s lost a core of long-serving colleagues to retirement, so the newly-appointed Director of Operations was keen to rebuild the team, and also to upgrade and enhance legacy systems and processes. Recruiting top talent for two key roles would be crucial to these plans, and Robertson Bell was retained to fill the following positions:

  • Financial Controller
  • P/T Finance Manager

Key considerations and challenges

  • The Director of Operations made it clear that only high-calibre, seasoned professionals with extensive experience would be considered for both roles, yet remuneration was not consistent with private sector pay for roles of similar seniority.
  • Candidates would be joining at a time of great change, with ongoing system improvements, plus lots of interim staff on the team.
  • As the Covid-19 lockdown was implemented part way through the campaign, closing the Cathedral’s doors for the first time in its 300-year history, the resulting financial challenge added a further layer of complexity to the assignment.


Robertson Bell is able to deploy a broad range of assets to match the unique demands of each recruitment assignment. Our most productive resource is often our candidate database of almost 100K professionals in the Public and Not-for-Profit sectors – and for St. Paul’s, this was supported by extensive LinkedIn Recruiter activity, branded advertising on carefully chosen jobs boards, plus a far-reaching headhunt campaign.

Executing the recruitment campaign and facilitating selection during lockdown presented some extraordinary challenges, and our success in engaging with high-calibre candidates at this time was made possible by our impressive connectivity.

Aside from a guided tour of the cathedral, the selection process was entirely virtual, and our ability to enable remote recruitment without compromising the integrity of the experience for either client or candidates, demonstrates value of our In-Sight video platform.


All elements of the recruitment campaign delivered strong response, attracting a high volume of good-quality candidates. Our consultants carried out 15 video interviews for each role, compiling a shortlist of five fully vetted candidates for each vacancy.

The client interviewed six shortlisted candidates across the two roles, and was able to appoint their first choice to both positions. With two stand-out candidates for the Financial Controller role, Robertson Bell supported the client in developing an additional selection exercise to inform final decision. Robertson Bell also handled offer management and helped expedite rapid on-boarding.

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