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We were tasked with recruiting two positions for the organisation – a Chief Accountant and a Technical Accountant. These posts have a significant roles within the Council’s Finance team and have key contributions towards ensuring that the Council would be able to achieve the objectives set out in their strategic plan, and ensure financial sustainability within the organisation.
Acting as Deputy Section 151 Officer for Spelthorne, the Chief Accountant was required to step up and deputise for the Section 151 Officer, and had to maintain and develop key stakeholder relationships, and act in an ambassadorial role for the council.
Subsequently the Technical Accountant was required to provide support to the Chief Accountant in providing a range of technical accountancy and expert financial management services to the Council’s corporate management.
This campaign had clear challenges from the outset. There was an emphasis on the location of the roles, particularly given their close proximity to London – which is a difficulty that the council frequently faced and unsuccessfully navigated when recruiting and advertising directly.
With this in mind, we conducted an extensive search process to attract candidates from relevant authorities. We approached a wide range of potentially suitable candidates from our extensive database and gained referrals through our network. Given the location, we proactively approached candidates working in local authorities who were ready to take the step up to the level of the posts, as well as experienced candidates who were looking to gain wider exposure within a smaller organisation. This further built and extended our ever-growing outer-London network.
Another angle we explored was to identify candidates who were currently traveling in to London and looking at opportunities closer to home, or candidates who were looking to move away from a London Borough and gain further development within a different environment.
Upon considering the above location factors, as well as the factors key to Spelthorne’s requirements for the positions, we produced a shortlist of candidates with a wide range of local government experience, including a mix of ambitious candidates looking to step up in to the roles, and candidates who were experienced and looking to diversify their experience in a unique organisation.
We identified two successful candidate by approaching them directly, and sharing the details and challenges of the opportunity as well as vision for the organisation.
The successful Chief Accountant came from a local District Council, who was taking their first step up to a Deputy Section 151 position, and saw the role as an opportunity to build on their experience and develop his on local authority background.
The successful Technical Accountant came from a slightly different background, with extensive experience working within London Boroughs, as well as developing their experience by successfully completing a number of interim positions within the sector. The successful candidate identified with Spelthorne’s visions and saw this as an opportunity to diversify his local government exposure further.
This concluded a successful campaign with a number of appointable candidates interviewed for both posts, overcoming the challenges which the organisation had previously faced when recruiting.
Explore more case studies from organisations within local government that have experienced recruitment success with Allen Lane.