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Recruiting into finance leadership roles is always important, particularly for not-for-profit organisations who need to tightly manage costs and extract maximum value from every pound spent.

The customer

A North London, G320 housing association specialising in providing secure, supported housing to socially excluded individuals. Alongside that, they offer a wide range of community services aimed at helping people to live independently, including vocational training, coaching and financial advice.

The impact of their work is life-changing. But, delivery relies on an army of volunteers and employees, funding and financial stability. In this context, good financial leadership is absolutely critical.

The brief

The CEO contacted Boston Hale’s Finance & Accounting recruitment team after receiving a recommendation – we’ve completed many successful finance hires in the sector - with a brief for a Head of Finance and IT.

As a small organisation, the remit for this leadership role went beyond the typical requirements, with broad responsibilities spanning several departments. The CEO wanted someone with strong financial knowledge, experience and expertise within the sector, a creative problem solver and a proven leader. Most importantly, they wanted someone who shared their purpose, ethos and vision.

The process

Getting under the skin of the brief is key to a successful search. We started by sitting down with the CEO at their offices to get an insight into the culture, team and role. We wanted to find out what the ideal candidate looked like - their skills, drivers, experience and values.

Armed with this information, we deployed our proven recruitment process – developing a sourcing strategy, crafting a job description and putting together a long list. After pre-screening interviews, we had a shortlist of 6 candidates to present to the CEO.

The first stage of the interview process was run by Boston Hale and hosted at our offices, resulting in 2 candidates progressing to the next stage. As a pivotal role with huge responsibilities, the CEO asked us to conduct a range of psychometric, numeric and verbal reasoning tests, adding an objective dimension to the search, alongside the interviews.

The result

Both candidates were an excellent fit and performed well – leaving the CEO with a difficult decision to make! Several discussions later, and with referencing complete, we made a formal offer to the preferred candidate, who was very happy to accept. The process had taken four weeks.

In the following weeks, we had conversations with both the CEO and the successful candidate and feedback on both sides was extremely positive. The CEO said:

Both candidates were exceptional. The process was really well run, the people Boston Hale found were brilliant. It’s not always an easy task! As a not-for-profit, we can’t offer huge salaries. Our employees work for us because of who we are and what we do.

Finance qualifications aside, finding someone who really gets us, our clients and our work was paramount. Boston Hale managed to do that, and we’re really happy with the outcome.

The outcome

The new Head of Finance & IT went on to lead the team through two audits, before the pandemic. Then, like many other not-for-profit organisations, covid hit hard. He helped navigate the impact of the pandemic, setting up the furlough scheme and dealing with difficult decisions and situations.

For our team, this was a particularly rewarding assignment to work on. Catherine, Manager of the Finance & Accounting team, said:

The work they do literally transforms lives, it’s extremely humbling to have been part of that.

Contact Catherine to talk about your recruitment needs or how we can help find your next interim finance role.

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