London Borough of Havering

London Borough of Havering

The London Borough of Havering runs an incredibly lean senior management structure. This meant that when Andrew Blake-Herbert was promoted to the Chief Executive post, an interim manager was required to take over in a slightly recast role of interim Chief Operating Officer. The post covered all back office functions and came to market as the Section 151 Officer role as well, meaning that candidates would need to be qualified accountants in order to take on the role.

The role was issued under the Local Government Recruitment Partnership (LGRP) framework. Green Park is one of six agencies on this important framework. When roles are released, there is an imperative to move quickly on the client’s behalf given the highly competitive structure of the framework.

It was immediately apparent that the national candidate pool for interim finance directors with a Local Government background who had also run other corporate services was relatively thin at that time. This was simply because it is a specialist role and a number of high calibre candidates were unavailable due to commitments to existing clients.

We approached the client with an innovative alternative solution – specifically to establish whether the statutory responsibilities of the Section 151 Officer could be carried out by a qualified accountant at second tier. If so, that would mean we could source candidates who were not financially qualified but otherwise ideally suited to the role, thus widening the available talent pool. The client welcomed that approach and as a direct result of that, we put forward candidates in to the process with a wider variety of experience. Andrew interviewed our interim manager alongside candidates who were financially qualified and proceeded with appointing her to the role. As a result, he moved the Section 151 responsibilities to a second tier Officer and secured an outstanding interim manager. Without Green Park advising the client in this way, we would never have been able to source from a more diverse talent pool and it meant that we delivered an innovative solution to the client under a highly competitive framework.