Blog Img

How to hire: A Head of UK Finance

Back to insights

Read a recent search project below with our Senior Business Manager, Qualified Accounting & Finance – Joseph Morris. 

A leading student accommodation company based in Central London were searching for a Head of UK Finance. This was driven by their expanding footprint across the UK. 

Considering their growth, the organisation sought a seasoned finance professional to spearhead their UK accounting function. This crucial role involved overseeing the team that operated under the unique hybrid structure, with a portion of the workforce based in the London office and the remainder situated in India.

The role was replacing an experienced finance professional, who had previously worked for the investment company that owned the business. Due to their significant growth prospects, they were looking for an experienced accountant, with a track record in the student accommodation sector. In addition to this, they were looking for candidates who were able to lead the team and create best practice systems, processes, and procedures to facilitate their ambitious growth plans. 

The company had made a concerted effort to fill the position but encountered challenges in securing a candidate of the desired calibre, possessing a background specifically tailored to the student accommodation industry.

Joseph Morris is an experienced recruiter with over seven years of experience recruiting accounting and finance professionals within the real estate sector. As a senior member of the finance team, he specialises in sourcing the best talent in the market rather than simply the best currently available. With a proven track record of creating alternative recruitment strategies designed to attract the best talent. With a BA in Money, Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham. 

The project solution 

Expert use of market mapping within the Accounting and finance space: Joseph conducted a comprehensive market mapping targeting individuals with a rich background in student accommodation and build-to-rent. His objective was to identify professionals who had led and managed teams whilst also demonstrating a hands-on approach. From his market mapping, Joseph identified 43 relevant potential candidates with whom he proactively engaged to discuss the position. 

The utilisation of deverellsmith’s data & research team: To ensure a comprehensive mapping of the market, Joseph also utilised deverellsmith’s data & research team. The team enables Joseph to deliver considered, effective results and gain access to a database of 250,000 property professionals.

Personalised approach: Out of the 43 relevant candidates, Joseph made it a priority to meet and conduct comprehensive interviews with the top 10 candidates from this list before presenting them to the company. This hands-on approach allowed the recruiter to evaluate candidates’ qualifications but also to understand their experience as this was important to the client. This allowed Joseph to curate a shortlist of candidates tailored to the job requirements, and those that were well suited to the company culture to ensure long-term potential with the business. He was able to create a shortlist of 7 candidates with student accommodation experience to present to the company. 


  • 100% shortlist to interview rate. 

  • The company were able to secure their ideal candidate, matching their requirements and within their imagined budget and are due to start shortly. 

Looking to hire? Get in touch with one of our expert recruitment consultants below...