The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) is the professional body responsible for the specialty of anaesthesia throughout the UK. It currently employs approximately 120 staff based at its site in Holborn, London.

The challenge

HR is managed by its in-house People Team who have a strong relationship with the business. In 2022, the RCoA reached out to Bespoke HR and requested additional resource and expertise to support a number of internal projects. Initially, the remit was to provide the HR resource needed for the implementation of a departmental restructure. This would release the People Team to focus on partnering with the business on the delivery of a number of strategic initiatives.

The solution

RCoA enlisted the help of Bespoke HR based on a personal recommendation. Senior HR Consultant Tara Lohn was engaged as an extension of the in-house People Team.

The initial brief was delivered in early 2022 and since then Bespoke HR has been asked to provide consultancy support on a variety of different BAU and project based initiatives. These have included:

  • Occupational health referrals and case management
  • Staff welfare meetings
  • Consultation on changes to terms and conditions of employment
  • Assisting with Employee Relations caseload.

In addition, Tara was able to support with recruitment. In the first three months, she worked with the RCoA to successfully recruit six roles.  The recruitment process Bespoke HR agreed with the RCoA includes drafting and posting job adverts, screening and shortlisting candidates through two stages of the selection process before final interviews are conducted by the hiring manager.  In addition, the Bespoke HR team created branded social media graphics and MP4 videos to share on social media to promote each of the available roles.

Tara commented, “Generally hiring time for the RCoA has been one month from posting the advert to making an offer to the successful candidate. In the current climate, the key to filling roles when there is much competition in the market, is running a slick process, reviewing applications daily and screening quickly. We’ve therefore been able to fill roles with high quality candidates effectively.”

The results


“Although we originally engaged Tara to assist with a project, we have immediately seen the value in outsourced HR support. This has given us the flexibility we need to be able to focus on achieving the College’s strategic goals and delivering on our commitment to members.”

Tenisha Ekwe

Head of People and Culture, RCoA