Mel and Mary
September saw the return of Mel to Melber Flinn, she has had a year off on maternity leave, and is now mother to a second son Frankie. So we say farewell to Eleanor, who ably covered her role for 12 months and welcome Mel back into the fold. Mel will continue to support with resourcing requirements for myself and Rach, so if she hasn’t already caught up with you for an update / discuss a role then I am sure you will hear from her soon. I was slightly nervous about her re integration back into the business, having watched my wife return to work after maternity leave I know this can be an emotional time for mothers, but I think a recent spate of bad nights with the kids mean that to be honest she was happy to have a break and come into the office*. Mel re acquainted herself pretty quickly back into our systems and processes although she definitely got some stick when a: she asked to be reminded how to run a search on our database, and b: she queried my suggestions of a candidate for a role, pointing out he had no relevant experience. I let her know she might want to look at the 2019 CV and not the old one from 2016. But she is already back into doing what she does best, which frankly is managing me and the team. As the notional boss, I take the lead on setting our SOPs, processes and targets, with plenty of good input from the others, but before starting Melber Flinn I had a well developed view on how the business would need to run, covering everything from payment cycles to placed candidates to how often we speak to groups of candidates. As the boss it could be easy for me to conveniently ignore a process or target, but I don’t, partly because I’m professional of course, but mostly because Mel will be on my case if I do. It’s a key part of her role and she does it very well, she emailed me last week to say I was “mega lame” for not sending some follow up emails to candidates. It was harsh but fair.
In writing about Mel’s return I’ve realised it was somewhat remiss of me not to write a blog last November when we hired Mary our Company Accountant. This probably suited her just fine, as she prefers to keep more of a low profile, but hey, better late than never. About 18 months ago the financial administration of the business was getting a bit too much for me and Kathryn, my head would explode every time our bank manager asked us to perform the monthly ledger reconciliation, and as she would often remind me, Kathryn’s management of our finances was a station way beyond her academic abilities, given she got an E in GCSE maths. She does have a HND in business and finance, but apparently her options were advertising, marketing and PR, so it doesn’t sound like she majored on the finance part. We initially hired a part time book keeper, but within 6 months I think got a bit fed up with us as we really needed more time than she could afford. The outgoing book keeper and our external accountants recommended we hire more of an inhouse Accounts Clerk, so I was a bit nervous on seeing Mary’s CV as she is a fully qualified accountant, and wanted more hours than I thought we had work. But her references were great and we invited her aboard last November.
Don’t tell anyone, but Mary is my favourite employee. She is good fun, but in a understated accountant type way. She works hard and is responsive, and she speaks her mind, which is helpful as the rest of us do too. But most of all its because her skill set is so contrastingly complementary to mine and Kathryn’s. Its like me and Kathryn were the centre forwards debating each week who would have to play in goal, and then David de Gea turns up. Where we make a placement, Mary picks up the baton on new supplier forms, understanding payment processes, obtaining POs and then getting us paid – activity that would gobble up valuable time for me and Kathryn. I ask Mary to report ageing debt to me but I barely hear from her. To run a business and NOT worry about getting paid is a feeling of professional liberation that is not yet waning. I asked her if she could maybe put together some monthly management accounts and I receive an 17 tab pack on excel, with detailed metrics and charts that are a sight to behold.
Melber Flinn remains small, but I suppose this is a key aspect of running a successful business. Its tempting to think about hiring people in your own image, but what you always need is those complementary skill sets to ensure that the overall skill base of the organisation is broad and fit for purpose.
*not literally, we all still work from home