Expansion 1/?

Earlier in my recruitment career I had a go at management, but I soon realised I wasn’t very good at it. I got frustrated when people didn’t follow instructions and do things the way I wanted them doing, and I have a natural aversion to confrontation, which stunted my ability to pull people into line. But inevitably as I look to grow Melber Flinn, I might have to dust off and develop those skills. For now though I intend to be a great colleague and good leader to two new additions to the business – Kathryn and Rachel. Kathryn’s appointment is covered below, whereas the story behind Rachel’s appointment will follow in part 2.

In my blog in February I wrote about the growing administrative burden for Melber Flinn. This was a welcome problem and reflected increasing levels of business. More placements mean more contracts, references, compliance documentation and then timesheeting, billing and payment processing. Although I was receiving invaluable support from family members, in February I realised I was going to have to look at a more permanent solution, and the obvious person to speak to was Kathryn, who had been my PA in two previous recruitment roles. Luckily, as well as being professional colleagues, we have been good friends over the years and she was receptive to the idea of joining me. I tried to make clear the risks, she would be employee number 2 in a business not 6 months old, but she was excited by the opportunity and thankfully willing to take the risk.

Kathryn’s salary became easily my biggest cost overnight, but in pure commercial terms it stacked up well. Until her arrival I was spending perhaps 15 hours a week on administrative tasks that previously a PA would have done for me. I was working long days to compensate and to ensure those 15 hours of administration were not significantly impinging on my recruitment time, but this of course has another cost in that it was compromising family time and my efforts to achieve a healthy work life balance. And by February I could crudely work out my hourly revenue generation rate, every hour spent on administration was costing the business X in lost potential sales and margin, and that lost revenue more than paid for the salary cost incurred by the business.

Kathryn started at the end of March and she has been fantastic. Anyone that knows her will say she is highly sociable and as Melber Flinn has no formal office yet I knew we would both be working from home, and seeing each other perhaps only once every few weeks. But what she has lost in office banter, has been refunded by a zero commute and an employer with a flexible attitude to working hours. She has taken on my 15 hours and added more of her own, helping to improve systems and processes and start tackling projects that I never had the time to even start. As for me, I am working slightly less hours, but still long hours, but crucially most of my time can be spent on doing what I do best, which is meeting candidates and clients and recruiting.