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Hiring Rachel Silverwood (1/2)

I am clearly getting much better at new appointment blogs, given this one comes out just 2 months after Rachel Silverwood started with Melber Flinn on a permanent basis, and not 6 months after her start as per my “Hiring Mel Brown” blog earlier this year. As Rachel will explain in part 2, she was helping Melber Flinn on an informal part time basis in 2016 in my first year, but we have kept in touch since, trying to weigh up a good time for her to come aboard permanently.

After Kathryn and Mel had joined, Melber Flinn has had three employees, and crucially the team was coming together as I had envisaged in terms of the right people in the right functions. Kathryn and Mel are in vital support roles, but the next appointment for the business always needed to be a consultant, someone else who could join the front line with me in terms of being client facing and fee earning. Rachel was the obvious choice given her lengthy experience in the market, her cultural fit and her previous knowledge of Melber Flinn. And there was a similarly easy decision to make in terms of market split. When any recruitment business grows it naturally has to carve up patches and clients, this can be done on a geographical, market sector, job function or seniority basis. But it often means splitting the portfolio of an existing team or consultant to give some business to the new consultant. This of course spreads risk and coverage for the business, but it can alienate existing consultants, particularly those who are high performers and suddenly overnight see part of their patch or some of their clients being given away. When I first started in recruitment I actually remember my client base being decided by geography but also by letter of the alphabet, companies starting with M-Z in South Yorkshire were mine. Fantastically arbitrary!

So Rachel has joined Melber Flinn to focus on commissioning, whilst I will lead on providers. The sub sector split makes most sense, it allows us to develop better knowledge of our respective sub sectors, it allows for slicker referral and recommendation pathways aswell given professional networks can be sub sector specific and to an extent it allows for division of candidate relationship management aswell. Many NHS interim managers do tend to work in providers or commissioners, but there is probably a good 20% who can happily work in both sides of the system, and so naturally Rachel and I will both have relationships with that group. But Rachel will also be well placed to focus on STPs, ACSs and system transformation work, which we believe will be a big user of interim resource in the coming years.

In part 2 Rachel will talk more about her appointment and her initial thoughts about working here at Melber Flinn.