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Joining Melber Flinn (2/2)

By way of an introduction my name is Mellissa Brown. I joined Melber Flinn in November 2016 as a Resourcing Consultant. My role here is to support Steve manage his candidate network through maintaining relationships with existing interims, building relationships with interims unknown to our business and sourcing the best candidates for live roles. I am no substitute for Mr Melber; he still actively participates in all of the above duties. However, as the business continues to grow – despite operating in an extremely difficult environment, I partner with Steve to ensure we continue to provide a first-class candidate experience to our interim community.

The good news is that 6 months in I am still here. And last week Steve even added my profile to the website. Thankfully the speed at which he recruits is a lot faster and efficient. To mark my work anniversary and introduction on the website I thought now would be a good time to write my first blog. And what better subject than evaluating my first 6 months recruiting in the NHS.

It will not surprise you to hear discussions around the changes to IR35 status have dominated conversations pre and post its application. When I first joined, it felt there was a quiet optimism that these changes might disappear and this would all be a horrid dream. Fast forward to April where the dream has become reality. In reaction to these changes it appears many organisations have chosen the risk adverse approach; making a blanket decision to classify all existing interims as in-scope of IR35. During this uncertain time many interims have accepted the change and are sitting tight, delivering what was asked of them and hoping the storm will have settled down by the time they are seeking their next position. For those who find themselves available and seeking their next role many are holding out for an out of scope contract. Interestingly over the past 8 weeks, of all new roles Melber Flinn have been asked to recruit only 15% have been classified as out of scope. 35% have been considered in-scope. 5% have been fixed term contracts. The interesting part is since April 45% of new roles at Melber Flinn came to market with no assessment having been made. This has led to a two staged recruitment process where we have had to present candidates no matter what the determination of scope is and then latterly revisited this dependent on the outcome. I am sure this is a bone of contention for you as interims as much as us the agent representing you.

Of course we are only 8 weeks into the changes. And we had a breakthrough last week with revised NHSI guidance on 31st May, stating that organisations should not be applying blanket approaches, and instead assess off payroll workers and pieces of work on a case by case basis. Steve is set to blog about this soon, but we hope organisations will be having better internal conversations so that roles are pre-assessed when they come to the market. We all know the advantages this will bring in saving time for all parties involved.

Regardless of these legislative changes and the tough market conditions we operate in I have really enjoyed supporting the NHS. This is my first time recruiting in the sector having previously developed my interim networks in FMCG and Financial Services. I must admit I was a little nervous about the move from private sector to public sector. There can be a lot of stigma around public sector candidates and the slow pace of change in this market place. Needless to say, I have been pleasantly surprised. Steve has built up an enviable network of interim executives who lead turnarounds and deliver change across all directorates. The challenges these interims face in this sector are unprecedented. Of the conversations had I have been impressed with candidate’s professional background, drive, energy and passion to make a difference.

For me the subject matter has been fascinating. We all have a vested interested in the NHS, so getting closer to it; understanding the mechanics of how it operates, where the troubles lie, hearing the success stories from people at the heart of the institution who are driving forward change has been a real highlight for me. Working with candidates who directly affect people’s lives instead of the P&L’s of huge corporations is refreshing.

So my hopes for the next 6 months at Melber Flinn. Continue with my learning on the sector. To develop more relationships with the interim community in the NHS. Provide an outstanding customer service to you all. And for us all to have a summer filled with long sunny days! Happy days.

If you are an interim healthcare professional and we have not yet spoken then please get in contact. I am available for confidential discussions on 07375 372379 or mellissa.brown@melberflinn.com