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Beth Langstreth Credit Risk Analytics, Credit Risk & Analytics

Good Morning!

I’d love to say I get up at 5am and run a marathon, before eating a superfood-filled breakfast, meditating for an hour and then driving to work. But that would be a complete lie. I actually like to sleep in for as long as possible. I’m convinced I need more sleep than the average person and some research has shown that women require more sleep than men, so I’m not apologising for it!

I do like to get to the office early though. Partly to park in my favourite spot before someone else gets there first, but also to get ahead of the day – identifying and responding to urgent emails, making phone calls so I can catch candidates before they start work and crucially, writing my to-do list for the day.

I’m a sucker for a to-do list. I love being able to see exactly what needs doing, prioritising the most important and time-pressed tasks, and of course enjoying the satisfaction of ticking things off throughout the day. I’m so organised, my notebooks even have contents pages!

After a quick read through the headlines to stay up-to-date with any news which is related to my markets, I share the most insightful content with my LinkedIn network. Then I have a cuddle with my favourite new co-worker, Queenie, who is our MD Rick’s adorable puppy. After that, I get into the full swing of things.

Elevenses

Mornings are for reviewing job applications, late breakfasts and catching up with my team. Ellie, Gemma, Nuhaa and I discuss which roles are urgent, the interviews taking place today and where we should focus our time. This allows us to coordinate our approach in order to maximise our efforts and output.

If there were two insights I could give candidates about my morning, it would be that:

  1. If you call me at 10am, I can almost 100% guarantee I’ll be away from my desk, smothering a piece of toast with peanut butter.
  2. The best time to apply for roles which I have advertised is early morning/before work. This is because as the day goes on, reviewing applications gets pushed further down in priority as more pressing tasks need completing, such as interview rescheduling and advertising new vacancies.

Peanut butter on toast promptly devoured, I’ll then be well immersed in the task which accounts for the largest part of my job – CV searching. I use the many recruiting tools at my disposal, including LinkedIn, Reed and MERJE’s internal database, to name a few. They allow me to search for candidates with the skills, work experience and qualifications which match the roles that the Credit Risk & Analytics team is currently working on.

With three highly experienced consultants in the team and myself supporting, we can have anything from five to more than 25 live vacancies at one time, so there’s always plenty to keep me busy! It has certainly been quieter in the past few months in light of the pandemic, but we’re now seeing the market pick up as businesses adjust to the “new normal”. MERJE, as a whole, has continued to successfully and consistently support our clients’ individual recruitment needs throughout this difficult time.

Credit Risk is an incredibly niche field, and Analytics the exact opposite, covering any number of business areas in every industry. They include customer behaviour, marketing, pricing, experimentation and much more! So the skill-sets I’ll be on the hunt for can vary dramatically, from strategy management to portfolio analytics and data science to scorecard building to MI reporting. However, there is one thing you can almost always rely on with our roles; the requirement for some level of understanding of a tool such as SAS, SQL, R or Python.

Afternoon

One of the most important parts of the day in the MERJE Manchester office is choosing your lunch time wisely. Nobody wants to eat lunch too early, but hold off too long and the post-gym rush will mean a lengthy queue to use the kitchen and microwave.

Post-lunchtime and the day progresses with a variety of activities, including more CV searching, calling and emailing candidates, arranging interviews, sending CVs to clients, advertising new vacancies and managing any ad hoc requirements which might be thrown my way. Not to mention listening in to the hilarious and bizarre conversations the Risk, Compliance and Financial Crime desk happens to be having that day. I’m convinced that the teams on that desk could have their own sitcom.

Another integral part of my schedule is catching up with everyone about the many TV shows we’ve been watching. At the moment my main topics of discussion are Ghosts, Taskmaster, The Haunting of Bly Manor and GBBO (come on Laura!).

Winding Down

The day rolls to a close with a late afternoon coffee and a final check of the to-do list, where I make sure that I’ve seen to every important task. Officially, the day finishes at 5.30pm but inevitably (and especially on Fridays), a million and one things will happen in the last hour. The client you’ve been waiting to hear from, the CV feedback you were expecting days ago, a candidate needing to reschedule an interview for the next morning. In recruitment, time is very rarely on your side!

I don’t mind staying in the office past closing time, especially as early evening can be a good time to chat with candidates who can’t speak during office hours. Once these final phone calls and last minute jobs have been completed, I contentedly get into my car and listen to Absolute radio on the drive home.

In an ideal world, I would then arrive home and relax, put my feet up and watch Bake Off, but living in a 150-year-old house means that there’s always something DIY-related to attend to, be it a lick of paint, a leaking sink or faulty electrics. We’ve renovated almost every space in the house ourselves in the two years that we’ve lived here and only the kitchen and basement remain. Maybe then I’ll be able to relax. To be honest though, I like to keep busy, which is why an ongoing house project and my role at MERJE both suit me down to a tee!

Overall, I feel incredibly lucky to be part of a mature, successful and generous business such as MERJE. The directors and my manager, Ellie, have provided a platform for me to really achieve my potential as a resourcer over the past three years. The support I have received as a MERJE employee, especially during recent events, has been beyond expectation and I can’t thank the leadership team enough.

If you’re interested in what I’ve had to say about my day, I’d love to have a chat with you about your specific Credit Risk recruitment requirements. Email: blangstreth@merje.com. I look forward to hearing from you!