Manrex dishes about its employment wish list

John Webster and Fiona Webster Mourant are the vice-president and president of Manrex Ltd.
John Webster and Fiona Webster Mourant are the vice-president and president of Manrex Ltd.

Manrex is a healthcare product provider that has been growing steadily since it opened its doors in 1973.
With a staff of about 50 at the local flagship office in Winnipeg, employees get to work in a family business environment under Fiona Webster Mourant and brother John Webster, whose father created the company.
Though staff retention is strong, the company has expanded its horizons and now reaches Europe and Australia, and is looking to do more business in the U.S.
With different “rivers” of opportunity always being explored, Manrex is a business where jobs are being created to meet the demands of its market.
Currently, Manrex is looking for a purchaser, who ideally would have experience but the company is more than willing to train a worthy candidate.
Fiona Webster Mourant has been hiring people for over three decades, and has gathered a wealth of advice to bestow to prospective employees in the workforce.
What is the most important quality for an interviewee to possess?
“I really like people that come and learn different parts of the company and you can move them around. The more cross-trained and the more diverse they are, the more valuable. In a smaller company, it’s not about just doing what you do.”
What are some assets to the customer service positions at Manrex?
“Not everyone in the general public knows what we do – they have to know all the products. They’re more of a servicing people person. We have people that are multilingual (mostly English and French) but with customers in Europe, some know Portuguese.”
“We always try to keep our structure really flat. We always want to be able to respond to what the customer needs. I really like people that have the ability to make a decision.”
Do you have to have past experience or a degree to work there?
“We’re open to lots of different ideas if the fit is right. As long as they’re trainable.”
“People who have been doing something for a long time are not always the best. If you can show that you can take initiative and can learn, that’s not a bad thing either.”
Manrex has a certified accountant and a general manager with a business degree, but many positions don’t require a certain level of education.
What is your pet peeve in a job interview?
“Not looking me in the eye, or having those limp handshakes.”
By the time a resume arrives on Webster Mourant’s desk, her staff has already pared down the stack to a handful of hopefuls.
It’s important to stand out amongst the inevitable stack of resumes.
How can you make your resume stand out as a worthy candidate?
“It really is about showing instead of talking about it.”
Webster Mourant gives the example of saying you’re detail-oriented, but following it up with a specific example of when you established a new filing system at your previous job, or an example from school or past experiences. Show rather than tell by citing examples.
Lastly, what’s in it for people interested in working at Manrex?
“There is a different atmosphere, a culture. We try to do a lot of fun things to make it more appealing.”
Manrex has a social committee and a profit share plan where staff splits anything above a 25 per cent threshold equally.
“It’s all incentive for everybody to look at how they can improve.”
Manrex’s products also directly help health care workers do their daily jobs more easily – their popular pill bingo cards help them deliver error-free care, and a new pill-crushing device allows them to avoid health defects from the repetitive action.
Webster Mourant herself knows what it’s like to climb up the corporate ladder, even with her father at the helm.
She worked for nine years splitting her time between the warehouse, accounting, and sales and marketing, which she feels her father did to prepare her to run the company – learning the ins and outs first. She advises it takes time to get to the top, but it is absolutely possible to earn it.
She finished a management program through the University of Manitoba over four years of night classes to even better prepare herself for the role and complete her education.
But, education is not the only way to find your place at Manrex.
“We believe in educational training. Once you get the job, we’ll train you,” says Webster Mourant. The opportunities will grow from there.

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