As part of the FM World annual survey in the facilities management sector, we were asked to contribute by answering some questions as to what we thought were the skills and capabilities currently being demanded in the FM market?
Here are our thoughts on how we see the jobs market in the FM sector in 2016.
Q - What skills are organisations seeking from their FM personnel?
A - There is a steady flow of requirements for experienced FM managers with strong communication, commercial, customer skills and often technical service line knowledge; however the changing demands of many client environments are driving the need for greater skillsets. In some cases we see more emphasis on senior skills in commercial and change management, than the need for technically driven people who understand a specific client sector.
However, there is still a significant need for FM experience by contractors who feel they need to present people to their clients who have knowledge in FM and experience in that sector. It’s a case of can they influence their client to recruit someone from outside.
Q - Are FM-specific qualifications seen as a must-have, or are they less relevant at senior level, where the emphasis is more on the 'management' part of facilities management?
A - In the main, qualifications are less important than proven management ability to deliver results.
Q - Where contractors are constrained by budgets, do they ever seek to recruit from within and invest in training current staff in various management skills?
A - Contractors do develop people through their Training and Development schemes, but that's a whole separate topic which would require in detail analysis of their effectiveness.
Q - Are employers looking for facilities managers with better qualifications today, when compared to five, ten years ago?
A - Better qualifications help, but wider experience is more beneficial. In some cases, providers would like to bring people into the FM sector at GM or Account level from other industries. There is a view that FM has become over inflated with high salaried, often average people. In sectors such as manufacturing, it is possible to find well qualified, graduate calibre managers with sophisticated management skills, large team management, process and six sigma training for much lower salaries. These people can also bring new ideas into a maturing market. As contractors come under increasing cost pressure, these are becoming attractive options. A good example is, Macallam appointed Joe Podolsky from Emerson, the Global engineering manufacturer to successfully develop a key market for GWS, Johnson Controls.
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