The knock on effect from the retraction in the transactions markets in the first part of the year meant reduced hiring activity in the Facilities Management sector. Consequently, where employers minimised recruitment costs, FM resources are now stretched, especially for portfolio management where demand has since significantly increased. In the rush to fill this gap, competition for experience has taken precedence as resources are too stretched to train in house. Salaries have risen sharply as a result and recruitment budgets have become reactive to competitive candidate attraction rather than training and retention.
Rapid changes to culture and technology in the workplace and to buildings has represented the greatest challenge to facilities management recruitment, and pressure to adapt and change has been paramount over the last 12 months. Focus has shifted to service offering and innovation, which has heightened the skills gap in the sector further. As a result, we anticipate salaries for service led Facilities Managers to increase as attraction and retention for professionals with these skills becomes crucial.
Following a few years of stagnation in senior hiring movement, as FM employers focused on bolstering their talent pipeline from the bottom up, demand for experienced heads of industry is rising. Movement of senior candidates has been fuelled by M&A activity and the attraction of salary increases. A key trend in reactive hiring and retention strategies has been the significant uplift in counter offers, which has in some case pushed salaries up to 40% in the bid to retain staff. We anticipate that unless employers make improvements to their recruitment processes, this trend will continue and propel salary increases.
In reaction to the widening skills gap, there has been some emergence of alternative incentives; particularly for smaller brands competing for talent. This has included lunches paid for, gym membership and increased car allowance and pensions.
Exaggeration of the skills gap continues in the mid level and existing Facilities Managers’ workloads are increasing as the time to hire can take up to six months. Attracting junior hires to protect future talent pipelines still remains a challenge to the FM sector. More still needs to be done to attract and retain new starters into the profession with committed training programs and quantifying the roles impact of FM on the wider business operations.
Organisations are continuing to focus on cost efficiencies and leaning on their FM teams to deliver leaner ways to operate.
The fall-out from counter offers is high and expensive. Focus instead on retention strategies through progression and reward.
This will enable you to hire good quality candidates who might not have every
Take the pressure of admin off your FM workforce to increase productivity.
This should be a core strategy as it is vital to help overcome candidate shortages. Professional interim staff should form part of your long term strategy to deal with peaks and gaps in workload.
Introduce better management training for budget and expenditure skills.