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Why You Should Be Surfing the Facilities Management Wave

According to the BIFM facilities management (FM) is one of the UK’s fastest growing professions – worth at least £40bn every year!

As they say: “The facilities management profession has come of age.” Ever evolving there’s means plenty of opportunities to be had in this thriving sector.

We spoke to our industry-experienced consultants to tell us more…

1. So, what is facilities management exactly?

At its simplest FM is about providing a safe and efficient working environment – something key to any business.

FM incorporates a vast mixture of services, which can be broadly split into ‘hard’ and ‘soft’:

Hard – those things relating to the building fabric
Soft – meaning: catering, cleaning, security, mailroom, and health & safety

2. Why is FM growing in importance?

Arguably the result of outsourcing back in the ‘70s, FM has proved to be a key way for businesses to improve their efficiency and productivity.

In tough economic climates and in the face of fierce competition FM can help companies meet their targets. And as PwC says: “Clients have become more demanding and sophisticated in procuring FM services.” Which means the industry is not just growing, but evolving.

3. Sounds great. But what does a Facilities Manager actually do?

A Facilities Manager is charged with providing, maintaining and developing a wide range of services.

Think: building maintenance, space management, maintaining communications infrastructures, administration and contract management, for starters.

4. What does a career in FM offer?

As we’ve already suggested FM offers opportunities to work across a range of activities, many of which are key to ensuring that a company is operating effectively, safely and efficiently.

If you thrive on the challenge of a diverse work week and the challenges of doing something that really affects other people then FM could be for you!

5. Do I need any specific qualifications to get into FM?

There are no set academic requirements for a career in FM, but you often need a facilities management qualification and some relevant experience.

As the sector has developed more qualification avenues have opened up. The BIFM offers qualifications at various levels, for example.  While Sheffield Hallam University offer degree courses for those working in the sector looking to upskill.

Plus, FM apprenticeships are also an entry option.

6. So, how about skills then?

Some of the key soft skills you’ll need include:

management and budgeting
customer and client management
clear and confident communication

7. What about women in FM?

Yes, FM is often seen as a male-centric sector. Indeed diversity research from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) says just 9% of security personnel are women, say.

But a recent article in FM World magazine noted the difference women can make to FM teams:
“[C]lients express a desire to include more women in their teams. Many say they appreciate the diplomacy a woman can bring to a conflict situation.”
With this in mind FM providers are increasingly test-driving family-friendly shift patterns and processes.

8. And, what about other types of roles within FM?

Well, we’ve already mentioned the range of services FM encompasses, but probably a key role to mention is caretaking.

Caretakers will carry out day-to-day building maintenance, oversee the safety and security of the premises, as well as a host of other duties – like ensuring furniture is available and in the requisite place, say.

9. Sounds like a another role for those who enjoy a diverse day?

Yes, caretaking is very practical and varied. While you don’t necessarily need specific caretaking qualifications other skills and attainments would be useful.

Think: DIY and plumbing, a driving licence, professional cleaning experience, etc. The National Careers Service has more advice here.

10. What about DBS clearance?

Yes, many FM jobs involve working for schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and so on. Basically jobs involving children, vulnerable people or healthcare mean you’ll need DBS clearance – formerly known as the CRB check.

Your employer requests your DBS check, but if you already have a certificate you can join the update service which lets you keep your DBS certificate up-to-date online – making it easier when it comes to applying for jobs.

Your recruitment agency might be able to help you out with this if you’re not sure about it.

11. Any last thoughts on the FM sector?

Yes, just to say, FM is really a great sector to get involved in because it offers a great number of opportunities to those looking for a an interesting and active career.

Whether you’re in the industry or wondering if it’s for you why not have a chat with your local Angel HR branch to find out what FM could have in store for you!?

Now over to you:

Have any thoughts on what you’ve read? Are you searching for a new job? Want to ask about your particular career issues? Got any burning questions we could put to future Q & Angel guests? As ever, we want to hear what you’ve got to say!

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