Maxwell Stephens

Do clients and candidates still need agencies in the Facilities Management Industry?

As with any outsourced service, the question will inevitably be asked whether the end user can undertake this service themselves and if they have the in-house expertise capable of running an effective recruitment campaign. The growth of the internet has further increased debate in this area. However, whilst most companies will have an in-house HR department, recruitment forms only a small part of their responsibilities and many will only employ generalist HR professionals with no experience (or time….) to manage senior management campaigns. Placing an advert is only the start of the process and a specialist recruitment consultancy can add real value in the following key areas:

Adverts– a specialist FM consultancy will know the best trade publications to partner with especially when roles have a niche requirement such as Health and Safety, Sustainability, Space Planning or MIS etc. They will also have access to advertising agencies that will not only be able to create attractive advertising copy but will also be able to negotiate strong reductions due to economies of scale with the publications.


Response Handling – recruitment has moved on from solely sending out an application form and waiting for the response. Collaborating with your recruitment partner at this stage is vital and they can actively market your vacant role and its selling points (especially important if you are looking to appoint a ‘best in class’ professional). For service providers, this may be the particular contract and also other headline contracts within the group. For in-house posts, it might be the budget management/strategic responsibility and specifics of the property portfolio.


Recruitment Process – co-ordinating interview schedules with senior professionals both as interviewers and interviewees can be time consuming requiring high levels of patience. Your consultant is trained in communication and organisation, proving to be a useful ally at this stage. They can also offer invaluable advice in terms of the interview structure and selection process.


Offer process – making the offer including salary negotiation and resignation/counter offer strategy can also be handled by your consultant and they are trained in handling this sensitive part of the process with tact and diplomacy. Your agency contact should be seen as a ‘trusted advisor’ to both client and candidate alike. Key members of personnel will always be counter offered and having an external recruitment consultancy managing this part of the process can minimise the risk of your weeks/months being wasted by a professional deciding to stay with their current employer.


Candidates – As with the above, your consultant will be able to offer priceless advice in the interview and offer stage of the process. They will have a strong relationship with the employer and will have a detailed knowledge of the personalities involved (and what they are looking for in the successful appointment – something an advert will never be able to demonstrate). Advice on interview technique and dealing with competency based interviews will be the difference between success and failure. Many candidates who are ideally suited for a post fail to demonstrate the competencies required and lose the opportunity of their dream role – your consultant will prove to be a very helpful partner in this regard.


Do we still need to advertise?


For any search and selection team, adverts form only a small part of a campaign and senior niche roles with a defined requirement will require a more bespoke approach. With only c.20% of the candidate market being considered ‘active’ (registered with a recruitment consultancy and reading trade publications) at any one time. Approaching and attracting candidates who are ‘semi-active’ (tentatively looking) and those not actively looking to change roles is essential.


An advert will therefore only ever attract a very small percentage of the market. The highest calibre candidates and most suitable (and not always active within the recruitment market) will only ever being sourced through a search and selection/direct campaign.


Additionally, adverts and general HR processes will generally only select applicants based on ‘skill set’ whereas your recruitment consultant will have a developed understanding of your organisation and will be assessing ‘mind set’ and cultural fit. This will ensure your shortlist will only contain candidates suited to your specific requirements – especially apt if you are looking to appoint professionals with significant strategic experience rather than solely operational backgrounds.

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Maxwell Stephens provide clients with a facilities recruitment UK service that will guide you through the complete process. We are always on hand to support and advise you, should you encounter a problem and endeavour to do whatever we can to rectify any concern or query that you may have.