Maxwell Stephens

The Professional Facilities Manager. The backbone of our buildings

What a Facilities Manager does and how to recruit the best candidate for the job.

While it might not be a profession that most of us outside the  industry know too much about, with good facilities managers our offices, shops and leisure spaces would cease to function, with an attendant knock-on effect on productivity and the economy. FM professionals keep buildings lit, heated, safe and efficient, and in order to do this they need a variety of skills and qualities.


First, a facilities manager needs an in-depth knowledge of health and safety and environmental regulations, and the skills to apply this knowledge in order to keep their building fully compliant with all mandatory legislation.


Meticulous attention to detail is required, not only in maintaining all aspects of the building itself, but also in keeping records of the steps taken to manage it within agreed legal and operational standards. A good understanding of how buildings work, and the ability to identify and troubleshoot maintenance issues is also key.


facilities manager needs to be able to multi-task and juggle a range of disparate tasks. A facilities manager may be masterminding an office-move one day, and overseeing a supplier procurement process the next. They may also be responsible for the recruitment and day-to-day management of front of house staff.


For these reasons, a flexible approach is essential, as not only will the facilities manager be the first point of contact should there be any issues with the building out of hours, their working day can be difficult to plan, with unforeseen problems with the building meaning tasks will constantly need to be prioritised and juggled.


While FM is sometimes mistakenly seen as a job where you spend the majority of the day dealing with bricks and mortar, people skills are also extremely important to be a facilities manager


The vast majority of buildings are significant only because of the people and businesses they house. When buildings fail to function as they should, it is their inhabitants who suffer. The electricity failing for half an hour may be no big deal in the great scheme of things, but tell that to the person who must prepare a tricky presentation by the end of the day or the shop owner who can’t access his till.


Communication skills, a good understanding of the tenets of customer service and the ability to sensitively deal with people in often high-pressure situations means that the exemplary professional facilities manager can help keep an entire building calm in difficult circumstances.


If you’re currently in facilities management, it is worth considering how you can showcase your abilities and experiences to a prospective employer. From their perspective, favour is always going to be given to those who can prove that they have been successful in previous roles.


Compiling a short portfolio or raft of recommendations from previous employers will help, as will being able to provide solid examples of situations where you as an FM professional have made a real impact on the continuous smooth running of the building you manage. This might include examples of planned projects successfully completed (such as a change of supplier), or how you successfully managed an emergency in order to minimise disruption to the business or businesses operating from your building.

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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.