The team at Maxwell Stephens had the pleasure of attending this year’s Facilities Show at the ExCel London on Thursday 21st June. With numerous industry exhibitors, keynote speakers and discussion panels there was loads of great stuff to digest. Here are some of our key thoughts from the day:
A recurring topic that was discussed was the future of the industry, particularly in terms of talent attraction and acquisition. The general feeling around this seemed to be pessimistic, with numerous attendees and speakers citing issues such as a shortage of young professionals being attracted and brought into FM and a lack of appropriate entry level routes into a career in FM.
This pessimism is not shared by the team at Maxwell Stephens. The talent pool of young professionals is there, but accessing it is challenging. With the ever-increasing dominance of social media and digital communications, candidates are inundated with information and job opportunities. This has contributed to job hunters becoming increasingly passive in their approach, therefore we need to be more active. Utilizing optimum channels of communication, understanding candidates’ motivations, and increasing online exposure are just some of the ways in which our recruitment approach continually develops.
The landscape of recruitment is evolving, and to make sure employers attract young professionals they need to evolve with it and definitely not complain about it!
Does the FM industry have an image problem?
Another concern that was raised in discussions was general perceptions of FM, with a number of speakers voicing concerns around the image of the sector and the need to update it. This, paired with the perceived decline in young professionals joining the industry, paints quite a bleak picture for the future.
Although we agree to a certain extent that there are areas of the FM sector that would benefit from an image update, our experience suggests that image problems lie with individual organisations and not the industry as a whole.
The point was also raised that many non-FM professionals do not know or understand what a Facilities Manager actually does. Historically this statement definitely has some truth to it, but our experience suggests that awareness of Facilities Management and its impact on business performance is steadily increasing.
Workplace experience vs Workplace environment
The team at Maxwell Stephens are particularly passionate about this topic. Peter Forshaw, Managing Director, said, “I couldn’t think of a better way to summarize the difference between in-house client positions and service provider positions, I wish I had known about this distinction 19 years ago at the start of my career”. Workplace environment has always been a key consideration for any FM professional, however as a Facilities Management recruitment agency specialising in in-house client positions, we have seen first-hand the increasing value being placed on workplace experience. Research has shown time and time again that workplace experience is not only vital for employee engagement, but also provides an excellent selling point when attracting the best talent. We were especially pleased to see the focus on workplace experience in numerous discussions and exhibitions throughout the day.
This fantastic event provided a great opportunity to engage with a wide range of FM professionals and gain valuable insights into current and future trends within the Facilities Management industry. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers, keynote speakers and panellists at the Facilities Show for their hard work and support in making it such a worthwhile event.