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Your recruitment strategy in FM
An effective recruitment strategy is essential if you want to find the best candidates. If you have been less than satisfied with the results of previous campaigns, it’s time to take a fresh look at your strategy.
Your recruitment strategy should be comprehensive and created in line with your business strategy. It should set out the roles to recruit and when to do it in line with your business’s operational plan.
Your recruitment strategy should also provide a template for creating accurate job descriptions and person specifications.
Finally, it should establish where and how recruitment should take place. If previous campaigns were not successful, take some time to research the most effective methods of reaching the strongest candidates. Consider whether your team has time to field questions from potential candidates and sift through large numbers of CVs if you advertise directly – or if using a specialist recruitment agency would prove more time and cost effective.
Know what you are looking for
If you want to find the right candidate, you have got to know exactly what you are looking for. Unless you have an unambiguous picture of what the role involves and the ideal person to fulfil it, you risk getting the wrong person.
Even if your job descriptions and person specifications were created fairly recently, it’s a good idea to review them prior to advertising. If you are filling a role because the previous post holder is leaving, the requirements of the role may have changed since his or her appointment.
Stronger IT skills may now be necessary or budget-management skills may have become more critical. If the company has expanded since the previous post holder took on the role, you may now need to ensure candidates have greater experience in managing large teams.
If the role is a new one, don’t rush the creation of the job description and person specification, however busy you are.
Detailed job descriptions
To create a job description, begin by setting out the main purpose of the job. Try to sum up the job in just one sentence, e.g. ‘To ensure work premises provide the most suitable working environment as efficiently as possible’.
Identify the importance of the role within the overall business and list the main areas of responsibility within the role, e.g. procurement and contract management; building and grounds maintenance; health and safety.
You can then list the specific tasks involved. Examples may include: supervising and coordinating the work of contractors; researching and reporting on options for new premises; or calculating and comparing the costs of goods and services.
Clear person specifications
Your person specification should set out the attributes you would like candidates to possess. What skills and knowledge are required? What level of education is needed? How much experience is necessary? What personal qualities are you looking for?
While many attributes will be vital for the job to be completed to a high standard, some will be desirable but less important. Make sure your person specification differentiates between essential and advantageous skills and qualities.
Remember, it is illegal to discriminate on grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion when recruiting.
Ensure your person specification and all recruitment documents are not discriminatory in any way, and that you do not discriminate on any of the above grounds during any stage of your recruitment process.
This may involve making reasonable adjustments to ensure that candidates are not at a disadvantage, e.g. conducting interviews in a wheelchair accessible location if a shortlisted candidate has a disability.
Connecting with suitable applicants
When it comes to reaching potential candidates, the options include jobcentres, local newspapers, online recruitment mediums (such as job websites and social media) and employment agencies.
If you decide to manage the recruitment process in-house, in the present employment market any advertisements you place are likely to yield a large volume of enquiries and applications – many of which may be from candidates lacking the skills and experience you need.
Utilising a recruitment agency that specialises in your sector means you can avoid answering wholesale enquiries and applications – and instead choose from a high calibre of candidates who will only be recommended to you if they possess the necessary attributes.
Maxwell Stephens specialises in facilities management recruitment. As well as holding a database of skilled and experienced candidates, our understanding of the facilities management sector means we can reach a large proportion of facilities management professionals with carefully targeted advertising campaigns.
Our reputation amongst facilities management professionals means we can advertise our clients’ vacancies under the Maxwell Stephens brand without disclosing clients’ names. Candidates know we work with the leading names in the industry so you can rest assured that our advertisements will attract lots of interest without you having to deal with any time-consuming calls.
Recruitment campaigns are carefully planned in accordance with each individual role. We may use the national press, professional and trade journals and/or local and specialist publications. We also utilise the internet, creating micro-sites and tailored web solutions to maximise our reach.
The interview stage
Companies who choose to manage their recruitment processes in-house will need to set aside plenty of time to sift through CVs to select the most suitable candidates to interview. Of course, if you are using a specialist recruitment agency, you have the advantage of only needing to see CVs from candidates who meet your specified requirements.
Nonetheless, it is still important to have a clear plan in place to ensure the time you spend interviewing candidates is used as effectively as possible.
Try to arrange interviews for a time and place where there is little possibility of interruption from visitors or telephone calls so you aren’t disrupted from the task of assessing candidates.
If possible, you should also try to arrange for a colleague to be present during interviews. Another pair of ears and eyes is always useful when making the difficult decision of deciding on the best candidate for a job, and a colleague may pick up on things you miss.
Plan your questions well ahead of the interviews to ensure you find out everything you need to know during them. ‘Open ended’ questions that give candidates an opportunity to share information about their skills, experience and attitude will provide you with much greater insight into their suitability than questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Studying candidates’ CVs will help you plan early questions that will help break the ice. A couple of minutes spent discussing a candidate’s hobbies and interests should help to put them at ease while allowing you to find out more about the person behind the CV.
Remember, however, to ensure none of the questions you ask could be considered discriminatory in any way.
Some interviewers like to get an interview started by asking candidates to introduce themselves. Providing candidates with an open opportunity to choose what they tell you about themselves can reveal a great deal about their confidence, experience, skillset and suitability.
Use your job description and person specification to help you plan the key questions you need to ask to discover if a candidate meets your requirements. For facilities management roles, competence and situational questions that are directly relevant to your organisation are very useful for determining if a candidate has what it takes to help move your company forward.
For example, you may ask a candidate about how current legislation affected their current or last role. Or you may ask how they would deal with an under performing service provider.
To find out how thoroughly a candidate has researched your company, ask them to tell you what they know about your organisation and their reasons for wanting to work with you.
Finally, ensure you ask candidates about their goals and their reasons for leaving their present or last employer. And don’t forget to give them time to ask you questions!
In addition, we meet many facilities management professionals on a daily basis to discuss career options so are uniquely placed to reach the best talent in the industry – even if they are not actively looking for a new position.
Practical tasks and second interviews
To ensure you select the right candidate for the job, it is a good idea to ask those candidates who interviewed well to return for a practical task and second interview.
The exact nature of the practical task will depend upon the role being recruited. You might like to ask candidates to perform a health and safety induction presentation or prepare a report, for example.
Being able to see short-listed candidates complete a task that is similar to those required of them within the role will give you a more accurate picture of their suitability. It will also enable you to see who performs most calmly under pressure – a prerequisite for most roles within the facilities management industry.
If you have any doubts about who is the most suitable candidate for your role after the practical task has been completed, a follow-up interview will give you a final opportunity to ask the questions you need answering in order to make a decision.
Once you have found the right candidate, our advice is not to let them go! Remember, candidates may also be applying for roles with your competitors. If you are confident that you have found the best person for the job, don’t delay in offering them the position.
Saving time and money
For companies that are continuing to manage their recruitment in-house, the process of selecting the best candidate for a role is taking up more time and resources than ever before.
With unemployment at such high levels, the task of processing high volumes of applications now impacts too greatly on most companies’ core activities – especially when staff are already working at full capacity. Recruitment agencies are now so popular that agencies account for 35% of all positions in the UK, according to a survey published in HR magazine.
Using a recruitment agency enables staff to concentrate on their key responsibilities, which can save money and valuable resources. Respected recruitment agencies that specialise in your industry usually prove to be the most efficient and effective way to find the best person for the job.
And for senior roles or to attract candidates that are not actively seeking a new opportunity, specialist recruitment agencies are indispensable.
Specialised recruitment agencies, such as Maxwell Stephens, develop unique understandings of their particular industries and the candidates available within them. They know how to attract the best candidates and the types of packages these candidates are looking for.
Maxwell Stephens’ in-depth knowledge of the facilities management sector – from both clients’ and candidates’ points of view – means we offer the only guaranteed way of finding the right person for a facilities management job.
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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.