Maxwell Stephens

Will the FM job market really die by Christmas?

With the latest news about Carillion plc (which provides FM to 150,000 properties in the UK, Canada, and the Middle East) coupled with the latest gloomy Brexit forecasts from economists, it’s not surprising there’s a lot of pessimism about the future at the moment – not just for the FM job market, but generally.


It’s definitely not as it appears, though. Let’s deal with one thing at a time. First, Carillion.

What has happened there is a tragedy for the staff, suppliers, and customers. But is it a sign of the direction the economy is heading? There’s little evidence to support that.


Carillion went straight into liquidation – that’s the step after administration. The senior management of the business had run it so badly that, when it became unable to service its debts, its contracts and assets were so worthless that they knew nobody would want to buy it.


It even began selling its share to market short-sellers recently – that’s how bad it got and a sign of how everything was about getting cash in for the management.


Without wishing to jump the gun, Carillion was sunk by three things – a) bidding too low on contracts, b) waiting too long to be paid, and c) uninspired management lacking in ambition forcing the company to live hand-to-mouth.


Second, economists. We should always trust economists. Why?


  1. Their pinpoint-accurate foresight before the financial crash of 2008 tells us that.
  2. Economists have correctly predicted nine of the last two recessions
  3. Economics is the only area of study in which two people can win a Nobel Prize for saying exactly the opposite things

OK, a bit tongue-in-cheek but you get our point.


Economists have predicted doom for the UK since the Brexit vote. They are all now turning around and saying they were actually predicting doom for after we’d left the European Union and not the day after 23rd June 2016. A quick glimpse at their quotes in context from before the referendum give the lie to those claims though.


Here at Maxwell Stephens, we’re not Carillion and we’re certainly not economists.


As a business, we have no opinion on Brexit and its alleged right and wrongs. People ask us to find them the best jobs and the best candidates – that’s what we’re here to do.


2017 was a bumper year for Maxwell Stephens, one of the UK’s leading facilities management recruitment companies. Our colleagues at competitor firms also tell us they had a great 12 months.


2018, barely two weeks old, has started off even faster.


Why? FM is booming as service providers grow and more companies launch their own in-house FM teams. Interest in UK commercial property is at a multi-year high. Foreign investment is still flowing into Britain.


Moreover, in our salary survey last year (click here to download), we discovered that salaries were still heading higher. FM service providers and companies opening in-house FM departments are growing faster than the increase in qualified FM staff.


From our point of view, 2018 looks like it’s going to be a year of further consolidation and growth within the FM job market. If the way our phone has been ringing since the 2nd January is a measure, this year is looking very promising.


Finally, if the world is headed into a recession, and we don’t think it is, there’s nothing you can do. All you can do is take charge of your own life and your own company.


There are lots of FM positions we’ll be advertising for in the next 6 weeks. Make sure you register your CV with us straight away.


Employers, the Maxwell Stephens’ candidate data is full of talent. Whatever role you’re looking to fill and at whatever level, let us carefully select the very best and most suitable from our 20,000+ strong FM candidate database to send you.


If you’d like to call us, please do on 0207 118 48 48 or email

More Posts...