New Year. Fresh Start? We’ve heard it all before, but what does 2013 really have in store for FM job seekers?
The FM employment market, like many, is predominately an employer’s one. However it would appear that 2013 has a number of opportunities in store for the FM job seeker. In an industry that is arguably worth £167 billion, there will always be opportunities for good candidates, however entering the job market can be daunting, and it is important to seek career advice.
For school leavers with minimal qualifications, times have never been tougher. With more and more individuals obtaining University degrees, it is easy for school leavers to feel a little lost. But it is important to not feel downbeat. In an industry as valuable as FM, there are so many entry level positions available and what organisations are looking for is the correct attitude, not a pass or a fail. Many of my clients, particularly FM providers, look for driven, flexible and hard-working individuals to join their FM teams and fully expect these people to work their way up the ranks. For school leavers who are keen on getting some FM qualifications, there are a number of BIFM, NEBOSH and independent provider options available. The BIFM mentoring scheme also proves to be a fruitful programme for entry-level and seasoned FMs.
The graduate job market as a whole is very saturated. There are a number of graduate schemes available for graduates looking for a step into FM, but, as with all other disciplines, places are limited and competition is intense. It is important for graduates to remember that a ‘grad-scheme’ is not the be-all and end-all and that there are other FM opportunities out there. You may be surprised with the opportunities and salaries available that are comparable to graduate schemes. If you fail to get on to a grad-scheme then do not get despondent.
Having weathered the worst of the recession and invested in training and development, around 3 out of 5 experienced Facilities professionals have stated a desire return to the job market in 2013. This is in line with private sector organisations now looking to develop and expand their offering and move away from the recession driven ‘business as usual’. FM in the public sector is also expanding and opportunities within this sector are becoming more attractive to FM job seekers. Recent surveys suggest that staff turnover in the FM industry is around 15%; a positive stat for all FM job seekers as employee movement creates opportunities.
There are a number of steps all levels of job seeker can take to improve their chances of employment:
Create a Winning CV: Your CV is your first impression and your access to a first interview. From speaking to FM candidates, it appears there are 2 CV issues: job seekers have either not had enough CV advice, or they have had too much and their CV has become confused. My advice is to keep it concise and keep it to 2 pages. No matter how much advice you receive, your CV should still be your piece of work and reflect you as an FM professional.
Register with a Specialist Recruitment Agency: It is important to register and keep in contact with specialist FM agencies. It is not necessary to register with all of them, as this can cause confusion and may end up with your CV being sent to the same company by different agencies. Some of the larger agencies may ask for you to work with them exclusively, however no single agency has all of the opportunities. My advice is to register with 2 or 3 that you trust.
Interview Preparation is Key: Once your Winning CV has got you through to the first interview stage, it is important to prepare fully for each and every interview. Do some research on the organisation, current FM market and have a couple of relevant questions to ask the interviewer. Ask your recruitment agent for as much information as possible, including competency based interview advice.
Networking: Remain active within your industry and keep abreast with FM goings-on. Attend as many industry events as you can as you never know who you may meet and it may provide you with opportunities that may be unobtainable to your average job seeker.
There will be a high number of career moves in 2013 and if you are thinking about making one then you’ve got to get ahead of the rest of the field. Job seeking can be laborious and it is easy to become pessimistic, but if you seek advice, remain motivated and fully commit to your job search, you are much more likely to secure that role you have been waiting for.
FM Recruitment Consultant