Demand for corporate facilities managers rise as business activity improves

by FM Media
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The Hays Quarterly Report of skills in demand in the facilities management sector for October to December has been released. Demand for corporate facilities managers is increasing as business activity overall improves. As a result, some locations around Australia are now seeing a stronger flow of permanent roles. This is being led by New South Wales. Temporary staff are still being used, mostly to cover leave or to ensure work is completed while a new permanent staff member is sourced.

In other locations, such as Western Australia and South Australia, the focus is on replacing departing staff rather than creating new roles. Temporary recruitment also remains popular. In the government sector employers continue to recruit on a contract basis, while University and Council employers are recruiting permanent staff.

The interview process has lengthened as employers conduct an additional interview to ensure they hire the right person. Hays also sees an increase in psychometric testing.

Skills in demand
In terms of skills in demand for the October to December 2015 quarter, there is high demand for commercial facilities managers. There has been some movement of professionals within the commercial office market, which is creating demand for strong candidates with A-grade experience.

Facilities managers with hospital experience are needed in Perth in response to the construction of new hospitals. However there are few professionals with hospital experience.

Facilities coordinators are needed too. Organisations are recruiting at this level in order to up-skill staff. Candidates with strong corporate skills are also valued thanks to increasing workloads in larger corporations, which are creating a need for professionals to come in and manage facilities.

In other areas, operations managers are needed in rural retail centres, and building managers are also needed for new apartment complexes due to growth in this sector.

The increased construction of new commercial buildings and the knock down rebuild of existing buildings is also creating demand for client-side project managers. Work supervisors are also needed in response to the upgrade of public housing, which is leading to more work for private sector FM companies.

Maintenance planners are in demand too, since there are few technical candidates with experience in maintenance planning. In the public sector, facilities managers with local government experience are sought. Again, there are few candidates with local government experience. Facilities managers and asset planners with experience working on larger portfolios are also in demand since total asset management is being rolled out in government portfolios due to the streamlining of existing resources following restructures.

Housing services officers are another area of demand. Candidates with FM experience in social and community housing are in short supply.

Retirement village managers are sought. This is also a very candidate short field given that it is a developing industry. Therefore there is a shortage of people with previous experience in this area.

Finally, in a seasonal trend Grounds People and Horticulture professionals are sought since more work becomes available each year in Spring.

Candidate trends
In terms of candidate trends, there are more senior candidates looking to change roles. The cyclical change of FM contracts is helping to create suitable opportunities.

LinkedIn is also proving to be popular with candidates to build their networks.

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