In working to improve people’s quality of life, the facilities management sector has a noble mission, even though many of its activities go unappreciated. However, what’s undeniable is the industry’s scale: the UK’s market value is set to reach an estimated £139bn by 2021 and, as reported by the British Institute of Facilities Management, it employs 10% of the country’s workforce. 

That said, from a 2017 survey of 2,500 facilities managers worldwide, the average age was found to be 50.9 years. With seasoned professionals set to retire and millennials making up a greater proportion of the workforce, the FM sector could face a demographic crisis. To that end, the sector must take a proactive approach to recruitment, including appealing to millennials’ concerns, search for a career path and interest in flexible working. 

Relevance to today’s workers

Described as a ‘traditionally overlooked’ sector, facilities management operators are looking to hire in a tightening job market, where jobseekers may have no understanding FM, or see it as chiefly soft services work, like cleaning and pest control. However, if the sector is overlooked, then not enough appreciation is given to how the sector is evolving.    

From the Global Facilities Management Market Report 2018: ‘Current themes proving to be popular include workplace design and workplace optimization, increased interest in sustainability and energy management, as well as growing demands for data gathering, analysis, and reporting.’ All in all, a pretty long way from housekeeping. Coworking, environmentalism, and innovation are all hot topics in society, politics, and commerce; facilities management is a sector that encompasses them all. 

Consequently, facilities management providers have a lot of potential to grow their teams by emphasising the sector’s relevance. For instance, building maintenance, energy management, and lighting can be clearly linked to eco-construction, sustainability and technology, with the last factor becoming increasingly prevalent. With soft services like waste disposal, recycling and information systems, a business that incorporates relevant values can make its team feel like it’s working together to make a positive impact; not just with people, but issues.

Accessible career options

From 2017/2018 statistics, 50.2% of 17 to 30-year-olds in England have participated in higher education, a gradual rise in previous years. However, research from 2015 found that 58.8% of graduates were in jobs considered to be non-graduate roles; this suggests problems for graduates, who are not utilising their skills and experiences, and nongraduates, who face difficulty in joining sectors that have increased their entry requirements. Additionally, some research has shown that would-be students from poorer backgrounds are dissuaded from pursuing a degree due to the expense involved. In today’s job market, it could be difficult for graduates and nongraduates alike to find rewarding and meaningful career opportunities.

However, a sector like facilities management boasts a range of entry points for job seekers. Take, for instance, the role of the facilities manager. From the National Careers Service, the typical hours per week are within the UK average, the top salaries are well above the national median, and jobseekers can claim the role via a university course, apprenticeship, work experience or direct application. Facilities management operators should promote this accessibility; whether a job seeker has just left college or university, is changing industries, or looking to move up the career ladder, they can apply hard work in an FM job and advance massively.   

The rise of flexible working

2018 research found that three-quarters of UK employees favoured flexible working, with 70% of millennials seeking jobs with flexibility in particular. It’s not only the hour’s workers take on that have been influenced by flexibility; the last decade has witnessed the growing popularity of coworking spaces, which offer competitive pricing, a sociable atmosphere and more responsiveness to the needs of different companies. Flexibility, on the whole, is changing how facilities management operates; here’s how it can be promoted to millennials. 

The option to work regularly at one site or go to several should be offered to all workers, from entry-level to specialist. Some workers will prefer the consistency and familiarity of one site, while others will prefer new challenges and different experiences. To better serve each worker’s personal priorities, facilities management firms should offer varying hours each day; much like the business workers at coworking spaces, FM staff members will have a preference for early, midday or late hours. FM companies can take a whole day’s hours and assign two or more workers to cover them, meeting both client and worker expectations. Lastly, staff members should have the flexibility to pick up more or less shifts as they like. We’re seeing today’s workers, especially millennials, balance several jobs and tailor their shifts to changing demands. 

Indeed Flex, a platform that connects employees and workers, meets this level of flexibility. Available across the UK, skilled and fully compliant flexible staff members are able to claim shifts at facilities management businesses; staff member can earn above-average wages (including holiday pay) and perks, while employers save time and money. Now that you see how facilities management can be promoted to millennials, use Indeed Flex and directly connect with a new generation of top-rated workers.