recruitment agency we are hiring

5 questions to ask to help you choose the right recruitment agency for your business

Working with a dedicated FM recruitment agency is a smart move. They’ll understand what you’re looking for and help you make the right hire, the first time. Choosing the right agency can be daunting, but if you ask the right questions you’ll make the right choice. Read on for the five questions you need to ask to make the right choice for your business.

What experience do you have recruiting for facilities management?

This is hands-down the most important question you should ask because you need an agency that specialises in facilities management and who can find the right candidates. You’re looking for an agency with plenty of success stories, who understands the demands of the job and who has a strong network in FM.

How do you find top talent?

A recruitment agency is acting as your representative so you need to know how they engage with potential hires on your behalf. You’ll need to ensure that expectations are mutual and that you agree on methods of engagement whether that’s cold calling, via their database or on social media. In turn, you’ll know where candidates are coming from and whether you’re targeting the best people for the job.

Do you already have a pool of talent?

This kind of availability can be the perfect solution. After all, if your recruitment agency already has a list of highly experienced candidates available, you can green-light the recruitment process far faster. Having suitable candidates on tap is a sign that an agency is good at their job and can engage with the right kind of FM talent.

How do you work and what can I expect from your agency?

It’s essential that you work with an agency that is flexible enough to meet and exceed your needs. You need to know how they communicate and control the hiring process so it aligns with your expectations. This question helps you to identify an agency that works in the way that you do, so you’re perfectly aligned whether that means getting daily feedback or feedback only when the process is finished.

What are your terms?

Business terms and costs will affect your hiring ability so this can be a really critical question. You’ll need to start with your budget and your business needs and gauge whether a recruitment agency can meet your recruitment goals. Remember that fees and business agreements can change as can your circumstances so you can always re-evaluate your choice as your business continues to grow.

Why choosing the right agency is important

So why is it so important to select the right recruitment agency? If you want to recruit new facilities management staff effectively and maintain a positive hiring image, it’s critical you get the decision right. Make the right choice and recruiting candidates can be a breeze when you use a dedicated agency. Create a mutually beneficial relationship and you’ll be able to call on them in the future when you need more hires.

Keep in mind your goal, values and budget and you’ll be able to pinpoint the ideal agency to work with.

CV Facilities manager

5 things all Facilities Managers should have on their CV

CV Facilities manager

With radical changes to the planning system afoot, now could be the time to brush up your CV.

Before you start CV writing, think about how you can differentiate your CV when you’re job hunting. Keep it short, no more than 2 pages, and use bullet points, formatting and alignment so that readers can scan and skim with ease. The more you can tailor your CV to the position you’re applying for, the easier you make the job of a recruitment agency or HR department and the more likely you are to get that interview.

Read on to find out the five things that every facilities management professional should include when updating their CV.

A simple but informative profile

When you’re CV writing, it’s important to keep your profile short and to the point. Keep a tight focus on your personality and experience and avoid generic phrases - they won’t make your CV stand out from the crowd. Instead, you should tailor this section to the job you’re applying for and include:

- Skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for
- Experience in sectors related to the job you’re applying for
- Character traits that would be an asset to the company

Use this personal statement to good effect to make recruiters to really sit up and take notice.

Keep your skills relevant

If you have more relevant skills than you have space for in your profile, include them in a separate skills section. Again, keep it relevant and focused on the job you’re applying for and bullet point each skill so they pop off the page. Remember, any recruiter will have read through a stack of CV’s so make their job easier for them.

Include your education whatever your level

It’s tempting to skip your educational qualifications when you’ve reached a certain level, but you should always include them whether you’re getting a foot on the ladder or you’re already established in FM. You don’t need to list every GCSE or O level, just the number and the fact that you passed in maths and English. Reference everything in a simple chronological list that says what you studied, where you studied and when.

Show your experience

When you’re including your experience be brief, chronological and honest. If there are gaps in your experience make a virtue of the fact that you went travelling, volunteered or wrote a novel.

Use bullet points to convey the information you need rather than using verbose descriptions - this simple formula is a good starting point:

- Dates
- Name of the company
- Your job title
- Key duties and projects

You won’t need to go in-depth on every FM position you’ve held; try focusing on the last 3 companies or the last 5 projects you were responsible for delivering. Always highlight your major achievements: these might include a project delivered early or under budget. List the kind of budgets you’re used to working with and any promotions you’ve achieved. Recruiters want to know about your successes.

Reference with confidence

Don’t be afraid to list the name and job title of your references. If you’re uncomfortable adding their contact details say you’ll supply them on request.

c22 team target growth opportunities

Catch 22 targets FM recruitment growth opportunities

c22 team target growth opportunities

Facilities Management recruitment specialists Catch 22 has announced a new management structure to implement its plans for future growth.

The senior team – spearheaded by chief executive officer Simon Aspinall and national operations director Scott Linnen – has also been bolstered by a significant investment in the agency.

Entrepreneur Gary Dewhurst, whose expertise is in the recruitment sector, has taken a 50 percent stake in the business after recognising the opportunities for strategic growth which the pair have identified. Meanwhile, former managing director Vince Parker, one of Catch 22’s original founders, has relinquished his role in the business but will continue to advise the team.

The Leeds-headquartered business, which also has offices in London and Manchester, currently supplies high quality temporary and permanent staff to a wide range of organisations – including more than 20 of the UK’s top 50 facilities management service providers.

As part of its ambitious plans, it is seeking to expand its nationwide reach by further developing the business outside its core areas of the South East, North West, Midlands, and Yorkshire.
Catch 22 also intends to grow its share of the technical recruitment market – providing more ‘hard services’ roles, such as those in the building maintenance, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and mechanical sectors.

Simon Aspinall said: “We have identified a number of opportunities within the FM & Workplace sector and I’m confident that, by developing these, Catch 22 can enjoy a period of extended growth.
“I’d also like to highlight the contribution being made by Gary Dewhurst. His investment is crucial to our future plans, but he also has a proven track record in founding and growing a number of successful niche recruitment businesses.”

Gary recently left his role as part-time CEO of gap Personnel Group after selling his remaining shares in the Wrexham-headquartered company, having sold a 75% stake in 2017 to Japanese-listed recruiter BeNEXT – allowing him to devote more time to invest in his portfolio of 10 companies.
Catch 22 was founded in London in 1982 and quickly developed an enviable reputation for its ability to supply high quality temporary and permanent staff across a range of roles in the Facilities Management and Workplace sector.

Scott Linnen added: “Catch 22 has traditionally excelled in providing ‘soft services’ across the support, office and executive functions of the FM sector but we intend to now grow our share of the technical market which we have identified as an area for significant growth.
“We would also like to thank Vince Parker for his many contributions that have transformed Catch 22 into the nationwide success it is today and wish him well in his future ventures.”

employee mental health

How to support employee mental health post lockdown

Employee mental health is now a huge topic.  It has come to light even more during the pandemic and lockdown period.

As lockdown eases and people start to return to the office, it is to be expected that there will be some unease from employees. Interestingly, research consistently shows that over 50% of workers are 'uncomfortable' about returning to the office. This stems from COVID-19 anxiety and fears around travelling to and from the workplace via public transport. Also, there is also a preference for more flexible working arrangements.  Therefore, employees are reassessing their relationship with the workplace.

As well as all this, factor in the stress and isolation of long months working from home.  It’s clear that supporting employees and their mental health is an increasing need of the ‘new normal’.

Actionable steps to support employee mental health

As employees return to the office, facilities management play a role in minimising any anxiety. Create effective social distancing and hygiene measures that are easily actioned.  This will play a role in helping to reduce their fears.

Create a supportive and healthy work environment. Produce safety protocols that are clear and effective and communicate these to employees.  Create safeguards for their own self-protection and those of others.

Assessing the workplace

For FM professionals, reviewing the workplace and implementing new guidelines is a critical part of supporting workers to feel confident in the return to the office. Communicate the COVID preparedness of the workplace clearly to returning employees.

The office space may need a deep clean, with a focus on multi-touch surfaces. You may need to adjust the layout of the workspace to observe social distancing and ensure that interactions between employees and clients promote safety and trust.

Make sure that supplies of paper towels, hand gel and PPE if necessary are in place. Reassure employees that basic hygiene measures are taken care of.  This goes a long way to alleviate the worry associate with staying safe in a busy office.

Connect with vulnerable staff

The official government advice is that there is no need for individuals to self-isolate at the moment.  However, the situation can change at any time. Official guidance says that vulnerable adults can return to their workplace if it’s COVID-secure.  But they should still work from home if possible.

Individuals who are vulnerable and have been self-isolating are at particular risk of feelings of isolation and loneliness. Other employees who have lost relatives, friends or colleagues may not be in a robust emotional state to return to work.

Organisations should be prepared to offer distanced forms of counselling and therapy via telephone, email or video. These wellness options should offer privacy and flexibility to employees who wish to access them.

Connectivity is another issue for those still working from home. Facilities management need to risk assess the situation.  You also need to put in place appropriate measures like virtual water coolers so teams stay connected.

Effective emotional support is critical

Lockdown has affected different people in different ways. It's important to assess the levels of anxiety and mental wellbeing in individual employees and teams. Hold one-to-one and/or team meetings before the return to work so issues and concerns can be communicated.

This helps to reassure employees that their worries around their mental and physical wellbeing are being taken seriously.

Ongoing emotional support and COVID defence plans will be critical in the months ahead, so start now to support the mental and physical wellbeing of your employees in the post lockdown world.

You can find more information and guidance on the Government website here:
or visit our blog update on Mental Health Awareness Week

remote onboarding and working

Remote onboarding - can you hire someone without meeting them?

Remote onboarding has become a new trend over the last few months but is it feasible for your company. So you’re recruiting candidates for FM positions in your organisation but social distancing means you can’t go through the usual steps to onboard new hires. Can you really bring someone new into facilities management without meeting them face-to-face?

Post-COVID, remote working is becoming the norm rather than the exception. With the right procedures in place, remote onboarding can be done safely and effectively.

Use video interviews wisely

Technology has advanced to the point that video interviews can be executed effortlessly. In fact, the interview process shouldn’t be too different to meeting candidates face-to-face.

Establish an initial profile that enables you to decide which candidates will proceed to the final interview, then hold one-to-ones and a group interview with the team. This can all be achieved using easily available video interviewing tools.

Get the setup ready

Start the process with a welcome email and find out what your new recruit needs in terms of equipment. Be ready to deal with the logistics around distanced deliveries and make sure all relevant documents are available before the formal onboarding process begins and after it finishes.

Create a personalised remote onboarding plan

It can be difficult to create a personal connection without a face-to-face meeting. But a personalised onboarding process can make new employees feel welcome and give the experience a personal touch.

The HR process should give your new team members insight into company culture and communication channels. Scheduling meetings and arranging calls can help them stay focused and avoid the stress and anxiety that they may be missing something important.

Set goals and expectations

Establishing some clear goals for the onboarding process can be invaluable. After all, you won’t have the opportunity for the informal check-ins that occur when working together in an office.

What do you expect your new hire to have achieved by the end of the first week or month? And how can those goals be measured? Be clear on your expectations and create channels for feedback to improve performance. Check-in after one or two weeks, then again at four to six weeks and again at the end of the trial period, typically 90 days to exchange feedback on the onboarding process.

Meet the team

Stepping into a new team can be daunting. But making connections when the team is working remotely can be much harder outside a traditional workplace environment with its opportunities for informal meet-ups or organised events.

Schedule some digital meet-and-greet time that allows the team to spend time with your new recruit. This could be a quick call or a regularly occurring social event. Assigning a virtual partner is a straightforward way to connect a new member to the team and create a channel for hints, questions and directions.

Don’t forget to schedule a virtual tour of the organisation so that your new hire is aware of the different technologies and platforms in use. And arrange an initial series of check-ins with teams, managers and PR so your new hire isn’t left feeling disconnected.

What’s the payoff of remote onboarding?

Remote onboarding may take effort but with the right attention to detail, your integration strategy should see your new recruits working at peak efficiency meaning FM professionals learn valuable new skills that make the entire process straightforward.

If you would like to get started with recruiting for your latest job openings, find more information here:
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin for the latest news and updates. 

woman working remotely from home

Facilities Management businesses and remote working

How has the world Facilities Management changed around remote working? Communications technology has been a widespread catalyst for change, accelerating the digital transformation and forcing a reassessment of the role of facilities management. Remote working creates both challenges and opportunities for FM professionals which means that you need to stay ahead of the curve.

Reevaluating the office

Think more employees working from home makes life easy for facilities management? Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a flexitime workforce could make space management more valuable than ever.

Leveraging smart technologies to track and analyse space utilisation is a key tool for businesses looking to reevaluate the way in which office space is used. As open-plan offices and collaborative working have become the norm, hot-desking and space allocation for remote and office-based workers have become a fundamental FM task.

Optimising occupation

The changing workforce is already impacting on facilities management, making tracking and optimising occupancy critical. Familiarity with real-time information and advanced technology can give FM professionals the edge when it comes to rationalising assets and heating and cooling office space.

Reporting and monitoring, data analytics and collection are becoming ubiquitous in facilities management and cloud infrastructure and mobile networking have made managing workplaces remotely more effective. In turn, these connected ways of working are driving new efficiencies. Better yet, communication technologies can underpin remote working for FM professionals in exceptional times.

The virtual water cooler

But what about those intangible forces for productivity like the water cooler? While micromanagers might put little value on those water-cooler moments, those informal interactions that spark ideas and drive collaboration and creativity have long been prized by wiser CEOs.

Those chance encounters might be important but distributed remote working teams can also banter, chat and create their virtual water cooler with programmes such as Campfire, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

How to succeed remotely

As an FM business or an FM professional, it’s by no means impossible to work remotely. But your success may depend on a series of smaller actions that build into the right work-life balance. Start by setting boundaries between your work life and your home life. Establish your office hours and create a dedicated workspace. You can experiment with what feels right for the work you do.

As a facilities manager, you’ll be familiar with using your calendar and setting time blocks to get things done. Just because you’re working remotely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue with the kind of good practice that keeps you accountable during your working day.

Keep your visibility at work just as you would in the office. Organise regular check-ins with your team to update and celebrate your wins. Clear and effective communication using synchronous tools, video meetings and shared documentation will get those tasks done.

Embrace remote management

As an FM professional, you have a unique opportunity to prove that your company has everyone’s best interests at heart. By using data to understand the needs and activities of your organisation and upgrading digital management capabilities, you can reevaluate building priorities and rewrite the FM handbook to include remote management of facilities and the workforce.

working from home

How is home working impacting mental health?

Terms such as home working and work/life balance have become part of our vocabulary. But a new survey has identified the hidden impacts of working from home on our mental health.

According to research by Office Space in Town (OSiT), most workers now favour a full return to the office although barriers remain in terms of health, wellbeing and employees feeling safe and supported at work. This is one of the challenges facing facilities management professionals as the return to the ‘new normal’ continues.

Bad for your health?

It turns out that home working could be bad for your health, with research by the British Council for Offices revealing that over half of respondents reported back, neck and shoulder pain. In the OSiT survey, 29% of respondents felt that the lack of suitable equipment was a disadvantage to home working while 64% felt their company had not offered practical health and safety advice.

But the OSiT survey also revealed the impact of remote working on the wellbeing and mental health of respondents. Almost 30% felt that one of the biggest drawbacks were feelings of loneliness and isolation, with 25% experiencing feelings of anxiety. 37% cited the inability to unplug from the work environment as a major drawback.

In fact, only 5% of respondents favoured full-time remote working with the remaining 95% ready to return to the office once a vaccine is found.

Workers Wishlist

So what do employers and FM professionals need to do to ensure that the transition back to the office can be undertaken confidently and safely?

Workers are most concerned about the potential for contamination in the office environment, with over 60% agreeing that better cleaning and hygiene measures would make them feel more comfortable. Other measures that employees expect to see are social distancing markers and the availability of masks and gloves. Sneeze screens and hand sanitizers should be available at all desks according to half of the survey respondents.

The bigger picture

The survey did manage to identify benefits to home working including avoiding the daily commute (72%) and spending more time with family (54%). However, 52% felt that working from home didn’t have a significant effect on their work-life balance and that missing out on collaboration with colleagues and dealing with distractions were major drawbacks to remote working.

It seems that the dream of working from home is unsustainable for the majority of workers, with 34% identifying a lack of dedicated workspace as one of the key drawbacks.

A professionalised environment

It seems that we actually thrive in the professional office, where opportunities for formal and informal collaboration foster productivity, community and a sense of wellbeing. The survey also uncovered the uncomfortable hidden costs of remote working where feelings of isolation, lack of dedicated workspace and uncomfortable blurring of the boundaries between work and life have created impacts that won’t disappear overnight.

The potential cost to mental health and wellbeing makes the return to the office more critical than ever. FM professionals have a key role and responsibility in ensuring that workers feel safe and comfortable when they finally return to the office. Actioning the ‘workers wishlist’ would be a good place to start while flexible working will encourage workers to return to the normality of the office.

Clean offices

How will offices evolve post Covid-19?

Creating the post-pandemic offices will take a mix of short term fixes and long term changes that prioritise keeping workers safe and healthy.

With lockdown easing, the big return is bringing workers back to the office. The challenge for facilities management is how to put hygiene at the heart of the workplace.

Reducing fear and anxiety

As a result of this unprecedented event, we’re all now hyper-aware of health risks when it comes to sharing spaces with our colleagues. A move away from the open-plan office is predicted with the implementation of sneeze guards between workstations mooted as a low-cost measure to address anxiety.

A more radical plan could be a move towards distributed offices. This involves moving away from a centralised hub to smaller offices based around teams working collaboratively closer to home. Not only could this promote a sense of wellbeing, but it also reduces the exposure to Covid-19 on public transport.

Another potential solution is to stagger the workforce, with smaller groups coming into the office at any given time and avoiding rush hour transport. This hybrid style of working between home and office could, in turn, unlock the workplace for a wider talent pool.

The office as hospital

Swapping out natural elements for non-porous surfaces and opting for materials that are safe and hygienic will be a growing influence on future office design. HVAC systems using ultraviolet light will come out into the open to give workers an immediate impression of cleanliness. And handwashing stations are expected to become the new normal with workers washing their hands as they enter and leave the space.

Hospital design is also expected to impact on wayfinding, with the focus on getting from A to B in the most efficient manner. Your office may even become more proactive in the way in which it monitors for sickness, with sensors embodied under desks. These would then alert facilities management when an employee shows signs of fever.

The contactless office

The gradual automation of everything from exercise to flight check-ins should have prepared us well for the shift towards a more contactless future. Offices that can make the switch will use smartphone technology for contactless access to the office and that first cup of coffee. Voice-activated technology will create hands-free meeting rooms, and a simple hand gesture will flush toilets and open doors.

The future is here

In Australia, Dicker Data has already bridged to the post-corona future with the implementation of huge sanitising stations and thermal body scanners. Essential onsite workers arrive in staggered shifts and extra cleaning staff ensure that hygiene standards are maintained.

In the UK, the major retailers have led the way with floor signage, queuing systems and the compulsory use of masks and hand sanitiser. So what’s the takeaway for your office?

Evolving the hygienic office

The safety of your employees is your top priority, now more than ever. The evolution of the office starts with good practice and policies driven by facilities management. Ask yourself whether employees can work from home or be split into multiple teams that work in distributed places or at staggered times?

You need to stay consistent with public health messaging and be flexible enough to create throughways and workspaces that can evolve as the pandemic continues to evolve.

How to find a new job during the pandemic

How to find a new job during the pandemic

You might be surprised to discover that a pandemic might not be the worst time to look for a new job. While some industries are having to lose workers, others are hiring. A quick search through LinkedIn or using the hashtags #nowhiring and #hiring should give you a good idea as to what jobs are around.

If you have lost your job as a result of Covid-19 or you were looking for a new role in FM when the crisis hit, don’t give up - just follow these tips for job hunting during a pandemic.

Be job search ready

Now’s the time to undertake these three essential tasks:

- Update your CV, tweaking it for any job you apply for
- Write a cover letter that gets you noticed
- Update your profile on LinkedIn

And upgrade your online job searches:

- Set job alerts
- Use relevant hashtags to search
- Organise your job search for a smoother result

Research the job market

A quick look around and at the news will tell you who’s doing well post lockdown and what sectors to avoid. Travel, food and entertainment have all been hard hit by social distancing. But food and retail, healthcare and cleaning services are thriving which could present a good match up with your facilities management skills.

For businesses that have emerged from lockdown relatively unscathed, tapping into new talent is a priority. Not only are organisations looking for more workers, but they’re looking to onboard fast, so make sure you’re available to move as quickly as possible.

Become a remote worker

Covid-19 has pushed many organisations towards a swift digital transformation, making remote working more attainable and attractive than ever. It’s a particularly good option if you’ve been cocooning or you’re uncertain about a return to your old ways of working. All you need is an internet connection to search for, and land, those work from home jobs. Try searching the top job sites for freelance and telecommute jobs. Or try some of the more niche job search sites that deal with the gig economy.

If you can work from home you may have a better chance than ever of getting a job. If you can solve an organisation’s hiring problems then let them know your most valuable qualifications upfront.

Get interview ready

The chances are you’ll be interviewed via video so take the time to get to know how Zoom and Skype work. It may be a learning curve but practising your interview techniques and the way you present yourself on camera can be critical to getting hired. Pay attention to your choice of outfit, lighting and background - Zoom lets you select a suitably professional backdrop.

Upgrade your networks

Networking doesn’t depend on face to face for success so make the most of socials including LinkedIn and Facebook. Take some time to endorse former colleagues or offer to help friends with tasks such as proofreading their CV and cover letter. You can also take the time to upgrade your own skillset through online courses then polish up your profile.

Key takeaways

Just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean businesses aren’t hiring. Take the time to get job search and interview-ready and remember that these are challenging times for all so be prepared for when that new job lands.

healthy offices

Why healthy offices matter more than ever

The healthy offices/building movement has been impacting facilities management for some time now. Most FM teams will be used to evaluation checklists featuring bottle filling stations and green walls alongside the more usual HVAC and lighting checks.

But in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to create safe and welcoming spaces is more pressing than ever. The challenge for facilities managers is to create healthy offices that workers will want to return to after working from home during the lockdown.

Build on good practice

Healthy workspaces will depend on the ongoing work that your team has undertaken to improve health and wellbeing and work towards sustainability. As an FM manager, you’ll be expected to have the expertise to maintain the building in line with aesthetic and psychological concerns as well as purely practical ones.

Encourage healthy behaviours

While it’s vital that the day to day evaluation of your building impacts positively on health, you need to take the long-range view and start by encouraging healthy behaviours.

Green building initiatives are no longer simply nice-to-haves. They demonstrate measurable impacts on productivity, they help to attract and retain employees and they can reduce the amount of time lost to sick leave.

A combination of features including natural and ambient lighting, greenery and outdoor access can promote happiness and productivity. Measures to encourage fitness and wellbeing could include walking trails, onsite fitness classes and accessible stairwells to encourage taking more steps during the day.

Upgrading amenities

Welcoming workers back after a pandemic, particularly those who are anxious about social distancing and hygiene, could be a challenge. Offering quality of life features and tangible engagement can help to tempt back employees who’ve enjoyed working from home.

Well planned gathering spaces with baked-in social distancing features will encourage interaction. Decor influenced by home interiors should include sofas and quiet places. Ultimately, you should be aiming to create a more flexible and agile workspace that integrates remote and onsite employees.

Communication first

In the new normal that awaits us after lockdown, communication will be central to every facilities manager’s role. Among the need for checklists and system audits, don’t lose sight of your building users and the need to educate them on the health and wellbeing strategies being implemented in the workplace.

Re-enforce the fact that these measures are designed to make their work environment both more efficient and productive while making it a safer and healthier place to be. Clear communications through a number of channels including signage, text and email will let users know what’s happening, when and why.

And by dealing with employees' concerns in a timely and transparent manner you’ll keep them reassured and engaged.

FM managers have a vital role to play

As lockdown eases and employees return to work, the healthy offices trend is bound to deepen. There will be a real need to demonstrate to employees that their buildings are safe and healthy and facilities management has a pivotal role to play in the process, whether that’s communicating critical information or enacting hygiene and social distancing measures.

Careful evaluation and thoughtful updates can help to create the kind of healthy built environments that encourage wellbeing and productivity.