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.


man in a suit pushing a giant rock uphill

Top challenges faced by Facilities Managers

Facilities Managers might seem like unlikely superheroes but the best of them are capable of dealing with many challenges. Facilities management might be primarily concerned with keeping the built environment functioning smoothly, but if you work in FM you need to remain alert and flexible enough to deal with the latest trends.

Juggling responsibilities

Keeping on top of so many responsibilities is one of the biggest challenges facing managers. Ensuring that the built environment is functional and safe and that it meets HSE and government standards can be tough and makes FM recruitment a top priority for any business.

Changing standards

Just when you’re on top of one set of standards and regulations, the goalposts move. That means more compliance issues and industry changes to stay on top of, plus resources, staff and budgets to juggle. The way to meet this particular challenge is to stay up to speed on the changing landscape and make sure your training and accreditation are up to the job.

Ageing systems

Machinery, inventory and structures all degrade as they age. And that can lead to breakdowns, loss of productivity and threats to structural integrity. Proper budgeting coupled with planned and preventative maintenance can help to soften the blow when things need to be replaced.

Make resources work harder

FM is all about making resources work harder and more effectively, a real challenge when those resources are scarce. The pressure to perform in circumstances where budgets are stretched raises expectations that facilities managers need to find ways to meet.

Cutting costs

If FM is all about doing more with less, another challenge is to actively cut costs across facilities to increase revenues. Proactive managers can look to energy conservation and increasing the lifespan of equipment through proper maintenance. Close tracking of inventory and assets are other effective ways to control costs.

Managing security

Does your organisation have a proper recovery plan if there’s a major incident in your facility? Another challenge for FM can be coordinating emergency preparedness planning across the entire facility. These security-related responsibilities focus managers on disaster recovery planning and emergency evacuation, adding additional responsibilities to the workload.

Sustainability

As energy costs continue to soar and concerns about the environmental impact of ageing infrastructure continue to grow, FM faces an increasing challenge of adhering to an organisation's sustainability policies and finding new and innovative ways to shrink the existing carbon footprint. Reducing energy usage and finding better ways to manage waste through reuse and recycling are top priorities for managers who will also need to consider lifecycle sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

Time management

Facilities Managers can sometimes feel like being a superhero without the cape. There are a million things to do and never enough time to do them in and that’s without attending budget meetings and answering emails. Add in management concerns, employees questions and issues to be addressed and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That makes developing effective time management strategies one of the biggest challenges facing any facility manager.

Flexibility, diligence and creativity are all qualities the best facility managers have in spades. Because the way in which facilities management faces its myriad challenges can define not only the success of the individual but the organisation as a whole, which makes a great recruitment strategy critical.


New year's career resolutions to make in 2020

New year's career resolutions to make in 2020!

Want to make your career in facilities management shine in 2020? You need to decide on realistic goals that can be achieved in a timely fashion throughout the coming year. If you want to start moving on and moving up, then these are the top career resolutions to make now.

Get into learning mode

Been doing the same FM job for a while and starting to coast? Now’s the time to switch your brain into learning mode and adopt a growth mindset. Even if the things you learn don’t directly relate to your skill set, it’s the attitude that matters.

Make an impact

Want to gain maximum visibility? Then pick the big high profile FM projects and make your contribution felt. Create your own opportunities rather than waiting to be invited to climb the next rung of the career ladder. Get some clarity on what you need to do to be considered for promotion and take steps to get there.

Step outside your comfort zone

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Make 2020 the year that you stretch your role and show some initiative. Whether you seek out a different role in one of the big facilities management projects on your patch or come up with your own ideas and find ways to implement them, taking on some new responsibilities is a cast-iron way to gain experience and become more valuable to your company.

Build a great relationship with your boss

When it comes to advancing your career, fostering a great relationship with your boss is paramount. Managing up is a smart strategy for developing that relationship, so find out what issues are keeping them up at night and find ways to ease the burden. Help your boss to hit their goals and chances are they’ll be more motivated to help you hit yours. Whatever the financial or performance targets they need to hit, be around to help them achieve their goals.

Manage across your team

When you’re working on team projects, the way you interact with your colleagues can make or break the chances of success. Always give credit where it’s due and make the effort to engage and build rapport. Giving emotional support can help you work as a team more effectively and build more meaningful and productive relationships in the long term.

Communicate better

One of the quickest ways to improve your profile is to improve your communication skills. Return calls and emails promptly, keep your colleagues updated, ask them about their own progress and projects and give thanks and credit where it’s due. If you’re going to be unavailable, let people know in a timely fashion.

Be open to new possibilities

Want to move up or move on in FM? Whether you’re happy or not in your current position, you should always have one eye out for new possibilities. See something that’s a good fit and you could open up a whole new career avenue so make sure your CV is up to date and uploaded.

Create a work-life balance

If you're miserable and demotivated at work then your career is liable to stall. Make this the year that you claw back some time for friends and family and don’t forget to take those holiday days to rebalance your life and career.


Blog - Catch 22

Is it time for a career pivot?

Have you hit a plateau in your career? Then you could be due a career pivot. If you’re ready to take a risk then why not make a confident and intentional career change that takes you in a new but related direction.

Do I need a career pivot?

Feeling that you’re due a career change can be as simple as not wanting to get up and do your job in the morning. If that sounds like you, then be on the lookout for a lack of engagement with your work or feeling low in energy and enthusiasm. If you’re staying on your present career path simply because of the money and the job title, it could be time to pivot.

Inventory your strengths and skills

Before you start seriously pursuing new career goals, it’s time to take an inventory. What are the transferable strengths and skills and the value-adds you bring to your current position? What are the skills you’ll need for your pivot in facilities management? Where are the gaps in your knowledge?

You’ll need to complete this process before moving on to the next step.

Work on filling the gaps

If you’re looking to pivot within facilities management, you need to sharpen up your skillset. You may need to take a related qualification or hone your communication skills. If you work as an FM, you’re in the right place to start your own skills bootcamp by asking the right questions and meeting the right people. If you want to get into facilities management, start working on your knowledge gap by reading websites and trade publications.

Formulate your pivot plan

Creating a plan with measurable milestones will help you to pinpoint the right time to pivot. Consider the following metrics:

- Financial goals: set goals for savings or money earned before you commit to the pivot
- Progress checkpoints: set goals for your accomplishments as you move towards your pivot point - the number of clients you’ve accrued or the projects you’d like to accomplish
- Data based planning: set a target date for acquiring new skills and exploring what’s involved in your career pivot
- Gut instincts: If you feel that you’re ready to move or you can’t stay in the same career any longer, you’re ready to make the pivot

Take time to update

Now you’re ready to update, set aside the time to do the following:

- Revise your CV to take in new skills, experience and qualifications
- Maximise your LinkedIn profile
- Order new business cards
- Continue to familiarise yourself with your new dream job title and industry
- Review and revisit your elevator pitch to include your new skillset

Take the leap

Letting go of your safety net will never be completely risk-free, however well prepared you are. But it’s worth remembering how you felt when you got into your career in the first place and were hungry to establish yourself. Use that energy and enthusiasm to say yes to everything, no matter how small.

Your career pivot can take time and will require reserves of resilience. But once you make the move you’ll find yourself taking chances and by moving out of your comfort zone, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to let your skills and strengths do the talking.


24/7

What the 'on-demand' era means for facilities management

New digital platforms mean that changes are afoot for the building industry, especially when it comes to some of the traditional processes that have been used in facilities management for decades. With digital platforms come on-demand requests, which can mean a better (and cheaper) service for the companies that own a building or facility. But how can firms in the facilities management industry adapt to these changes and make on-demand jobs work for them?

What is on-demand?

Businesses have long been able to book certain aspects of their operations 'on-demand'. That includes catering, IT support and even people. On-demand generally refers to booking something online at short notice and not having to book it as part of a longer or larger contract. 24/7

With the rise of digital platforms, specifically built for companies to find facilities and building services, those in charge of booking the work are now able to book actions such as repairs quickly and easily. They can be given full costs, track delivery of the required materials and even make changes to the job where necessary.

What are the benefits?

These platforms certainly make life easier for the company booking the work, as they can take advantage of competitive pricing, guaranteed timeframes and tailored jobs. Buildings themselves are becoming ever more complex with the addition of AI and smart technology being just one example and the use of innovative building materials being another [1].

The result is that many building management jobs are becoming rather more niche. Digital platforms can make it easier to link the right person for the job and ensure the right materials and parts are ordered in time. On-demand services are also preferable for small businesses who can pay per service without the added cost of a subscription.

Some of the more advanced platforms can even be populated with specific information such as staff working hours and skill areas. This means that jobs can be booked by cross-sectioning who is available via an easy to use online booking system, which can find the right team or individual for the job.

What this means for the facilities management industry

These platforms are primarily used for ad-hoc building management and repair jobs, but they can also be used for booking jobs with companies with which you have a contract or ongoing relationship. In fact, bespoke versions of these platforms can even be used by larger businesses and organisations, such as universities, who can book jobs with their own in-house facilities management teams.

These platforms will hold building services companies to account as they'll need to ensure that staff is properly trained and skilled in key areas, so in that way, the platforms can motivate facilities and building firms to stay on top of training and recruitment. It also means that jobs need to be finished on time and can be tracked and priced more easily.

The use of on-demand digital platforms can ultimately be of benefit not just to the companies looking to book facilities management services, but also to those businesses that offer their services too as it forces them to continually strive to improve.

[1] https://www.viatechnik.com/blog/advanced-buildings-construction-industry/


Signs that you're ready for a new job

Signs that you're ready for a new job

How is it that on the weekends, you can wake up naturally at the crack of dawn, shower, get the kids ready and be all packed up in the car ready for a fun family day out? Yet by Monday morning, you’re hitting that snooze button harder than a cricketer hitting a six.

If this resonates with you, it could be time to consider your next career move. Feeling unenthusiastic and down about work is one of the first signs that you’re unhappy and ready to burn out.

It could be possible to relight the excitement you felt when you first started your job. If you’ve allowed your disappointments to mount up, you could try to tackle some of the issues you’re facing and make positive changes. Conversely, you may have learned from previous jobs that you’ve already gone too far down the road to turn back.

Either way, here are some things to consider before you update your CV and start to circulate it amongst your favorite recruitment agencies:

Signs that you’re ready for a new job:

• As you’re setting your alarm in the evenings, you get that overwhelming feeling of dread. When the morning comes, you are not motivated to get out of bed and find yourself pressing snooze as many times as you feel you can get away with.

• Both leaving the house early and arriving home late are getting in the way of much-valued family time. Your work commitments are beginning to have a negative impact on your social life and on relationships with friends and family.

• You’re fed up of the commute. Sitting in traffic for long periods of time at both sides of the day is making you resent your job.

• Your workload is expanding and you’re feeling overloaded. You’ve been given more responsibility, but you have not been given the financial compensation that should come with it.

• You no longer feel challenged and you’re bored. The long working day is becoming a drag.

• Your impeccable sickness record is suffering, and your level of absenteeism is increasing. You’re feeling stressed which is causing health issues.

• Your manager lacks motivation and support which is letting the team down. You feel they won’t be going anywhere fast and have concerns about personal progression.

• The company isn’t moving with the times which is affecting sales; you’d prefer to work with a forward-thinking company and a more innovative team.

• You feel that opportunities to grow both personally and within the company are limited.

• You don’t feel like you fit in with the company culture and want to work somewhere with like-minded people who have the same objectives as you.

• You receive your first negative appraisal, which could indicate your dissatisfaction and lack of enthusiasm at work is not going unnoticed.

If you can relate to one or more of the above, you may be ready for a new challenge where you can set goals and push yourself to reach them. Now could be the perfect time to grab a new opportunity with both hands and get that spring back into your step.


magnifying glass in the centre of wooden people

Are you ready for these new recruitment trends?

As the world of work changes, so does the way in which employers recruit. Some changes may not stand the test of time, but the following just might.

Mobile-first indexing

A Google initiative designed to enhance our experience as online searchers and to ensure that Google keeps up with our habits. Google likes the fact that we say we will “Google” something and it wants to keep on our good side. Nowadays, more and more of us are looking for jobs on our smartphones and tablets, but some recruiters still don’t acknowledge this. This move is intended to change that.

No more written CVs?

Increasingly, recruiters, whether in-house or external, are placing their focus on more than just what we write in our CV. What do our social media profiles say about us? Do they portray us in a way that we’d like a current or prospective employer to see us? Employees may need to start doing the same sort of things that businesses need to do, creating their own personal websites and building a suitable 'brand' for their chosen career in order to get hired.

Make the company profile look the part

We may not have got to the recruitment equivalent of online dating sites as yet, but we do need people to “fit,” if we want the hire to be successful on both sides. The way we do this is to be honest yet attractive. To use a phrase that was very common back in the early 2000s, we need to make ourselves, “employers of choice.” We need to do this on our website as well as our social media profile pages and we mustn't forget all those job review sites either.

AI anyone?

Like it or not, artificial intelligence is not going away. It’s already in use in one form or another in the UK, in the NHS, for example, and in a number of industries. This is starting to impact on the types of job available, with analysts suggesting that it will create many more new roles than it will replace. It is also having a significant effect on the efficiency of candidate screening and accuracy of hire in the recruitment sector.

Flexible working

More and more of us are moving into freelance or self-employed roles. It’s beneficial for the employer because their costs are lower and beneficial for the worker because they have greater flexibility over their working hours and locations. There are plusses and minuses on both sides but focus on the positives.

Virtual Reality

Not only software for video interviews, but VR and augmented reality are now being used in recruitment. They enable candidates to take part in simulations of real-life situations.

Talent Relationship Management (TRM)

This is becoming more important in recruitment, but we shouldn’t forget our existing talent. There are many reasons to promote internally-developed people, however, we don’t want to forget potential new talent either.

The truth is, we need to use a wide variety of recruitment methods in order to hire the right people. We stand a better chance of getting the right people by staying ahead of the curve.


artificial intelligence

Ensure your CV gets past the AI recruitment robots with these tips

If you’re looking for a job these days, you need to know what an ATS is. It’s an applicant tracking system. Despite its very dull name, it’s a bot you need to know about so that you can stop it from filtering out your CV before it ever gets in front of a human being.

These artificial intelligence (AI) bots are working at a slightly more sophisticated level than simply scanning for keywords. They’re able to consider context as well (a bit like a Google search). But they can still be led in the right direction by applicants who know what they’re doing. The important thing is to ensure that the CV still makes sense to the human who reviews it, once it’s got past the bot.

Five hints for bot-proof CVs

1. Make the title big and bold
It should either state the position you want, or make a powerful statement about who you are and what you offer. Limit the text to about 20 words and use a larger font.

2. There’s still a place for keywords
Add a couple of bullet points near the beginning about your expertise. These should contain your most significant keywords. For a facilities management job, you could use those two words, followed by FM in brackets afterwards.

Next, use a “Skills and Attributes” or similar section, to cluster all the keywords that you want the bot to pick up, and the recruiter to focus on later. But remember that you may need to explain why you have included them - so don’t be random. Put your strongest words first, followed by any secondaries.

You can give the keywords some context by providing a couple of concise examples of projects or work achievements that demonstrate how you embody the keyword or have applied it to achieve success.

3. Ensure that you unpack acronyms
For example, if you’ve helped the organisation to redefine its KPIs, write “Key Performance Objectives (KPIs). Note - don’t use a comma before the final s!

4. Don’t overestimate the bot’s cleverness
For example, to a human it’s obvious that a cool graphic box with some focused text looks great. To a bot, this looks like a picture and it may just ignore the entire box. So don’t confuse the poor bot with one-off graphics or original layouts. It’s not that bright.

5. Beat the bot by networking with a recruiter
Recruiters know where the jobs are, when they’re coming up, who’s running the recruitment campaign and so on. It’s their job to gather this business intelligence, and if you’re canny, you’ll make sure that you exploit that by talking to a recruiter. It can save you an awful lot of time and help you focus your CV writing efforts so that you get the best results.

Not only that, but the recruiters know how the bots work, and can advise you if there are items on your CV that are causing it to get thrown out early on, in the automatic sifting.

That’s not something that any bot is going to do for you!


Business statistics bar graph

What's driving growth in the FM industry

There are four big trends currently driving growth in the facilities management market worldwide. They are providing strong growth and all of them seem set to continue into the 2020s, affecting jobs and recruitment. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Increasing FM integration and demand for outsourced services
In the Asia Pacific region, there is a rapid increase in the demand for outsourced services. At the same time, there’s a worldwide growth in demand for integrated provision. How are these two things linked?

The link is that clients see them both as twin solutions which will allow them to bundle up all their facilities tasks, and pass them to a provider who will provide an integrated, end-to-end solution, replacing a hotchpotch of maintenance contracts, in-house staff and other arrangements. As huge markets such as China open up to the possible efficiency savings of integrated and outsourced facilities supervision, this market will see significant growth.

2. Growing demand for services that assist corporate aims
These value-added services involve the provider having an in-depth knowledge of what the business is trying to achieve, and understanding how they can help. For example, this might be in the area of environmental issues, where a client might wish to achieve a more sustainable workplace through the use of the latest energy management technologies.

Similarly, a facilities manager might be able to bring about significant economies through more efficient use of energy, space, and infrastructure, thus increasing shareholder value. Again, an active provider could be engaged in helping a company to show its staff and customers that they are good employers, by promoting a “well building” approach and showing an active interest in issues such as indoor air quality.

3. International trade
Despite some problems in trade relations, the number of contracts is growing globally. Integrated management of facilities has broad international appeal because it can deliver on some universal business requirements. These are the need to cut costs, the desire to provide great workspaces to help recruitment of talented staff, and a feeling across the world that simpler, more standardised services are easier to manage and more likely to deliver.

As companies aggregate their regional and national operations, they are seeking contracts that can deliver integrated management of facilities to wider geographic areas and business sectors.

4. Increasing economic pressures on companies
Disruption from the internet, increased regulation and greater competition, are all putting pressures on companies to cut costs, and find partners to deliver key services at more economical rates.

All companies want to protect their current facility assets, but many are seeking a partner to take over the whole of the FM function, leaving the company free to concentrate on its core business. Companies are well aware that if they don’t deliver shareholder value, they could be targets for takeover, and so they are intent on divesting non-core activities.

Increased regulation concerning environmental, employment and health and safety issues means that it now makes sense to hand the whole facilities management function over to specialised companies.

It’s not surprising then, that many facilities management jobs now include a compliance component, which requires FM managers to have an up to date understanding of all current legislation and guidance.


problem

5 key FM issues for managers to know in 2018

Here are some of the key issues that our industry needs to engage within 2018.

1. The industry needs to think the unthinkable 
Scenario planning is a key activity for modern FM managers, and this may include thinking the unthinkable, such as: suppose there are no offices in the future? As unlikely as this may be, it can get people thinking radically about how building use may change in the future. After all, if someone had said 20 years ago that High Street shops would struggle to survive in the future, no one would have believed them.

The radical change in the pattern of building occupation and use can happen more quickly than we like to imagine, and can catch managers unaware if they’re not thinking in radical “what if” terms.

2. Get fresh talent to join the profession
Young graduates don’t seem to be aware of facilities management as a profession, even though many have exactly the mix of analytic and pragmatic skills that can ensure success in these jobs. As discussed previously, we need to think about future patterns of work and leisure. The recruitment of recent graduates means a fresh supply of ideas and the presence of people who will challenge the status quo. This is an interesting, varied industry, but to survive, it will have to take that message to the pool of young achievers and get them interested in joining.

3. Engage with people in the business
It’s important to find the areas in which facilities management is helping deliver the company’s mission and to use internal communications, newsletters, blogs and web pages to make sure people know about them. For example, nearly every business is keen to show that it’s shrinking its carbon footprint. The facilities function can almost certainly help them punch above their weight in this respect because it’s leading the way in reducing energy use. So make sure the company knows this.

4. Connect with senior executives
Industry professionals should be trying to secure a place in the discussion about where the company is headed - in terms of workforce numbers, locations, type of working environments and so on. One way to do this is a positive and thoughtful response to a blog or article written by the CEO, or other senior executives. It will make them aware that their facilities managers have ideas - and can make a quality contribution to future planning for the business, including discussions about cost reduction.

5. Understand changed work arrangements
Facilities professionals need to adapt itself to the changing nature of work. First of all, we had occasional home working, then full-blown hot desking. Now we have hotelling - where office space is provided short term to temporary workers on a project or is even let out temporarily to another company, if the building operator has spare capacity. Suddenly, the facilities management function is running reservation systems for spare desks, or reconfiguring whole floors of accommodation at short notice.

The pace of change is very unlikely to slow - so facilities professionals have to be aware of these issues, and develop creative but robust responses to them.