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.


person working at laptop

5 Tips to Write The Perfect Job Description

person working at laptop

When it comes to writing a job description for the FM sector, where do you start? And does it really matter?

Well, yes, is the simple answer.  Not only should each employee have a clear job description as part of the HR process. Crafting the perfect job description can actually help you to secure the best talent.  But be careful a poor job description, or none at all could be preventing you from hiring the best.

Here are our top tips to make your new Job Description a breeze!

Job title – keep it simple

Facilities Management may be one of the few industries that have mainly dodged the trend of including words like 'superstar' 'ninja'.  And if you don't believe that this happens, take a look at some of the IT jobs out there at the moment! Ensure that you keep yours simple by using keywords that accurately describe the role. You should also steer away from using complicated jargon. For example, stick to using standard experience levels such as ‘senior’ rather than ‘VI’ so that there is no room for confusion. A job title is the start of the process and will be used to advertise your role.  According to research conducted by Indeed, job titles with 80 characters or less are likely to receive more clicks.

Job Summary – This is where you shine!

Begin by capturing their attention with a short and snappy summary. This should include the expectations of the role and a brief overview of your company. Show off why you’re unique and why working for you would be a fantastic opportunity for them. In the current market, we are hearing more and more that candidates are looking to give something back.  Or to secure a role that contributes to the local community.  So don't miss the opportunity in the job summary to shine. Ask yourself 'How does this role contribute to making people’s lives better, or solve existing problems?' the fill in the blank - 'come and join a team dedicated to...'  You may be surprised how effective this can be.

wooden people figuresA job description should include clear responsibilities and duties?

Try an avoid death by bullet points!  Whilst you want to clearly define the main responsibilities of the position, make them detailed yet concise.  Grouping the responsibilities into categories will make it much easier to read and absorb.  But you may want to try something a little different here too.  Think about how this position will contribute to the goals and business objectives of the company. And don't forget the potential for advancement for candidates.  Get this in here and it will help you to attract the best candidates.

Refresh your job description often

When you look to hire, do you go to HR and dust off that old job description again?  Has the experience needed for the role changed?  Is the culture different now?  It's important to make sure that you do review your job descriptions for each time you hire.  Make sure that it is still fit for purpose!  There's a really simple way to do this - get your employees involved!  No one knows the job better than those that already do it.

Things to avoid…

  • Discrimination – Be aware of unconscious bias’
  • Asking too much – Unrealistic expectations could prevent star candidates from applying
  • Negativity – Be sure to write the description in a positive tone
  • Forgetting about structure – Make the job description easy to read. Bullet points are always a good idea!
  • Being mysterious – Be intriguing without holding back crucial information
  • Mistakes - Check and check again for mistakes.  Candidates will be quick to judge if there are spelling mistakes!

Following these 5 steps to writing a fabulous job description could help you attract and secure your ideal candidate.


Interview

4 Top Tips for Acing Your Second Interview

The second interview – congratulations, you've impressed the hiring managers and made it through the first stage. You are now one step closer to securing your dream Facilities Management job.

But what makes the second interview, different from the first? And, more importantly, how should you prepare to make sure you get it right? It’s often a mistake made even by senior candidates that the research and preparation are all about the first interview. But the second interview is even more important. Don't think that just because you've been invited back that you don't have to prepare as well as you fit for the first.

Whilst the first interview usually just covers the important basics, the second interview will really get under the skin. The interviewer is trying to determine if you are the right person not only to do the job but to add value to the company too. Will you be there in 3-5 years time? What will your role be and what skills can you bring with you along the way.

So here’s everything you need to know...

The Second Interview – Use what you learnt in the first interview

“So, since our last meeting, what thoughts have you had about the job and the company?”. It's such an important question to make sure you are prepared for!  It isn’t designed to trip you up, but being underprepared will leave you waffling. Be confident in your response. It’s OK to take in notes. Things to include are your main reasons you want this job, why the company is the right fit for you, their vision etc.  This not only proves you have thought about it seriously but that you have listened and retained information - a good skill to have! But, and this is where you can really stand out. Think about why the company should want you!  Perfect your elevator pitch!

Refer back to things that were discussed in the first interview.  What were the key things you noticed that were important to the company? Bring them up in conversation and then use examples to show you share the same values. Do they have a certain culture?  Have you worked in that culture before? Can you demonstrate your success? Just remember to keep showing that you are the right person for the job.

successful interview

Address anything you missed in the first interview

The second interview is also an opportunity to say things you forgot to say in the first interview.  Or, ask things you forgot to ask.  Make the most of this chance to shine!  Become the front runner!  Was there something that you feel you didn’t answer right the first time?  Or, maybe not to your best ability.  We know that interviews can make some people flustered, or nervous.  Especially if it's your first one for a while.  Don't be afraid to discuss this in the interview.  It could make all the difference to the outcome rather than not wanting to reminder the hiring managers.  This time around, you should be more confident than the first time.  But, remember not to be overly confident – you haven’t got the job yet!  But at least you know that you are a potential hire.  Now it's down to you.

 

Get to know who you're meeting

Researching people before an interview is now fairly simple. A quick LinkedIn search will tell you about the career history of who you are meeting. Whilst this is great as first interview preparation, you can take it a step further on the second interview. Take a look at what pages they follow on LinkedIn, their education or skills. This can tell you a lot about a person and also if you have anything in common. Maybe it’s a sport, a good cause, or simply an approach to business. People like to hire people that share their values. Any chance you get to demonstrate this - take it! There are other things you can do to find common interests too. Do the company sponsor a charity? Maybe you have raised money for a charity before. Or, maybe the charity is of particular interest to you. If a hiring manager really can’t decide between two excellent candidates, a shared value could really tip the balance in your favour.

 

Saying thank you after the second interview

It's not over after you have finished the second interview. Sending a short message of thanks to the hiring manager will go a long way - don't forget to thank your recruiter too!  Sending a thank-you email may seem so obvious to so many people, but we are always surprised by how few people actually do. It doesn’t have to be a long message. Just express your thanks and your genuine interest in the role. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you again.

If you are looking for work within Facilities Management, get in touch with our expert team today.


candidates

5 Tips For Choosing The Best Candidate

Choosing the best candidate isn't always easy and with as many as a third of UK professionals looking for work right now, it may get even harder!

Making the right choice when it comes to hiring your next member of staff is vital to the success of your business. It's important to choose someone who can really add value. Someone who fits with your culture. And of course, their future potential in the business.

So what do you do when you have two candidates who are both exceptional? How should you choose which to offer the job to?

Here are our top tips for choosing the best candidate

Set a task

Sometimes it’s hard to get a really good idea of how someone will perform in a job just from a standard interview. It can be easy to make the mistake of hiring someone based on their ability to interview well. But what about the hard and soft skills to actually be successful at the job? Setting tasks is a great way to help you choose between two candidates.

Take the 'Beer Test'

Before the pandemic made socialising slightly more challenging, a 'social interview' was a great way to choose the best candidate. Culture fit is really important when it comes to making a hire.  How will that person fit in your current team? Do they have similar personality traits to others in the team? Will they complement what you already have? There is a lot to consider. When introducing a new person to an established team, it’s important to remember team dynamic. You can still take the 'beer test' in the office or even online. Get each candidate to have a 'socially-distanced social interview' with the team for half an hour. That way the team can give you their feedback too.

best candidate

Look at the future of your company

It’s important to not just hire for now, but for the future too. As hopefully, your chosen candidate will be with you for a number of years. Does one of the candidates have skills that may be of use in the future? Do you have plans to grow the team over the next few years? It's always important to think about how your candidate could grow with your company.

Get references

Finally, if you really are stuck and despite all of the above, the candidates are still on a par with each other a reference can help make the final decision. Whilst lots of companies will only provide confirmation of dates and job title, it is still possible to gain a more informal reference. Working with an agency means that we can help you when it comes to references. We can speak to the candidate and ask them to make an introduction to the referee on our behalf.

Can you even get the best candidate?

Getting the best candidate takes two people to make a decision. You need to want to hire them and they want to join you. This is where working with a recruiter really comes into helping you make a decision. It's possible that a candidate is interviewing with a few companies. Working with a recruiter means that you will get to know if your role is their top choice and even if they are not actively looking for a role, can you match their current benefits and salary expectations. Again this is something that a recruiter will help you with. By knowing exactly what the expectations of the candidate are from the start, you'll know if they are indeed 'the best candidate' for you.


World Facilities Management Day

World Facilities Management Day

Today is World Facilities Management Day: the day of the year when we recognise the vital work that FMs and the FM industry contribute to business worldwide. It aims to raise the profile of the FM profession anywhere that FMs influence the health, safety, productivity and well-being of people who utilise the built environment.

And what a fitting time to acknowledge an industry and workforce on the frontline against COVID-19 together with the teams wrestling with the challenges of devising and implementing return to the workplace plans.

Many of our clients in the critical sectors have continued to operate effectively in extremely difficult circumstances and, here at Catch 22, I am pleased with the way that our team has collaborated with those customers and adapted quickly to meet their needs. It's been a tough couple of months: new ways of working, extending homeworking, introducing online registrations, video interviewing and compliance - all the time ensuring the wellbeing of employees, workers and clients is paramount.

Now, we are ready to help those who are planning a way out of lockdown to do so safely. There is plenty of guidance out there on the reopening and reoccupying of buildings but Catch 22 are very much here to support your labour/skills/talent back to work strategy. I would be really interested to hear your thoughts around the main challenges and equally keen to share with you how we have tackled the last 2 months and are now wrestling with the irreversible trends and developments in [recruitment] technology whilst staying true to our values of collaboration, capability, compliance and community.

Back to World FM Day first though. Facilities Management is fast becoming the New Emergency Service during the coronavirus pandemic and, on this World FM Day, from all of us at Catch 22,

Thank you to the whole FM community for all you do every day.


key workers

Should FM managers be classed as 'key workers'?

Who are the key workers? It’s a question that’s critical where FM is concerned. With the need to keep buildings secure, well maintained and above all clean, facilities management is arguably now more important than ever.

Safe and operational

In these unprecedented times, FM has a critical role to play in keeping essential buildings operational and safe. But that’s not currently reflected in government thinking and facilities managers are not currently listed as key workers along with cleaners and waste management operatives. Fears are that if facilities management and associated roles are not recognised as critical workers now then hygiene standards will drop when FM should have a positive role to play in the response to COVID-19.

Essential buildings, essential workers?

Buildings that are essential in the crisis include hospitals, schools and banks, all of which need to be kept clean and well maintained. Even temporarily unoccupied buildings need to be kept secure and operational to in readiness for business continuity. In addition, waste management and HVAC maintenance are critical to ensure that infestations and the threat of Legionnaires disease are minimised.

So if buildings can be considered essential, why not the facilities managers who undertake this critical work? While tighter social distancing and isolation measures are quite rightly in force, should FM managers maintain the right to work and access their buildings to provide these essential services? That’s the question the IWFM is asking of the government.

Critical to the COVID-19 response

In a letter to the Secretaries of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, IWFM CEO Linda Hausmanis makes two urgent demands:

- That facilities management professionals be considered as key workers under the latest government guidance
- That these professionals and their contractors be able to attend their buildings and continue to ensure they are safe and well maintained even in the event of stricter social distancing measures

The bigger picture is that these professionals play a critical role in keeping buildings clean and well maintained in sectors regarded by the government as key to the Covid-19 response. In some cases, this essential maintenance and repair work fulfils a statutory duty. The industry body is also asking that facilities professionals be allowed to determine the teams and contractors that are critical to achieving safe and healthy outcomes for those key workers using these buildings.

The IWFM is asking professionals to share their experiences of managing the coronavirus crisis by email to policy@iwfm.org.uk. This information can then be used to support and inform other facility managers across the profession.

Professional resources

If you’re a facility management professional looking for the latest guidance and information to stay ahead of the curve, the IWFM has put together a set of Covid-19 resources which can be found at https://www.iwfm.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-resources.html. Alongside the latest advice from government and public health authorities, the industry body has collated a range of valuable resources from across the business and other partner organisations.

To help you keep delivering essential services, you’ll find information on business continuity plans, shutdown, partial occupancy and restarting plus security, stress and wellbeing and best practice guidance. Sound management of the critical infrastructure that business and key workers depend upon demonstrates beyond all doubt that FM professionals deserve to be included as part of the UK’s critical workforce.


hands holding a heart with medical white cross

These healthcare trends are changing FM

In this time of economic uncertainty, the healthcare industry is not alone in facing the dual challenges of change and increasing costs. Taking a strategic approach to the often extensive real estate portfolios owned within the healthcare industry and optimising the efficiency of facilities management is vital in order to stay ahead.

Here, we take a look at some of the current healthcare trends affecting facility management.

1.      A high level of merger and acquisition activity is changing the approach to construction and real estate

In the past few years, the healthcare industry has witnessed unprecedented M&A activity, which has led to several cross-industry collaborations with non-traditional healthcare providers, faith-based organisations and pharmaceutical companies. Such consolidation is creating mega health systems, all of which will require a fresh approach to facilities management.

2.      Operating margins are tightening as costs-per-patient increase

While it is a constant source of political debate, it remains the case that healthcare providers are continuing to face cost pressures and the continuing need to balance patient care with tighter and tighter budget constraints. Improving outcomes for those at the receiving end of healthcare services, of course, remains the key priority across the industry, off-set against the need to find creative ways to reduce costs wherever possible. Facilities management is not immune.

3.      As the healthcare system evolves, traditional hospital networks could become obsolete

The many changes happening across the healthcare sector will undoubtedly mean changes to the approach taken towards real estate and its future management.

For example, the merger of different institutions combined with an increase in service provision from other providers is likely to mean a reduction in large all-encompassing hospital buildings as we see a move towards greater use of ambulatory surgeries, emergency clinics and micro-hospitals based within local communities.

With the aim of reaching local residents easily and addressing their health issues early within their local community, the hope for the future is to reduce the number of people developing acute illnesses which then require expensive treatment in a large, centralised facility. From a healthcare perspective, prevention is better than cure and most patients would prefer to receive treatment near their own homes. As such, the provision of localised facilities is likely to be a welcome progression for the future.

In addition to, most importantly, improving the overall patient experience, smaller outpatient centres are less expensive to build and maintain than traditional, larger hospital buildings. However, the management of such a diverse portfolio of buildings in various locations brings with it new challenges in terms of the ongoing management of each facility.

4.      The risk of hospital-acquired infections is still real

While receiving treatment for other health issues, there remains a risk of patients picking up further infections through simply being in a healthcare environment. As a result, there is a duty on those responsible for the management of buildings to look at what can be done with the physical environment to reduce the risk and spread of infections.

This may include the design and maintenance of buildings, from ventilation systems through to interior design.

Fresh thinking and embracing new technologies will be key to the future of FM in this industry as it supports the health of the population.


Blog - Catch 22

Crown Commercial Service Framework for Non Clinical Staff selects Catch 22

Catch 22 is delighted to confirm that we have been selected for the new Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Framework for non-clinical staff across the NHS and a wide variety of governmental and public sector organisations. The new Framework, which comes into force in August, sees our continued association with the CCS, in its various guises, that began in 2006. Indeed, Catch 22 has been supplying support staff to the NHS since its inception in 1982 and our appointment to the Framework underlines Catch 22’s continuous commitment to delivering excellence. Organisations able to take advantage of the benefits of the Framework include the Emergency Services, the education sector, civil service and government departments, amongst many others. Clients can select their suppliers with confidence, knowing that rigorous compliance criteria have been met and that costs are transparent throughout the process.

Catch 22’s managing director, Vince Parker, said “Being selected for a position on the CCS Framework reflects the high standards we continue to achieve and improve in our service. It is very gratifying to have those efforts acknowledged in this way and we look forward to offering our services to a wider NHS and public sector audience.”


Engineers in the sun

How to protect workers when the temperature rises!

Employers are expected to provide a reasonable working environment for their employees. The recommended temperature should be set at a minimum of 16°C, or 13°C for work requiring heavy lifting. Heating and cooling systems should be provided if a comfortable temperature cannot be maintained, for example, fans should be used and windows should be opened to allow air to circulate if needed.

Employees should never be in a situation where they are too hot. The appropriate shade should be added if any team members are sitting in direct sunlight or in the vicinity of objects that give off heat, for example, machinery or other equipment. engineers working in the sun

In a warm atmosphere, sufficient breaks should be provided to allow staff to cool down. They should also have access to cold drinks, for example, many businesses provide water coolers or vending machines for the comfort of their workforce. Depending on individual circumstances, it may also be appropriate to introduce a system of working in order to limit exposure to extremes of heat. This could include job rotation or moving workstations. It may also include flexible working patterns.

Heat-related illnesses can increase the number of accidents at work. High temperatures in the working environment can cause lethargy and lead to poor concentration, which increases the potential for personal injury in the workplace. Extremes of temperature can also give rise to poor judgement and this is especially risky when employees’ jobs require them to operate machinery or work with tools or harsh chemicals.

Facilities management can oversee conditions in the workplace and can make recommendations for improvement. Some companies may require specific advice, particularly if workers are exposed to extremes of temperature. If employees are experiencing ill effects due to the working environment, then the situation requires urgent review to ensure that the relevant precautions are taken.

Conditions may require close monitoring and any incidents must be recorded as outlined by health and safety legislation. Monitoring or medical screening may be needed for workers who have certain illnesses or disabilities, in addition to any women who are pregnant. This is of particular importance when exposed to extremes of temperature and medical advice may be necessary.

A visible focus on the safety of all employees can only serve to enhance the firm's reputation and employer branding. This, in turn, may enhance applicant volumes for new positions. For those already in-role, there will be a sense that their welfare is regarded as a high priority and retention rates should improve as a result. Overall, a strong focus on working conditions creates a more positive working environment for everyone within the organisation.

It is important to remember that illnesses caused by temperature increases can affect office workers too, in addition to drivers and staff who are based on site. It is essential to ensure that all workers, whether exposed to sunlight or extremes of temperatures, benefit from safe and comfortable working conditions and that any risks are managed.

Ultimately, it is vital that any firm is proactive when it comes to temperature management and that the in-house risk assessment systems are fully effective.