The great return why conventional workplaces still matter

The great return: why conventional workplaces still matter

With 78% of workers saying they want to work from home three days a week, the days of conventional workplaces might seem numbered. But despite the success of WFH, there are some compelling reasons why the idea that office workplaces have become obsolete could be premature. Here's why there's no need to panic if you're in facilities management.

First impressions

Business premises can be surprisingly influential when it comes to forming an impression of an organisation. In fact, people will get an impression of a business just seconds after visiting their offices. And the workplace environment impacts at different levels, including talent acquisition and staff morale.

Business premises are a storefront, a place to differentiate yourself from the competition. The office lets your business showcase its ethos, culture and values in physical form. A well-managed building is a clear indication of credibility and success.

Go social

One thing lockdown has highlighted is how social human beings are. While remote working has introduced the flexibility some workers crave, the novelty of Zoom meetings has begun to pall. And while research indicates that flexible work options are now part of the landscape, work is far more likely to evolve into a hybrid of WFH and office time than a fully remote working solution.

What technology can't replicate are the water cooler moments. The micro-interactions that workers enjoy with their colleagues passing their desks or grabbing a coffee in the breakout area.

Online meetings are perceived as all business, leaving little room for the human interactions that are proven to boost productivity and staff morale. Another reason that the office is far from dead is the vital role it plays in the wellbeing and mental health of workers, helping to fend off the loneliness of remote work.

Innovation and generation

But workplaces aren't just places to generate social interaction. They also benefit innovation and idea generation, those light bulb moments that can't be scheduled into a Zoom call.

Developing new ideas is a dynamic process, and inspiration can strike at any moment. The ability to capture the spark and turn it into a conversation with a colleague is what drives creativity in most workplaces. And it's something that virtual contact can't hope to replicate.

Work/life divide

The boundary between conventional workplaces and home has been eroding for a while, enhanced by always-on technology. It's much easier to stay connected to the office 24/7 which should benefit flexible working patterns and employers and employees alike.

But research shows that's not the case. In fact, increased connectivity is a source of anxiety for most workers who feel the pressure to be connected even when they're not working from home. The always-on culture begins to feel like an unspoken performance expectation from the top-down, disguised as an advantage in increased convenience and flexible working. But the impact on morale and wellbeing is rarely considered.

Burnout is an inherent risk of a 24/7 work culture and can escalate into serious health problems that ultimately reduce productivity and increase absenteeism. Having no right to disconnect is storing up a ticking public health timebomb, meaning the return to the office can't come soon enough.

At Catch22 we're a specialist facilities management recruitment agency you can trust. Contact us today to find your next FM superstar. If you are a candidate looking for a new vacancy follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn for our latest vacancies.


World FM Day

Happy World Facilities Management Day

The purpose of World FM Day is to recognise and celebrate the vital work that workplace and facilities managers and the wider industry contributes to business worldwide. It aims to raise the profile of the facilities profession anywhere that its practitioners influence the health, safety, productivity, and wellbeing of people who use the built environment.

This time last year we were acknowledging the “New Emergency Service” on the frontline against COVID-19 keeping the key health, education, food, transport and utilities sectors safe and clean. A year on and the last 12 months has seen our FM heroes continue to be in the spotlight as they have adapted service delivery and compliance activity to changing circumstances - professionally and with a minimum of fuss.

Today, as lockdown restrictions are eased, FM teams are faced with the challenges of devising and implementing return to the workplace plans to meet the new strategic needs of their business or customer. I am confident they will do this with similar expertise and success.

What an exciting time to be developing a career in FM. Here at Catch 22 we shall certainly be encouraging individuals to embrace the opportunities resulting from the pandemic whilst attracting fresh talent into the industry we love.

To discuss how Catch 22 can introduce you to FM talent or support you in the re-opening of your workplace please do book a call with me here. In the meantime....


woman remote working in facilities management

The rapidly evolving world of remote facilities management

woman remote working in facilities management

If you work in facilities management you'll be familiar with preventative maintenance, managed rollouts and making data-driven decisions. They're all effective ways to lower spend and extend asset longevity.

But the way you carry out your work is changing. Remote facilities management could be the new normal if hybrid styles of working take hold.

You may already have added wellbeing checks, including fresh water and plants to your checklist. Post-pandemic, your responsibilities will expand beyond operational efficiency to ensure that employees feel safe, comfortable and healthy in the workplace.

Challenges for remote facilities management

Buildings age. The chances are that your building lacks the ability to seamlessly upgrade to the next generation of remote technology. It's likely that you'll be struggling with legacy control systems that may not be fit for purpose when it comes to remote operations.

The big challenge for remote FM is digital transformation. And while employees have made the most of IT solutions for remote working, cybersecurity is always a challenge. At the end of the day, any business will need physical workers, but whether ageing buildings are up to the challenge of hybrid working is a conundrum that facilities managers will be expected to solve.

Is your data and connectivity up to the job?

To handle remote facilities management effectively, data is key. But do you have the resources and tools in place to collect, analyse and act on that data? And do you recognise the difference between applied and actionable data?

The good news is that you already have transferable predictive analytics skills that can help you meet the challenge. Actionable data tells you what you need to do to achieve an outcome. Applied data means you know what to do with that knowledge. In the new era of remote facilities management, you can rely on data to know what happened, what will happen and when, and what actions you need to take for a positive outcome.

Embracing remote FM

These are the actions you need to take to be on top of the challenges that remote FM presents:

- Rework your facilities management playbook to include improved use of data and remote reviews of your work

- Re-examine your building priorities in light of the new hybrid world of work

- Implement a cloud-based computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) to centralise data and ensure it's applied correctly

- Use applied and actionable data to understand the needs and activities of users in the new normal

- Upgrade infrastructure controls to support digital management as part of your ongoing digital transformation

- Think beyond the pandemic to areas of improvement including an effective recycling programme and encouraging healthy behaviours that stick

- Re-evaluate your third party suppliers and ensure that they follow hygiene, social distancing and other safety measures you may have implemented

- Be open and transparent with all building users

Harness the power of remote management

More than ever, you have a unique opportunity to put facilities management at the centre of your organisation's response to the post-pandemic world. Embracing remote management will help you prioritise measures that ensure the safety and comfort of employees as they return to work.

If you're looking for your next role in FM, get in touch with Catch22 and we'll be happy to help.


Next steps following an FM interview

Next steps following an FM interview

Next steps following an FM interview

Did you know that what you do after an interview could impact on whether you get the job? If you've ever wondered whether you should follow up on an interview with an email or call, then you may be interested in making the most of the post-interview period.

If you want to reinforce the professional impression you gave at your interview or to elevate your chances of success by keeping your name fresh in the interviewer's mind, these are the steps you need to take for the best chance of success.

Ask for contact information

When you're job hunting in FM and you land that interview, don't leave without asking for contact information and next steps. Ask how long it typically takes for the company to make a decision, or whether there'll be a second interview.

Assess your performance

This is critical to help in future interviews. Write up how the interview went, including how you answered the questions, the things you wish you'd said, and important names, insights and questions. This will help you improve your performance in future and mean that you're well prepared for that second interview.

Send a note soon after the interview

Sending a thank-you note within 24 hours of your interview should be top of your to-do list. It may be more appropriate to send a handwritten note. If not, send an email and take the opportunity to add a link to something relevant or current in facilities management. Make it relevant to the content of your interview so it adds value to your thanks.

Send supporting documents

If you've been asked to submit supporting documents, make sure you do it as soon as possible. Whether you need to submit consent forms, references or a written assessment, sending your documentation in a timely manner is another top priority.

Contact your references

It's good practice to let your professional references know that you've been for an interview and that they may be contacted. In fact, you should only submit references if you have that person's consent.

Connect on social media

If you use sites like LinkedIn, try connecting with your interviewer post-interview. If they accept your request it could be a signal that they're interested in hearing more from you. Even if this turns out not to be the right FM position for you and you end up working for a different company, it's a useful way to expand your personal network. That in turn means you'll be ideally placed to make the most of future FM opportunities.

Use your waiting time wisely

While you're waiting to hear back about the results of your interview, there are plenty of things you can do to increase your chances of future success. Brush up on new skills to add to your CV or make connections with people you may know working for the hiring company who can give you some valuable insights. Stay calm, and follow up as per the hirer's instructions. For example, if they ask for an email follow up within the week, don't call two weeks later.

If you're job hunting in FM, we're the facilities management recruitment agency you can trust. At Catch 22 we have an enviable reputation in the FM sector so why not contact us for your next FM job today?


Facilities management career

Everything you need to know about a career in facilities management

Facilities management is at the heart of the success of any business. This role is gaining growing recognition as workplace design becomes more critical to productivity, health and wellbeing, especially in the way of the pandemic.

If you’re interested in a career in FM, here’s what you need to know about moving into this exciting career.

What is facilities management?

FM involves two different levels of operation:

1. Strategic and tactical work.

You’ll work with clients, customers and departments to help them understand the impact of their decisions on every part of the facility and how it's run.

2. Operational roles

Carrying out tasks with specific knowledge and highly trained skills that protect employees' health and wellbeing

FM is a combination of a number of disciplines covering people, place, technology and process. You’ll require skills and knowledge, including business management and administration, knowledge of economics and accounting, computer literacy and customer service skills.

What does a facilities manager do?

Facilities management is all about integrating processes that allow buildings to run as smoothly as possible. You’ll be in charge of managing essential services including maintenance, health and safety, procurement, security, communications and space management. By creating a productive work environment you’ll help and support employees to achieve business goals.

You’ll also be responsible for business relocation, working closely with property, IT and HR. You’ll also be expected to work closely with designers and builders and be responsible for developing strategies for building sustainability through energy and resource-saving.

What skills will I need?

You’ll need excellent people skills and have a keen interest in logistics. People from a military background often find FM is a good fit for their skillset.

You’ll need to be self-motivated and capable of solving problems and overcoming obstacles to keep processes running smoothly. You’ll be orderly and methodical in the way you achieve your objectives and you’ll be able to demonstrate impeccable organisational skills.

Most organisations are reliant on facilities managers, especially in a crisis. If you have leadership skills and great intuition then a career in FM could be right for you.

Routes into facilities management

- A foundation or university degree in facilities or building services management

- An advanced apprenticeship in FM usually takes between 18 to 24 months with on-the-job training and college tuition

- Working towards the role and gaining an on-the-job qualification like a Level 3 Diploma in facilities management

- Applying directly for jobs that fit your technical and management skills, or if you have a related qualification in engineering or surveying

Why you should consider a career in FM

This is a rapidly growing profession and businesses are increasingly aware of the critical role FM plays in the smooth running of day-to-day operations.

A job as a facilities manager means that no two days are ever the same. You’ll have a chance to make a real difference to the business and the people working in your building. The challenges and responsibilities you’ll face are always changing but your skills in problem-solving and staying calm in a crisis make this a rewarding career.

Job satisfaction, salary and benefits like overseas travel all make a career in FM varied and exciting. Contact us at Catch 22 to find out more.

Keep up to date with our latest jobs via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Catch22FmJobs


skills for a successful facilities manager

Successful facilities managers have these skills

skills for a successful facilities manager

Interested in a career in facilities management? Then you’ll need a wide-ranging set of skills from operations and maintenance to project management. It’s even more true now that the pandemic has changed the face of the workplace.

But beyond the tick box lists, what are the skills that an FM needs to really stand out from the competition? Here are the top skills that successful facilities managers need to succeed.

Adaptability

Successful facilities managers share one common trait - they’re cool under pressure. Whatever challenges arise, a good FM will demonstrate the adaptability to navigate what’s next by being agile, resilient and fully prepared.

Adapting to the changes brought about by the pandemic requires facilities management to adapt to a much more people-centric style. Managers will be expected to create a safe and coherent working environment where everything works seamlessly, and the financial implications and the health and safety of workers is perfectly balanced.

Data-driven approach

An FM needs to be able to do more than ensure safety, comfort, functionality and efficiency in the built environment. If you want to succeed you need a data-driven mindset that lets you analyse the quality of service and facilities spend, with a view to proactively identifying cost outliers and savings, as well as other areas for improvement.

Having the capacity to use analytics to leverage data is a key skill for any FM who wants to stay on top of their game.

Tech creativity

Every facilities manager knows that they can expect to encounter daily challenges. But how you deal with them, and the creativity of your technology solutions will help you innovate in the workplace and push your skillset into new areas.

Technology has assumed an ever-growing role in facilities management, particularly during the pandemic where the ability to leverage tech solutions has made the difference when making business adaptable to Covid-19.

As a manager, you’ll need an open mind and the ability to stay on top of new opportunities in reporting, service management and delivery. An FM who stays on top of innovation is in demand.

As our reliance on technology intensifies, human traits are at a greater premium than ever before. Remember that facilities management is, above all, a people facing business requiring unique communication and management skills.

Ultimately, well tooled technological solutions will keep people and assets safe as we navigate out of lockdown. For example, tracking and vetting solutions for the individuals that access your facility as employees, contractors or visitors.

Compassion

One of your most critical tasks is creating a healthy and happy working environment. That means dealing with people effectively and with compassion.

Being able to understand people’s challenges and pain points will make you better at creating the workplace they need instead of one that works on paper. And in light of the pandemic and fears around returning to the workplace, understanding and compassion are absolutely essential.

A combination of these essential skills will see you shine in your career. As the workplace changes, there are important challenges ahead and as a facilities manager, you’re ideally placed to meet them. Want to know more about an exciting career in facilities management? At Catch 22 we’re the specialist recruitment agency you can trust, so get in touch today to find out more.

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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.