Avatar speech bubble

How to network your way into a job with social media

It’s estimated that between 70% and 80% of jobs are never advertised. Instead, people use their networks to spread the word around people who may be interested in the vacancy. In the past, this made it very difficult to break into the world of work and people would say gloomily, “It's not what you know, it's who you know”.

These days, that's never been more true, but luckily there's now a much more even playing field. You can put the word out that you're looking for a job, raise your profile, tell people what interests you and what your skills are - all for free on social networks.

The important thing is to choose the appropriate social network for the level and type of job you want. A high level facilities management job is unlikely to be doing the rounds on Instagram. It's much more likely to be on LinkedIn. There's no harm putting your CV on Instagram because it's a no-cost option, but we all have a limited amount of time, so it's a good idea to focus your efforts where they are most likely to yield results.

Facebook is increasingly servicing an older population segment. Younger people are drawn towards networks such as Snapchat, where parents are less likely to be monitoring what they're doing. However, the comparatively older user base of Facebook can work in your favour if you're job hunting, because people in senior positions are often a bit older.

Facebook is also a great way to get onto someone's radar by liking any pages they've put up or posting pictures relevant to any interests you know they have. If you're aiming for a particular position or department, there's no harm in discovering that the person who heads up that department is an American football fan and using your page to express a keen interest in the same sport. Though obviously, you need to make sure you don't get caught out at interview!

It's also fine to tell the world that you're looking for a new post, what kind of job you're interested in and where you'd like to work. You may think that your Facebook network is primarily social, but remember that all of those people work and have their own family and social connections. And those connections have connections. The ripple effect from your post about looking for a job can be really far-reaching. Just make sure there are no pics on your Facebook pages that are going to put a potential employer off.

LinkedIn is, of course, the main professional network that people use to make contact with others in their line of business and build a professional profile. So this should be a focus for you if you're looking for a more senior job - for example, Head of Facilities Management. But again, be savvy about how you use LinkedIn. Recruiters and businesses that have jobs available are going to search on keywords. So put yourself in their shoes and decide what keywords you’d be searching on, then make sure that those keywords are in your career history, posts and an attached CV.

Spread your net as widely as possible and make it is really easy for people to find you, and you should be pleasantly surprised at the results.

The Lords Taverners Logo

18th Annual Middlesex Region Charity Quiz

18th Annual Middlesex Region Charity Quiz

Chris Tarrant
Chris Tarrant’s Round! (Past President of the Lord’s Taverners} will be providing the questions for one of the rounds!

Organised by:

Catch 22 - Facilities Management Recruitment Agency

Tuesday 27 February 2018

The Bottlescrue, Foster Lane, EC2V 6HD

Get your diaries out and make a note of the best event before Easter Yes, it’s The Lord’s Taverners 18th Annual Charity Quiz Night. Show your people you care. Why not get a team together for a great night out. You will be helping a great cause too – The Lord’s Taverners do phenomenal work creating sporting chances for disadvantaged and disabled young people across the UK.

Join our regular Quizmaster Dominic and guests including Nicholas Parsons CBE with your team of up to 8 people and pit your wits against some of London’s finest minds… if previous years are anything to go by.

Cost per team of 8 is £360 (individual places £45 each) which includes the Quiz, Buffet food served at your table, prizes and a generous Bar Allowance as well as a contribution to The Lord’s Taverners.

Doors open 6.30pm – Quiz starts 7.00pm prompt!

Don’t miss out on the fun – enter your team now by emailing
don@c22.co.uk or simply call Don Searle on 07850 098912 PS Raffle Prizes and Auction Items are welcome too!

Exit, sign,

Understanding counter-terrorism best practices for effective facilities management

Exit, sign,

Counter-terrorism plays a very big role in the security and safety of a 21st-century facility and continues to be a priority commitment for staff in facilities management. With anybody a target in this modern society, there are so many potential threats to security. As such, implementing best practices for effectively preventing hate crimes is vital to any place of work.

Knowing the Risks

First and foremost, to be sure of staying compliant with safety and security systems, the head of facilities management should be aware of and be able to recognise the risks so that they can put all of the necessary measures in place. This will be different for each and every property and business type. For example, a small surveyor's office in the suburbs might need a different security system to a governmental headquarters based in a big city like the capital.

That said, effective risk assessment will take into consideration the methods of recruiting new employees and carrying out background checks, as well as welcoming visitors and maintaining the flow of customers or other individuals, like delivery drivers, entering and leaving the building. Therefore, any occupied building presents a challenge. Technology is currently an effective preventative measure thanks to many recent advancements, but basic best practices and relying on the intuition of staff are still key.

Planning and Communicating

It is vital for facilities management employees to have a plan of action in place to respond to certain situation, no matter how extreme and rare. However, what's just as important is communicating these expectations and requirements to the rest of the occupants - even the visitors. Fire safety information should be displayed around the building, and those arriving on site should have an idea of what to do in the event of an emergency.

Mass Notification Systems, or MNS, are available for larger facilities and help to spread the word about an imminent threat and allow leaders to take charge with overall direction of the premises and those within it. These are particularly useful for buildings with multiple departments spread across many floors or properties with cafes or big communal areas.

Prioritising and Coordinating

While maintenance isn't always seen as a priority, some regular maintenance is required to ensure that a building performs in the way it should when targeted by a terrorist attack, whether that is arson or another type of threat. Fire safety is highly important, and all systems should be thoroughly and regularly tested to make sure that they meet regulations. This includes having third-party companies come to conduct tests on equipment and how they function in the event of a critical emergency.

In addition, by coordinating with local fire, security and law enforcement bodies, like the fire service community police and the local government, facilities management teams can learn from their expertise and use this to implement better security measures that are more appropriate to the local area. In the event of an emergency, it is so important for everyone to work together in harmony, including these outside organisations who have the potential to respond to issues and help ensure the safety of a building's occupants.

What facilities managers need to know about fire safety

Among facilities management teams, there is usually a 'responsible person' who has been nominated to respond in the event of a fire. For those designated people, fire safety for the wider team is a huge responsibility and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. As such, there are some key factors to be aware of when it comes to fire safety on your premises.

Legal Information

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is a piece of documentation that governs fire safety laws in the workplace. These regulations reinforce the need to give staff sufficient knowledge of their responsibilities in relation to fire safety, evacuation procedures and fire exits, as well as hazard reporting. It is important that this information is conveyed to employees through regular fire safety training sessions to reduce any risks in the working environment.

Causes of Fire

Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to fires. That is why facilities management teams should be aware of the science behind how fires are caused and be able to educate their colleagues on the dangers. The easiest way to understand how fires form is to examine the universal 'fire triangle', a diagram that shows the three elements required to start a fire: heat, fuel and oxygen. In addition, the responsible person should themselves understand what exactly is meant by these terms and how to combat a fire by taking one of these out of the equation (for instance, cold water to counteract the heat element).

Types of Fire

Though any fire is bad news, blazes are separated into different types that are determined by the materials involved in causing them. As well as understanding the causes of fire, facilities management teams should also be aware of these different types. Class A, for example, is assigned to a fire that involves the burning of solid materials such as wood, fabrics, plastic or paper. Naturally, Class A fires are quite common in war

The biggest mistakes that facilities managers can make

Facilities managers work in an industry that throws many difficult day-to-day challenges at them, meaning that it can be very hard for them to make the right decision every time. However, there are some mistakes that are hard to bounce back from, as will be explained below.

Not Sticking to Guidelines

It goes without saying in almost every industry that meetings should be fully documented to provide a clear representation of the discussion, any issues raised and any expectations that emerge from the exchange. Yet far too often, senior members of facilities management are chatting to employees in an informal setting and not taking down notes. This is a huge mistake because some people don't always listen fully, don't have a good memory or may not completely understand where they stand, so the chances are that any actionable requests get missed. The best thing to do is to ensure all important discussions are carried out professionally with minutes taken or with a summary sent in writing by email to all involved following the meeting.

Similarly, not following compliance guidelines, such as obtaining signatures, permits and sign-offs for projects, can have devastating effects on an existing project or one that is just starting up. Though people in the industry have the best intentions and are usually just keen to get the job done fast for impatient clients, neglecting important steps and processes can lead to projects being cut or not approved. This will ultimately cause more customer-client relationship issues than if you were to spend a little extra time making sure that all regulations are followed.

A Lack of Organisation

With such a broad range of responsibilities, those in facilities management need to stay on top of their daily workload and tasks, so finding suitable ways to help stay focused is paramount. Creating spreadsheets is a great way of planning milestones and delegating work to your facilities management team. Remembering to consider your employees' strengths when planning projects is also key - you do not want to wind up doing all the work yourself just to meet deadlines because you failed to plan properly at the start of the project. When your workers successfully complete tasks, it's important to recognise their efforts too. Praising your team for hard work can keep the morale of your people high and lead to more seamless projects.

Failing to Keep Abreast of the Latest Facilities Management Developments

Being aware of the market and any new developments is vital to remaining on top of your game. Facilities managers should be aware of local markets as well as nationwide business issues, or their lack of attention could negatively impact on their clients and projects. However, keeping yourself informed doesn't just protect you from negative project outcomes - it also helps with employee retention. Facilities managers need to be aware of what their competitors are offering to employees and ensure that they can meet, if not exceed, these expectations.

Don't fall into the trap. Make sure that you are in a position to overcome any issues that the industry throws at you![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Could colour changing visitor passes help to strengthen your facility’s security

Could colour changing visitor passes help to strengthen your facility's security?

Having visitors entering and leaving your premises every day is a given, but how do you ensure that your visitor management system is completely robust? Knowing who is on site when, for how long and who they visited, is vital in keeping your staff and assets secure. Here is some information on the new visitor management trend in facilities management: colour changing visitor passes.

What is a visitor management system?

An electronic visitor management system is an important security measure implemented by facilities management teams, to allow them to build a picture of who came to visit your workplace, who they came to see and how long they stayed on site, all of which are important factors to be aware of when considering the security of your environment. For instance, if your firm did not vet who entered the building, they could be putting their workers and any products, equipment or other assets that they own, at risk. In addition to the basic reporting activity, owners of electronic visitor management systems can benefit from increased accuracy of information, a quicker person identification process and advanced photo recognition.

What are colour changing passes and why use them?

If you run a business in the city or you simply want to step up your security, even more, colour changing visitor passes can offer firms maximum security, by putting a time limit on badges. This means that, once the allotted time has passed, the badge holder cannot reuse their pass to gain unsolicited entry to your workspace on a future date. The modern gadgets promote a 'valid today, void tomorrow' approach, to ensure that only individuals with the required authority can roam the office, making your recording process completely accurate. This is particularly helpful if you have limited parking and need to ensure that visitors aren't abusing your trust.

How do they work?

We have all had it happen to us. You walk into your office ready to begin your day when you find a sales rep, standing by your desk smirking and waving around a valid security badge. While sales reps may not pose a critical threat to a business, that could well be your rival, someone you shouldn't legally be in contact, or someone you simply don't want to speak to at that time and place. It may be that your receptionist was swayed by their charming and persuasive introduction or that they genuinely have something on offer that you've shown an interest in, but the fact is that you want control over when visitors come knocking. This is where advanced badges come in.

There are currently a few versions of these colour changing badges on the market, but they all work in a very similar way. A big advantage is that they are completely tamper-proof. A layer of material with a specially-treated surface is stuck to the reverse side of a visitor's badge and ink gradually seeps through to display a word or other indication that the pass has expired. Most designs change overnight, which means that the technology can be used to assign daily passes and offer reassurance that these will not be used unlawfully after the date they were provided.

How to create a security strategy for your business premises

How to create a security strategy for your business premises

Having a clear security strategy in place for your business is key to preventing loss or damages, both tangible and intangible. When a system works as it should, facilities management security should go almost entirely unnoticed. Much like the various types of insurances we take out to protect ourselves day to day, a security strategy is something you invest in but hope to never have to use.

Where should I start?

In order to determine your main security needs, you first need to identify the areas in which you are most vulnerable. All managing directors and executives should be involved in discussing potential risks to the business with their facilities management team and setting out goals for their security plan. For instance, what are your main and most valuable assets? What kinds of security threats typically arise in your line of business? What would happen to those assets, and business in general, should there be a breach of security?

How do I implement the strategy?

As with the planning stages, multiple individuals should be involved in the rolling out of a security strategy. Facilities managers, along with business managers and executives must instruct a variety of individuals to carry out specified tasks, arrange for technological procedures to be put in place and implement tight policies to ensure that the plan takes effect as smoothly and efficiently as possible. You will notice that each stage up until now has relied on the consistency and professionalism of the staff, so the training of all employees involved is key to the operation being a success. As part of the digital assets, businesses might install alarms, monitoring systems and/or video surveillance. The main objective of these reliable high-tech tools is to monitor access and detect any unwanted movements within one or more areas of the premises.

How do I make sure my plan is effective?

Teamwork is key to making your security plan unbreakable. With so many factors depending on others working in order to keep your workplace safe, effective communication amongst workers can make or break the entire strategy. It is also very important that people are encouraged to regularly voice concerns and point out weaknesses so that new or more appropriate measures can be put in place to ensure maximum security of all assets. Even after the plan is implemented, all involved must continue to help and maintain the required practices.

What new security measures should I look out for?

With technology advancing at such a rate, there are often new gadgets entering the security market which can impact greatly on your strategy. More intelligent video cameras and access controls are being produced, which provide enhanced features and more effective video quality. Gunshot detection devices are also becoming increasingly popular in some industries. Any crime involving firearms or weapons must be reported to the authorities, so these devices are making a positive impact on the reporting of violent crime and assisting in the quick arrest of the offenders. Finally, drones are also being used more and more for security purposes, with the military adopting the technology for a variety of operations.

Don Searle highlights weak areas within the industry at FM World

Don Searle highlights weak areas within the industry at FM World

Don Searle from specialist FM Recruiter Catch 22, highlights the importance of establishing stronger relationships between FM professionals and senior business leaders in achieving operational targets and the role service providers play in supporting the sector’s evolution.

Listening to a panel debate recently, it was interesting to note a senior FM consultant commenting that facilities management had not moved on significantly in 20 years.

He was referring to what some see as the holy grail for FMs – a place at the top table. If boardroom representation is the ultimate accolade, FM has had to be content with an occasional place on the podium or just being a plucky loser. But isn’t it the job of FM to just make sure that the organisation is provided with the optimum conditions in which to prosper?

Attitudes vary according to which aspect of the service delivery spectrum you represent, but the thing that unites all FMs is the need for collaboration and open communication with the top people in the organisation. These are the visionaries; the ones who map a way forward and need FM to understand what is needed to achieve that vision.

At the same debate a service provider observed that without open dialogue, relationships are doomed; FM becomes a victim, tortured on the altar of SLAs or beaten with the KPI stick until beyond caring. Without an understanding of an organisation’s goals, FM becomes a dispiriting chore as opposed to an uplifting experience.

HR practitioners, by and large, appear to have bought into the need to fully comprehend and support organisational goals and thus have earned the right to be involved at a high level. Organisational development has become a critical contributor to goal achievement while FM, a major budget holder, has been dogged by self-doubt about its status.

Success for FM will come through empowering teams that can support the organisation’s goals and by establishing a reputation for nurturing and rewarding talent. It will come through devolving responsibility to those who are in a position to affect the lives and well-being of customers.

So how can service providers to the FM industry contribute to that success? The same understanding of organisational goals is critical to suppliers if they are to provide a service that works. The same open dialogue sets the tone and allows the supplier to perform with the agility to meet the demands for a seamless FM operation.


As needs develop, a fully involved supplier can be a source of ideas that add value. As a resourcer and supplier of the people who deliver great service, Catch 22 believes in developing a dialogue with clients. It enables us to fully appreciate what the client needs, helps us to provide guidance and value and translate that into talent.

Catch 22 recently teamed up with gap personnel, a top 10 high street agency, which gives us a nationwide coverage. This will enable us to bring the Catch 22 difference to a far wider FM audience and provide Gap with opportunities for onsite supply to large FM servicing operations. As a result, we are in a stronger position to ensure the FM sector is able to contribute to the evolving challenges of those directing industry from the boardroom.



how to answer interview questions

How to answer the trickiest interview questions

Whether you are looking to enter the Facilities Management industry as a graduate, or you are making a move from a different company, you should prepare yourself for answering those horrible interview questions which are bound to come up. Here are some of the trickiest interview questions, why hirers love to use them and how best to go about answering them.

Why do you think you will succeed in this role?

It should be noted that interviewing panels do not ask these types of questions to hear you talk about why you are so fantastic. Confidence is something they want to see but, above all, they want you to show that you can apply your skills and attributes to the job in question. So, rather than simply taking the question as "Why do you think you will succeed", you should be hearing "Why do you think you will find success in this role, as opposed to any other?". This will help you to tick off those qualities, interests and qualifications that match you to this particular FM role.

Do you feel that you have any weaknesses?

This is a confusing question, as it’s difficult to know whether they mean personal or professional weaknesses? Is it a trick question? Your instinct is to defend yourself in an interview environment and to only focus on the positives, so the only way to answer this question successfully is to be honest about your shortcomings, but to put a positive spin on it. A great example is to say that you are a good team player but don't cope very well with conflict. Your positive spin could be that you recently completed an assertiveness training course, to enable you to react better in these types of circumstances.

What motivates you?

The Facilities Management sector isn't necessarily a fast-moving environment, but you should nevertheless show your determination for success when answering this question. Hirers ask this question because they like to hear about what you enjoy doing and what you feel you are good at doing. What recruiters appreciate hearing is individuals drawing on past experiences, displaying motivation for the job in question, and also showing a passion for the industry as a whole. Motivation can stem from a wide range of factors, depending on the individual, but if you show that you are keen to keep expanding your knowledge in Facilities Management, then you should succeed in impressing the interviewing panel.

Why should we hire you?

Finally, the question that most recruiters leave until last. Though tempting, especially if you really want the job, you should refrain from grovelling for the job as this could make you come across as desperate. Instead, you could respond in a way that sums up the facts: that you are confident that you fit the criteria and therefore you cannot see a reason for them not to hire you. Thankfully, not many interviewers actually ask a question as bold as this, but the aim, if they do, is to clarify why you should be chosen and not the other applicants.

World FM Day

World FM Day 2017

World FM Day

World FM Day celebrates the importance of the Facilities Management profession. It aims to raise the profile of FM around the globe, promoting facilities management’s ideals, not only within the profession and industry but also among governments and the general business community.

This year World FM Day will be celebrated on 17 May 2017. The theme is 'Enabling Positive Experiences.' This theme aims to highlight how facilities management plays an integral role in positive customer, client and employee experience in all sectors, whether it is residential, sport, workplace, healthcare or any other.

As the leading professional body for facilities management in the UK, the BIFM will be supporting this worldwide celebration of the FM profession with a programme of events from 15 - 19 May. A broad range of events, both nationally and internationally, can be seen at BIFM.

You can celebrate the work you do on by posting your events, stories and photos to hashtag #WorldFMDay and connecting with @WorldFMDay on Twitter. It is an opportunity for global knowledge sharing, to discuss and share experiences both good and challenging, to promote our profession and celebrate our successes.