Why Does Gender Diversity Need to be Tackled in Facilities Management

Why Does Gender Diversity Need to be Tackled in Facilities Management?

For several years now, the facilities management industry has noted a distinct lack of gender diversity. With the diversity of all types in the workplace bringing numerous benefits to industries across the country and beyond, it does seem that breaking the mould could drive innovation within the sector.

Gender in the facilities management industry

The facilities management industry is traditionally a male-oriented field, but research shows that men and women of all levels within the sector are equally capable of performing the tasks required of them, and are just as motivated as one another professionally. Experts say that it is simply a general lack of confidence that causes women to fail to excel in the way that men do in relevant organisations. That is not to say that women are weaker, but that men have dominated the industry in such a way that women perhaps cannot see a place for themselves in it. That, however, is where views are beginning to change.

Both women and men in positions of power are breaking the cycle by encouraging male and female workers to work collaboratively, and by putting in place programmes to enhance the recruitment of diverse employees in terms of gender and other measures. Other investigations into the field show that, as of 2011, most new recruits were women, a sign that the industry is slowly and positively evolving.

Men and women have different approaches

It’s said that men and women approach challenges in the workplace differently, but it’s these traits that make the two work so well together. Women are supposedly better at seeing beyond the technical and are more effective in building relationships, yet men are commonly thought to be better at problem-solving and physically-demanding tasks. As with most personal attributes though, these stereotypical views can differ widely from person to person, as each individual has their own set of unique features. As such, the industry should be focused on the implementation of diversity of personalities and not just gender diversity.

How to implement change

Firstly, women in the industry should encourage and mentor young female recruits entering the field, to remind them that there is a place for them in this sector and that they must make their mark now. However, this responsibility should also be shared with men. Allowing all new entrants, regardless of ethnicity, age or gender, the equal opportunities they deserve can help to bridge gaps. After all, nobody wants to achieve success for any reason other than their ability. Above all, inclusion is vital to tackling diversity, otherwise, there is no value gained from having a team that is diverse in gender or any other measure. As such, individuals must embrace and accept one another as team members, rather than as threats.

The benefits

Having a more diverse environment drives innovation in the workplace. Not only are more minds and views better than one, an organisation can benefit from attracting a wider interest from potential candidates too. For instance, if a company is renowned for only employing men for particular roles, a woman, who may be the perfect fit for the job, might be put off even applying for the role. With collaboration in full force, companies will attract and retain the best talent and ultimately perform better as collective workforces.

How Facilities Recruitment is Changing as the Industry Evolves

It's fair to say that facilities management has changed significantly over the course of the past two decades. Though the core responsibilities of the role remain the same, the sector has evolved into a very complicated and high-tech environment, requiring much more initiative and know-how than ever before.

A fast track through history

In the 1900s, facilities operatives would theoretically work behind the scenes, in areas that were out of sight of the building's general workers. Their jobs were primarily focused on the boiler room, where all of the equipment they managed was to be found. Now, many years on, facilities managers not only have boiler units and fuse boxes to monitor but also an array of complex machinery and gadgets to keep on top of, such as air conditioning units, storage heaters, server rooms and their contents and much, much more.

Though not all facilities teams need to be involved in the technical aspects of the buildings they manage, thanks to dedicated IT personnel, they must still work in collaboration with them and other relevant departments for phone line installs, electrical installations, equipment repairs and so on. This added workload brings with it the additional need for strategic planning, improved communication and more technical understanding than might previously have been the case.

Changes in facilities recruitment

The biggest change in facilities recruitment is apparent in the hiring of mid-level to senior-level staff. Companies realise the importance of the sector's role and are keen to recruit individuals with extensive experience and a strong background in managing significant projects. When looking at past projects, they are seeking professionals with an understanding of business and the ability to work with complicated budgets, as well as the capability to recognise how facilities support impacts on the wider business. Leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills are also highly appealing to managers, as they strive for sustainability. However, these attributes, combined with the aforementioned business acumen, aren’t always easy to find.

Skills and experience sought in the 21st century

As requirements tighten for senior roles in facilities management, candidates may find that their skills and experience are put under more scrutiny than in previous years. For instance, some examples of the skills that companies are now seeking include a good financial aptitude, strategic thinking, strong leadership, an understanding of modern technology, an adaptable attitude and advanced analytical skills. Any individual looking to progress to a senior position within the facilities management sector will be expected to demonstrate some, if not all, of the above, and will need to be open to expanding their current level of expertise.

Attracting staff to facilities roles

The difficulty with recruiting responsible, highly-qualified professionals is that they are usually already in senior positions and not seeking work elsewhere. It is, therefore, vital for recruiters to make the roles more appealing to candidates whilst maintaining a consistent approach to the process. There is no one perk that can attract all the right prospective employees because each and every person has their own personal goals and career aspirations. This is why it is, at times, beneficial to appropriately customise strategies when filling posts and, above all, to highlight how your company differs positively from others.

Thinking of Becoming a Facilities Manager?

Thinking of Becoming a Facilities Manager?

We'll talk you through the skills you will need to enter the sector and what kind of salary and work-life balance you can expect from the role.

A Facilities Manager is responsible for ensuring that buildings and their surrounding environments meet the needs of those working in them. Therefore, in summary, they have a duty to maintain the cleanliness, safety and security of the premises, as well as to monitor parking and respond to any building maintenance queries.

Typically, Facilities Management roles vary from place to place, but the individual would generally be in charge of planning office refurbishments, organising complex workplace moves and overseeing any renovation work within the building, including general building maintenance such as heating and air conditioning repairs or services. Most importantly, responsibilities include meeting health and safety standards as well as legal requirements, while keeping on top of budgets and expenditure. As such, the job holder is expected to think logically, be highly organised, tech-savvy and able to manage a team. Since communication is key in this post, Facilities Managers will also need to have very good interpersonal and writing skills.

Facilities Managers work approximately 40 hours a week and are expected to be available between the core office hours of 9 am to 5 pm. They are primarily based in an office but, due to the nature of the role, they will be required to move around the buildings they are managing, and at times travel across the country (if the employer operates across multiple locations). Due to their extensive list of responsibilities, some managers may be required to work additional hours to deal with emergencies or simply to get a task done outside of peak hours.

New entrants can expect a salary of just over £25,000 but, if they can build on their experience, then they could reach up to £45,000 per annum, within three to five years. Senior positions with a responsibility for multiple sites could even earn in excess of £60,000, making this a career which offers very appealing salary progression. As with most roles, the amount of experience and the level of qualifications you hold are deciding factors in how much you will earn. It's advisable, therefore, to educate yourself as much as possible with work experience, apprenticeships and courses, before applying for a role within the industry.

Although no educational course is required to begin your career in Facilities Management, relevant experience is a bonus. In addition, any applicable skills such as technical, engineering, business studies or management skills could benefit those applying for jobs within the sector. Many companies will offer their own tailored in-house training, to enable you to gain the experience and professional certification you need to work your way up to a managerial role. Whilst undergoing training or thereafter, you will likely be asked to complete qualifications offered by the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) or Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), or to enrol on a postgraduate course in Facilities Management to further enhance your skills.

Simon Aspinall invited to act as Support Judge at the BIFM Awards

Simon Aspinall invited to act as Support Judge at the BIFM Awards


Charity Challenge 2017

Charity Challenge 2017

The Guernsey Coastline

Catch 22’s 11th Charity Challenge is set to take on the magnificent Guernsey coastline in 2017. Twenty years after conquering the 3 Peaks, our intrepid band of walkers will be gathering on the island in late April to circumnavigate the cliffs and shores of Guernsey to raise money for their charities. Previous Challenges have included the Welsh 3000s, the Pembrokeshire and Cornish Coastlines, Hadrian’s Wall and the Glencoe Round. Since it’s inception, the Challenge, held every other year, and the Quiz Night have raised over £300,000 for a number of charities, principally The Lord’s Taverners. In 2017, the Challenge will take place over the weekend commencing 29th April. We’ll be walking on the Saturday and Sunday, leaving the Bank Holiday Monday to relax and recuperate. Some might want to take a boat over to Herm or Sark if they have the energy left! If you’d like to join us on what will be an exhilarating trip to a gem of an
island, please drop a line to don@c22.co.uk for full details or call 020 7220 8900.

Our base for the Challenge will be the Hotel de Havelet in St Peter Port – the island’s capital. Other accommodation options are available. The itinerary is as follows:

Friday 28th April – Arrive, check in, relax and meet up with the walkers
Saturday 29th April – Walking Day, approx 19 miles
Sunday 30th April – Walking Day, approx 19 miles
Monday 1st May – Day at leisure on the island or travel home

Transport will be provided to/from starting/finishing point

You may nominate your chosen charity in advance of the Challenge; we suggest setting up a Just Giving or similar donation account and point your donors there via a link in an email. Flights to Guernsey from airports around the UK are readily available. We reccommend Aurigny, the Guernsey airline – htttps://www.aurigny.com/
Follow us on Twitter: @c22views for regular updates

The Lords Taverners Logo

Lord's Taverners 17th Annual Charity Quiz

Lord’s Taverners 17th Annual 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 28 February 2017
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 17th 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!

Blog - Catch 22

2016 - A Year of Surprises

As the year draws to a close, it’s usual to take a look back at the previous 12 months to see whether they matched expectations from the onset. To say 2016 has been tumultuous would be, well, the understatement of the year! Forget the US and the EU, FM has had its fair share of upheaval, particularly among the guiding bodies. The jostling for position alongside BIFM as the industry’s premier professional body has thrown into perspective the breadth and international nature of the FM sphere and the ambition of some to wrest the mantle of leaders of sector education away from Bishop’s Stortford.

There are some cogent arguments on both sides and competition is healthy, provided the upshot is a consistent standard across all educational offerings. The industry is global and needs the right values to give the right message.

In the world of recruitment, it’s been the year of the candidate. With low unemployment rates and a marked skills shortage in a variety of sectors serving the FM world, the task of finding the standard of candidate has proved to be more challenging and this trend shows no sign of diminishing. Recruiters are having to find innovative ways of reaching those hard to reach candidates that may not be active in a job search. Consequently, salary levels in some sectors are showing signs of larger than normal inflation. For Catch 22, that challenge will be assisted by some great news you can find on the back page of this newsCatcher in the MD’s message.

We as a company will be able to strengthen our brand in order to connect more readily with a wider pool of FM and Property management talent. If, as predicted, the support sector suffers at the expense of core business recruitment, we will have the options to offer candidates an alternative.  Communicating with candidates, particularly through social media will be a vital part of engagement and we plan to broaden and refresh our channels early in 2017.

Blog - Catch 22

Are older workers the most talented employees?

Are older workers the most talented employees?

We all had one in our class at school, didn’t we? The person who was born with a natural talent for sport; any game they played, they made it look easy. And usually, they were the most popular person as well, much to the chagrin of the also-rans. The accolade of ‘talented’ was gently draped across their shoulders as they wended what was a sure and certain path to future fame and fortune. It was easy for us to pick them out then.

Fast forward to the workplace years and the constant use of the new mantra of ‘talent management’, chanted by HR consultants as the must-have process in your hiring portfolio, hides a very patchy approach to what actually constitutes ‘talent’. According to a recent CIPD report, Attitudes to Employability and Talent, only 8% of SMEs actually have a definition of ‘talent’ and only a third of larger organisations have bothered to define what they mean by the term. Even then, the criteria used are subjective both to the assessor and their organisation.

Top four attributes were a positive attitude to work, good work ethic, bringing innovation and reliability. It would, therefore, appear pretty difficult to measure these attributes except subjectively, so the report explores attempts to classify demographic groups, using criteria similar to the attributes mentioned, into a scale of ‘talentedness’. Surprisingly for some, the Over 55s scored highest for their employability, comfortably beating ‘young people’ into fifth place. Individuals with disabilities came a close second, followed by migrant workers and parents. Worryingly, the long-term unemployed, ex-servicemen & women and ex-offenders fared very unfavourably.

It would appear then that managing an organisation’s talent, as opposed to that of individual workers, would be made easier by ensuring a good mix of all these categories in the workforce. People are rarely as productive working in their peer groups as they are when diversity is represented in the work team. Few large employers have yet to achieve this ideal mix, although some are heading in the right direction. Given that pension reform will inevitably keep workers longer in the job market, it makes perfect sense.