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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interviews online on a computer

Top questions to ask candidates in interviews!

Top questions to ask candidates in interviews! Did you know the cost of a bad hire can run into six figures? Finding the right talent for that facilities management job is all about asking the right questions. Questions that let you evaluate whether a candidate is the right fit for your company’s goals and culture.

To get a good all-round picture of how a candidate can fit your company culture, try asking these questions in your next round of interviews:

What skill would you like to improve and how?

The ‘what’s your biggest weakness?’ question might be a classic interview technique, but it’s a cliche and a trap for potential hires. Turn the tables and ask them to focus on areas for improvement that won’t potentially sink their interview chances.

This question also tests self-awareness and gives candidates the opportunity to demonstrate professional growth. It also lets you find out fast whether their shortcomings would stop them from being a success in the role.

Can you tell me about a work-related challenge where you used your own initiative?

The way a candidate answers this question can tell you how they respond to stress and pressure and how they problem-solve. But it can also tell you whether they’re prepared to go above and beyond in a crisis situation or do the bare minimum.

This is a straightforward competency question but the best candidates will tell you not only what they did, but the positive effect it had on the company.

What are your long-term career goals?

You’re looking for a candidate with career goals that align with your company goals and values. If you sense that their goals can’t be achieved by working for you then they may not be a good fit.

You need to know why a potential hire wants to work for you. Why? Because you need them to be motivated to do great work and be in it for the long haul. Asking these types of career goals questions should find out the candidates who are prepared to give a well thought out and honest answer, and make a great fit with your company culture.

How would you describe your work style and your ideal working environment?

You may not want a team of cookie-cutter employees but if things are working well you don’t want to throw a spanner in the works. If your candidate is an independent worker who prefers a quiet, heads down environment, they’re not going to fit your highly collaborative, high energy team.

These types of question in interviews give invaluable insights into whether a candidate is a good fit for your existing team and your company culture and environment as a whole.

Every CV has one lie on it, what’s yours?

A curveball question not only keeps candidates on their toes can be a good test of character. It doesn’t have to be about their CV - it could be about their favourite Doctor Who or how many Smarties fit in a backpack. The point is that creative curveball questions are one of the best ways to identify people with the right talents for the job.

The interview process can help you find those great hires that fit your company perfectly. At Catch 22 recruitment agency we find the best FM candidates for your full and part-time vacancies for a service you can trust. Find out more about our recruitment process here: https://www.c22.co.uk/employers/


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.


Friendly female receptionist

Etiquette tips for your reception team!

First impressions count. It might be a cliché but what your lobby and your reception team communicate to potential clients can make all the difference. Don’t be tempted to skip over reception etiquette; facilities management has a responsibility to help any business set the tone and create the right atmosphere in their facilities.

Take a few minutes to view your reception area from the eyes of a guest. You may have a great website and plenty of clients but these office etiquette tips will ensure that your reception is clean, efficient and impressive to best represent your business.

Be clean and organised

Now more than ever, a clean and well-organised reception area will pay dividends. If you provide reading materials and magazines related to your business, make sure that your reception team keeps them tidy and properly stacked to create the most positive first impression.

Provide hand gel and keep high touch areas properly sanitised. Keep the area free of rubbish and provide recycling bins as a reminder of your eco-credentials.

Create a relaxing atmosphere

Plants, comfortable seating and music can all help to create time out from the stressful nature of busy lives. Any sounds or visuals should be displayed in a way that is thoughtful and relaxing, allowing clients to hold a conversation without having to raise their voices.

Don’t be tempted to use overly strong scent diffusers or sprays in the reception area as these can trigger allergies or just feel a little overwhelming.

On the other hand, an easily achievable etiquette tip is to provide complimentary refreshments. A bean to cup coffee machine makes an instantly positive impression, while snacks should be healthy fruit or branded promotional sweets that create a lasting impression. Always provide water and keep the refreshments area well stocked and sparkling clean. It’s an investment that will pay dividends in the long run.

Provide clear traffic flow

FM isn’t just about maintaining the physical environment. Facilities management relates to all operations relating to the organisation or business, including the flow of people within the building. Making sure that pathways are clear and that there are visual clues to indicate how a client should check-in makes new visitors more comfortable.

That means providing clear signage so that visitors are aware of restrooms and other amenities as well as the location of stairs, lifts, meeting rooms and offices. Creating a clear traffic flow not only helps the reception area to be more efficient and productive but welcomes new visitors by giving them a clear sense of direction and travel through the building.

The right welcome

Having the right person behind the desk to welcome clients and customers is probably the best etiquette tip there is. This is the first interaction that many guests will have with your business so your reception team needs to be professional, polite and welcoming. Ensure that proper training is given in all automated visitor management systems and that they can stay calm under pressure.

Does your reception area tick the right boxes?

Creating the right impression from the off should be of the utmost importance to your organisation. FM has a primary role to play in ensuring that the reception team follows office etiquette and creates the warmest welcome for every potential client.