Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Graduate Recruitment


Most of the large FM companies have established and well structured graduate degree programmes, however not all facilities management businesses have adopted this approach and despite passion in this area there is still a limit in commitment to sign up to these schemes.

Colin Hall ex Managing Director at Richard Ellis stated that the talent void in the industry is something that he is personally passionate about and he has discussed with a number of clients the potential to set up a talent development programme for post graduates. The concept of this programme would be that they could move the graduates around various roles in both client and provider organisations. The level of interest is always high but the commitment to actually sign up to such a scheme has been limited to date.

Facilities Management service providers seem to be doing a lot to develop talent, a representative of Serco explained the programme which they have in place to develop graduate talent. This involves graduates being provided with a structured training programme which is tailored to their needs and will support them in gaining membership of their professional institute. By doing this it will allow graduates to gain experience in a range of different areas of the business and take responsibility at an early stage, this helping develop talent. Balfour Beatty, another leading FM service provider allows graduates to work alongside experienced engineers to learn and develop their technical skills and progress over time, tackle strategic projects and develop operational management skills. This process will also allow graduates to work towards a facilities management qualification.  David Toone, MD at G4S states that on a regional basis, they have a talent management programme through all levels of management and employees are invited or encouraged to be part of this programme.  G4S FM has a policy to promote and recruit internally as well as incorporating a clear succession planning programme. Through their Employment Development Reviews, employees and managers jointly identify short, medium and long term career paths and ensure that competency and training programmes compliment these career aspirations.  Each FM service provider has a different approach to programmes they have in place, however they all are providing something to develop talent. However, not all FM service providers have the resources to develop talent, ‘Property and Change solutions’ are in a market which expects a high level of intellectual leadership and experience therefore the opportunity for graduates is fairly limited.

Richard Greaves of Voomeroon Ltd states that the profile of FM as a career option needs to be raised.  Companies delivering FM as their core business have some fantastic graduate development programmes, but these are not designed to produce FMs, per se.  Rather, they are designed to develop individuals who show the potential to become senior managers within the business. However, Facilities Management has many of the disciplines that the well rounded manager needs. From purchasing to project management, from people to premises, from planning to performance, all of these skills are required within today's competent FM.  So a good grounding in FM will give graduates the generic skills they need to manage effectively throughout their career.  

Many FM service providers are giving graduates the opportunity to progress their careers rapidly. Serco, a leading FM service provider, places its graduates straight into one of the company’s teams under the direct supervision of a team leader who will take responsibility for overseeing their progress. In addition, a mentor will be appointed to help guide graduates during the early years of their career helping them progress. A representative from G4S states that as their company is continuing to grow, there is a lot more opportunities available for advancement.  People are at the heart of everything they do and wherever possible they commit to promoting from within. This means that many graduates have experienced rapid progression through the business.

FM service providers are beginning to recruit more graduates straight from university.  However there are still high levels of competition to gain places on the graduate schemes and therefore expectations for graduates are quite high.  Serco’s representative stated that they look to take candidates directly from university - looking for bright enthusiastic graduates with a science or engineering related degree. Similarly Balfour Beatty looks for graduates with a degree in construction or engineering of at least a 2:2 standard. In recent years, G4S FM has tended to recruit via TUPE or recruitment of existing skill sets in the external market. However, they are now actively developing both a school leaver and graduate programme to accommodate growth. This will also include gap year students.  This seems to be positive news for graduates looking for employment straight from university.

Facilities Management job roles are always changing, however with the recent state of the economy more Business Development Manager Roles are being created. A good sign for students, as it clearly displays that the large FM organisations are looking to win new work and grow. However opportunities for Business Development roles have been going on for a few months now so may be we could be expecting a boom of operational vacancies?  Colin Hall from Property and Change Solutions says that the churn in the industry is extremely high driven by the outsourcing model. Account management roles tending to be the most lucrative and highest churn.

Business operations, development and leadership roles also seem to experience high levels of churn. Within the client organisations the FM leadership roles tend to be more robust, however for the career to develop beyond FM experience in real estate and business support then operations is required.  Roles tend to fit into two categories: technical skills and management. On the technical side, they are seeing development of stand-alone roles in subject matter expertise such as Health and Safety, CSR, Information Security, Energy & Environmental, Workplace Advice, Risk Management and Project Management. On the management side, the growth has been around specialist bid management (aligned to large scale government outsourcing), increasingly complex commercial modelers, change management and customer-facing skills. The most precious resource is around those that can combine one of more of these management skills with ease.  Students considering a career in FM need to consider their skill set before jumping straight into the industry, a lot of the larger FM service providers have high expectations due to the increase in demand of applications.  Balfour Beatty have high expectations of graduates demanding that they have achieved a 2:2 and can pass pre-employment checks, therefore the main thing to consider is whether you are suitably qualified. Colin Hall also stated that Business Relationship management is far more important for an FM business than technical skills. FM is about service so customer facing and management skills are essential.  Services are rarely delivered on a silo-ed basis so being a good team player certainly helps. Commercial and financial skills are also very important. There are many opportunities in Facilities Management it being such a wide and diverse area, so the ability to strategically develop service delivery for the mutual benefit of your employer and/or a client is a very important skill. Finally, the ability to communicate verbally and formally through business cases, presentations, reports and informally over a coffee all add to an FM’s effectiveness.  FM is not a 9 - 5 job and commitment to the role is a must as you can be called upon at any time to resolve a critical issue.  If you are not passionate about what you do and what you are trying to achieve for your client’s/employer’s organisation, it will show.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Macallam is growing their specialist Engineering business

The fact is we all run a business that needs to be profitable so when the people are right the business is right.
At Macallam we ensure our vetting and placement is second to none and the proof is that our client’s return time and time again.  How?  We understand their technical and business needs.
The most import question for Macallam’s is: -
“How do we retain our customers and secure new ones”?
The answer we believe is: - “Reinvestment”.
At Macallam we have one of the newest most up to date data base systems along with consultants that know the industries inside and out.
Leading by example the newest person to join Macallam is Mike Brooks, an engineer and senior operations manager from within the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Contracting industry.  With over 25 years of using agencies, hiring engineers, middle and senior managers he understands the frustration an employer has in the process of making the correct choice from the hundreds of applicants.
He is here to assist in the development of your business by ensuring you see the right people.  Give him a call or make contact via email with your vacancy and he will be able to assist you with some informed, practical advice on the market.

Mike Brooks
M - 07546113548