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News & opinion

22 NOV 2018

The state of the FM recruitment market in 2018

The FM industry certainly had a sobering start to 2018 with the collapse of Carillion, yet it remains a highly buoyant sector to be working in and one that will always be a critical part to any business.

The industry has always been hugely resilient and doesn’t necessarily experience booms or busts like that of Property Development, but FM certainly experiences lots of exciting changes nonetheless.

I think there have been some interesting and visible changes in the FM market since the EU Referendum. Whilst not directly affecting recruitment, Brexit continues to delay certain decisions for businesses and has caused a lot of change in the property market, so it’ll be interesting to see what will change once a deal or no deal has actually been reached.

The effect of the EU referendum has also pretty much put the UK on one big sale because the value of sterling has plummeted circa 20%. This has then driven a huge influx of foreign investment into the UK as their respective currencies can go so much further than before. This can then have a clear effect on the FMs managing those sites for better or for worse.

In the last 12 months, there’s been an increase in the number of counter-offers and general salary increases. This is a clear sign that companies are trying their best to hold on to their best staff.

In FM, there’s always the constant question of outsourcing or self-delivering and this will always cause movement in the FM jobs market. Of particular note on this point is the public sector which, in the last 12 months, has demonstrated a large appetite to increase their client-side FM teams. Whilst the driver for this change can’t be down to one reason, I question how much of this could be down to a reaction to Carillion and a move away from the public sector relying too heavily on outsourced providers?

Talent shortage? 

In the last 12 months, we’ve found that there’s been an increase in the number of counter-offers and general salary increases for candidates in FM. This is a clear sign that companies are trying their best to hold on to their best staff and ensure they themselves don’t have to backfill them. Often, employers are needing to look at more junior options in the shortlisting stage with the view of developing them as this can ensure they secure those individuals for longer. Are we seeing a talent shortage?


I’m increasingly seeing FM job specifications asking for either AssocRICS or MRICS qualifications as a desirable or essential requirement, so it’s certainly becoming more recognised and sought after in the industry. Both qualifications are accessible from an FM background and can help you secure those top job opportunities in the market.

I’ve found that employers are increasingly open to funding qualifications for their staff. Besides the obvious benefits of people development, there’s also the added benefit of retention and engagement of those key individuals. If you know you can do a qualification that betters you in your role, then your employer would surely be short sighted not to fund it. Just ensure you speak to the RICS and assess your suitability before pitching to your senior manager.

So, why not put yourself ahead of the competition and ensure you’re accurately qualified to reflect your industry experience?

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