Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 11 No 2 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 11 NUMBER 2
in the private sector. For these employers,
soft skills are high on the agenda when
they recruit, since they want people who
can work with stakeholders effectively.
Interpersonal, leadership and organisational
skills are also highly valued. Depending on
the nature of the site, we’re even seeing
instances of employers training candidates in
any particular technical skills they may lack if
they otherwise have the required soft skills.
Some of us could be forgiven for thinking
that with technology helping us to do our
jobs faster and providing us with more
information, soft skills aren’t as important.
But in fact, the opposite is true – the ability
to communicate with others, be open-
minded and listen to problems, and then
come up with solutions is all very important.
This can cover anything, from being able
to build relationships to considering
how emerging technologies can improve
workplaces, or getting to the bottom of what
productivity or wellbeing problems actually
need to be solved.
Cultural fit is another trend that has
gained increased prominence among hiring
managers looking for a long-term recruit. It
goes beyond technical skills, soft skills and
experience to determine if a jobseeker’s
on-the-job behaviour is consistent with the
values and expectations of the team and
the organisation. For example, to succeed
in a particular organisation, you may need
an entrepreneurial attitude, an ability to
communicate in a certain way, or ambition
By assessing a jobseeker’s ‘fit’ with
such values or way of working, a hiring
manager can determine if they match the
organisation’s own unique way of doing
business. This is important to ensure that a
new recruit will integrate into the existing
team, has an intrinsic understanding of the
way the business operates and is aligned
with the company’s values.
The focus on soft skills and cultural fit also
explains why more employers are asking
behavioural interview questions. While the
questions depend on each organisation’s
own unique needs, examples include:
work as part of a team on a project.
What problems arose, and how did you
3 What’s your view of overtime, and can
you tell me of a time you had to work
outside of the standard hours for your
3 When have you had to work efficiently?
What was required, and how did you
get the job done?
Another major trend in FM recruitment
right now is the focus on recruiting
professionals on a temporary basis. While
non-permanent employees are nothing new,
the rapid rise in this form of working is.
There are several factors behind this
trend, including the number of organisations
outsourcing their facilities management
function, and the attractiveness of a flexible
workforce that can be released at short notice
without financial penalty.
The on-demand and as-needed nature of
temporaries, the recognition that professional
interim candidates with high levels of skills and
experience are readily available to fill even the
most specialist roles, and the speed at which
they can commence have also been factors.
Some employers also find it a good way
to trial a candidate, with those in the eastern
states offering extensions or a permanent
role at the end of a contract if the temporary
employee proves to be the right fit.
A final trend of note is the mobility of
jobseekers. This is particularly evident in
the movement of Western Australian FM
professionals to the eastern states, where
skills are in greater demand. This provides
an opportunity for employers in the east to
proactively attract candidates to fill their
In terms of the skills in demand, in eastern
states, residential building managers are
sought as more high-rise residential projects
are completed. Facilities coordinators are
Project managers are in demand in
companies with larger CAPEX budgets.
Jobseekers need sound technical and
Commercial facilities managers are also
needed. With large corporate companies
moving towards outsourcing, service
providers are demanding commercially
astute FMs to manage the accounts.
In addition, essential services managers
are sought for temporary roles.
In Queensland, consultancies are
competing for technical facilities managers
with commercial high-rise experience.
In South Australia, and as we see in the
eastern states, facilities coordinators are
sought. Qualified grounds and horticulture
candidates are also needed in South Australia.
In Western Australia, maintenance
planners with experience in maintenance
planning for camps or facilities remain in
high demand, but are in short supply.
We’re also seeing an ongoing need for
aged-care village managers. There is a
shortage of jobseekers with aged care or
retirement living experience. Demand is only
expected to increase in the years ahead.
Meanwhile, chief engineers and shift
engineers are needed in Western Australia’s
growing healthcare industry. So, too, are
maintenance plumbers with backflow
experience in hospitals.
As always, candidates with building
managment system (BMS) programming,
and commissioning experience and
qualifications, are in demand. These highly
skilled workers can program automated
controls systems in buildings, and there is a
shortage of suitable candidates.
Hays Facilities Management Regional Director Austin Blackburne
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