Across Australia’s FM market, the focus remains on recruiting professionals on a temporary basis. In the eastern states, candidates will be offered extensions or a permanent role at the end of their contract if they have proven to be the right fit.
Within the private sector there is a real focus on the soft skills associated with managing stakeholders effectively. Depending on the nature of the site, technical skills can be secondary to these soft skills.
We’re also seeing employers put candidates through training if they think they are the right fit for their business.
Given FMs skill shortage in the eastern states, especially NSW, sponsorship is becoming more mainstream.
In the Northern Territory, utility workers in soft service companies operating on FIFO mine sites are seeing a reduction in hours from 12 to 10 per day. We’re also seeing more requests for Indigenous workers from organisations that want to create more diverse workforces.
In Western Australia there is a strong pool of white collar candidates and an increasing number are moving to the eastern states to secure their next role.
We expect to see an increase in blue collar roles this quarter as contracts are signed off.
Hotspots of demand
Residential Building Managers are in high demand in eastern states as more high-rise residential projects are completed.
Facilities Coordinators are also needed, with companies willing to train candidates who are otherwise the right fit.
Project Managers are in demand now that companies have larger CAPEX budgets. Candidates need sound technical and soft skills; typically candidates possess strong technical skills but lack soft skills. Conversely, candidates who have strong soft skills don't always have the technical aptitude to complete FM project roles.
Commercial Facilities Managers are needed. With large corporate companies moving towards outsourcing, service providers are demanding commercially astute FMs to manage the accounts.
Essential Services Managers are also sought for temporary roles.
As we see in the eastern states, South Australia needs Facilities Coordinators too. Qualified Grounds and Horticulture candidates are also sought.
Chefs are in demand in the Northern Territory. The local shortage means we are recruiting from interstate and offering FIFO assignments.
In Western Australia Maintenance Planners with experience maintenance planning for camps or facilities are in high demand but short supply.
We’re also seeing a need for Aged Care Village Managers. There is a very shallow pool of candidates with aged care or retirement living experience. Demand is only expected to increase in the years ahead.
Refrigeration Technicians remain in high demand at this time of year.
As always, candidates with 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.
Finally, Maintenance Plumbers with backflow experience are sought for hospitals. Backflow prevention is key with all toilet and sewage systems and testing taken out periodically.
More candidates are studying facilities management at Tafe or university. The FMA is also considering putting a training program in place. This should improve the overall technical skills of the industry.
Candidates are open to temporary and shorter-term roles, and will work hard to impress in order to secure a permanent role.
How to get a job in 2017
If a new job is on your radar this year, you need a strong story, consistent brand and proof that you can add value. Watch expert tips from hiring managers. For all our videos, click here