We expect to see more spending and employment in the coming year with many education refurbishments planned along with some new and unusual projects such as Australia’s first high rise schools.
Some major FM contracts have recently changed hands, which is creating candidate movement at tier 1 employers for roles at all levels.
We have also seen an increase in the number of permanent roles as opposed to temporary assignments. When they recruit, employers are often focused on the trainability and personal attitude of candidates over particular experience.
In soft services the number of high calibre candidates has decreased over recent months in response to growing vacancy activity, particularly for Service Coordinators. Thus the top candidates are in roles or can quickly find a new role.
In localised trends, facilities management vacancies typically increase between April and September every year in the Northern Territory. This is the result of a large amount of construction activity, especially on the Inpex oil and gas site, as well as the annual defence project which this year saw 2,000 US Marines arrive in the Northern Territory for six months. Most soft service jobs are on a casual basis, with temporary-to-permanent roles commonly used.
In Victoria a lot of government departments are outsourcing all hard and soft services to service providers in order to improve efficiency.
Soft services is an active market, with demand high for quality non-technical candidates with corporate experience.
Education and infrastructure are expected to be the key areas of spend in Victoria over the next five years, which will create demand for quality Project Managers coming from an architectural and engineering background.
Hotspots of demand
Residential Building Managers are required for high-rise residential developments. Demand exists for both permanent and temporary candidates.
Facilities Coordinators are also sought. Interestingly, companies are now willing to train candidates, which is a positive step and good for the career development of FM professionals.
Work Supervisors are sought in the public sector.
Groundsmen/women are required for local councils, while trained Horticulture candidates are also needed.
Most regions in Australia are facing a shortage of Chefs, which is why they are listed on the Government’s Skilled Occupation List. In particular demand are Chefs with a bulk catering background.
Utility candidates are also sought. These roles operate at a fast pace and are physically demanding. They also involve long hours. Consequently candidates often only commit to the role for a short period of time.
Cleaners are another area of need, since the hours of work are not ideal for many candidates.
Scheduling Tradespeople/Service Coordinators are required too. An increase in construction and facilities has created demand for individuals who can coordinate technicians and trades to accommodate more maintenance issues.
Customer service professionals are also sought to help attract and retain clients. Candidates must be personable.
Finally, technology use is at an all-time high. Therefore employers need individuals who are able to use their in-house systems or can pick them up quickly to ensure efficiency and speed of response.
When they look for a new role, FM candidates want to work for an organisation with a strong culture and team environment where they can progress long-term. They are looking to the future and are willing to take a lower-level position if there is the prospect of developing within the role or company.