Facilities management is one of the fastest developing sectors in the UK. It is however what makes it so interesting, but that progression puts a lot of pressure on those working in it. The demand to constantly upskill whilst doing your day job is a tricky balancing act, nowhere is this better highlighted then when you come to look for a new job.
The “soft skills” listed in most job descriptions can read like the snagging list from hell but the same few suspects crop up continuously and (here’s the good news) you’re going to be using those talents in your current job anyway. By understanding which examples to use and how to articulate those in an interview you’ll stand out from the crowd.
The Godfather of skills, the one everyone wants. What employers really want you to explain here is the variety of your communication, who you’re interacting with on a regular basis. This can be split into roughly 3 groups; those who report into you, colleagues at your level, and people you report into. The wider the scope you can illustrate to interviewers the better.
Too often people overlook their ability to “translate” technical FM language (whether that’s P&L forecasts or PPMs) into something a layperson can understand, but this is a powerful skill which will impress interviewers.
Always a tricky beast, controlling those with a vested interest in a project needs a lot of tact, determination and patience, which is why employers want to hear about it. They want to know any time you’ve had to manage upwards, cope with a client’s expectations or advised away from a proscribed course of action. Everyone understands managing stakeholders is hard but by explaining your methods and what results you got you’re going a long way towards selling your skill set.
You don’t have to be a Kaizen guru or Lean Six Sigma black belt to drive continuous improvement. Examples of times you’ve adjusted SOPs, changed suppliers to increase savings or increased occupancy rates all work. Any time you’ve increased efficiency or service delivery or cut downtime all show you enhancing your workplace. Don’t forget to talk in specifics by quoting figures of improvement to really show your value.
With all the talk of IoT and AI in the industry every employer is looking for IT literate staff as it provides a good base to train you from. You don’t need to be a Software Engineer here, just outlining the systems you use; from the Microsoft Office suite to CAFM or CAMM packages or any exposure you’ve had to building control systems (BMS) and the purpose you’ve used them for would be great.
The vast majority of people working in FM nowadays are constantly developing these competencies in their day to day role but being able to make the most of that during the recruitment process is a skill in itself.