Attracting Young Talent to Facilities Management

Recruiting Young Professionals Into FM

facilities managementAccording to a report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) surveying 200 STEM students, only 1 percent plan to enter facilities management. This is an issue, given that the average FM is 49 years old. If companies don’t make a concentrated effort to reach out to millenials and educate them on FM being a viable career option, the field will soon experience a worker shortage, and companies will have to deal with the fallout of lacking the expertise that FMs bring to the table. Therefore it’s key that companies start promoting FM and tapping into the young workforce. But where to start? Below are some ideas.

Know what millenials want

What do today’s professionals want? Chris Pesek, executive vice president and director of integrated facility management for JLL's Americas Corporate Solutions group, recently answered this question in FMJ. “The typical millennial,” he writes, “values jobs that offer constant learning opportunities, a clear career path and an enjoyable, rewarding workplace.” FMs should draw a line between these three things and their own field when recruiting new hires.

Know what schools offer FM programs

One of the best places to mine talent is a school that already offers an FM program. Cornell University offers both bachelors and masters degrees in FM. Temple University, Missouri State University and Wentworth Institute of Technology all offer a B.S. in facilities management. Rochester Institute of Technology, Arizona State University and Georgia Institute of Technology offer masters programs. (For a more complete list of schools with FM programs, visit the Helbling & Associates blog.)

Connect with local universities

While schools that offer FM degrees are good places to search for new talent, they’re certainly not the only places to look. You can also connect with local universities and community colleges and tap into its resources to find recruits. Speak with the school’s office of career services and ask how you can list job openings on the school’s jobs database. Ask about the career fairs they offer students and see if you can set up a booth at the event. Colleges will often have professionals speak about their careers to students who are majoring in certain subject areas. Find out if you could hold or join a talk for students interested in STEM careers.

Offer internship opportunities

FMs who want to expand their teams with younger talent should consider hiring an intern or two. Why? According to Pesek, 76 percent of young adults use internships to help them determine a career path. Thus it’s important to provide a pathway into facilities management by allowing students to get hands-on experience.

To get started, think about some ways you can expose the intern to the world of FM; what tasks do you need help with? What areas would you like to focus on? An ideal internship will give the intern a solid introduction to the field, while a poor one will leave them with little exposure or practical takeaways.

Facilities management is an interesting and diverse field, but less than half of the students surveyed by JLL have even heard of it. Facilities managers need to launch outreach and recruiting efforts to change this statistic; otherwise, many young people who may thrive in FM could miss out on a good career fit entirely, and the field itself will suffer from the gap left by older professionals.

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