Two of our Directors, Michael Hewlett and Ben Duffill were delighted to be invited to present at the recent AUDE FM Conference at the LSE in May. The theme was ‘Careers in Facilities Management’, and it was great to hear from so many FM professionals from across higher education and the common themes around staff retention, candidate attraction, and presenting HE as a viable career move.
Michael spoke about how individuals can help forge a successful career within FM having recruited in the sector since 1998. Areas included the importance of CPD and the various membership routes across the IWFM, RICS, and CIBSE. He also discussed the vital importance of developing some of the core skills required for the modern leader in FM which included change management, leading transformation, and innovation within delivery models.
Ben covered how universities can compete with the private sector in attracting high-calibre professionals, which included focusing on an engaging recruitment day and making the process as streamlined as possible. He explored how HEI’s can demonstrate the breadth and diversity of the estate through innovative candidate packs which portray the uniqueness of a university campus. He also talked about some of the cultural differences between the public and private sectors and the widespread acceptance of hybrid working in the sector which isn’t always found elsewhere.
It’s clear that the sector is facing salary inflation and higher education will be challenged to demonstrate the wider benefits of a career within a university that goes above and beyond the remuneration. With an effective partnership between the HR team and/or search partner, in addition to the hiring manager, this can certainly be achieved.
The passion for career development amongst the attendees was evident and higher education is in a strong place with so many professionals so focused on ‘making a difference’.