ThinkFM Conference 2014 London

Tuesday 13th May 2014 saw to one of the major FM events of the year; ThinkFM 2014 which was held at the fabulous Kings Place in London.  This was Foundation Recruitment’s first time attending the event and we must say it was well organised, efficient, well attended and made for some thought provoking and interesting debates.

The energy throughout the day remained at a high and it was fantastic to see so many peers joining together to discuss what are some of the hottest topics within the Facilities Management industry.  The day saw to some great presentations from the likes of Peter Cheese CIPD discussing how to get the best out of your people in the workplace, Oona King discussing how adaptive leadership can help make your business thrive, Roy Lilley and the status of the UK NHS service, the success of the first public sector tri-borough contract, Esther McVey’s talk on employment in the FM industry and Lord Redesdale discussing energy efficiency.

It was interesting to note that from a recruitment point of view there is a lot more being done to try and attract young people to the industry with help from the government and their youth employment schemes.  The attraction mostly stemming from the fact that FM makes up 10% of the employment marketplace and showcases a clear path for progression.  In addition, it was also noted that with the increased pressures on the built environment with regards to sustainability and energy efficiency, soon there will be an increased need in candidates with energy relevant qualifications and organisations will  be looking to employ Energy Managers to help corporations achieve the targets set by government  and the European commission.

In addition to the above, it was also noted that there are not enough women within the Technical FM arena.  In our years of recruiting within this industry we have placed a handful of female candidates that come from a technical engineering background.  The question around Women in FM was posed to Esther McVey and hopefully the invitation for the BIFM to get more involved with the government in this area  will help to improve the communication and awareness to women of attractive career options within technical FM.

Overall, the major developments from the day came from the announcement of the collaboration between BIFM and CIPD and in addition, Esther McVey’s invitation to the BIFM to have more of a voice in what the government can do to help the industry.  These are both fantastic developments for a professional body which is aiming to raise the profile of Facilities Management.  Hopefully this will go a long way in stimulating other professionals in the industry to take an active voice in helping to raise this awareness.

One of the most notable observations from the conference was in respect of the Farrell Review (http://www.farrellreview.co.uk/) which was produced to review architecture and the built environment. From this review it was established that there was no contribution at all from the Facilities Management profession in this area.  This was received with great surprise and shame from most of the attendees on the day and I think the most important message people took away from this is that we need to act now!  If the Facilities Management profession is going to raise it’s profile and demonstrate it’s importance in the part it plays within the built environment as opposed to being seen as a disposable commodity and an expense; we need to be proactive; we need to start collaborating with architects, construction companies and other bodies within the built environment.  The increased importance and benefits of BIM should go a long way in supporting why this collaboration is so important.

This is just a snapshot of what was covered on the day and we found it highly beneficial to be part of such a fantastic event, not to forget seeing the launch of FMTV.  If you would like to discuss any of the matters above relating to the recruitment needs of your organisation; we would be happy to discuss this with you further.

As a final note we would strongly recommend you to all set time aside in your diaries to attend next year, you will not be disappointed and we will look forward to seeing you there.

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