Every year the number of open positions for facilities managers grows, but too often these openings go unfilled. Despite increasing demand for professionals capable of running facilities, the pool of qualified candidates is steadily getting narrower. According to FMLink, this worldwide personnel shortage throughout facilities is mainly caused by a decreasing number of students entering an FM track and earning an accredited degree. Because of this growing concern, individuals within FM are calling for something to be done to spark an interest in facilities management among the student population.
Some experts believe that the industry's struggle to find new talented prospects is brought on by cultural factors. Throughout the Western world, and particularly in the United States, youths have little to no exposure to the facilities management field. FMLink points out that public schools do not have any curriculum components that would teach students about this profession. More often than not, they also fail to suggest FM as a possible career option to younger individuals thinking about what they are going to do with their lives. If students are unaware that facilities management is a viable career option for them, it is unlikely that they will choose to pursue that career path in the future. As a result, many FM employers are unable to find the entry-level professionals that they need.
Facilities Management field takes action to better prepare future professionals
According to LexisNexis Legal Newsroom, a Global Strategy Group report found that a fair proportion of employers do not feel that the nation's education system has prepared students for the professional world, finding that they are missing key skills like critical thinking and collaboration. They recognize that there is an insufficient pipeline to educate, attract and encourage youths to pursue facilities management studies. As a result, those within the industry are pushing to make changes. In order to fix this problem, they plan to increase their marketing efforts and expand the availability of FM degree program offerings. This will hopefully prompt more students to chase an FM education and gain necessary instruction and skills, which will allow the growing demand for viable facilities management professionals to be met. For the time being, however, given the dearth of experienced applicants, many organizations are filling their open roles with individuals who need to learn their trade on the job.
For those entering the facilities management industry without a degree or prior training thanks to less than optimal training in school, technology can help provide a way to create and maintain sustainable facilities and ensure that teams keep appropriate documentation. With user-friendly computerized maintenance management systems like FacilityDude's MaintenanceEdge and InventoryEdge, facilities managers can effectively monitor and coordinate all of their maintenance management functions, ensuring a speedy response to maintenance requests and consistency throughout their preventative maintenance programs. More experienced team members can help lead new hires by including information about best practices in work orders, and newer employees still learning the job can check equipment histories and historical work order data to more easily deduce the solutions to problems.
Though the FM field will have to work hard to resolve its personnel shortage problem, staff members who are currently manning facilities shouldn't have to. By implementing a comprehensive CMMS, they can successfully complete their tasks and keep operations going without the hassle.