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More jobs but fewer skilled people to fill them

15 July 2010

A skills gap is revealed as FRL reports that it is increasingly hard to source high calibre individuals for positions across the spectrum of FM

The results of the 2010 annual salary survey released by FRL Recruitment this week shows an average salary increase of just over 3 percent, but while more vacancies are becoming available, the number of people with relevant skills for the available vacancies is diminishing. 
The economic downturn has dramatically affected the results of this year’s salary survey over last years. The results indicate a polarisation of remuneration with some individuals enjoying above average increase in remuneration and others either having pay freezes or seen pay reductions. These are obviously aligned as to whether an individual is employed within the private or public sectors and in an executive or operative role. The
majority of the executives saw either pay freezes or reductions, whilst middle management saw above average increases and operatives saw minimal rises.
Overall the average increase in salaries was 3.01% comprised of the following:
• Private Sector 3.36%
• Public Sector 1.2%
• Executive and FM roles 3.38%
• Hard Services Roles 1.86%
• Soft Services roles 2.0%
The average salary level for all respondents in the June 2009 survey was £40,277. The average salary level for all respondents in June 2010 was £41,427.
The volume of new vacancies being registered with FRL is now at the highest monthly level since January 2009. This trend is being replicated with other recruitment organisations and represents a significant upturn in recruitment activity.
However with an increase in the number of vacancies becoming available, there is an issue of quality. Whilst there is still a high level of people seeking employment in the UK, the number of people with the relevant skills for the available vacancies is diminishing. It is becoming increasingly hard to source high calibre individuals for positions across the entire spectrum of roles. The key roles where there are shortages are:
• Business development – with individuals who have a proven track record of securing contracts and negotiating at main board level.
• M&E Engineering competencies – such as Controls engineers / BMS engineers / Air conditioning and refrigeration engineers.
• Energy solutions specialists – Individuals with a true grip on how to provide innovative carbon reduction schemes and energy efficiency solutions.
These shortages have been illustrated in the survey results where these positions have seen above average percentile remuneration increases.
With these shortages, there is pressure on organisations to increase remuneration to attract individuals from existing roles. The traditional percentile increase that individuals enjoyed when changing employment was between 10- 15 percent. In recent months, FRL Recruitment has seen several individuals accept offers of permanent employment where the percentile increase has been 25-30 percent!
The overall picture presented by this set of results is that there is still tremendous tolerances between disciplines remuneration within the FM industry. What is evident though is that remuneration levels are becoming more reliant upon bonus systems to keep staff motivated. Business Development executives are having to produce more secured business to attain the income levels desired.
As the FM industry exploits the opportunities for further outsourcing and the challenges of the deficit reduction programme, there will be an increased requirement for skilled individuals to meet the needs of business. Many industry leaders are promoting the need to invest in training and developing existing staff, quoting numerous studies that prove that businesses that do this recover quicker and to a greater extent than those that do not invest in their staff.
Other key data from the survey illustrated:
• the average commuting time to the normal place of work is 55 minutes.
• the biggest issue concerning their employment was stated as the life balance between work and home. The second highest stated issue was continued fears over job security.
• FMs worked on average 46.3 hours per week.
The next 12 months will be interesting to see how the FM market copes with the increased opportunities; squeeze on margins and lack of skilled competent individuals.
FRL would like to thank all the respondents for taking the time in completing the survey.
This survey was conducted during April / May 2010. Consultants from FRL Recruitment (FRL) spoke to current candidates and companies plus emails were sent to registered candidates and client contacts of FRL, inviting them to participate in the survey. Over 10,000 invitations were sent; vacancies and job and person specifications reviewed. FRL received an excellent 18.2 percent response rate.
This year FRL reviewed 33 different FM disciplines. 19 of these related to Executive and Facilities Managers roles; nine of these related purely to Hard Services (Building Service Maintenance) Personnel and five  of these related to purely soft services (front of house / administrative) roles.
The full survey results are available Free of charge to companies that FRL are a preferred supplier to or if not then at £19.95 plus VAT.

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