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Survey show static salaries in 2012

10 May 2012

Once again we have worked with Hays Facilities Management to bring you the Salary Survey 2012. Karen Nodwell, operational director for Hays, comments on the results of the survey.

The landscape of facilities management hasn’t changed vastly over the last 12 months and despite unemployment rate increases there are signs that hope is returning to the market. For the sixth year running, Hays Facilities Management, the leading recruiting expert, provides insight into the priorities of talented jobseekers in its annual salary and benefits guide.

Overall, salaries have remained static over the last 12 months across all sectors and regions as the current economic climate is still dictating the market. Employers’ expectations of job responsibilities have increased despite salaries remaining unchanged, making candidates remain in existing roles. This lack of competition in the market has resulted in the static salary banding we have seen in the last 12 months. Usually more candidate competition makes it easier for employers to benchmark their salary and benefit offering, thereby increasing salaries to encourage more applicants.

Only 17% of candidates that Hays surveyed received a pay increase last year that was in line with their expectations, with only eight percent saying they received more than they anticipated. Three quarters said their salary increase was below their expectations or they’ve not had a salary rise at all over the last year. Looking ahead, an optimistic 95% of FM professionals expect to see their salary increase or stay the same in the coming year.

Nearly two thirds (61%) of candidates say they’re under more pressure at work than they were a year ago, reporting that while workloads have increased pay has not kept pace. Most employees (59%) in facilities management reported earning up to £34,000 with 41% earning over £35,000.

We would predict salaries to remain unchanged in the short term, but expect a slight increase in all areas by the end of the year. Although the market is in a much healthier position than this time last year, there is still caution among employers to increase salaries.

Regional variations
Salaries and benefits have remained static in London and the South East for the second year running. However, performance related bonuses and individual benefits (such as child care vouchers or flexible working hours) have increased.

Employers are more specific about what they are looking for in candidates including those with expertise in total FM. Those with a technical qualification or commercial knowledge around multi-site operations are particularly sought after. Being able to add more value with multiple skills will ensure a higher salary when embarking on a new job. Roles have become increasingly sophisticated and this will drive the skill sets of candidates to become increasingly diversified.

In the North West, the professional services sector is picking up, particularly with 'Hard FM' or 'Technical Service' roles fuelling demand. The imminent relocation of some of the BBC’s operations to Salford may also have a knock-on effect on service businesses moving to or within the area, and requiring FM support. Major FM providers continue to provide the full range of FM services to large corporate clients in the city centres as many seek to achieve 'self-delivery', with the knock on effect of these companies needing FMs with a plethora of skills managing both hard and soft services.

Pay rates have been unchanged in the North East, which has been caused by the continuing redundancies in the public sector providing a large pool of FM and estate professionals. Although remaining very challenging, the FM marketplace in Scotland is still holding its own with a steady demand for qualified professionals from the contracting side of the industry. This has come about from an increased need to source the best candidates to assist with the ever-increasing demands of their clients in the face of tougher financial restraints on contracts.

In the Midlands the FM market has remained reasonably consistent, however there has been an increase in competition for roles rather than a lack of demand in the market. The demand for client side FM's has increased in the last year, with organisations focussing on improving their in house knowledge.

Around half (54%) of FM professionals have joined their company pension scheme, although only 10% say that this is important when looking for a new role. Three in 10 (31%) either drive a company car or receive a car allowance, yet only 8% consider this an important factor when looking for a new job.

The trend towards wider adoption of flexible working arrangements in British industry is finding its way through to facilities management; 38% say they have the opportunity to work flexible hours, an option that 16% say is important when changing jobs. Meanwhile, a quarter (26%) get paid overtime and 30% get time off in lieu if they have to work longer than contracted hours.

Career development
Employers will still hold out for the right person, with FM qualifications such as BIFM being an absolute must for many. A heightened focus on health and safety means NEBOSH and IOSH certificates are required.

Looking broadly at the sector, 82% of the candidates Hays surveyed say that qualifications are ‘fairly’ or ‘very important’ for career progression. Therefore providing support to those FM professionals who want to pursue professional qualifications can be a highly effective recruitment and retention tool. Talented employees will favour employers who encourage and reward them for their hard work and commitment to the organisation.

Public and private sector
Salary levels are still the most common difference between the public and private sector with the private sector still offering comprehensively larger salaries and benefits. The working culture and the perception of more responsibility also help to attract candidates to the private sector. The phasing out of the contributory pension scheme, which was the main draw in the public sector, has reduced candidates interest.

As market confidence picks up opportunities are arising in the private sector, many of these organisations are looking for new hires for in-house FM teams and some are looking to outsource the function completely, creating job opportunities.

Job satisfaction
Under two thirds (59%) of candidates say that interesting and engaging work is a top priority when considering a job offer, while 59% would move more for job security. Over half of respondents (55%) say that a minimum of 25 days annual leave would influence their decision to accept an offer, while 52% say that a higher salary is a priority.

Less than half (46%) of candidates surveyed said they would recommend their current employer to a friend, with 29% saying that they wouldn’t at all. Three quarters say that they have a good or OK work-life balance, while 26% describe their work-life balance as bad, and 48% say it’s worsened in the last year. Over a quarter (26%) of those who are changing jobs are doing so to improve their work-life balance – yet the majority (58%) say they’d stay put if their employer addressed this issue.

When asked about cost cutting programmes that their organisation had introduced, temporary layoffs (75%), pay freezes (53%) and reduced bonuses (39%) were most common. 86% of candidates they would consider working a shorter week if that option was available to them with 75% happy to work reduced hours. 63% said they felt either very or fairly secure in their current role.

The future
The FM sector is set to keep growing albeit at a very steady pace. Sustainability will continue to be a key issue, and we would expect to see innovation around utilities and their efficiencies. We also expect to see an increase in employee benefits. As the economy shows signs of recovery salaries and increased employee benefits (working from home, child care vouchers, flexible working hours) will start to improve to attract the right talent.

This makes it all the more important for employers to make a concerted, collaborative effort to promote FM careers to potential new entrants. Lack of understanding about job roles in facilities management is the main reason (41%) why people are not entering the industry. This in turn is having an impact on the talent coming into the industry and could explain why employers are struggling to recruit entry-level candidates.

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