At the start of June, 300 North attended the annual IWFM Conference. This year’s focus was on the theme “Agents of Change”. We were delighted to attend to meet many of our colleagues in person again, and to see the keynotes and guest speakers who promoted the good in the profession and the way organisations in the sector can move to push FM forwards to meet our various goals and targets on sustainability, the future of work, and innovation, amongst other things.

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300 North was invited to the Facilities Show to discuss how recruiters could tackle skill gaps and shortages across the Facilities Management sector, how that would impact the industry going forward and what can be done to solve it. The panel, titled “Turbulent Times: FM’s Best Upskilling Opportunity?”, was chaired by Mark Whittaker (Chair, IWFM and General Manager, Thomson FM), and had Conrad Dinsmore (Head of Projects, CBRE), Sofie Hooper (Head of Policy, IWFM), Andrew Hulbert (Managing Director, Pareto FM) and Theresa Lamarque (Director of Strategic Partnerships, 300 North), as speakers.

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For National Careers Week, we interviewed Mark Whittaker to spotlight FM careers and discuss how people are moving into and within the sector. The FM workforce comes from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, with many falling into the sector or not having clarity over the breadth of the opportunities available in it. In this interview we asked Mark about the jobs he’s had, his entry into the FM sector, his work with IWFM over the last 14 years, and how he thinks the sector has changed.

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2022 is shaping up to be another interesting year in recruitment for the FM sector. After the uncertainty of the last two years, many are hoping that 2022 will hold more stability for the market and that markets will move back into the growth phase after a period of re-stabilisation. At 300 North we have seen a general upturn in applications and expressions of interest in roles, as well as market data showing an increase in registrations to job boards in the last few months. This increase from people wishing to change roles will need to continue for some time before the candidate deficit is resolved and there are as many people looking for jobs as there are vacant positions, but it shows a move towards more normal levels.

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What is Company Branding?

Standing out to candidates is all about ensuring that your company is visible among many others when someone outside of the business or the FM sector is looking for a new role.

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The Invisible Group

International Pride month has just passed. It’s a time when people talk about and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. This June we talked to LGBTQIA+ people about their experiences and did some research into the challenges LGBTQIA+ people face in the workplace, and how FM organisations are creating more safe and diverse spaces for them to thrive at work.

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Having robust and publicised policies on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) will attract new and younger talent to FM companies. Many young people want to work for a company with a great sense of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and good track record on employing people from all backgrounds. FM companies seem to be recognising this, as according to new research from Sodexo, “[o]rganisations that have inadequate policies on the environment and diversity and inclusion [are] at greatest risk”, of losing business. In fact, “92 percent of those polled said they now vet suppliers on their social values and impact, and 75 percent warn they would be put off by a prospective supplier that did not publish information about their social values”.

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