By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
The facilities management job description has changed a lot in the last decade. It makes sense why. Facilities themselves have come a long way from the humdrum offices of yesteryear. Today, they take many forms, requiring facilities managers to be a Jack or Jill of all trades.
Understanding the full scope of what’s expected of a facility manager requires a long, hard look at a job description for one. The skills and qualifications paint a picture of an individual ready to play a significant role in everyday business operations. Similarly, the duties and expectations outlined demand a willingness to elevate the entire workplace—all facets of operations. It’s about creating a workplace that supports workers and furthers the company’s mission.
Whether you’re writing a facilities management job description or getting ready to apply for open positions, it’s best to get familiar with what a modern one looks like. Here’s what the job market demands today.
Skills usually sit atop facilities job descriptions and duties. They’re one of the first things listed, and for good reason. Without a robust set of skills to fall back on, a facility manager hire won’t be able to do what’s expected of them. The right skill set goes a long way in managing the modern workplace.
In-demand capabilities for facility managers are usually a mix of hard and soft skills. There are some things a candidate absolutely needs to know—like how to manage vendor contracts and collect bids on special projects. But there are also skills with give and take. Your ideal candidate might be someone with experience in the Internet of Things (IoT), but someone with peripheral expertise or the willingness to learn may be just as good.
The skills in a facility manager job posting require careful consideration to attract the right candidates. Take a look at a few of the most essential and why they’re firm prerequisites:
- Interpersonal communication skills are necessary for communicating with employees, upper management, vendors, and guests through email, phone, text, and in-person.
- Strong analytical skills power decision-making in the modern office. Big Data plays a crucial role in workplace management, making analytical capabilities a premier trait.
- Leadership skills are the hallmark of a good workplace manager. Taking charge on facility projects and coordinating across teams are both common occurrences.
- Long-term planning skills help a good facility manager see the forest from the trees and make holistic decisions about facilities with long-term benefits in mind.
The list goes on and on, but these represent the most important skills a candidate needs to bring to the table. Prior experience as a facility manager, familiarity with FM software, and knowledge of the IoT are all positives, as well. Keep in mind that the expectations for a facility manager set the stage for the skills required.
What are the duties of a facilities manager? That depends on many factors. Company size, number of employees, building locations, and management goals are all pivotal in dictating what’s expected of a facility manager. Most generally, facility managers cover four key workplace aspects:
- People: Ensuring employees are properly accommodated in a workplace that supports their needs and expectations.
- Assets and technology: Monitoring and managing the major assets and technologies within the workplace to ensure maximum return on investment.
- Building and landscaping: Ensuring the building is maintained, improved, and managed, and that vendor partnerships are managed.
- Processes: Setting up and improving processes that facilitate everyday operations—from maintenance requests to room reservations.
Within these core areas are exponential job duties and tasks. And while many directly correlate to the running of your facilities, it’s up to every business to determine expectations for facilities managers as they relate to greater goals. Examples include getting an IoT system and data collection system up and running, or transitioning to an integrated facilities management model.
Accreditations and certifications
Almost every professional practice has some form of accreditation or certification. Facility management is no different.
Job posts targeting distinguished candidates have callouts for certification by reputable organizations, including the Facility Management Accreditation Commission (FMAC) arm of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Some of the most common prerequisites include certification as a:
- Facility Management Professional (FMP)
- Certified Facility Manager (CFM)
- Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP)
- Facilities Management Certificate (FMC)
Often not included in job postings, but just as valuable, are accreditations from the Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). All play a vital role in forward-thinking facilities management.
Facilities management for the future
When looking at or writing job descriptions, ask yourself: What does a facilities maintenance manager do? Understanding a facility manager’s fundamental objectives helps you think critically about the information contained within a good job post.
In many ways, facility management is a continuously evolving profession. The job description of today may be different than one from a decade ago, and it’s likely to change again in another 10 years. Whether you’re hiring or trying to get hired, keep this in mind: be smart about establishing a forward-thinking mindset for the position and prepare to adapt as commercial real estate and workforce trends change.
Keep reading: What is a facilities manager? It spans all of these.