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Facilities Management

Hotspots of skills in demand

Facilities Manager

New Zealand’s facilities management job market will remain active this half. The nation’s building boom in recent years has led to a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced staff, particularly Building and Maintenance Managers in the commercial and retail sectors.

HVAC Maintenance Technicians are needed in response to the strong construction sector too. Higher rates are attracting these candidates out of the traditional service sector. Maintenance Electricians are needed for similar reasons.

Demand will remain high for Facilities Managers across the country, but particularly in Wellington and Auckland where employers look for candidates with proven project management experience, including upgrades and refurbishments. With a large portion of buildings undergoing strengthening or refurbishment in Wellington, proven project management experience is sought. Candidates must also have a strong understanding of the local market and experience dealing directly with sub-contractors.

Senior and Intermediate Facilities Managers are required in response to a strong leasing market. As a result, building owners need a professional to look after their building.

Demand is also high for Facilities Managers who understand the full workings of a large building and can manage large OPEX and CAPEX budgets.

Facilities Coordinators who can step up and perform some duties at the facilities manager level if required are sought too. Consequently, employers look for candidates with knowledge of Building Warrant of Fitness and building management systems.

FM Engineers are in short supply due to the multi-skilled nature of the role. Employers look for good overall building services experience, however there is a shortage of such professionals.

Works Planners are also needed by large public and private institutions, which reflects the increase and complexity of programs of works.

Experienced Helpdesk Coordinators and Administrators who can use facilities management building and financial software are in growing demand.

In terms of soft skills, good management and leadership skills are valued. Employers look for candidates with a proven ability to build positive staff engagement, reduce turnover and nurture a positive culture. This need will only increase as skill shortages intensify.

Salary trends

Despite demand, salaries remain stable for Facilities Managers, Facilities Coordinators and Helpdesk Coordinators. Instead of using salary to compete for the top talent, employers are attempting to attract candidates by promoting their consistency of work and career development pathways.

Jobseeker advice

Jobseekers are expected to understand local facilities management trends. One is new compliance and health and safety obligations. Another is how to manage costs to maintain and upgrade a property due to continuous regulatory demands and material and labour costs.

Employers also look for candidates with additional skills or a point of difference, such as IT design or building knowledge.

In addition, employers want staff who can add value to their business, such as through a deep understanding of new regulations or technology, or who can manage and minimise costs or run projects efficiently with minimal disturbance to tenants. Those who can best manage a property upgrade considering continuous regulatory demands and material and labour costs are also valued, as is IT design or building knowledge.

When preparing your CV, mention not only the name of the organisation you worked for but your achievements in your role. Employers also regularly ask about the size of the operational maintenance budget you managed. In addition, employers want to know how many and what type of CAPEX projects you have managed.

List all FM, financial and operational software you are familiar with. Many systems are used in this industry and therefore familiarity with as many as possible will aid your job search.

Add examples to your CV to demonstrate your capabilities. Understand New Zealand qualification requirements. Tailor your CV to reflect the role you are applying for.

Finally, the Facilities Management Association of New Zealand is lobbying for a formal professional qualification to match those offered in other countries. This will be an interesting development to watch.