How to Attract Millennials to Facility Management

by Elizabeth Dukes on August 27, 2018

Every millennial has an individual set of expectations and requirements for a potential job. But two of the most common denominators are collaboration and creativity.

Millennials want a position where they can work together with colleagues from different backgrounds who have diverse skill sets. Millennials also want a role that offers plenty of chances to be creative and innovative.

Fortunately, a career in modern facility management can meet all of these criteria. Unfortunately, most millennials don’t understand the full scope of facility management. And since facilities managers across the country are retiring in greater numbers each year, it’s imperative that employers not only build millennial awareness of facility management but also prove it’s a worthwhile career path.

Why Attracting Millennials to Facility Management is Difficult

While 43 percent of college students have heard of facility management, nearly 50 percent can’t actually define what the role entails. 

One of the biggest reasons for this unfamiliarity is that until this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) didn’t recognize “facilities manager” as its own occupation. Instead, the position was classified under different categories — for example, “First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers” or “Administrative Services Manager.” And if an occupation is not listed in the BLS, colleges and universities won’t offer coursework or certifications related to the position.

Now facilities management has its own Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code. As a result, the number of educational institutions offering facility management-related curricula should increase as more college students are introduced to the industry. However, in order to take advantage of this, employers looking to fill facility management roles can’t passively wait for millennials to come to them. They need to start actively pursue potential facilities managers if they aren’t already.

The Intersection of Millennials and Facility Management

Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the experts at JLL created a Hierarchy of Millennials’ Career Fulfillment:

JLL identified seven things the average Millennial needs from their job, focusing on three in particular:

  1. Challenge. The opportunity to develop their professional skills and make a positive impact on the world with a challenging (but rewarding) career.
  2. Growth. The potential to move upward through the organization and increase their value as a professional.
  3. Ways of Working. A workplace that is supportive of their individual talents and encourages them to be creative.

The first is an intrinsic part of modern facility management. As more organizations embrace a digital workplace and incorporate smart technology into their buildings, millennials in facility management roles will have more opportunities to get hands-on experience with pioneering technologies. This is especially important because millennials value innovation. Seventy-three percent say they want to work in an innovative field, and 70 percent report they want to have a position where they use cutting-edge technology.

An organization that understands the value of its workforce in general and the members of its facility management team in particular will have no problem satisfying the other two items on the above list. When the executive team embraces modern facility management, the natural result is a workplace with plenty of opportunities for millennials to grow as professionals and an environment that encourages innovation.

The Takeaway For Companies Hiring Facilities Managers

Attracting millennials to facility management positions isn’t just a matter of putting a job posting on your website or a job board. You need to approach millennial recruitment as you would any marketing campaign. Use all available channels to first educate millennial professionals about the facility management industry. Then, demonstrate why millennials are so well-suited to jobs in facility management and what’s in it for them. 


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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