Coping with the Facility Management Skilled Labor Shortage

There is a facility management staffing shortage happening now. Although the number of available positions in the industry is growing, there is serious concern about finding skilled labor to fill the roles. Not only do employers need to attract new staff to meet the expanding demand, but they also need to think about the all of the vacancies that occur as older workers enter retirement. The average age of facility management workers is 51 years old.

The labor shortage is not just happening in the United States, but worldwide. The pool of workers is down due to younger workers pursuing careers that they perceive as higher status with lower unemployment rates and competition. According to a recent survey by the Manpower Group, 45 percent of all employers say they can’t find the skilled workers they need, and skilled trades ranks as the hardest to find skill set of all.

Unfortunately, this skilled labor shortage has led to many companies putting off regular facility system maintenance. These delays can cause many issues, including:

  • Increased energy consumption and higher energy bills. When equipment isn’t maintained, it often gets filled with dirt and dust, running less efficiently. According to an article by the Building Efficiency Initiative, poor maintenance can increase energy use by 30 to 60 percent, meaning companies can also expect much higher bills.
  • Higher equipment cost. Without regular preventative maintenance, equipment is more likely to breakdown and require costly repairs or even replacement.
  • Equipment not working effectively. Buildings may run too hot or too cold because the mechanical equipment isn’t functioning properly. This can make the building occupants uncomfortable, which can also lead to tenants not renewing their leases.

Although it is easy to overlook when understaffed, regular maintenance of facility systems not only saves money but also ensures safety.

So, what should facility managers do if they aren’t able to hire the skilled talent that they need? The best options involve working with skilled talent from a third party. Whether this means having someone brought in to train your existing internal team, or collaborating with them to handle specific things such as preventative maintenance, both can bring great benefits. RK Service offers both of these options and is happy to work with companies to figure out the right combination of training and maintenance to fit their needs.