The instability of the last year has caused many candidates to stay in their roles for longer than expected, or suddenly move jobs during the pandemic, causing an industry wide candidate shortage.
As businesses reopen, FM companies are greatly increasing their hiring, leading to a candidate-driven market, where the number of job openings vastly outnumber the available talent.
Organisations are having to market themselves to be considered by prospective talent. Candidates are looking for many offerings from their next employer, including a more democratic approach to procurement.
Some candidates have expressed a desire to be able to go directly to the supply chain and make their own financial decisions in their jobs, working within a flat structure. This allows them to have autonomy over their workflow and better engage with suppliers, rather than being restricted by procurement deals with little financial oversight or influence.
A flat procurement structure cannot always be adopted by larger organisations, but they can go some way towards it, particularly by including team and project managers in the process to account for a more nuanced and technical approach.
Certain larger FM companies, however, do take this approach, and empower their employees with those decisions, whilst also supporting local and SME businesses, rather than taking on national suppliers. The procurement process becomes a team effort with suppliers working as part of the company rather than being a distant force outside of it.
Empowering employees to take on procurement relationships with suppliers and building rapport with them makes them the single point of contact, which can be extremely valuable to the people on both sides of the deals.
However, owning and delivering the process, and building and maintaining the relationships to ensure the daily running of the procurement strategy can be stressful, and not everyone is willing to be held accountable. It may be something that new hires ask for in the recruitment process and managers will have to assess whether someone can take on that additional level of responsibility.
Emma Thornton is marketing manager at FM recruiter 300 North