Louise Walsh, director of Total Facilities Recruitment, who supplies most areas within FM including cleaning, catering, security, engineering, and front-of-house said:
“Post-Brexit and post-Covid, there have been a dramatic shift in that power dynamic. Candidates are more scarce and with the basics of supply and demand at play, salaries have been driven upwards.”
“Some areas have been harder hit than others in terms of candidate pools. Candidates have more choice available to them, they are in a position to demand more. Clients are understanding that they need to become more competitive, offer higher salaries even in cases where minimum wage would never have previously been breached.”
She said the industry had almost always seen:
“an abundance of candidates, particularly for roles that we cover such as cleaning”. But the impact from both Covid-19 and Brexit has “defined a new and very different labour market in which, even in those areas where candidates were previously fruitful in their availability, there is now far less labour available”.
“Unemployment rates are extremely low, many candidates are unable to work due to the legal impact of enforced isolation periods, many left the country during Covid and because of Brexit. In effect, supply has reduced, and demand has returned to its pre-pandemic levels, leaving a huge shortfall in candidates.”
Matt McNally, managing consultant at FM hiring firm Catch-22 said;
"This struggle is across the whole market though from finding capable and committed cleaners to senior Facilities Managers and directors.”
“Sourcing reliable cleaning staff is currently an issue - particularly within education, he says. "We are finding sourcing cleaning staff within the education sector for service providers operating in education a real struggle,"
"This is because...shifts for cleaners in schools are often short. There are requirements for DBS checks and some organisations say candidates are not able to start with the check in progress so have to wait 4 to 8 weeks for these to come back again means we lose out on the candidates as they find elsewhere during this time."