As we enter the month of October, it marks six months since the entire world went into lockdown and COVID-19 was announced a pandemic. It’s fair to say that the last ten months have been tough on everyone and the markets/sectors which rely heavily on the face to face interaction with customers.
I have found as the months have gone by the Facilities Management sector in Ireland has demonstrated high levels of resilience, especially within Public sector contracts. You would expect this during a global pandemic as its essential that all critical sites can run 24/7 efficiently without any issues or downtime.
However, the last six months haven’t all been negative stories, although it has been challenging working remotely and relying on technology to keep us connected with colleagues, clients and candidates. I must say that technology has lived up to its expectations in keeping everyone connected.
FM recruitment in Ireland
Working from home and office space
Since the lockdown rules have been slightly lifted, I have seen that recruitment within offices has slowed down as there is a continued emphasis on employees working from home where they able to. With this working from home structure, many businesses will be looking at downsizing their estate portfolios or finding ways which they can utilise their office space better.
As a result of this new normal many Facilities Management service providers could possibly see a permanent change in how they deliver services to their clients, with some companies deciding that their offices won’t be opening until 2022. There are also many companies considering in-house FM models or restructuring their existing FM teams as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FM in the Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical sectors
There is an uplift in recruitment activity within the manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors; this is expected with there being a higher demand in the pharmaceutical industry to produce medication, COVID test kits and vaccinations for COVID-19.
Sectors highly impacted by COVID-19 in Ireland
As expected, there is going to be sectors which are directly impacted by lockdowns, closures and limiting of customers within their premises due to social distancing measures.
I have seen the hospitality, events, catering, leisure, travel, retail and sports sectors affected by the lockdowns and the social distancing measures. This has resulted in many redundancies and site closures not only in Ireland and Northern Ireland but across the rest of England.
FM in Data Centres and the Construction sector
Recruitment activity within data centres is currently experiencing a period of high activity. We are currently recruiting for a large amount of mechanical and electrical engineers and technical/hard services managers as well as admin and contract support roles to help oversee the delivery of the FM services.
The construction sector was expecting to experience a considerable slow down over the lockdown period. However, construction across data centres has only experienced a slowdown of 0-5%.
What are FM service providers doing?
Overall the overlook on the Facilities Management sector in Ireland is far more positive than it was a few months ago. There has been a lot of activity in the market for both employers and employees, and I have seen that employers are restructuring their teams across different sites and contracts to avoid redundancies.
Marlie Cummings is our Recruitment specialist for our Irish FM recruitment business. Marlie specialises in recruitment at all levels across all FM disciplines within Northern Ireland and Ireland.