Attracting Talent & Expertise For The Next Generation FM Leaders

By embracing the changing dynamics of the workforce and actively addressing their needs, the facility management industry can bridge the talent gap


The facility management industry faces a looming talent crisis, as a changing workforce landscape clashes with outdated perceptions of the profession. A recent panel discussion at the BW Facility Management Conference, moderated by Chandresh Natu – AVP, Procurement at Cognizant, and including leaders such as Sanjay Mehta – Executive Director of Workplace Enablement at Grant Thornton Bharat, and Sudeep Ghoshal – SVP of Administration & Infrastructure at Reliance Capital, painted a stark picture of a widening gap between employer expectations and younger generations' aspirations.

"Gone are the days when simply offering a job sufficed," stated Natu. "Today's talent seeks purpose, growth, and a work-life balance that aligns with their values." This sentiment resonated throughout the panel, highlighting a stark shift from the traditionally blue-collar image of facility management.

Mehta, emphasising the need for a modern approach, remarked, "We need to move beyond the 'janitorial' stereotype and showcase the strategic impact that facility management holds within organisations." Creating clear career paths and demonstrating the positive impact on the company's success were identified as key strategies to attract talent.

But attracting individuals is just one hurdle. Retaining them requires fostering a nurturing environment. "Building a psychologically safe space where people feel comfortable taking risks and expressing themselves is crucial," stressed Ghoshal. 

The panel unanimously agreed on the importance of ongoing training and development, with Arun Sharma (AVP & Head Administration at Infogain India) advocating for "a blend of on-the-job mentorship, industry conferences and online courses to equip individuals with the latest skills."

The discussion also navigated the growing emphasis on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors within facility management. "Staying abreast of these evolving trends is critical for professionals to remain relevant," said Ajay Randhawaa, SVP & Group Head of Facility Management at Sterlite Power. However, a significant hurdle remains: the lack of dedicated facility management courses in India, hindering talent development.

As the dialogue concluded, a call to action resonated: collaboration is key. "Industry leaders, educational institutions, and government bodies must work together to address the talent gap," Natu asserted. "By making facility management roles more challenging, meaningful and future-proof, we can attract and retain the talent needed to navigate the ever-changing landscape."

The facility management industry stands at a crossroads. By embracing the changing dynamics of the workforce and actively addressing their needs, it can bridge the talent gap and secure a future filled with skilled, motivated professionals who are empowered to make a positive impact.

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