BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management


Leverage the Talent Shortage

In today’s industry, a well-rounded candidate has more of an edge than ever before

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    We have come a long way from the property manager of the 1990s walking the building with a giant ring of keys on his belt. Many of the things we do today simply didn’t exist back then – controlling waste, managing electricity, implementing sustainability programs, and adopting new technologies. Back then, if you took out the trash and changed the light bulbs, you were hired.

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    To recruit young people today, a company must offer a dynamic future and demonstrate that it is a socially conscious, environmentally friendly organization that takes time to build and perfect the skills of its employees. It must have values, demonstrate growth opportunities, and speak the language of Gen Ys.

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    Younger candidates are looking for a company with a dynamic future that demonstrates that it is socially conscious, environmentally friendly, and takes the time to build and perfect the skills of its employees.

Choosing a Career Path
Successful candidates target companies that can help them meet their long-term goals.

“The smart managers will choose companies that will set a trajectory for the rest of their careers,” adds Fischer. “Employees should look for companies that will expose them to opportunities to build their skills. More than ever, employees need to be conscious of where they want their career to go. You can’t just get on the ‘lazy river’ in this industry and float. A far more effective approach is to look for problems and ask to be part of the solution. Ask what building or project needs the most help, and then be in the thick of it. Be the problem solver.”

Lastly, always remember that being in the right place at the right time cannot depend on luck. Whether you’re a statistics junkie or lean toward anecdotal evidence, it’s clear that the real estate industry will be hungry for talent in the coming years, and it’s up to you to prepare for that inevitability.

“Companies are on a continuous search for the ‘right person,’” Lee says, “and when the Boomers retire, they’ll leave a huge leadership void. Their knowledge, experience, and skills – developed over 25 to 40 years – cannot be easily replaced. Their relationships and insights cannot be handed off. So the time is now – for the real estate industry as a whole and for individuals who want to have a place in the industry over the next 5, 10, 15 years – to position ourselves before it’s too late.”


Boyd Zoccola is chair and chief-elected officer of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and executive vice president of Hokanson Companies, Inc. Learn more about BOMA at


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