Staffing scalability is a challenge for many companies, and one area in particular that’s difficult to properly staff is facility maintenance — often because businesses aren’t quite sure who to hire and in what capacities. They start writing a facility maintenance job description but then stop because they’re not sure what the role and responsibilities should be.
There are many qualified facility maintenance professionals, but the question is: Who brings the most value to an in-house team? It doesn’t make sense to pay a full salary to an on-staff plumber when you could call any one of a dozen nearby only when you need them.
Instead of a large collection of highly-specialized experts, you want a smaller group of multifaceted talent — technicians who can take care of the many everyday needs of your facilities.
So, here’s how to write a facility maintenance job description to attract the type of professional your facilities need to minimize unscheduled downtime and cut costs. Step one is taking a step back and first thinking about why you need facility maintenance staff.
Why hire facility maintenance personnel?
First, ask yourself what your general need for facilities maintenance is. The decision to hire an in-house maintenance professional or build out an existing team hinges on several key factors:
- Consistent demand for facility maintenance
- Cost savings generated by hiring staff
- Convenience associated with on-site staff
- The shift to an integrated management approach
As a company grows, facility demands tend to scale along with it. The decision to bring on a facility maintenance manager or build out an in-house team should support the continued success of the company. For example, an on-site technician can resolve a basic electrical problem within the hour, while outsourcing this task might take an entire day or more.
When it comes to many basic repairs, having dedicated staff makes a lot of sense. Adding some extra insulation to a drafty window helps everyone in the office focus on their work. With people on-site, you could spot the problem and have it solved quickly.
Having to track down local help willing to take on such a small project is likely only the start of your troubles. From there, you’d need to schedule a time for them to arrive, have someone babysit them to the site, and then make sure the invoice gets to the accounting department. Dedicated staff can make a lot of sense for larger repairs, too.
Instead of bringing in new people, when you have an in-house team, they already have years of experience with your specific building systems.
For some work, however, you’re likely going to always need to bring in outside help. For example, the complexity of your fire alarms, including special knowledge of the system as well as the surrounding codes, makes it unlikely anyone on the team can complete the work.
So, consider the reasons behind hiring maintenance personnel as you begin the search. When you understand the objective, it’ll be easier to describe the position and communicate expectations to candidates.
Describe a facility manager position and expectations
What are the main roles of a facility maintenance manager? What do you expect from facility maintenance personnel day to day? Your answers are the most important pieces of information to put into a job description, because they set the tone for applicants. While the job title might be what attracts them, discerning candidates read the job duties to know exactly what they’re applying for.
Make sure to include:
- A sampling or broad list of daily, weekly, monthly tasks
- Any special tasks or duties that require advanced knowledge
- Information about the role as a standalone position or part of a team
- Chain of command and who the hire will report to
- Software or systems candidates should be familiar with
- Physical demands of the job, such as lifting heavy objects
- Business and size/type of facilities
Facilities maintenance is a broad description. A detailed breakdown of the specific position, duties, and expectations casts a smaller net out into the ocean of potential candidates. The more information you provide, the better the applicant pool you receive.
Set qualifications (and be specific)
One final important part of writing a good facilities maintenance job description is to be specific about qualifications. This applies to companies large and small, especially in sectors where special skills, knowledge, or training are important.
Ask potential candidates for the following:
- Formal education (ex. Bachelor’s Degree in Facilities Maintenance)
- Certifications (ex. SMC certification from BOMI)
- Memberships (ex. IFMA Membership)
- Specialized training (ex. journeyman electrician)
Establish qualifications for applicants to narrow the scope of who you’re looking for, and to make sure individuals you interview have the baseline capabilities to do the job you need them to. For example, if you need a repair technician to oversee your expanding IoT network, post a description with specific education, training, and certification surrounding smart buildings and the Internet of Things (IoT).
A sample facilities maintenance job posting
What should your final facilities maintenance job description look like? Here’s a basic sample:
Facility Maintenance Professionals are responsible for basic maintenance and repair of the facility, including interior, exterior, and vital systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical). Individuals should prepare to field work request tickets through a CMMS and respond to the general everyday needs of facilities upkeep. New hires will work as part of a three-person team, responsible for upkeep of 15,000 square feet of traditional commercial office space.
- Drywall/plaster repair and painting
- Furniture assembly and relocation
- Changing lights and/or fixtures
- Plumbing repairs, replacements, installation
- Carpentry repairs and installations with hand and power tools
- Minor repair of electrical devices
- Facilities safety inspections
- Concrete and asphalt paving inspections and repairs
- Grounds and security maintenance (fencing, gate arms, and gates)
- Maintain tools and equipment in clean, safe, working order
- Adhere to all safety requirements and wear proper Personal Protective Equipment
- Respond to emergency situations to ensure employee and facility safety
- Comply with OSHA and other local, state and federal regulations
- Adhere to organization and facilities department policies and procedures
- Build relationships and demonstrate a high level of cooperation
- High school diploma or general education degree (GED)
- 2 years facility maintenance experience
- Familiarity with CMMS work order system
- Valid state driver’s License
- The ability to lift and/or move up to 100 pounds
Keep in mind, this is merely a basic example of a facility maintenance job description. Your description should be specific to your company’s needs, your unique facilities, and your hiring objectives.
Focus on building a maintenance team
Whether you’re hiring your first in-house maintenance staff member or your 50th, keep scalability in mind. The purpose of hiring these professionals is to ensure the continued smooth operation of your facilities. Hire qualified staff who can work together and cooperate as a unit. After all, the success of your in-house maintenance team is directly evident in the upkeep, maintenance, and efficiency of your facilities.