WIFM Annual conference: How can FM appeal to the millennial Generation?

By: Alice Finney

A speaker list that ticks all the boxes?

Despite my hesitations about using the phrase, “ticks all the boxes” (as it suggests that people can be categorised and are grouped in homogenous blocks), the speakers at the latest Women In Facilities Management annual conference were all wonderfully diverse and dynamic. It was great to see that people from a range of industries had come together to discuss how the facilities management sector may look in the future.

The list of panel speakers







Investing in future talent

We are living in an age and culture where social mobility is at its greatest. Thanks to apprenticeships, internships, new recruitment processes and bursaries for further education, people from a diverse range of backgrounds have opportunities that previously would have seemed out of their reach.


KPMGs recruitment process

Michael Walby, director of training at KPMG went through their recruitment process and highlighted how it had changed over the years. Their business focus now is to look at the potential of an applicant as opposed to looking at their past. In short this means that rather than looking at school grades, uni grades or where an applicant went to sixth form, they will find out their future potential and then get them onto a course which offers qualifications related to their job role. It doesn’t depend on where you came from or how you got to where you are, but where you are headed.


Schemes such as this help huge corporate companies like KPMG widen their pool of talent, to reflect their clients and also to improve innovation and creativity.

Welcoming Change

Throughout the day, people from all kinds of sectors, in different jobs, at different stages of their career (shout out to the two sixth form girls who bravely stood up and spoke in front of the whole room) and from all kinds of backgrounds, expressed how they were going to run with change. Everyone from Robin Tinto, head of FM South at Sainsbury’s who spoke of the changes in consumer spending (hello online/mobile shopping) to Sam Clarke MD of Conjure who stressed the need to continue innovating in tech, were wholeheartedly of the opinion that to stay ahead of the game you have to move with the times.

Humans aren’t and will never be, algorithms

My favourite speech of the day came from Ted Talk speaker Perry Timms as he dabbled in literally everything you’d possibly want to hear about in the given time. He left us with a really inspiring thought to take home, based on the premise that although we are “going robot”, humans will still be valued and necessary in the workforce. 47% of what we know now will be done by a robot in the next decade. The 4th Industrial revolution is no longer looming in the distance but is a very real and happening thing. In 2029, it is predicted that computational power will outstrip human behaviour: jobs which do not require creativity or human thinking will be the first to go.


The robot is coming

With this revolution going on around us, it is important to remember that in this hyper connected world, it is vital that you remember what you want to be connected to: no one wants to simply live connected via Wi-Fi, their phone or their Amazon dongle. We need to remember that, in this world of information, we should stay connected to others and to our mission.

Ben Keeley