Recruitment and retention of estates and facilities staff in the NHS

MAY, D. and ASKHAM, P. (2005). Recruitment and retention of estates and facilities staff in the NHS. Facilities, 23 (9/10), 426-437.


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Purpose – Agenda for Change is set to be the biggest reform of pay since the National Health Service (NHS) began in 1948. As well as introducing a standardised pay structure; it also aims to improve recruitment, retention and staff morale. Staff groups identified as having recruitment and retention problems include estates/works officers, qualified maintenance crafts persons and qualified maintenance technicians. The object of this research was to investigate recruitment and retention problems for estates and facilities staff currently experienced by Trusts. Design/methodology/approach – Focus groups were used as the primary method of data collection in an attempt to tap into the existing expertise of staff working at strategic and operational supervisory positions in a wide range of Trusts. Findings – Although our findings suggest that the main recruitment and retention issues fall into four main themes: social, financial, environmental and political; recruitment and retention of estates and facilities management staff is a complex problem involving a wide range of issues and these can vary from location to location. Furthermore this should also be seen as a series of issues that varies across employment groups including: domestic/housekeeping, trades, managers/officers and facilities directors, which need to be distinguished. Practical implications – There is a continuing need to raise the profile of estates and facilities management staff in the NHS to those levels enjoyed by Human Resource (HR) and Financial Management. Furthermore perceptions surrounding both recruitment and retention issues and the nature of work within estates and facilities management staff in the NHS can lead to a negative and self-perpetuating “cycle of failure” where there is an assumption of loss of control. However, there are some initiatives being undertaken that suggest it is possible to concentrate on internal matters such as more appropriate and flexible recruitment processes, improved support services for staff and greater flexibility within the job and that these can generate “cycles of success”.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published in Facilities, 2005, 23(9/10), 426-437.
Uncontrolled Keywords: National Health Service, property management, recruitment, retention
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Identification Number:
Page Range: 426-437
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:07

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