Working at Softcat | Glassdoor

Softcat Overview

www.softcat.com
Marlow, England (UK)
501 to 1000 employees
1993
Company - Public
Information Technology
$1 to $2 billion (USD) per year
Unlike some businesses in the IT channel, we’re absolutely sure of who and what we are. We’re proud to say we’re one of the UK’s best IT infrastructure providers and not ashamed to admit we’re good at IT sourcing, designing ... Read more

Mission: We provide valued IT solutions to corporate and public sector organisations in the UK, trade with over 11,000 longstanding customers and employ over 11,000 people, from six operational centres. Our current turnover is approximately £596 million.

Company Updates

  • http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vI6Gc

    Two in a row! Softcat ranked second-best place to work in Best Workplace awards for 2014 and 2015

    Softcat has ranked second in the prestigious Great Place to Work 'Best Workplaces' awards for the second year running. The award, announced at a gala dinner on 13th May, is testament to Softcat's ability to maintain outstanding levels of employee satisfaction as it has grown by 28% over the past year while recruiting hundreds of new staff.

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Softcat – Why Work For Us?


One of the UK's leading IT infrastructure providers

Unlike some businesses in the IT channel, we’re absolutely sure of who and what we are.  We’re proud to say we’re one of the UK’s best IT infrastructure providers and not ashamed to admit we’re good at IT sourcing, designing, delivering and supporting, from the smallest to most complex IT solutions.

Our Philosophy?

We care passionately about two things – outstanding employee satisfaction and world-class customer service.  We believe the former drives the latter.

Our success has been built on providing exceptional levels of service to our customers. We pride ourselves on listening, responsiveness, agility and flexibility; in short ease of doing business.

Our Culture

Many businesses strive to keep their customers satisfied. But precious few realise that first they must have satisfied employees. We recruit the most intelligent, hungry, hard-working, determined and motivated people, give them fantastic training, great surroundings and look after them exceptionally well. 

We advocate open communication and do everything to foster this. One of many examples of this is our weekly company meeting, which, despite our size is held consistently to share news and progress. 

Recognising and rewarding our people for the part they play is also at the cornerstone of our philosophy. That’s why we run amazing incentives and present numerous awards – it’s an on-going show of appreciation and thanks.

These principles plus our business ethics form the foundation of our working environment, enabling us to create the unique culture that is Softcat today.

The Result

We provide valued IT solutions to corporate and public sector organisations in the UK, trade with over 11,000 longstanding customers and employ over 850 people, from five operational centres. Our current turnover is approximately £596 million.

Put simply we think our staff are the best and the biggest differentiator for Softcat. Why? Because they have the drive, energy and enthusiasm to succeed. Success doesn’t come easy though and passion alone isn’t enough – inter-personal skills, flexibility, discipline and a very strong work ethic are all found in abundance at Softcat.

We believe these attributes help make us friendly and easy to deal with, and as a result we're regularly commended for our outstanding customer service.

We’re extremely proud of the 850+ strong team we have assembled.  We go to great lengths to find and recruit our people, including our beacon Graduate Programme. Once on board we ensure we look after them, which in turn engenders outstanding loyalty and exceedingly low attrition. 

Management team

Our experienced national management team strive to embody our core values and support the 850+ employee strong company as a whole, reinforcing our infamously warm and friendly culture, motivating our workforce for success, and driving customer satisfaction. Between the people featured on this page, there is a combined 130 years of experience at Softcat.  Many of the individuals below started their careers at Softcat and rose through the ranks.  We think both those facts speak volumes for the company.

We consider our social commitments a critical component to the culture we have fostered at Softcat.

We split this responsibility into three distinct areas:

Charitable activity

Since we began nominating an annual charity in 2007 we have raised over £1.5m for good causes including:

  • Wooden Spoon Cancer Care Unit
  • Helen and Douglas house
  • Harry Mills
  • EducAID Africa
  • Save the Children - Haiti
  • Dreams Come True
  • Comic Relief

During our last sales incentive to Cambodia and Vietnam we visited the Sra Srang Elementary School in the Sra Srang province of Cambodia who prior to the trip had received a £20,000 donation from Softcat. The money was used to begin construction on a new school library and fund several scholarships. During the two days we spent at the school, 35 of the Softcat team had the privilege of spending time with the pupils whilst helping finish the library and renovate six classrooms. Our people are encouraged to take an active role in charitable work and participate fully in the fund raising we undertake.

Environmental activity

Our “green team”, managed by our Chairman, is responsible for raising the green agenda across the company. We have a duty to act responsibly towards customers, staff, suppliers and the public with regard to the effect that business operations may have on the environment. 

We take nothing for granted and have examined all elements of the operation, implementing practices as wide ranging as recycling our tea bags in the office ‘wormery’ for compost to choosing the most fuel efficient pool cars. Our efforts have even featured positively on a Channel 4 documentary covering green credentials of UK businesses.

Looking after our people

The culture at Softcat is one in which we take much pride. A huge amount of effort goes into making sure employees are happy with their working lifestyle. Our MD personally conducts an annual employee survey, the results of which shape the decisions we take. Our open plan office reflects our open culture. With every member of the Director team available and visible, information flow and team spirit is second to none, and issues are dealt with and resolved quickly. We recognise the achievements of all and are keen to give praise both informally and formally through company awards.

This effort culminated in the accolade of being The Sunday Times No.1 Best Company to Work For in 2010, and more recently the ranking of 8th place in Europe's Best Workplaces list, out of hundreds of companies in 19 countries.

We believe that recruiting the right people and then working as hard as we do to retain them directly correlates with the levels of commitment and service we then show our customers.

Why work for Softcat? #lovesoftcat

Softcat Reviews

4.2
Star Star Star Star Star
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Martin Hellawell
22 Ratings
  • "Former Technical Consultant."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Consultant
    Former Employee - Technical Consultant
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    As I was not office based could not think of any, I am sure if you are in your early 20's fresh out of uni then this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Worst place I worked for as a Technical Consultant. If I was in sales then this would probably be a 5 star review, but from my point of view I felt like an over used machine.

    Advice to Management

    Do not put new senior tech consultants under the same umbrella as juniors. Be honest about the average working hours. Listen to the concerns of employees.

See All 78 Reviews

Softcat Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience
48%
13%
37%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
44%
34%
20%

Interview Difficulty

3.0
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy
  1.  

    Graduate Account Executive Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bristol, England (UK)
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Softcat (Bristol, England (UK)) in November 2016.

    Interview

    I found Softcat online instead of going through a recruiter and was called for an incredibly brief telephone screening relating to my interest in sales and what I knew about the company. I was then invited to the assessment day in Bristol along with only three others.

    The Assessment Day

    During the day, Softcat's HR person did well making us feel relaxed and comfortable about the process and we had a chance with her to get to know more about the company and show the extent of our research.

    All aspects of the assessment day were detailed in an email to me (except for the 'IQ test', which I'll come back to) but my peers hadn't received the same information from their recruitment agencies. After chatting as a 5, we introduced ourselves properly in turn. The first task was to interview a Softcat employee for 5 minutes about his (they're nearly all men) ideal holiday in order to prepare an appealing package for him with your partner during another 5 minute spell. Of course, the staff try to make it difficult by not giving direct answers to all questions but your ability to question is being assessed as the clock ticks down. Both of us had to decide on a location based on what we'd gathered. I had a very fixed idea but didn't want to dominate the next stage at the expense of my partner who knew nothing about Budapest. Both pairs put forward their ideas well enough and the poor suffering staff members were able to return to their desks.

    Next, Bristol's main man told us more about the company and his experience. I liked his demeanor and attitude a lot and began to feel more invested in the idea of working with Softcat. He in fact is not a graduate but has certainly made things work for himself during his 10 years at the company.

    The next stage was a 2 minute verbal presentation to some of the same guys who'd been on hand for the holiday task. Your focus should be 1) why you want to work for Softcat and 2) why Softcat should choose you. The timing didn't seem to be kept to because the first person rambled on for a fair while. I ballsed up by forgetting to talk about Softcat at all and was sure my fate was sealed.

    The 'IQ test' consisted of a spelling and grammar email checking exercise, number sequences, maths questions and vocabulary testing (which word is most similar to x, which is the opposite of x). This was easy enough and we were given plenty of time, yet it turned out to be pointless because we were told we'd passed the assessment before we even handed out answers back.

    The Panel Interview

    Only 6 days later I found myself at the Softcat office again (no parking, even for staff). Three more senior members of the team made up the panel with one who was very definitely in charge. Perhaps intentionally, the whole tone of the interview was pretty obnoxious for the most part and this is where my Softcat journey ended in my mind. After questions about why I'd be good at the job and plenty of other, more personal questions, I was asked to tell a joke. Telling the joke was the only part of the interview which allowed me to raise a smile, despite thinking it's a pretty strange request. I also got asked if I'd ever 'majorly screwed up'. The final part of the interview before questions I had (lost interest really by this point) was a scenario whereby I was a pen salesman and I had to sell to the top three employees of a company that has only ever used pencils and not even computers. You're supposed to ask as many questions as you can to find out why they only use pencils, I'll admit the scenario was so naff and so difficult to take seriously that I lost sight of the task. However, I argued my case for pens as best I could they evaluated my performance in front of me after. Here's a clue, the word 'sheet' was used.

    I was frankly staggered to find out that I'd received 'really positive feedback' and that I was invited to the final stage of the process which is the 30 min phone interview with Softcat's Sales Director. I didn't want to see it through.

    From what I've gleaned from the process, you have official office hours but the best times to ring companies are outside of those hours e.g. 7:30am because the people you need to speak to will be busy all day. The salary and the prospect of being on the phone at a desk with no fresh air or face-to-face interactions put me off, not to mention the sour taste in my mouth after leaving the interview.

    Softcat have been rated the best place to work in the UK which is all credit to them, but the 6th form common room style fun area is not enough to make up for everything else, in my opinion.

    Overall, the experiences of the two stages were so different that I can't give a positive or a negative rating.

    Note: Any strange words were used to bypass Glassdoor's overly prudish profanity policy.

    Interview Questions

See All 30 Interviews

Softcat Awards & Accolades

  • Great Places to Work, No.1 Best Place to Work in the UK, 2016
  • Reseller of the Year, CRN, 2016
  • Great Places to Work (Large Category), Great Place to Work Institute, 2015
  • The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, The Sunday Times Top Track 250, 2014
  • Best IT Support Company, The Talk of Manchester, 2014
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