FCO Services Reviews | Glassdoor

FCO Services Reviews

Updated May 23, 2018
26 reviews

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2.7
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FCO Services Chief Executive Officer Danny Payne
Danny Payne
2 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work for a little while"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Private Secretary
    Current Employee - Private Secretary
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at FCO Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good people, interesting work, good benefits

    Cons

    Pay isn't equal to that of other consulates and embassies, regularly asked to do "more with less" despite frequent budget cuts and staffing cuts


  2. "Not bad but poor pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Secure Technical Services Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Secure Technical Services Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FCO Services full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Travel the world either based in the UK on short trips 1-5 weeks or be posted overseas for 4 years.
    Senior management staff engagement

    Cons

    Poor salary
    Bureaucratic
    Not good at dealing with underperforming staff

    Advice to Management

    Increase pay, you can't run like a private company and pay civil service salaries.

  3. "basic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    flexi working is the only pro

    Cons

    montonous, boring, not good, sad


  4. "Good service."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Communications Manager in Karāchi (Pakistan)
    Former Employee - Communications Manager in Karāchi (Pakistan)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FCO Services full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good service at the organization. Good people. Good environment. Diversity is its most beautiful aspect. Flexible work hours for employees.

    Cons

    Uncertainty for LE staff. Not sure if promotion prospects or not. Some have not recommended this job. But is seems good.

    Advice to Management

    More job security for LE staff.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "See the world but at what price?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Specialist in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Specialist in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at FCO Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Depending on your role you will travel overseas, sometimes very regularly to lots of interesting places. If travelling overseas is your motivation, apart from Cabin Crew for an airline, this maybe the place for you!

    Cons

    A civil service culture that is supposed to think commercially - not all colleagues buy into that way of thinking. Career progression as a 'specialist' limited, promotion not based on merit but fitting into civil service competencies. Frustrating if you want to progress in your chosen profession - too much focus on management and process.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your specialists with respect, award good work with meaningful promotion - stop rewarding incompetence.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "In a nutshell"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Installation Engineer in Hanslope, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Installation Engineer in Hanslope, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at FCO Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    After working for FCO Services for 8 years (3 as an apprentice) (2 as an installer) (3 as an installation team leader) (1 as an overseas handyman) I think you would struggle to find a job with a greater variety of experiences.

    I have met some incredible individuals, aspiring engineers with a passion for work, committed team leaders, design engineers and (even) project managers, that have created subcultures of achievement despite a push towards bankruptcy from management.

    I've travelled the world, had (almost) unlimited training opportunities, enjoyed good car parking (there are even tesla charging stations for the contractors among you) and on-site costa.

    Cons

    Absence of responsibility
    Blame culture
    Low pay - when you apply for a job here NEGOTIATE your salary. Once in a role, there is no movement up the band, and this will not be made clear at interview.
    Management ability varies wildly
    No lessons learned (ever)

    Advice to Management

    Stop hiding behind the government's pay freeze. Make new job slots up and push technical staff into them. OGD's have no profit margins to play with, we do. Time to start acting like a business.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "More to life than money, but experiences don't pay the mortgage!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Officer
    Former Employee - Technical Officer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at FCO Services full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Apprenticeship offers a fantastic opportunity to gain a trade and valuable experience in a unique organisation at vastly different geographical locations.

    Travel; Installation work takes you all over the world, exposure to various cultures and communities.

    It looks great on a CV.

    Location; it's great for commuting by bike(although the facilities are a little lacking) and if you are lucky to have an office with a window then the views are nice.

    People; colleagues and co-workers all form one big (happy and dysfunctional) family.

    Cons

    Work/Lifestyle Balance; You know that Pro about Travel? Well it can be a Con when your given little warning about going overseas for a fixed time. Trips are regularly cancelled, rearranged or extended. Great if you're single but a hardship on a young family.

    Pay. As a trading fund FCOS follows the 1% paycap which effectively means a pay cut each year when factoring in inflation. Of course you can earn more when travelling overseas but that's at the detriment of your home life.
    And the Pay Band? That doesn't actually exist, you start at the bottom and it only increases in line with that 1% pay cap, NOT because of the increased experiance one has acquired year on year, the only way to seek a higher basic wage is promotion.

    Contractors; FCOS tends to get a contractor in and then keeps them FOREVER. Moving them around the organisation and changing job roles/titles to ensure they're kept on. Some of these guys have been around for more than a decade. And of course they're all on lovely day rates whilst the actual staff can only admire the nice suits and cars that the greenbadges can afford.

    Fixed Term Contractors; Similar to the contractors, except you'll find some quite high ranking personal fall into this category, whilst you could argue a high flyer won't work for the basic 'bottom of the band' pay I would argue that you can't manage a team effectively without actually being paid from the same pot and subject to the same trials and tribulations of that team.
    Otherwise that 'we're all in this together' kind of thing would sound really hollow... oh.

    Career Progression; FCO Services offers a full range of IT, Engineering, Technical and Support roles but a glass ceiling is reached within a few years in any discipline, progression at this point is not possible until a role becomes vacant (Dead Man's Shoes).

    Advice to Management

    If whole parts of your organisation comprise solely of contractors, seriously question the business model that allows this. A flexible resource works both ways, if all those contractors left at the same time how would the organisation cope?

    Can a 'Mercenary' employed on a day rate really be expected to have the same dedication and commitment to the organisation as a member of staff.

    Get rid of long term contractors and convert those essential to the organisation to staff on the same conditions as current staff. If this is not successful then perhaps you need to question the current pay and conditions...

    Have clear communication with regards to things such as retention payments, the rumour mill is not the right way to be hearing about such contentious issues and counters the 'one team' ethos of FCOS, other staff in hard to recruit roles are resentful of being uninformed and unpaid in this regard.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "An Organisation with no Organisation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at FCO Services full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people here are a real pro, its a very friendly and inviting place to work. The Milton Keynes office is a very nice place to be.

    Cons

    I've worked here for a far few years now, and over my time I have seen and done some incredible things. But everything that once was amazing about this organisation, Learning new skills, the support of your team leaders in every different field, knowing who to talk to about anything, being supported in developing new and interesting technologies, has since left.
    All that is left is a very quiet, high stress, high demand place to work. Where the man on the ground isn't listened to anymore, and all the knowledge that was once a key part of this place has left. Where the only real way to get anywhere, or progress your career, is to leave the job you're doing and do something else. Where the grade cap for someone that actually wants to stay in a technical based role peaks at a wage of 30-35K...

    Not what it used to be, and its very sad to see.

    Advice to Management

    Please listen to your staff.
    Please notice what is happening all around you.
    Please reward your staff and invest in their future.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Silicon Valley this ain’t....."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at FCO Services full-time

    Pros

    Free parking on site
    Travel (although this can become tiresome when its 30+ weeks a year)
    Interesting and high profile projects

    Cons

    Ever more work being won with less people to complete it
    Pay and benefits are laughable compared to industry
    Workforce are not valued by management who have a ‘if you don’t like it leave’ /‘there’s plenty more where you came from’ attitude
    No one is really managed, there’s lots of favouritism and it’s something of a free for all
    They struggle to recruit/retain staff so you’ll be managing and working along side contractors on vastly more than you who end up staying for years
    Once you get to junior management (£27k) there are very few positions to move up in to and your stuck there
    Senior management constantly churn out patronising and meaningless initiatives that make no difference so that they can say they’re trying

    Advice to Management

    Stop bragging about how much money your making in every meeting while you continue to hold back pay

    Create a viable career path and give your best people a reason to stay

    Stop burying your head in the sand- you have serious work force engagement/ retention/recruitment issues, stop milking your staff for all they’re worth . Start valuing the people making your money!


  10. "Travelling installation teams"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Services in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Technical Services in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at FCO Services full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people are the best thing about FCOS. Also opportunities to travel world wide to countries you may never visit otherwise (travel enables large amount of overtime to be earned), lots of training options, and very supportive of careers. Great pension. A job where you feel part of a bigger purpose

    Cons

    Basic salary isn't great (though you can earn significantly more when travelling)

    Advice to Management

    Challenge the 1% pay increase to bring basic pay equivalent to industry


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