FCO Services Reviews | Glassdoor

FCO Services Reviews

Updated October 16, 2018
28 reviews

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2.8
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FCO Services Chief Executive Officer Danny Payne
Danny Payne
3 Ratings

28 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. "HR manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Poole, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Poole, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great culture and give importance to people initiatives

    Cons

    Tight budgets and government cuts decide everything


  5. "Deceptively poor."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Management Apprentice in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Project Management Apprentice in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Gym on site.
    Potential to switch roles after 4 years

    Cons

    Deceitful application process, they like to think they are secret service, so will refuse to tell you even basic outlines of job roles until your start date.
    Boring work
    Misled info about post apprenticeship wage (reality was just over half as initially lead to beleive)
    Wage isn't enough to live comfortably in the MK postcode area.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on your application process, actually give information about the day to day role, instead of basic abstracted info mixed with bias opinions from boring people saying it's exciting work.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Extremely demanding work for low pay and little reward. Culture poor in places"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Administrative in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Subsidised nusery on site. Organisation does some very intetesting work.

    Cons

    Poor leadership, pay very low, felt under appreciated

    Advice to Management

    See above


  7. "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.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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.


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