Since being founded just a stone’s throw away from Brighton’s bohemian lanes, FDM Group has grown into an international IT services provider that currently services over 200 international clients from eight separate offices across the globe.
- Large, growing company with lots of opportunities
- Interesting and diverse work
- Sociable, friendly working environment
- Hard work is recognised
- Over 50% of the management team are women
- Limited number of managerial roles due to the flat structure of the company
- Can sometimes feel too sales-centric
- Not all roles have a bonus programme
Since being founded just a stone’s throw away from Brighton’s bohemian lanes, FDM Group has grown into an international IT services provider that currently services over 200 international clients from eight separate offices (including London, Manchester, New York, Frankfurt, Zurich, Luxembourg and Hong Kong) and pulls in a cool £83 million in revenues.
Starting out as FDI in 1991, FDM Group switched to its current appellation following the 1998 merger with Mountfield Software. The years since have seen international expansion as well as an outpost popping up in the City. Furthermore, the firm was floated on the AIM in 2005.
The majority of FDM’s clients are in the financial sector, with household names such as UBS, Credit Suisse, RBS and Barclays amongst its roster. But FDM are far from just banking specialists. The Group plays an integral role for a raft of different businesses in a range of industries. In the media and broadcasting sector, FDM has been providing its tailored services to clients such as BBC, BSkyB and BT Media for over 15 years. The Group has worked with marquee names such as Lloyds of London in insurance, and British Airways in transport and logistics. In the systems integrator sector, FDM has enhanced the operations of companies such as Detica. In retail, demand for FDM’s services has increased in line with the shift from high street to internet highway. As shoppers have turned to the web for their products, businesses such as Asda and John Lewis have turned to FDM for help with migrating their offerings online. In telecommunications, the Group’s expertise stretches from television to the internet, via telephones.
FDM has built its success by providing tailored IT services through its highly trained consultants. In fact, FDM is one of the largest IT graduate employers in the UK, with an Academy Programme that bridges the gap between university and employment. To date, FDM has trained over 3,000 individuals in Java, .net, application support, testing analysis, project management and infrastructure support. But the Group doesn’t just train anyone; only one in 400 applicants makes the cut into the Academy Programme. FDM currently employs over 835 permanent consultants, with its artillery augmented a further 385 by contracted staff. Each permanent consultant receives free training by FDM; the only stipulation is that they work for the Group and its clients for a minimum of two years in one of six specialisms.
Those interested in project management and business analysis can expect to be involved in any phase of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Using Prince 2 methodology, FDM can manage IT projects such as software development and business change programmes. The Group’s development arm can help ‘manage and minimise risk’ inherent in IT development projects, either on or off-site. In testing, accredited ISTQB test consultants work with clients to provide a maximum return on their investment.
FDM offers application support both on and off-site, including ‘the total outsource of an existing operation or a supplement approach’. Consultants tasked with working on clients’ IT infrastructure use their expertise to maximise operational efficiency and minimise reliance on contractors. The remit of infrastructure consultants ranges from server migrations to consolidations. In training, consultants look to build upon FDM’s strong track record in everything from analysis to delivery.Read all 128 employee quotes
With an international client list of over 200 (including the BBC, HSBC, Swiftcover and Detica), FDM trains graduates all over the globe. The firm has offices in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the US and Hong Kong, and if you prefer staying closer to home, then you can also take up a place in London, Manchester or Brighton. FDM is ‘looking to recruit 1,000 graduates (as a minimum) this year’, so if you’re an IT grad ‘passionate about the industry and want to bridge that gap and gain experience’, you shouldn’t wait too long to send off your application – competition is still strong, to say the least!
As a top graduate employer, FDM won’t just accept anyone. You need to have a solid academic background and should feel ‘confident and ready to take on a challenge!’. The firm is known for its ‘very fast paced and changing environment so people must be prepared to be malleable and adjustable’. FDM hires grads of the highest calibre and while your grades need to be top notch, you will also have to impress with your persona. ‘The most important thing is to show your personality, as the skills you possess are only half of what FDM looks for’. The firm fosters a ‘young culture’ with ‘good team dynamics’ so when it comes to the hiring process, FDM needs to feel positive that you’ll fit in.
Graduates who want to apply to this fast growing IT company can choose from six career paths that will train you in either Java development, .net development, software testing, infrastructure support, application support or project management. All graduates can expect to take part in a structured training programme with the FDM Academy during their training period.
Prospective project analysts will work in the firm’s project management office and will be able to gain professional qualifications such as PRINCE 2. Java developers will participate in FDM’s java development programme and need to come armed with a degree in maths, physics, or engineering. Similarly, .net developers should also hold an IT related degree while for software test analyst positions, the firm accepts candidates from a non-IT background. Infrastructure support analysts can expect to lead their own technical projects, whereas application support analysts should get ready to expand their IT concepts for finance as this will be a core point of your career.
The recruitment process starts with an application form that will basically ask you about your educational background and skills. If you pass this first round, you may have to master a phone interview next. Now, it may be easy to forget, but phone interviews are not as painless as you might think – it’s still an interview after all! So make sure you stand up during the phone call – this will keep you alert – and have a copy of your application form in front of you as you will be quizzed on your background and career motivation.
Hopeful candidates will then be invited to an assessment day. This is made up of a one-to-one interview and a group exercise. Assessment days are held in all the firm’s UK locations on a regular basis and are said to be ‘very thorough and professional’. You can expect to be asked ‘a wide variety of questions’ on subjects including your educational background, choice of career and hobbies. However, you can guess that interviewers are also keen to find out about your technical awareness so be ready to be grilled on your ‘industry and general knowledge’. Also know the company, the sector and your CV inside out. The group exercise will test your interpersonal skills and you will be assessed on how well you interact with others, what impact you have on a group and how much of a team player you really are.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind during the entire process is to be yourself – as silly as this may sound. Trying ‘to come across as somebody else, either by generalising or attempting to adhere to the professional model, will not have a positive result’.
Graduate Recruitment Info
Employer type: IT
Number of employees: 950+
Annual vacancies: 1,000
Approx. no. of applications: 17,000 so far this year
It is easy to approach/meet with directors and management. Colleagues socialise together at events such as the boat party, sales trip, Christmas party, etc.Events Team LeadHelpful?
Depends on the role – for mine, one interview and two-month trial. Standard interview questions on experience, etc.HR AssistantHelpful?
Good information flow, with opportunities to participate.ExecutiveHelpful?
Career progression is rapid at FDM as hard work is always recognised. As it is a medium-sized company which is expanding internationally opportunities are greater. The sky is the limit at FDM!PR AssistantHelpful?