Former Managing Director at FDM Group
Andy has experience as both a Managing Director at FDM Group and also as one of the largest customers. Andy was the Global Head of Testing at Barclays Wealth where he was running large projects using FDM as a client. He was then hired by FDM to run the UK division which he scaled to over 400 consultants globally working with some of the biggest banking customers for the company. Read moreView Profile Page
Disclaimer: This interview is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. In Practise is an independent publisher and all opinions expressed by guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of In Practise.
Could you briefly explain FDM’s business model?
I can explain it from both a customer and employee perspective. Customers are effectively able to utilize high caliber graduates or junior resources in the workplace. The FDM model itself is a recruit, train and deploy program, which enables those who are starting in an industry to join, be trained and then deployed on a customer site.
Is it a mix between a recruitment agency and an IT services business?
It bridges the gap between those two.
How do you typically recruit Mounties like young graduates?
People can apply directly through the FDM website and social media channels. There is also a visible footprint at job fairs and grad events, and equally there are referrals. Reputation in the industry is key and universities help drive the numbers required for growth. FDM has forged strong relationships with universities to help their find employment opportunities for their graduates at customer sites. It is a two-way street and there are many ways to apply, but the strongest is through those three that I mentioned.
Through your direct relationship with universities, do you select graduates from those cohorts to bring into your program?
Thousands of people apply for the program and are then rigorously assessed. Some are more suited to particular roles, from both personal and business perspectives, because ultimately you give that individual confidence in their career choice, while representing FDM as a business leader in that particular space.
Could the companies who use FDM not partner with universities directly?
FDM were the first to market and have the brand reputation and success, not only with specific red brick universities, but more wide spread. One boot does not fit all, and there are opportunities for those with any background and with any university degree to join a particular route to market in terms of their steps down into industry.
Do Mounties share a typical school, subject or aspiration to suit their role?
Over time, things change. Businesses have changed their view on how to railroad an individual down a particular path. The industry recognized that any university graduate could be suitable for a business or IT role. Students entering university choose careers based on what they enjoy at the time, not necessarily where they want to be six years later. That excludes medicine, law and some others. FDM ignores their background degree choices and instead focuses on their aptitude and enthusiasm and their ability to pass the assessment program. It opens doors despite the poor decisions made at age 18.
What is the biggest challenge in growing the number of Mounties who enter the system from universities?
The biggest challenge is having something which is deemed an opportunity to move into industry, not deemed as furthering education, because it is recruit, train then deploy. The big selling point is to spend time at the universities explaining what customers are looking for; people who want a career with a skill set or in a sector, or someone who never thought about that but wants an opportunity put in front of them.
The other challenge is not being thought of as a 5th choice, as many graduates want to work at the big FTSE 100 companies but few will qualify for their own graduate programs. This is basically a way of working for those big companies, but through a different channel. It is about how you sell that opportunity and why you should join this program. Instead of being one of 200 applying for a UK bank graduate program, you are one person applying for the role in front of you.
The engagement process does not start a month before their finals; it starts in year one and is continued through year two into their finals. Once they graduate, it is vital to ensure they don’t fall off the radar or that you, as a company, are not forgotten about by that potential individual who could represent you very well in the business community.
Do you sell it to them as a back door into the banks or financial service companies?
Yes, an alternative way of reaching their long-term career aspirations.