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first direct Employee Reviews

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This is a really fun place to work. They get things done in the right way for customers and staff. The interview process is tough but that's only to make sure they get the right people. Give it a go, you won't regret it
Pros
Good work, life balance, generous holidays, good pension scheme, great bonus scheme
Cons
Unsociable hours
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Absolutely awful place to work would avoid this if your interested in having a social life. No chance of changes to shifts, strict breaks & lunches, monitored throughout the day to make sure you follow these if not you will be disciplined. Management are slack and try to send you elsewhere.
Pros
Free parking
Cons
Everything else
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You start off doing training, and there is so much to learn with very little practice. You then go into academy where they put you on calls, which is great training if your coach is nice. Mine was horrible and made several members of the team cry, to which nothing got done about her (apparently every training group complains about her and she’s still holding her position). Then you’re put into your team on calls. You do not get to stop between calls so It’s very fast pace. You have to follow scripts word for word and if you don’t you are disciplined. You also are times on your toilet breaks and you are listened to and watched all the time. There is so much pressure. My training group started with 10 of us and now where are 2 of us left. Says a lot.
Pros
Parking, on site facilities
Cons
Everything else
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Your life at FD will generally begin in the call centre, there are not supposed to be actual sales targets (due to sanctions on banking regs at the time I was there) but there still was, was supposed to feel low pressure to the customer but definitely felt high pressure as an employee. Everyone is striving for the next pay grade so you don't really get the support you need as they tend to be trying to be a manager instead!
Pros
Initial training is good, light hearted and fun! It's outsourced which feels strange though!
Cons
Shift changes are tricky, booking holidays incredibly complicated, strict breaks and targets.
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Managers are put under pressure to make sure their teams perform, and this then results in managers putting ridiculous amounts of pressure on the employees, resulting in being forced to work through lunch breaks (threat of losing your job if you do not agree). This results in no breaks at all during a 10 hour shift, also, you were not allowed a break to go and use the bathroom. When I did try to take toilet breaks my manager would physically sit me down in my seat and stand behind and not let my chair slide back from my desk trapping me in.
Pros
Employee benefits
Cons
Unsafe work environment
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A typical day at first direct involves taking call after call after call. You will be monitored and micro-managed on every little thing. Need a wee? God forbid. If you have more than a couple of toilet breaks out of scheduled break times they will bring you up on it and tell you off. The training wasn't terrible though it was done by contractors rather than actual FD employees. One of the trainers was rubbish, gave false information, didn't know what he was talking about half the time, was a massive bully, and a total pervert towards the women in my training group. Despite several FORMAL complaints from various people about him, he is still training people. At the interview we were told our salary would go from 18k to 21k by the time we finished our training etc. Finished my training for a salary bump of a whole £500 a year. Was also told about "great bonuses" every year. My bonus was £200. Not to be dramatic, but I can make that in 5 minutes selling pics of my feet. Lunch breaks are 30 minutes which is hardly enough time to walk across the massive building to the canteen and warm up your food. Breaks are 10 minutes and again hardly enough time to even empty your bladder. TL/DR don't work here.
Pros
Free parking
Cons
everything else
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My Department constantly had changes and no training courses available when we first started, the management is constantly training and contradict eachother in every situation.
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Would not recommend working for First Direct unless you want micro managed and enjoy being told there is no targets or comparison to others. The managers think the staff should be grateful for a job and being mistreated is a common occurrence in the job.
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The advertise and say it very proudly that “people matter more” but they don’t as I’m a mental health patient and they didn’t do anything for me to help me at all to a point where some little adjustments would hameant i can carry on working but they’ve dismissed me on grounds of ill health because i suffer from anxiety and depression
Pros
None
Cons
All main one if you suffer from mental health its not a place for you
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The training is comprehensive but, in my case at least, isn't followed up with proper support post training. Expect to be in at least half an hour before your shift starts to log in, read your emails and get up to date with the latest changes. Expect to be there after your shift ends dealing with long calls and all the admin. All unpaid of course.
Pros
Nice people, good training, free parking
Cons
Isolating, inflexible
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It used to be a fab place to work employees used to matter they don’t now it’s all about numbers not about people. It’s very fast paced and can be extremely stressful
Pros
Salary
Cons
Hours, atmosphere, not looking after employees
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Management are awful all they do is disrespect staff members Verbal abuse from senior staff members Not a great place to work If you want abuse from senior members then this is the job for you
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The salary is good for the role but it has to be as you are treated like a battery hen! They even time how long you go to the toilet and confront you if you are 30 secs over, I wish I was joking! Management are cruel and lazy but the customer service people are the best you will ever meet. If you want to keep your sanity do not work here
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Culture is very people focused. Flatish management structure and leadership is visible. Really nice place to work with people who care a lot about the brand and pride themselves on their amazing customer service reputation.
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Colleagues are good natured and always happy to help. The IT infrastructure is very outdated and not fit for purpose, making jobs much harder. Very poorly organised at management level, new systems/procedures are rarely fit for purpose and introduced without proper testing. Onsite parking and creche are great. Onsite canteen very poor and overpriced.
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Awful people, awful culture. If you want to be timed when you need the toilet, this is the job for you. If not then don’t bother. Awful experience. Never again!
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I had huge expectations from what was portrayed during the interview and training phase.The job is all about sales ,targets and the management doesn’t really care /understand employee aspirations.Getting holidays of your choice is a mare!If you want a job that pays the bills ,you may tolerate working here ,however if you are looking for a career and growth ,look elsewhere !
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I found the company very demanding with high targets and very sales driven. Felt under pressure and stressful. I felt too much was expected of you and I would not recommend
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Now I do love the people and the perks and benefits of this place. The only down side is there are so so many targets and you get monitored on every little thing you do including going to the toilet and will get pulled up on going to the toilet out of break time it’s a joke. Also it’s impossible to book holidays that you want resources are terrible and it feels unfair and unincentivising
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A fast paced environment with various shift patterns. Very good benefit package including private health care. Great holiday entitlement but must work some bank holiday and potentially over the festive bank holidays
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I worked here for 7 years, unfortunately I was taken Ill and needed time off work. Upon returning I was subjected to nothing but bullying by the management. Wouldn’t wish working here on my worst enemy.
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