What it does: Public services for the defence, health and citizen services, justice and immigration, and transport sectors worldwide.
Best known for: Serco claims to be one of the world’s biggest public service providers operating in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the UK, Middle East and North America.
Staff stats: More than 50,000 employees.
The good bits: The company employs people from different ethnicities. The Reconciliation Action Plan, for instance, ensures that indigenous people will experience fair and equal treatment at the workplace.
The not so good bits: Serco doesn’t have enough job opportunities for graduates and students in every regional office, despite operating in four continents. Entry-level roles also focus on a specific industry for each location (eg healthcare for Asia, transportation for the Middle East).
Serco started as the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Services Ltd in 1929. The group originally provided critical support services to the UK’s cinema industry. By 1987, the local management bought out RCA and renamed the company as Serco. A listing on the London Stock Exchange followed a year later.
The company expanded their services from the UK to a global customer base during the 1990s. Serco caters to the defence, health and citizen services, justice and immigration, and transport sectors. Their clients are based in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the UK, Middle East and North America. More than 50,000 employees at Serco manage over 500 public service contracts in these regions.
Serco normally conducts pre-employment screening checks during the hiring process including a review of applicants’ criminal records, eligibility to work and references. The company doesn’t accept applications via email, postal mail or in-person. You can apply for job opportunities through a recruiter, but the company seems to prefer online applications.
Applicants might wait up to three weeks to know the results of their applications. The company might take up to two months to process candidates for graduate roles.
The hiring process can only take just one day for entry-level roles like associates. You should expect two rounds of interviews that will assess your personality and skills.
Some applicants for career counselling roles experience an easy interview process at Serco. Most questions focus on behavioural scenarios like what you would do if someone hesitates to undergo counselling.
Serco seems to conduct technical interviews for engineering and IT job opportunities more often than management positions. The average duration can last for more than two months depending on the role’s urgency.
The company tends to limit internship programs in countries such as the USA. The application period for the graduate program in the Asia-Pacific region typically closes within the first quarter of every year. The two-year stint involves job rotations in different roles. You can work as a front-line employee for the public services sector, or be an integral part of Serco’s business development and operations. Each regional office at the company may have more vacancies than in other locations:
You might find more entry-level opportunities at Serco’s healthcare division comprising clinical care and support, corporate services and facilities management.
Graduates can join the company through three programs: the Al Masar, Fursati and Qudrati Programs. Serco designed Al Masar to accelerate an individual’s career progression. The Qudrati program focuses on apprenticeships for rare skills including air traffic control and technical railway skills. The Fursati Program accepts graduates for internships across Serco’s business in the region.
The scope of employee benefits at Serco differs for every regional office. Employees in India, for instance, believe that the company can improve the benefits package. Their counterparts in the UAE are the opposite because most of them recognise the comprehensive incentives and perks.
Serco’s average salary is approximately AUD77,000 per year, but the actual compensation depends on the job and a person’s experience. Entry-level roles like customer service representatives may earn an estimated AUD50,000 per year on average. Benefits include annual leave and flexible work hours.
The company pays HKD7,000 per month on average for summer internships.
The median annual salary is INR294,000. Annual compensation for some roles, particularly for inexperienced individuals, may amount to less than INR200,000. These include business process consultants and customer service representatives.
Station agents and train attendants earn at least AED3,000 per month on average, while coordinators earn a monthly average of AED4,000.
Serco’s global operations imply a multicultural environment. Each of their regional offices, however, share the same customer-centric work ethic. Graduates and students must also have an inherent desire and passion for public service. You’ll have a greater chance of thriving at the company if you embody a sense of dedication to the job, especially in Serco’s business divisions and departments where work-life balance can be unattractive.
Serco’s business rivals in the public service sector include Caretech Holdings, EDSI, Genpact, GovSmart, Mitie and Perspecta.
Serco’s subsidiary faced a £19.2 million fine in 2019 over its allegedly fraudulent accounting for their electronic tagging contracts with the UK Ministry of Justice. The Serious Fraud Office accused Serco Geografix of overcharging the ministry to tag criminals between 2010 and 2013. Serco apologised for the offences and replaced their board and management following the scandal.
It’s easier to join Serco if you live in a region where the company prioritises a certain profession (eg healthcare in Australia, transportation in the Middle East). Graduates and students should be quick to apply for internship opportunities upon becoming available, as the company only processes candidates for a limited time every year.