A-Z Of Employers: Siemens

What does it do?

It's one of those business names that feels like it's been around for ever (it has, almost!), but how many of us can pin down exactly what it does? The uncertainty's probably a product of the vast range of stuff bearing the Siemens name. The common factor is hi-tech, and among the most visible products in daily life are mobile phones, computers, cookers, fridges and washing machines. Less prominent are the digital hearing aids, traffic lights and magnets inside MRI scanners. Although rooted in Germany, Siemens also has a long British pedigree. In 1843, the 19-year-old William Siemens arrived in Britain with a patent for an electroplating process, which proved the seed for the company's growth. The Siemens history is littered with firsts: its dynamos powered the lamps at the first ever floodlit football match at Sheffield United's ground in 1878; the first electric street lighting was installed by Siemens in Godalming, Surrey, in 1881, and two years later, the first public railway, designed by Siemens, opened in Brighton. Now the company employs 460,000 worldwide, with customers in 190 countries.

Vital Statistics:

The UK workforce numbers 21,000, including about 5,000 in the manufacturing sector. Revenues last year were £3bn.

The office:

The headquarters is in Bracknell, Berkshire, but staff are fairly evenly spread around 100 other sites across the UK, with Lincoln and Romsey among the biggest.

Is this you?

Siemens takes about 100 graduates a year, to work in engineering, broadcasting, R&D, IT, finance and commercial roles. On top of relevant degrees, it's looking for strengths in familiar areas: teamwork, creativity, communication and problem solving.

The recruitment process:

Online applications, at www.siemens.co.uk/grad, lead to a three-stage selection process: a telephone interview that lasts about half an hour, online psychometric testing, and a one-day assessment that typically includes an interview, a presentation and a group exercise. Training varies according to role but is likely to include more than one placement, and will be tailored after discussions with your line manager. There'll be time, and support, to work towards relevant professional qualifications. All recruits also follow a two-year graduate development programme, a series of nine modules covering topics such as project management, customer orientation and commercial awareness.

Top Dollar?

Pay varies between roles, but currently starting salaries are mostly in the £20K to £22K bracket, with 26 days' holiday.

Beam me up Scotty?

Siemens graduates tend to become specialists in a technical area, or gain seniority in general management. There's also scope to move between the company's sites in the UK and abroad.

Who's the boss?

The UK chief executive is Alan Wood, who in 1968 got a first in mechanical engineering from Manchester University.

Little known fact:

Siemens scientists are behind the clever Hawk-Eye ball-tracking technology used on television coverage of cricket and tennis.