Finding a job at Virgin can be a dream come true for many individuals wanting to further their career within a successful global company. Virgin job vacancies are sought after and here we have summarised what you can expect if you are lucky enough to be recruited by them.
Promotion and Development
Virgin employees usually receive between seven and ten days of dedicated training each year, much of which – at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains, for example – is offered in-house. Employees who want to embark on an external training course, such as an MBA, might be paid a retainer and offered a job on return, but on the whole the group does not actively sponsor such training.
Virgin’s singular structure enables it to develop and retain talent in a way few other businesses can match. While talent is often brought in from outside, frequently through strategic partnerships, all vacancies are advertised internally and there is a lot of movement within the companies. For example, the person who managed the procurement of Virgin Trains new super-fast Pendolino moved to Virgin Atlantic in a similar role; and was then seconded to work on the procurement of spaceships for Virgin’s fledgling commercial space venture, Virgin Galactic, which plans to offer two hour flights from a site in the Mojave Desert from 2008.
The youngest managing director of a Virgin company is under thirty, and opportunities for responsibility are many and varied. Managing directors of businesses meet often for briefings, and senior managers in every business are sent “back to the floor” twice a year.
Overseas placements are common, usually on a formalised basis. There are also secondments – young lawyers from the panel of law firms used by the group, for example, are sometimes invited to work with Virgin for six months.
While the group still takes the attitude of “don’t whinge about the problem, find a solution”, it has made moves to increase the amount of mentoring and coaching that takes place, Succession planning is proactive and extensively supported by Virgin Management, which seeks to identify who possess sufficient ambition, vision and drive to take the business to new levels.
How to Apply for a Virgin Job
1- Go to https://careers.virginmedia.com/
2- Click on Search jobs
3- Enter job title and location of your choice.
4- Read the job description once again before proceeding.
5- You will need to have your CV and cover letter ready on your PC or smartphone.
7- Apply now link will redirect you to myworkdayjobs.com.
8- You don’t have to be logged in to search positions however you will need to have an account to apply for any vacancy.
9- The whole process will take around 30 minutes.
10- Wait for Virgin to get back to you.
Pay and Benefits
Serious opportunities exist at Virgin for making money. The group operates as a meritocracy, with the opportunity to reap huge rewards – recently, chief executives of Virgin Mobile and Virgin Blue both made millions when their companies went public. Others benefited too, albeit to a lesser degree, when Virgin Mobile gifted its employees each with shares worth £1,000 to £2,000 depending on how long they had been with Virgin.
While every Virgin company differs, several operate performance-related pay schemes, with employees able to accrue bonuses of between 10% and 20% of basic pay. At Virgin Atlantic, there is profit-related pay; and at Virgin Management, employees can treble their basic salary through various incentives and bonuses.
Senior executives are incentivised through LTIP’s (long-term plans based on shadow equity); and for those lower down the scale, perks include the chance of being nominated by one’s peers to enjoy a trip to Branson’s own Caribbean island, Necker.
The group does not operate its own pension scheme – “one rule we do have is not to self-invest” – but pensions contributions are made, and standard benefits are available such as health insurance, subsidised gym membership, and in some companies, free meals. Every employee receives a Virgin Tribe Card, which entitles the bearer to a range of discounts on services from plan and train tickets to entertainment products.
Virgin is a unique organisation that operates by Schumacher’s maxim “small is beautiful”.
Branson founded his legendary Student magazine in 1967 and ran a mail-order business, as well as recording studios and record shops, before launching Virgin Atlantic in 1984. Following an unsuccessful floatation, he took the group private again and drew up the Virgin charter to safeguard agreements with partner companies.
Virgin Management manages Branson’s own interests in the group, and the man himself takes a “hands-on, hands-off” approach to operations – pursuing new business opportunities while keeping in constant touch with, on the one hand, a group of trusted senior executives who represent him on company boards, and on the other, the managing directors of the various Virgin businesses.
In 2000, the group was investing heavily in what were then new companies, but recently it has seen profits accelerate with the rapid growth of Virgin Mobile and the success of airline Virgin Blue – now Australia’s second largest carrier after Quantas.
Following the flotation of individual companies, the group has “significant cash reserves – the future is very rosy”. It plans to launch its mobile model in Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, China and Mexico; and to enter the US airline market with a low-cost domestic carrier, Virgin America. By 2010, Virgin wants to have spun out “ten or eleven quotes companies” and to be acknowledged among the world’s top ten brands.
Innovation is the central ingredient in Virgin’s business model – indeed, the brand is known principally for doing things differently. This attitude is evident everywhere, from the scope of new products such as space travel, to the management of staff.
Virgin’s culture allows mistakes to be made. “Most large companies immediately get rid of anyone who makes an expensive mistake, but Virgin believe in ‘three strikes and you’re out. If you make a major error, you learn from it and it doesn’t make sense to let you go to a rival which then benefits from your learning”.
In the 1990s, Virgin Direct took on the banks and changed industry practice by offering low-cost index-tracking personal equity plans. More recently, Virgin Mobile revolutionised the mobile phone market by piggy-backing on assets owned by other operators and offering a cheap, understandable model which was supported by top-class customer service.
While acknowledging that its ideas are widely copied, Virgin stays one step ahead by remaining “small”.
Diversity and Social Responsibility
While Virgin has no dedicated officer within the group, it believes it already has a strong mix of people within both front-line teams and senior management ranks.
Several of the group’s top directors are female, and the group also has a positive approach to hiring women into traditionally make-dominated roles; it recruited the first female pilot (20% of pilots are now female) and the first female train driver.
Virgin purposely avoids using the term ‘corporate social responsibility’, seeing it as potentially just an exercise in box-ticking. Instead, it operates a discrete function called Virgin Unite, which coordinates all of the charitable and community activity within the group. 1% of all the group’s profits goes to charity, and more than six hundred staff are involved in individual volunteering projects.
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