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I worked at QinetiQ full-time (More than 3 years)
Worked for 3 CEO's. The first was well intentioned and a decent human but inept. The second who I worked with for his entire time was a true leader that was shaping QinetiQ into a progressive organisation that had a clear mission, vision and values and was well on its way to achieving it. I have never seen an organisation transform itself in these 3 years. Working for the previous CEO was without doubt the greatest career experience I have and am likely to have as an employee and has shown me what true leadership can do.
Distinct (negative) change in culture reflecting change in CEO's.
Went from progressive disciplined meritocracy under CEO number 2 with vibrant energy to a loosely run Canberra based boys ex services based boys club (some of whom are/were criminally incompetent yet operated with abandon).
In a few months most of the operational gains that had been built in the years prior and discipline that had been built vaporised - talk about own goal...
Advice to Management
Don't surround yourself with Yes types and don't treat your staff as though they are gullible drones. They aren't stupid - you aren't "hiring new staff" you are mostly replacing great staff who have left.
HR do your job rather than being an enabler for the latest CEO whim. The number of times I saw HR being directed to do something that was designed to nothing more than a CEO whitewash rather than deal with a festering issue was truly disturbing - half of leadership is doing the right thing!
UK should actually look at the detail in the staff feedback (perhaps review Glassdoor occasionally) and act accordingly before the whole QinetiQ Australia story repeats itself.
Your churn rate is what it is for a reason and when smart "doers" leave or are made "redundant" in droves there aren't many positive conclusions to be drawn.
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I applied online. The process took 5 days. I interviewed at QinetiQ (Melbourne (Australia)) in January 2011.
First stage interview (after a brief phone interview) was a one-on-one meeting with the hiring manager, a senior engineer from the department the role was based in. Very relaxed and informal atmosphere, made for a positive and welcoming interview. Discussion ranged from university experiences, expectations for career development and technical questions. Whilst a nice interview, we quickly established this was not the role for me - however the atmosphere was never anything less than pleasant and positive, so the interview was a good learning experience.