I have been working at Arnold Clark full-time (More than 5 years)
Throughout my career at AC i have been pushed/tested/coached/praised and have ended up working through the ranks from Trainee to now being Sales Management at one of the most successful branches we have in England. Every step of the way I have been made aware of who to call if ever I need further guidance, and the support I was also given when in a pretty low point in my life due to personal circumstances was amazing. If you put the effort it, you will reap the rewards most definitely.
It's not easy work, but rewarding jobs never are!
Advice to Management
never forget your staff - think employee is a fantastic idea.
I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at Arnold Clark (Glasgow, Scotland) in July 2015.
Premise: I applied for a Software Engineer position from outside Scotland, passing through a talent recruiting company.
I don't want to judge the final decision. I just want to say that it was a very awkward experience that I have never had in my life and I hope I will be able to avoid in the future.
The interview process took almost two months, partly because of the time I took to develop their technical test, mostly because of their slow working rhythm (which is some way I consider positive).
I had my first interview with the talent recruiter on the phone and then I received a technical test to work on. I put a lot of effort in the test as I wanted to impress them with my code skills, completeness of the solution and testing coverage. The test had been made available on github for them to review in full. On that I had a technical interview. I had the impression that they did not look at it until the moment we started the conversion (it can be just an impression though).
After that, everything looking great, I was invited to their Development Center in Glasgow. My communication was only with the recruiter, to whom I immediately asked whether some part of my trip was paid by the company (accommodation, transportation...). They told me that unfortunately everything was out of my pocket. At the beginning I did not want to embark in this, an employee does not really feel drawn by such behavior.
Then I talked with the recruiter, which was confident that I would get the job and that it was worth risking, and, with substantial investment on my part, I went there.
The morning of the face-to-face interview, at their headquarters, I had another conversation on my test, explaining and detailing again why I made this or that choice, what I would change if I had to implement it "for real" and highlighting that after all that was just a test I had fun with.
It was a bit weird that we went over the test again, but they had just hired another person for the position (they were slowly building the team) and they wanted him to judge my work. I then discovered that they hired this person even if he did not submitted a complete solution to the test.
Afterwards I started pair programming with him on a real problem. He described me very clearly the issue at hand and we started discussing about the solution. All the decision were taken together, as a sort of mini-team. At the end we agreed that the solution would be "on these lines".
I was not selected. They wrote me some feedback on why they decided not to (and by the way I am grateful for that). This is the most difficult part to describe and I will try to be objective.
Objectively the company does not do anything to lure good and skilled workers to them. The fact that I had to pay my trip to Scotland is an example of how a company should never behave if it wants to improve its talent store. Not that I was that talent, they did not select me after all, but then why inviting me? Why not rejecting me directly after the test (in the feedback they said one of the reasons was that I had done "too much" in the test, I had not been YAGNI, and they invited me to take it again) ?
This might also mean that they are not financially strong enough to do it (I was a "final stage" candidate after all), and this is kind of scary as well.