Your future is important — be sure you don’t leave it to chance

Founded in 1964 in Limerick, Kirby Group Engineering is a leading mechanical and electrical engineering contractor operating across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe, and directly employing over 1,500 highly-skilled professionals.

Share This Post

It is very important to find an employer that is prepared to invest in people and their wellbeing, advises Fergus Barry,  Human Resources Director at Kirby

Considering a change of job is a common sentiment as we move into another January.

If I’m asked for advice on this, I have a simple message — don’t just think about the role you want in two months’ time. Look ahead and see where that job could bring you in five, ten or fifteen years from now. A sustainable career is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

Fergus Barry, Human Resources Director at Kirby.

Good companies should aim to develop from within for up to 80% of promotional opportunities. This is especially the case when it comes to senior leadership positions. It’s an approach which necessitates the development of a broad and well-prepared talent pipeline that can take the company forward.

Creating that culture of a living pipeline of growth, development and talent requires careful strategising and real investment.

Kirby now employs over 1,500 people across Ireland, the UK, mainland Europe and South Africa. As HR Director for the Group, Kirby relies on my team and I not only to convince each person that we will help them achieve their potential, but show them a viable career path with stepping stones that will make it happen.

The ‘people first’ approach has been embedded into Kirby culture since its foundation in the 1960s. It has grown with the company and is valued highly enough to allow us to naturally implement ambitious people planning.

Now as we seek recruits to help steer us through what is a really exciting growth period for Kirby, we’re taking a competency approach to our structured talent development. It allows us to offer a 24-month accelerated development journey, which is incredibly advanced in our industry and proving popular among our high potentials and new arrivals.

In an era of technological advancement and change, futureproofing your career must be a consideration for any jobseeker. You can’t afford to stand still and at Kirby, that’s not an option.

The recent past has demonstrated that not only do individuals in our sector evolve and adapt very well to change, but also that companies must manage and support the concept of wellbeing.

For some other employers, the idea carried limited weight up to the arrival of the pandemic. Then people were suddenly thrust into the unknown not only in their jobs, but in their general lives too. Coping with this meant that more employers were quickly grasping the importance of understanding ‘how are our people doing’.

The Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) has become an essential piece of kit, both for looking after current workers and attracting new colleagues.

Kirby has been an enthusiastic adopter of the EAP. We’ve designed and rolled out a detailed programme to empower people to recognise if they are struggling, feel comfortable to know they can tell a colleague and know where to turn for help. Every month as part of our EAP we highlight life challenges and identify where help and support is available for our people.

However, I believe Kirby has an edge in this area which dates back almost 60 years. This is a family-founded company and the kind of positive atmosphere that this fostered has been integral to its success and expansion.

The continuing care for colleagues I witness here on a daily basis doesn’t come from a specific training programme. It’s unique to a company like Kirby, which regularly demonstrates commitment to its ‘people first’ principle.

The concepts of futureproofing a career and wellbeing in the workplace are more interconnected than some might think, as they share the vital element of human motivation. This consists of meeting our basic physiological needs, feeling secure, feeling part of something special and having the opportunity ‘to become the best you can be’. We are proud to offer this at Kirby.

Kirby’s experience is evidence that matching our career offerings to the real drivers of human commitment all go a long way towards shaping people who stretch and grow, stay with the company, and shape the company’s future.


Related articles


Discover your perfect job

Looking to take the next step in your career?
Kickstart your search with indepth profiles and 

handy career advice and find your 

perfect match today.


10 Minutes With…

Find jobs in your area

Copyright © 2022. Developed & Designed by Square1.