There is a whole range of reasons why The Clarison Group provides a desirable career proposition; however, I will summarise with three categories which stand out most:
The creation of the Group earlier this year means that we already have over 400 employees across 6 locations in the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe and the Far East. Our size is increasing as we become a growing powerhouse in an industry that will likely consolidate over forthcoming years.
In line with the increase in our revenues, we have seen our resources and headcount increase commensurately since I joined the business in 2019. This inevitably provides not only external job opportunities but also internal growth and promotion opportunities for employees.
In addition to the growth in our ‘traditional’ functions such as sales, estimating, design, production, and site installation, it’s exciting that we expect industry trends such as carbon reduction, digitalisation, and off-site construction to lead to new exciting roles for ambitious individuals.
Firstly, let me say that this is still a ‘work in progress’. After all, we’ve only relatively recently brought together four different companies under The Clarison Group banner, each with its own identity and presence in the industry and with differing levels of maturity.
All, though, have a values-driven approach with people right at the heart, which means that employees can trust our leaders to consider them when making crucial business decisions. There are explicit ‘Guiding Principles’ in place in our Ireland-based companies, developed in conjunction with employees, describing the beliefs and philosophy that underpin how we conduct ourselves. There are even awards made to recognise individuals who go the extra mile in this regard.
We try hard to make our culture an inclusive one where employees voices are valued. We do this in a structured way through employee surveys that are run on a periodic, confidential basis to get the true thoughts of our staff. Alucraft Systems are running their employee survey as I write this. We also aim to ensure that our companies encourage 2-way feedback by having leaders that are accessible and straightforward to deal with, avoiding the hierarchical approach that often creeps into large corporate structures over time.
The multicultural nature of our workforce certainly displays this inclusiveness. In addition to our offices in Spain, Poland, and the Philippines, we recently discovered that amongst our UK & Ireland based staff, we have 30 nationalities representing 6 of the seven continents across the globe – we’re still working on our recruitment strategy for Antarctica!
One area where we are trying to improve – in common with the whole Construction industry – is women’s employment. We have progressed in employing Lakshmy (our first female graduate trainee) in 2021 into our Project Management scheme, but we know that we have further to go. Our efforts in this regard include supporting International Women’s Day, where for the fourth year in succession, our Irish companies have welcomed students from the local all-girls school, Coláiste Bríde, into the business to provide insights into the various career options in the industry.
The Group also tries to operate collaboratively to benefit from the knowledge and experience that we have across our companies. The latest development in this regard is the launch of our group-wide communication platform – Workvivo – which operates almost like an ‘internal Facebook’ where employees can share thoughts and ideas, both work-related and social. This online networking approach has proved very popular.
When I joined the business in 2019, it was immediately apparent that there’s a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise across the Group, not only in technical design and engineering but also in our factories and within our site installation teams. This expertise is a significant attraction for those considering a career with us. We have many individuals with decades of knowledge, keen to pass this on to new starters, to have a pipeline of talent, ensuring the sustained success of The Clarison Group into the future.
Construction sub-contractors have not had the best reputation for career development in the past. Still, we’re keen to buck that trend, and in the last couple of years have launched structured development programmes in several areas. We’ve invested significantly in creating our Leadership Development Programme (‘LDP’) where talented employees from across the Group undertake several weeks of intensive training to develop our Directors of the future.
The graduate trainee programmes have also proved very successful. We were delighted to recently appoint Luke and Joel into permanent Designer roles in Dublin after completing their two-year structured programme. The scheme gained recognition by winning the 2020 Irish Construction Industry award for the Graduate Training Programme of the Year. Across the Group, we have graduate trainee schemes for careers in Quantity Surveying, Estimating, Project Management and Design Engineering.
Finally, I can’t close without mentioning the tremendous continuous improvement initiatives (our CIP programme) that have delivered efficiency, system, and process benefits via numerous CIP projects in the last few years. We select employees who are keen to share their ideas to work in these project teams. A significant number of individuals have also gained formal ‘Greenbelt’ qualifications as part of the programme.
I hope that this article has given you a brief insight into our approach to people across The Clarison Group. This investment for the future will help secure the business’s status as a powerhouse of the Façades and Architectural Glazing industry.