Kainos Employee Reviews about "belfast"

Updated 18 Aug 2020

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4.2
81%
Recommend to a Friend
93%
Approve of CEO
Kainos Managing Director Brendan Mooney (no image)
Brendan Mooney
133 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great place to work overall with great people who are understanding of personal circumstances(in 17 reviews)

  • "Flexible working hours, good company culture(in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • "The back-office teams in Belfast are hugely under-resourced and therefore disorganised(in 16 reviews)

  • "Has grown quickly and is experiencing growing pains in Corporate teams/processes and communication but these are recognised and they plan to fix these(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "belfast"

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  1. COVID-19
    Helpful (14)

    "Not the Best place to work despite industry awards"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Delivery Manager 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kainos full-time

    Pros

    training allocated to all staff annually close to public transport shares and health cover for most staff (after qualifying period)

    Cons

    From the very top-down, there is an issue with trust between the management and staff. Huge problem. This leads to a blame culture, managers micro-managing their teams, everyone focussed on covered their back instead of what they should be focussed on. Another huge issue- there is no organisational clarity. Never seen org chart entire time I was there. No-one knows anything about org structure.. There is no articulated strategy. I never heard the company strategy discussed ever. Communication is very limited. Only company updates we had were quarterly financial performance updates, or the annual kickoff companywide update. This is lacking. Clearly, remote working through COVID will be a real challenge for Kainos primarily due to lack of trust in employees, with immature managers valuing hours worked over outputs achieved. CEO and senior management are largely focussed on graduates and long term (10-15yrs+) employees. This is problematic as the majority of staff fall outside this focus group. Obviously the salary review process is ineffective as is it not based on merit, rather who you know which becomes all too clear after 12 -18 months in the role. There is a distinct lack of diversity, again this comes from the top with senior management almost exclusively over 40yr old white males from Belfast. Although diversity is recognised as an issue at Kainos, nothing has been done.

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  2. Helpful (4)

    "Great people and projects"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior DevOps Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kainos full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people on-site at clients are generally great fun to work with and there are plenty of social events throughout the year. People on-site tended to be hardworking and I enjoyed the focus on doing the "right thing" rather than the quick fix within public sector projects. The personal development opportunities are fairly good if you have the drive to go after them. Managers seemed to genuinely care about the people they were supporting and were always happy to help improve things where they could or to offer guidance on where else to go for help.

    Cons

    The back-office teams in Belfast are hugely under-resourced and therefore disorganised. As of late 2019, they were totally unable to keep up with handling the number of projects which were on-going. I had a number of issues around expenses and other related issues. Messages from HR/finance were inconsistent, slow and often times proved to be incorrect. Whilst there is a large amount of noise made about fixing growing pains and improving the company culture, I didn't see any actual progress and this was a common theme amongst the people I spoke with. There's a issue with Belfast-biased leadership in the DevOps area which has resulted in some fairly inexperienced people getting into positions of influence. This has certainly caused some negative opinions (due to poor hiring decisions and guidance) of the company as a whole, which engineers on-site are then forced to disprove.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Really cares about its people"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great company to work for, clear career progression and good opportunities to move up or sideways in the company. Good perks including free breakfast, working from home and flexible hours, good holidays. Feels nice being part of a company that is doing so well and growing at an exciting pace.

    Cons

    Nothing really, things will be even better when we move into our new office in Belfast!

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  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good company but needs to be vigilant"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Dev Ops in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kainos full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some great people at the company. Really top notch engineers and technical architects who you can learn a lot from. Some very interesting projects and tech stacks. Travel opportunities are plentiful (which is a perk if you like travel) Generous when it comes to working from home. Pretty good career progression if you put the effort in. There's no doubt about it; Kainos still has a good reputation in Ireland. It's still a good name to have on your CV.

    Cons

    Company dropped out of Top 100 companies this year on the Times list, but still implies it is a top 100 company. This is disingenuous. Travel opportunities are plentiful (which is a negative if you don't like or cannot travel). There is a sense that Kainos will take on any customer, even if the customer is dreadful, difficult to work with and the work is awful and it has a detrimental effect on frontline staff. This seems to have become more of an issue after the company went public. Pay is definitely an issue, but that's not only a problem with Kainos. I think the issue is with the notorious "benchmarking" tech companies in Belfast do. They only seem to benchmark against the old boys club (companies who have been here 15+ years). So the likes of Liberty, Kainos and AllState think they are on point with tech sector pay in Belfast, but in reality the tech sector in Belfast is booming and many new American based companies coming in are simply paying far more. So, benchmarking and salaries is an area of concern. Which is part of... Retention. While Kainos does have amazing people, it isn't doing that well retaining them. Incredibly experienced, highly skilled staff are simply walking out the door for better jobs and opportunities at rates which would make most People/HR teams shudder. On call can be an issue for teams, but again, this isn't just a Kainos issue. On call can be a major pain point for a lot of tech professionals in lots of companies.

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  5. Helpful (5)

    "Still loving it ..."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Services Manager in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    People - caring, considered, you get the odd Gruffalo, but everyone is entitled to an off day. Place - Easy to get to if you live in or near Belfast. Work - Interesting and varied.

    Cons

    I am losing track of who works in Kainos. I have went from knowing and recognising most, to wondering who half the people are, but such is the nature of growth. The company has lots of social events to get to know everyone, but mainly these are nights out, and as a non-drinker I don't participate. So maybe a few more events without alcohol would be nice.

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  6. Helpful (8)

    "Great company, great people, shoddy management at times"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people who work at Kainos are fantastic. Developers and Architects are extremely well trained and apprentices/trainees are, for the most part, treated as just another member of the team, with the same credibility and responsibility. This is great.

    Cons

    Speaking from experience within the Evolve BU, there are times when the management of projects and teams is dreadful and seems like it just hasn't been thought through. Teams have been disbanded immediately after a release and the ongoing maintenance of that release has been dumped on 1 or 2 people. Developers are constantly forced to context-switch between multiple different products and releases meaning they can't focus their effort for more than a day. There is a sense in certain projects within Evolve that developers are not entirely trusted and everything they say must be confirmed by someone who is a higher band than them before it is taken on board by management. Developers are expected to maintain the same momentum in the project even after everyone else has left (either to other projects, or out of frustration). My biggest problem with Kainos currently is that it is too difficult for a person based in Belfast to get assigned to a project that doesn't require regular travel. It's as if saying you don't want to travel puts you on some sort of blacklist that automatically makes it hard to get work. You are limited to which BUs/projects you can work on. So limited that it takes months to get re-assigned.

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  7. Helpful (6)

    "Kainos Software PLC"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great community, benefits and interesting work

    Cons

    Most of my colleagues are in Belfast

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    Kainos Response

    August 14, 2017Managing Director

    Straight to the point - I like your style! Thank-you for your feedback, Brendan

  8. Helpful (7)

    "An Exciting company"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Undiclosed in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Excellent intelligent and social teams. I've worked with hundreds of people and these are truly the best in the business. - Great senior management. Some of the best professionals and managers i've worked with. All levels within the company are approachable and you can happily socialise with outside of work. There isn't the social hierarchy which you may see within other companies. - An expanding company with some great, exciting opportunities. - They listen. This is why i'm writing this. Kainos actively ask you for ideas and suggestions and will listen to what you have to say. Which I appreciate is extremely difficult in a company which is growing to 1000 employees. - Great Culture and Values (However this can be a con, mentioned below). - Generous holiday allowance. - You never know what is around the corner. With opportunities coming in constantly at Kainos, you do not know what project or which location you may be working in next. This may prove difficult for some however. - An encouraging recent drive on charity work and donations allowing employees to take leave to attend charity events every year. - Flexible working depending on your project and management.

    Cons

    - Failure to utilise peoples skill-sets. - New starts & recruitment - I applied for the same role as some of my colleagues when we joined Kainos at the same time and was surprised to find that i joined in at a junior level, despite having the same experience. If this was made clear when I got the job offer, I would probably not have taken the job given that I have 7 years industry experience and joined from a management position. - Career management and promotions seem to be a box ticking exercise. Promotion applications go to a senior management who do not necessarily see your day to day work and therefore you have to word a promotion application to fit the role you are applying for. Alternatively, even if you are doing a job well and have been recommended for promotion by your colleagues and management, this will be rejected if you do not complete the form correctly. - The career path, despite moving into a lattice that allows people to move into a variety of new roles, still appears to be a set ladder for you to go up and if you do not see yourself as a part of this ladder, you can feel you've hit a dead end with nowhere to go. - Growing Pains. Kainos are still an expanding company and as they continue to grow globally, they need to look more into how best to arrange travel and compensate those wishing to work away from home for long period of time. - The 'Kainos way' and culture can be difficult to understand and imbed yourself into if you have not come from Queens University and for those who have worked for much larger organisations. This is especially the case if you are not based out of Belfast. - Benefits system is limited. We use an online co-operate service that provides benefits to a number of companies so these benefits are rarely specific to employees at Kainos. - Expenses - For younger colleagues without access to credit, sometimes spending large sums of money each month can cause some difficulty for them. Kainos are actively pursuing new ways of managing this however and do have a Travel team which will pay in advance for your travel to customer locations and accommodation.

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    Kainos Response

    May 8, 2017Managing Director

    That's a really impressive set of feedback - thank-you for taking to consider the feedback to provide such comprehensive comments. And I much prefer to hear about the things that we can do better than hear about the things we are doing well (don't get me wrong, I do like the 'good stuff' as well!) Last year we had 203 people who were promoted - that's not to say that the process is as good as it needs to be. I know that we have made changes to the process in the past weeks and I would really like to hear your experience after these changes - perhaps you could chat that over with me? And as for BBQ weather in Belfast? We've not been lucky on that front over the past couple of years! Thanks again for all your feedback. Brendan

  9. Helpful (3)

    "Great!"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Engineer in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time

    Pros

    New Technologies Great People to work with....(Permanent Employees) Proper Agile mindset Work with most brilliant minds in the Industry Always new to learn

    Cons

    People outside Belfast mostly don't have visibility but it's changing Commute - as it is a part of the business

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    Kainos Response

    May 8, 2017Managing Director

    Thanks very much for your feedback - delighted to see that you are enjoying it! Brendan

  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great place to work, always striving to improve."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kainos full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Intelligent, approachable colleagues, in a friendly office environment. Good location, central to the university area of south Belfast, with plenty of choices for food, links to public transport, and nice surroundings to go for a walk at lunch. Gov are doing good work with the "open by default" policy, would be great to see this rolled out across all BU's. Good social events such as Pay Day Drinks, Christmas dinner, Summer BBQ, Sandwich Talks, etc. all help to improve morale and strengthen the community feel within Kainos. Management of all levels tend to be friendly and will take time to talk with anyone, from Trainee to Principal; Brendan is a shining example of this warm, welcoming approach to people management, and its part of what gives us our unique culture. Good commitment to charitable work by the charity committee and staff - fundraising events are frequently hosted in the office and beyond, these generally get a great response. Expense allowances for traveling are quite generous.

    Cons

    Some staff travel 3+ days per week for months at a time, which negates many of the pros mentioned above, and you may feel out of touch with the rest of your colleagues who are working in the main offices. This is the nature of the beast with traveling to customer sites - I'm not sure how it can be addressed, but it's something worth considering. Salary is pretty average, for Belfast at least. Money isn't a huge motivator for me, but it's worth mentioning as it's make or break for some people. I've noticed there is a lack of openness and notice regarding assignment to a new role/project/team. This is something which is easy to address; include staff in the correspondence and decision-making process which is going to directly impact their day-to-day job and work-life balance.

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    Kainos Response

    May 8, 2017Managing Director

    Thank you for your feedback - and I agree it is very important for us to continue to focus on the culture. I really liked your suggestion about involving people in the correspondence / decision-making about project assignments. It seems a bit of a no-brainer and might well shorten the conversations about assignments - and there are a lot of those internally - I will check with our team about this. Thanks again for your feedback / suggestions. Brendan

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