John Hayles, Pre-Constructon Manager, Kier Constructon Eastern
Where did you go to school? Whitley Bay, just outside Newcastle
upon Tyne on the NE coast
What path did you take to get to your current positon? I qualified
as an architect but took a year out working on a constructon site in the US . On returning
to the UK I always envied people who worked on real projects rather than drawing them. I
started working in the design department of a large contractor then progressed to design
management, then project management. When I joined Kier contractors were startng to
do more and more design work and I progressed from design management to bid
management, then pre-constructon management.
What subjects did you study? Maths, Physics and rt at
-level, t University I studied
How many jobs have you had, and can you name them? Early days - bar staff, car park
atendant, tea boy on site, shop assistant/shelf filler. Professional -Site Engineer, rchitect,
Project Manager, Design Manager, Head of Design Management, Bid Manager,
Pre-Constructon Manager
What school subjects link to your career? Maths, Physics and rt link the artstc and
technical sides of architecture
typical day in your current role looks like: 8am arrive in the office. Check with our
Design Manager on the progress of our consultants who may be doing design work for us.
lso check with other in-house people to see how work on bids is progressing, Estmators
and Planners in partcular. Present new project opportunites to our Directors and chair
meetngs to discuss new projects and agree our actons and strategy to win tenders and
deliver successful designs, costs and programmes. Some days visit sites and clients to
gather informaton about projects. lso, sometmes I lead our teams in meetngs with
clients to develop designs and proposals for new buildings.
What skills do you use daily, that you learnt at school? Basic maths and writng skills. lso,
some of my physics comes in handy because it helps me understand the technical side of
how building work. My art is also useful because we sketch things all the tme, such as
building designs, site layouts and even things like how a crane will be located on a site.
John Hayles, Pre-Constructon Manager, Kier Constructon Eastern
What is the number #1 piece of advice you’ve been given that
helped you with your
career choice? When I was not accepted for R F pilot training my
Dad saw I needed a boost. He told me I should get a job where I could afford my own plane
and since I was good at art, maths and physics and loved drawings and making things I
could be an architect because they combined art and technology. I don’t think I could
afford a plane but he was right with everything else he said.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Retred and doing more paintng (art, not
What is the average salary for this role? Difficult to say because my role is quite rare. But
more than I would be earning if I was stll an architect.
If you could have done anything differently on your career journey, what would it be?
Nothing. I’m prety happy with my journey. I’ve worked in some interestng places, lived in
Barcelona for a while working on an Olympics project, spent a year in the US on site and
done my fair share of projects I can be proud of.
Why do you love your job?
I’m bidding and hopefully winning a few contracts that will help keep
my colleagues in work and Kier profitable͘ Our industry is filled with
people who have a ‘can do’ attude, and I love that͘ I ofen work with
architects and designers who are very creatve and hard working and I
admire them hugely, sitng in a design team meetng solving problems
and coming up with something that solves a problem is very reward-
ing͘ t the end of a days work I have contributed to a new school that
will help educate our children, a hospital that will save lives, a cinema
that will show great movies or even a shop to buy our food͘ I’m not
curing cancer but I really feel I’m doing something worthwhile͘