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Acorn winner 2007: Anthony Kirby

10 May 2007
Acorn winner 2007: Anthony Kirby

Age: 26
Position: HR business partner, sports, leisure and hospitality division, Compass Group, Uxbridge

Career to date

Kirby joined Compass Group straight from secondary school. In just 10 years he has risen through the ranks from the position of porter at one of the company's client sites, Haydock Park Racecourse, through various staffing manager positions to become HR manager of the racing and motorsports division in 2004 and then HR business partner for the sports, leisure and hospitality division the following year. In his current role he is responsible for more than 1,000 employees across 44 sites and for deploying more than 32,000 casual staff a year.

Why is he a winner?

Having started out as a porter, Kirby has come a long way in just 10 years and he has learnt the industry from the bottom up. In addition to the valuable insights he has gained, he has made an excellent contribution to the business.

In his current role Kirby has developed a staff management and resourcing system that greatly improves the way the company manages its casual labour. The company hopes it will save more than £5m over the next four years through increased productivity and improved staff retention. In addition, he has successfully renegotiated contracts with the group's recruitment agencies in order to obtain better margins.

Kirby, who has recently concluded a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) course, has also introduced a series of 10-minute training sessions for staff in key areas such as customer focus and upselling.

He is also a champion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and charity work - most notably raising £114,000 for a baby hospice in Liverpool called Zoë's Place through an event at the Grand National.

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