Behind every idea and innovation lies a team of brilliant people – so we thought it was high time we shone the spotlight on some of ours. Each month we’ll be introducing you to the people who make Hireserve more than an ATS.

Dan Lawford, Technical Development Engineer at HireserveFirst on the list is Dan, Hireserve’s Technical Development Engineer.

Fresh from the University of Kent, Dan joined us in July for his Year in Industry placement – also known as a ‘Sandwich Year’.

Hello Dan! Can you explain a little more about what your Sandwich Year is?

It’s not compulsory, but I opted to take a Year in Industry so I could take the theoretical knowledge from my first two years of Uni and apply it to the workplace. When you learn things in classroom it’s a perfect world – you don’t deal with real work situations or challenges.

The placement makes up 10% of my final grade and I have to submit a 10,000 report, portfolio of evidence, weekly log book and a review from my line manager. Then I go back to complete my final year of Uni in September 2015.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis at Hireserve?

Dan typing at computer keyboardMake tea, play pool…! Every morning I speak to Anton (my line manager) about the current status of projects and what’s in the pipeline. Then I build the websites. (Customer career sites)

Generally I work on front-end but I’m starting to do more database stuff which I enjoy, and it makes my role a bit more rounded. It’s nice to be able to do everything. I’m also managing and training Lewis, our apprentice.

What have you learnt?

Time management and generally improved technical abilities – a lot, in fact. I’ve also learnt about the process of our projects from start to finish, from specification to testing. The key thing for me is I am much more confident now.

Where do you see the future of Web Computing/Computer Science graduates?

Everyone on my course at Uni is confident about their employment prospects – it’s a relevant degree and businesses are looking for our skills.

Do you think employability is improved by graduates taking a Sandwich Year?

Definitely. A friend of mine didn’t want to do his next year and we’ve convinced him to – it’s so invaluable. The skills you learn and your exposure to potential employers and other companies – it’s a platform to launch your career.

Would you recommend joining a smaller business to other graduates?

Yes – you don’t get pigeonholed. Friends at bigger companies are doing one thing, all day, every day. In a small business you get exposure to everything.

What do you do outside of work?

Dan playing table footballWatch a lot of TV… Rugby, skiing, water-skiing – generally keeping fit and healthy.

Quick fire round:

Tea or Coffee? Tea

Apple or Android? Apple

Pool or Table Football? Pool (favourite at the moment)

Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad? Game of Thrones (hard question)

Find out more:

Read about the changing face of graduate recruitment with Charlie Reeve

Meet Lewis, our Apprentice, and find out why SMEs should raise their voice

The human touch – say hello to the rest of the Hireserve team

And discover why graduates should consider joining a small business

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.