This week we’re chatting to Liam who knows our ATS (Applicant Tracking System) inside out. Liam is our Database Team Leader and has worked at Hireserve for 5 years since graduating from university.

We’ll be chatting to him about what makes a great recruitment system as well as how the graduate jobs market has changed since 2010.

Hi Liam! Can you tell me a bit about your day-to-day role here at Hireserve? 

My main role at Hireserve focuses on the development and maintenance of the back office which is the part of the software used by our customers. As a team leader, I’m also responsible for coordinating the efforts of the other back office developers.

There are two main tasks I undertake on a daily basis:

  • Planning and building new features for our ATS.
  • Investigating issues encountered by users to help find a solution. As part of this, I work closely with the support team who chat directly to our customers and pass on queries which may need to be solved in areas of the back office.

My job can be varied day-to-day as I have to work reactively based on our customers’ needs. Support and customer care is of key importance within my role even as a developer.

What would you say makes an outstanding recruitment system?

From a developer’s point of view I’d say there are 3 key features which make an outstanding system.

  1. Reliability and high performance – if you can’t rely on something how can you trust it? Reliability is hugely important in an ATS as organisations are using this system to recruit employees. They want to make the process as sleek and simple as possible, that’s the whole point of having an ATS!
  1. Intuitive features – an ATS is a complex system but almost anyone should be able to use the software, it needs to be both smart and user friendly. A quote I heard recently really springs to mind here; ‘the child isn’t a genius for using a tablet, the engineer was a genius for building a tablet that a child could use’.
  1. Helpful friendly support – asking for help should not be more difficult than the problem you’re trying to solve. One of the great advantages at Hireserve is that as a fairly small company our customers get to know us more closely which aids the support they receive. We try not to overcomplicate things either…as a technical developer that can get difficult at times.

What technology are you most excited about for the future of recruitment software?

As I mentioned, it is one of my main roles to plan and build new features for our ATS so we’re always working on improving and updating our system. I’m looking forward to the updates we have coming up as the system is going to look brilliant, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun working on this project with the team.

Mobile is a key part of this and it’s important to us that our system works seamlessly with all mobile technology. More people are using mobile to search for jobs than ever before so it’s fascinating to see where this technology is heading. When I was at university I wrote my dissertation on mobile architecture, but even that is outdated now. It’s crazy to see how fast technology is progressing, but also exciting because I haven’t had the chance to do much work on mobile before at Hireserve so I’m looking forward to the future of mobile recruitment.

You started at Hireserve as a graduate back when graduate employment was low. Was it a difficult process finding a job and one that matched your qualifications?

I have to admit that I was fairly naïve at the time and it wasn’t as easy as I had expected after graduating, although I think I was fortunate to have a better experience than some. I got myself a temporary job working in a warehouse just to start earning money whilst I sent out CVs looking for something full-time. I don’t think I sent many out so needless to say I didn’t get any replies.

I was incredibly lucky as I was told about a job vacancy at Hireserve by a fellow course mate, Anton, who had recently started working for them after graduating. I was given an interview, offered a job, and before I knew it I was handing in my notice and moving down South for my new job!

How do you think graduate employment has changed since then?

I think it’s probably got easier in the last few years. If I’m honest I don’t know a huge deal about the current statistics, but just by looking at Hireserve I’d say things are definitely improving. Recently we’ve had a graduate intern start as well as a university student on a placement year, and over summer we’ve had a couple of interns who are moving into their final year of university. We’ve also got an apprentice so it’s not just graduates that are getting a lot more help.

Most importantly, you’ve worked here for 5 years now so what is it that you love about your job?

Yeah I’ll have been here 5 years in October, time flies! I love working in such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with people who share my passion for the work we do. The developers here are a great laugh and we often end up in competition against each other when we’re given an issue to solve. Our work is taken seriously but we always manage to have a laugh at the same time, it’s a great balance.

In theory I could imagine doing my job somewhere else, but I can’t imagine enjoying it as much as I do here because of the people I work with. Jeremy and Karen have so much passion for what they do and it really spreads throughout the team, it’s hugely encouraging.

Find out more

See what another member of the database team gets up to

Meet Anton our Front End Team Leader

Take a read of our SME guide to hiring graduates

Find out how our summer interns are getting on

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.