In less than 50 years, the University of York has become one of the top ten Universities in the UK for teaching and research.

With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences and social sciences to the humanities, it has been recognised as one of the top 100 Universities in the world.

Delivering today the recruitment needs of tomorrow

Crucial to the University of York’s continued success and excellent reputation is the on-going recruitment of the best staff. The competition between institutions for world-class employees is considerable and to attract the best candidates the University of York recognised the importance of providing a seamless recruitment process that reflected the high standards and growing reputation of the University.

With 3,500 employees, the University attracts a large and diverse number of candidates both nationally and internationally and has been using an e-recruitment solution to manage recruitment for the past three years. However, the University’s requirements continue to change, and aware of the significant advancements in technologies it took the decision to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the e-recruitment solutions available in the market.


Following a systems review, the University of York selected Hireserve ATS, a software as a service (SaaS) recruitment solution.

“The University chose Hireserve ATS because it enables the University to align our recruitment to strategic objectives. It offers a transparent recruitment and selection process, a means to easily implement policies and practices that support managers, and an improved candidate experience.”

-Rob Hargrave, Shared Services Project Manager, University of York

With significant investment projects underway and a new campus, the institution plans to double in size. It will offer new courses and attract larger numbers of students, driving up research income and building more world-class facilities for the 21st century. Hireserve ATS meets both the short and long-term recruitment needs of the University.

Rob Hargrave added:

“With such substantial expansion plans, we wanted an e-recruitment solution that would deliver flexibility, cope with the demands of increased volumes of roles and candidates and support the University’s changing recruitment needs. We were impressed with the configurability of Hireserve ATS and recognised the value it would deliver. It ultimately allows us to offer candidates and departmental managers a superb recruitment experience, from creating jobs, to applications, to interviews and hires.”

Implementation and service delivery

The implementation was completed in 12 weeks, with a Hireserve ATS consultant working closely with the University’s system administrator. Since implementation it has been delivering a range of additional business benefits and efficiency gains, including readily handling two major academic recruitment campaigns attracting thousands of high-quality applicants.

The University advertises approximately 400 academic, research and administrative roles a year and since go live the system has processed more than 1100 applications per month. The intuitive interface of Hireserve ATS enables the recruitment team to set up and administer the high recruitment volumes efficiently and effectively.

The system’s flexibility means that application forms can be configured to cover job-specific requirements, asking targeted scored questions of applicants, with score thresholds applied to highlight the highest quality applicants. This is particularly important for academic and research roles which require assessment against multiple education, qualification and achievements criteria.

Hireserve ATS provides candidates with a professional, easy-to-use application process from where they can apply for roles 24/7, 365 days a year. Candidates can upload their documentation and academic papers as well as CVs. The central document management feature provides a single, convenient store for all candidate documentation required for selection.

User-friendly functionality

The University currently has 1,200 Hireserve ATS applicants and system users at any one time time. The user-friendliness of the solution is valuable to York because it allows occasional recruiters who are often spread across the University’s departments, to learn quickly how to use the system. Managers require very little user training and the best-practice workflow enables them to process candidates quickly and effectively.

Rob concluded:

“Based on the problem-free implementation and the efficiency and effectiveness of the system to-date we are seeing real benefits with Hireserve ATS. It has quickly proven itself to be efficient, reliable and user-friendly.

Both applicants and recruitment managers are delighted with the usability and the University is providing a superb recruitment experience, supporting the need to attract the best candidates and drive the ambitious recruitment programme as the University expands. We are now looking forward to refining the recruitment process by adopting additional functionality within the product.

Our promises are being fulfilled and the fulfilment is being delivered.”

“With such substantial expansion plans, we wanted an e-recruitment solution that would deliver flexibility, cope with the demands of increased volumes of roles and candidates and support the University’s changing recruitment needs.”

Where to next?

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