University of Reading and Hireserve Limited

University of Reading and Hireserve Limited

University-of-Reading-LogoCase study by University of Reading


The Knowledge Transfer Centre manages the University of Reading’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) portfolio and provides a front door to businesses looking to work with the University.

To date the team have supported over 200 KTP projects with a range of businesses and organisations, and to build on this success the Centre recently established a wider range of support for businesses. This aims to make it easier for companies looking to work with the University and focusses on building positive, long-term relationships. Hireserve Limited provides an excellent example of how this approach is delivering on-going benefits for both parties.

Hireserve is an e-recruitment software specialist providing online recruitment solutions for a variety of companies and organisations across the UK and Europe. Karen Ovenden, Co-founder and Operations Director was introduced to the Knowledge Transfer Centre while attending a placement fair at the University. Hireserve were looking to re-engineer their existing applicant tracking software (ATS) into a version suitable for much smaller organisations.  

The team in the Knowledge Transfer Centre worked with Hireserve to understand their specific needs, and supported them in successfully scoping a highly successful two year KTP. Academic experts from the School of Systems Engineering supported development of the graphical user interface design in terms of web based products and client configuring products, and e-marketing support came from Henley Business School. The KTP enabled Hireserve to develop an entirely new system called ATS2go, which allows them to attract new, smaller organisations to their customer base as it offers a simple and secure solution to meet and manage the recruitment needs for companies of all sizes. The ATS2go KTP project has enhanced Hireserve’s approach to development and use of new technologies.

“The opportunity and the potential the KTP programme offers are fantastic. For a smaller company like ours it isn’t financially crippling and the support and guidance we received through the Knowledge Transfer Centre was a major asset. The structure of KTP is good, as is the confidence provided in pursuing a project. When I risk-assessed doing a KTP there were no negatives” said Karen Ovenden, Cofounder and Operations Director at Hireserve.

Following the KTP Hireserve and the University are proactively driving a mutually beneficial relationship. As a result, Karen has joined a number of panels for the new SME Forum hosted by the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Henley Business School, which aims to establish a network and provide support to SMEs in the Thames Valley. Additionally, Hireserve used the services of graduate James Rattee from the University of Reading’s Department of Film, Theatre and Television to produce an animated promotional video for their core product iCams.

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