Coding concept with software developer touching code symbol and icons

Exeter-based Paritor have operated for nearly three decades, offering a wide range of customers in the education and music industry market-leading software solutions. With clear plans to grow the business and launch new products over the next few years, they needed to expand their already developing team. Director, John Potts explains:

“We have had great success recruiting graduates in the past and with our business plan looking towards growing markets, we needed new talent that would bring fresh thinking and would also quickly adapt to our ways of working. Innovation is key to our business success, and graduate employees are vital to this.”

John looked towards the University of Plymouth’s STEM Graduates into Business project to support in the graduate recruitment:

“The project offered an opportunity for us to recruit in the most efficient way, saving us time and money in comparison to more traditional methods of recruiting.”

Free of the traditional recruitment fees, the STEM Graduates into Business project offered Devon SMEs free advertising on regional and national graduate platforms and co-ordination of the application process. The project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, offered financial incentive payments to support with staff and associated costs and allows businesses to hire graduates from any university. 

Through the project, Paritor recruited Matthew Batten, a Mathematics graduate from the University of Exeter as a Junior Software Engineer. With a proven track record for developing new talent, Paritor founder, Simon Dutton, provided a mentoring role, albeit virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions. Working remotely, the established working relationship allowed for the development of Matthew’s coding skills to the benefit of Paritor. Simon explains:

“I have been mentoring people all my life and I am proud of the record we have at Paritor for recruiting and developing fresh talent, but nothing has been like this. Even though learning coding remotely has been common for some time, teaching someone you have only met in 2D, on a screen, is a very different experience. Setting new tasks, sharing ideas and just chatting through problems is not as easy because you don’t get to pick up on the body language and other cues you see in a 3D world.”

Despite the challenges faced by the business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paritor sought to benefit from recruiting fresh talent in the long run, helping to bring new products and functionality to market faster in order to drive new revenue streams. John reflects on the process:

“There is no doubt that the pandemic has affected our business in various ways and recruiting Matthew and other new employees to the business presents a new challenge when it has to be done remotely. But as a business we already included remote working and so have been able to adapt to the new way of working as a whole. Working with the STEM Graduates into Business project to recruit Matthew certainly supported us in adapting and continuing our aim to grow and develop our business, saving us time and money compared to more traditional methods of recruiting graduates. We value the skills that graduates bring to the business and hope to recruit more as our business grows.”

Project funding

STEM Graduates into Business is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Utilising this funding, the project aims to:

  • Address SME innovation challenges through graduate internships focused on transformational business projects
  • Raise leadership and management capability levels in SMEs, particularly regarding recruitment and employment
  • Create a growing network of graduate-employing SMEs across the area, leading to longer-term opportunities for graduates and their retention in the local economy.

This project will run until 30 June 2021, regardless of Britain’s departure from the European Union.

More information about University of Plymouth projects funded by the European Development Fund

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