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If you're used to reading these amazing founder stories about how our intrepid founders had the idea for hireful whilst trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for a diabetic donkey to have a heart transplant, then you're likely to be disappointed.

Our origin story isn't as exciting and has almost as many downs as ups. But hey -  this is our story, one of struggle, sacrifice and more recently some success.

Lightning striking out of a cloud


our story starts in 2001, with recession and gloom.

The small recruitment company that Adrian McDonagh had founded two years earlier with his brother, Martin and friend Dean, was struggling. After the dot com boom and the global recession following 9/11, all recruitment companies were struggling. They had two options: give up and close the company or hunker down and ride out a tough few years. They regrouped as a team of two - Adrian and Steve Grainger and the two of them set about riding out a tough couple of years whilst they rebuilt the company together.

A simplistic building


new office.

After trading through the recession, the team was growing again, so much so that they needed a new office. Time to say goodbye to working in an office on an industrial estate and move to the countryside. Time to wake up sleepy Strixton.

A cartoon superhero


future CEO, Sean Maher, joins as a graduate sales exec.

He immediately starts breaking all of our sales records. The force is strong with this one.

A figure teaching at a black board


we started running our free workshops and later on, webinars as well.

Training over 1,000 HR and recruitment professionals a year for free!

A computer


we took the huge gamble to start building our own recruitment software.

What seemed simple at the time, was crazy complex and stressful but this decision was vital in securing the future success of the company.

Interlinked wedding rings


our first company wedding.

Having been tied to the office for so many years, it makes sense Sean married a co-worker, the lovely Lena! Happy to report that they are still going strong and Sean loves Lena almost as much as he loves hireful!

A rosette with 'new' in the centre


agency service.

Another new division “EasyWeb Agency” was launched, to offer agency services to our existing customers.

Hireful logo


complete company rebrand.

After a year of searching for a new name and giving serious consideration to some shocking options, we landed on “hireful” (a word play on “hire” and “helpful” - but you’re smart so I guess you figured that out?!)

A person with a COVID-19 mask on



One month after rebrand we had to close the office and all move to remote working. Our staff all became Teams/Zoom Ninjas. Some also became part-time teachers. After a challenging 12 months, we are starting to bounce back and we look forward to reopening our offices in the summer!

Five figure stood side by side


community launch x2.

It’s a lonely job being an inhouse recruiter or HR professional. The chances are they work in a small team or even on their own. So we decided to launch sub1000. Catering for recruiters and HR professionals hiring less than 1,000 people pa. 5 weeks after launch we have over 1,000 members and an active community where members are sharing insights, ideas and getting answers to their most important questions from their peers.


recruitment success.

We launched our new "Recruitment Success" team. We now go beyond just supporting our customers with the software. We now provide 1-2-1 mentoring helping them improve their recruitment skills and get more from their recruitment software. 

So that’s our story so far. It’s only half written though, so find a job and come help us build the UK’s most helpful recruitment technology company.