Meet the 2018 In-house Recruitment Awards Judges: Rebecca Martin-Cortez and Paul Thornton

Entries for the In-house Recruitment Awards 2018 are in full swing! With just a month to go until the entry deadline (31st July), we grabbed two more of our judges to pick their brains on how to win over their hearts.

Rebecca Martin-Cortez, Head of Resourcing at Travis Perkins, and Paul Thornton, Recruitment and Employer Brand Manager at Anglian Water, have been judging our awards for the past three years and they’ve both seen their fair share of successful entries. They both agree that entering the In-house Recruitment Awards can do wonders for your brand recognition, but more importantly, they can put you and your team on the map within your business.

“Recruitment is often ‘invisible’ within an organisation as the results are only visible once candidates join the business. We hear when things go wrong but not often when things go right,” says Rebecca. “The awards give recruitment teams time to reflect on the great work that they do and achieve peer recognition – even if they don’t win.”

“Every year submissions are getting better and better as more companies decide to enter. It’s clear how much effort people put into trying to differentiate themselves,” says Paul, a previous winner of the Best Public Sector Recruitment Team Award, with the Royal Mencap Society. “It’s the same as applying for a job – you wouldn’t make a half-hearted attempt at applying if you didn’t really want the job.”

What makes an award-winning entry in the eyes of Rebecca and Paul? They list some success factors below:


“For me it’s all about showing the impact year on year. It’s great to say that you have recruited 500 people as long as you are able to show the significance of this from the previous year,” says Rebecca.


“The other great focus is to talk about the value-add activities that you do – what sets you apart from the rest. If you can talk about innovation or new ways of thinking, that is a great way to stand out from competitors,” she adds.

Structure and clarity

“A well-structured and easy to interpret submission is important – the way it’s written, the language used. There needs to be a good balance of information with a focus on what’s being achieved and the return on investment,” says Paul.

Supporting evidence

It’s great to talk about your achievements but what judges are really looking for is evidence. “Analytics help present a really clear picture of existing processes,” Paul explains. Team testimonials and short videos of your working environment can give a taste of who you really are. But don’t go overboard! You don’t want to make these the focus of your entry at the expense of the key criteria outlined in the brief.

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