On 26th November 2015, 700 of the industry’s most talented in-house recruiters arrived at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London for the 2015 In-house Recruitment Awards partnered by First Choice Software and organised by the In-house Recruitment Network.

Articulating into words the events that occurred is going to require some serious exclamation mark management and adjective restraints from our perspective, as we take a look back on the success of the evening from start to finish. The In-house Recruitment Awards 2015 were the biggest that we have ever witnessed and the night itself indisputably exceeded our expectations.




From the moment everyone arrived, the atmosphere was magical and it only got progressively better as the night unfolded. Heavenly food followed by this year’s special guests, The Chippendoubles, set the room on fire! Who wouldn’t want a photo with Simon Cowell, Will Smith, Mr T, David Beckham and the one and only David Brent? As soon as the Chippendoubles finished their hilarious performance, the audience spilt onto the dancefloor for what can only be described as selfie mayhem. It was quite the scene. Our Britain’s Got Talent doppelgangers were thoroughly lapping it up, and even gave us the pleasure of a boogie on the dancefloor post-awards, much to the enjoyment of our guests!


A Unique Industry

One thing that unequivocally made the In-house Recruitment Awards 2015 wholly amazing was the unique nature of this fascinating industry. The way it has grown to prominence as a credible business function and the way that the members of its network are interlinked with each other is quite unlike any other industry. Members of the in-house network have either connected at one of many in-house networking events or as past colleagues. The awards are a fabulous setting for everyone to reconnect, let their hair down and congratulate each other on the year’s successes and there is no doubt that each and every person in the room that night experienced one or all of those things.




The Awards

Once the excitement of the entertainment was over, it was time for the main event. The awards.

Of course, as with any awards ceremony you have your winners, although you could argue that every person in the room that evening was a winner! This year it was incredibly tough for our judges because every single team is doing something groundbreaking within their organisation. Year on year, the in-house recruitment community continues to amaze and astound our judges with it’s innovation, advancement and unrivalled teamwork.

Presented by our resident compere Kevin Green, CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, the room quickly hushed in anticipation for each award to be announced.


The Winners

The first award of the evening was Recruitment Innovation, partnered by Broadbean. The finalists for this award were AB InBev supported by Havas People and Casual Films, Alexander Mann Solutions, Brand Learning, comparethemarket.com, EDF Energy, Hackney Homes supported by Jobsgopublic, House of Fraser, London Borough of Havering supported by Jobsgopublic, Network Rail, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and TfL supported by Havas People.

According to the judges, the winner AB InBev supported by Havas People and Casual Films, ‘demonstrated an innovative approach by not only bringing gamification into recruitment but also linking with social media.’


Next up was the award for Best Newcomer, partnered by Sola. The finalists in this category were Age UK, Betfair, BLM Law, Cambian Group, Kier Group, Mothercare, NICE Systems, SilverDoor and Xchanging.

The winner, Xchangingshowcased high achievements since bringing their recruitment function in-house, highlighting good metrics, tracking and contract compliance.’


The third award was for Best Contract Recruitment Team, partnered by Generate FS. The finalists for this category were ECS, G4S, Hastings Direct and Mothercare.

The judges decided that ECS took the gong for Best Contract Recruitment Team. The judges commented, ‘the contract recruitment process has historically been provided by agencies where costs are high. Our winner was able to show some good statistics with a very low agency usage.’


Best Recruitment Advertising Campaign was partnered by OnlyMarketingJobs.com and saw Anchor Trust supported by Accord Group Ltd, Assurant Solutions supported by Creed Comms, Audley Travel support by Accord Group Ltd, Boots supported by andSoMe, Lloyds Banking, MyDentist supported by Creed Comms, TfL supported by Havas People and Yodel supported by SMRS in the running for an award.

TfL picked up this award after our judges decided that they had ‘created an outstanding recruitment advertising campaign in a passive market where their branding was consistent throughout, demonstrating creativity, innovation and effectiveness.’


The highly competitive Best Graduate Recruitment Strategy  award was partnered by Avature. Finalists for the category were Capita, Deloitte supported by Havas People, ECS, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail, Raytheon UK, RWE and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, all of whom have done a smashing job where graduate recruitment strategy is concerned.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff were this year’s winners. ‘In an incredibly tough category, the overall winner highlighted how they effectively used different methods of attraction whilst maintaining a strong talent pipeline at a low cost to hire.’


Next up we had the award for Best On-boarding Strategy, partnered by SilkRoad. The finalists in the running for this award were EDF Energy, G4S, GAUCHO and Insurance Octopus.

EDF Energy picked up the award for Best On-boarding Strategy and the judges comments illustrated exactly why they won. ‘This winning company identified an issue with their starters and has successfully turned this around through creating an engaging and thoroughly thought-out on-boarding process with a real focus on the experience of the individuals.’


The award for Best Candidate Experience, partnered by CV Library saw Baringa Partners, G4S, Lloyds Banking Group, Mars supported by Gradweb, Pega, PepsiCo, Raytheon UK, White Stuff and WilsonHCG as fierce competitors for the win.

Baringa Partners deservedly took the award, with the judges commenting that ‘outstanding service and care for candidate is an integral part to the hiring process and our winner showcased some exceptional examples of process mapping, candidate packs and outstanding reviews, including a 100% positive review on glassdoor.’ Great review score, well done Baringa Partners!


Always an interesting category, Best Social Media Strategy, aptly partnered by Social Media Search was up next. The finalists in this category were AB Inbev supported by Cielo, Boots supported by andSoMe, Deloitte supported by Havas, People, Linklaters, Talend, WilsonHCG and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Boots supported by andSoMe picked up the award yet again! ‘A valuable and worthy winner who strategised an incredibly thought out social media campaign across a variety of channels that resulted in huge brand engagement along with tangible results.’ 


The award for Best Recruitment Video, partnered by Powermeeter was incredibly competitive with AB InBev supported by Havas People and Casual Films, Chelsea Apps Factory, Carter Jonas LLP, comparethemarket.com, Deloitte supported by Havas People, London City Airport, Riverford, TfL supported by Havas People and Turning Point supported by SMRS as the strong list of finalists.

Riverford Organic Farms were highly commended for this award. Comparethemarket.com scooped the prize in the end, with the judges remarking, ‘the increasing use of video engagement as part of employer branding can be an effective tool when done properly. This winner produced an engaging, humorous video for a specific target audience whilst highlighted their company culture.’ We had the pleasure of viewing their video as they vacated the stage and it became obvious that their award was well deserved.


The next award was for Best Use of Mobile, partnered by Solutions 4 Recruitment. The finalists in this category were Assurant Solutions supported by Creed Comms, Bupa Care Services, Capita Plc and House of Fraser supported by SMRS.

Capita Plc was the worthy winner, with our judges commenting ‘the increasing use of mobiles in our “always-on” world has meant that the use of mobile in recruitment strategies is increasingly being adopted. This winner highlighted how their research lead them to create a  beautifully executed mobile career site.’ 


Best Career Website, partnered by 4MAT was the next award up for grabs. This was a particularly difficult category to judge with the finalists in this category being Assurant Solutions supported by Creed Comms, BGL Group, boohoo.com, EIP, Fullers supported by True Digital, House of Fraser support SMRS, Keystone Law, Lloyds Banking Group, Pega, RWE, Unibet and Vue Cinema.

Fullers supported by True Digital were highly commended for this award and the overall winners were BGL Group. The judges commented, ‘In an incredibly difficult category, where the standard was so high, the overall winner has created a clean, simple website with an emphasis on content and the user’s experience. This website was also able to demonstrate some good statistics.’ 


The next award was for Best Employer Brand, partnered by Reuben Sinclair. The finalists in this category were Assurant Solutions supported by Creed Comms, Bard supported by Creed Comms, Co-op Bank supported by SMRS, House of Fraser supported by SMRS, Keystone Law, MyDentist supported by Creed Comms, Talend, Turning Point supported by SMRS and WilsonHCG.

House of Fraser supported by SMRS were the winners of Best Employer Brand, and were complimented by our judges, ‘ a great entry for our winner who demonstrated a clear development of their brand using their employees’ first-hand experience and love of the job to highlight their employer brand.’


Best Employee Referral Strategy, partnered by JobSite & CityJobs was up next. The finalists in this category Assurant Solutions supported by Creed Comms, Bard supported by Creed Comms, Co-op Bank supported by SMRS, Cognizant Technology Solutions, SThree LLP and Unibet.

Assurant Solutions supported by Creed Comms won highly commended in a category they have consistently excelled in, with Cognizant Technology Solutions scooping the award for ‘a successful campaign, clearly having undergone some strong planning which was innovative, high in energy, engaging and everything that is needed in a referral programme… all backed up with some impressive stats.’ 


The award for Best RPO, partnered by TalentSpa featured a competitive lineup of finalists; ADP RPO, Alexander Mann Solutions, Capita Resourcing – Working for Essex, Cielo, GradWeb, hyphen, Hudson RPO, Omni RMS, The Curve Group and WilsonHCG.

The winner of the award for Best RPO was Capita Resourcing Working for Essex. The judges made this decision based on these thoughts, ‘Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is for many companies an essential part of their recruitment process. Our winner was able to provide clear evidence of reduced time to hire, quality of candidates, huge reduction in costs and improved compliance.’ A wonderful testimony to the team at Capita Resourcing.


The award for Best In-house Recruiter is always particularly exciting as it’s an opportunity for individual recruiters to receive some recognition. Partnered by Burning Glass, the very talented finalists for this category were Catherine Wright – RWE, Claire Collins – Insurance Octopus, Jake Hobson – Sthree, Jen Silvester – PepsiCo, Maria Georgiades – Paperchase Products Ltd, Nick Yockney – Chelsea Apps, Rebecca Segeth – Capita – Working for Essex, Robert Stone – McCann, Sarah Beacher – TfL and Sarah Scadding – FactSet.

Maria Georgiades from Paperchase Products Ltd was the worthy winner of this highly competitive award. ‘There was a clear winner for this category who was able to demonstrate her skill as a recruiter through singlehandedly reducing costs, time to hire, implementing PSLs, looking after their international hires as well as improving relations with the business, to name a few!’ 


Next up we had the award for Best In-house Recruitment Manager, partnered by totaljobs. It is one thing to work as a recruiter on an individual basis and quite another working as a recruiter whilst managing your own team. The finalists in this category were Adrian Wightman – RWE, Andrew Boyd – PepsiCo, Charlotte Johns – TfL, Jessica Jones – Nando’s, Jill Pearman – London City Airport, Katherine Dodge – Atkins supported by Gradweb and Nathan Taylor – Mouchel.

Adrian Wightman from RWE collected the award for Best In-house Recruitment Manager with a host of fabulous judges comments including, ‘This award goes to a highly engaged & strategic individual. They have worked their way up to management level where they now play a strategic part in implementing new initiatives to better the processes for recruiters, hiring managers and candidates alike whilst reducing costs.’


Best International Recruitment Team partnered by Choobah featured Cognizant Technology Solutions, Mothercare, Mouchel, Pega, Phaidon International, Philips, Red Hat and Talend as it’s deserved finalists.

Mouchel proudly picked up the award with our judges commenting, ‘in a tough environment this team has achieved some great results whilst trying to recruit internationally; breaking new markets, opening new offices across the globe and increasing brand attraction.’


The award for Best Financial and Professional Services Team, partnered by Eploy drew entries from Baringa Partners, Bibby Financial Services, ECS and Keystone Law.

The eventual winner of this award, Keystone Law, was praised, ‘in a tough environment this team has achieved outstanding results with a real focus on the audience through an innovative approach to brand awareness and candidate attraction.’


The excitement for the last few awards had thoroughly set in when the award for Best Public Sector / Not-for-profit Team, partnered by WeLoveWork was announced. This was an award where the finalists, Cornwall Council, Macmillan Cancer Support, Royal Mencap Society and TfL had all made significant impacts in their respective spaces.

The Royal Mencap Society were once again the winners of this award, with the judges remarking, ‘A category consisting of some impressive entries but the overall winner was a clear front-runner. Their cost & time to hire highlights the effectiveness of their model which comprises of an inclusive recruitment model and subsequent matching of skills of support workers with the needs of the client resulting in clear achievements.’


With just three more awards to go, the award Best Retail or Consumer Goods Team, partnered by RedCat Digital up next, with finalists from Coca-Cola Enterprises, Groupon, House of Fraser, Molson Coors supported by Hudson RPO, New Look and PepsiCo announced.

House of Fraser were highly commended in this category for their team’s exceptional work and continuing innovation. The winners for the category were Molson Coors supported by Hudson RPO. This fabulous recruitment team demonstrated ‘a worthy winner who effectively showcased the delivery of their recruitment goals in a difficult time through effective recruitment campaigns, working closely with hiring managers and reducing on costs.’


The penultimate award of the evening was  for Best Recruitment Team (less than 1,000 staff), partnered by The Good Recruitment Campaign. The finalists in this category were Baringa Partners, Bibby Financial Services, Working for Essex, ECS, GAUCHO, Talend and Unibet.

The overall winners were Working for Essex, who judges remarked as ‘a clear winner for this category who is working in a difficult market whilst being able to deliver tough targets in a tight timeframe with limited resource.’


Finally after plenty of foot-stomping, clapping and screaming, the award for Best Recruitment Team (1,000+ staff), partnered by First Choice Software arrived to end the evening’s award ceremony. This was a hugely competitive award that boasted a well-renowned lineup; Ageas Retail (Ageas UK), Atkins supported by Gradweb, Boots supported by andSoMe, Bupa, Care Services, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Cornwall Council, Great Western Railway, Legoland Windsor Resort, Royal Mencap Society, Molson Coors supported by Hudson RPO, Nando’s, New Look, PepsiCo, Philips and RWE.

Coca-Cola Enterprises were highly commended in this category for the exceptional work they’ve done within their organisation. Great Western Railway stole the final award for the night and were credited with this sterling comment from the judges, ‘A compelling, honest entry where the recruitment team have turned from a function to a business partner adding true value. They have introduced various forecasting models & ATS’, increased mobile apps all resulting in positive feedback from hiring managers. They demonstrate a strong team culture consisting of working together to achieve their goal and a passion to improve the way they recruit and add value to the business.’


The Party


Excitement post-awards was high and it led us into what can only be described as one of the best nights the In-house Recruitment Awards have ever seen. The in-house community certainly know how to party. There wasn’t a space to move on that dancefloor and if people weren’t dancing they were chatting, laughing and causing mischief in the photo booth. It really was a night to remember and we are incredibly thankful to all of our partners and our fabulous network for making it the success that it was.

Event Photos

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We’d like to extend another huge congratulations to all of this years winners and finalists and we can’t wait to see you at next year’s awards! 

Don’t want to miss out on next year’s awards? Register your interest for the In-house Recruitment Awards 2016.


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