They say that competition is the best catalyst for invention, innovation and progress. In the thirteen years of the National Online Recruitment Awards, I don’t think I’ve ever seen competition in this market to be as fierce as it is now.  Sure revenues are still generally down on the peak in 2007 (-30% some say), but this has only meant that rivalries between job boards, recruitment agencies and publications have led to ever greater innovation. Moreover, their customers, employers themselves and jobseekers, continually finding new ways of finding each other means that old-school online just isn’t enough anymore.

The advancement of technology in all aspects of everyone’s everyday lives means that expectations on our industry are considerably higher than before. Thanks to burgeoning social media channels, jobseekers and employers are beginning to assert themselves in ways that were never possible before. They’re not making a noise about it; they’re not even complaining about it. No that they know the difference between a good user and a bad one (they couldn’t define it, but the feel it), they simply have so many other options that they never come back. If a candidate forgets their password for a job board, they often don’t bother to re-register, and leave for another. If an aggregator posts more jobs than all other job boards, then they don’t feel the need to register with them all. If it is too hard (or impossible) to apply for a vacancy via their mobile phone, they simply don’t bother.

But surely, you might say, any determined candidate will always find a way to apply for all the jobs they need? Absolutely, I say, but not all jobseekers are that determined. It is the job of the online recruitment industry to be determined; to identify, attract and engage the candidates that their advertisers demand.

More than ever we can now see the stark contrast between the good and bad in online recruitment practices, and products – and candidates can too. It is for this reason, only as a one-off, that in our 13th year we have an additional award for the worst examples of online recruitment in the UK. In contrast, the Finalists for our main awards are better than ever, and represent the very best practise in cutting edge online recruitment anywhere in the world today.

Now that the public have nominated their favourites, and our Shortlisting Panel have produced our Finalists, it is the job of our Judges to assess all of these recruitment websites, and select our winners, which will be revealed at our awards event on 12th November in Covent Garden, London.

By way of explanation, here are the reasons behind the Finalists for the Wooden NORA Award.