NORA 2015 Recap

Last year was our 14th anniversary, and we had an outstanding array of Finalists and Winners.  Many of whom were back again, to show they are still at the very top of their game.

To the 2015 Finalists, I want to offer my sincere congratulations.  This year we have received over 25,000 nominations from job seekers, for almost 600 separate websites. Only 1 in 10 of those nominated have made it to the next stage, so it’s a real achievement to be named as a Finalist.  Of the 72 Finalists tonight, only 24 were Finalists for the same award last year. Even more surprisingly, only two of last year’s fourteen winners retained the same trophies this year!

I’d like to thank our selection panel of industry experts, who gave their time and expertise so very generously, to help us arrive at the shortlist of Finalists for the 15th Annual NORAs.  I’d like also to give my sincere thanks to our fantastic judging panel, who have diligently assessed our 72 Finalists, in all 14 award categories. You can view the event gallery of photos from our event here.

I’d like to give a special thanks to our awards sponsors too, who have been outstanding supporters of the NORAs over the years. Our headline sponsor, and partner for the NORAs is Broadbean Technology.  Broadbean has been around for approximately the same time as The NORAs, and has long been a great support. Broadbean is a unique business in this industry, touching almost every aspect of online recruitment, and positioned smack bang at the very centre of our industry.

The NORAs were launched, 15 years ago, as a means by which the voice of jobseekers could be heard.  An awards event, which recognises which recruitment websites were truly meeting the needs of candidates themselves.  Candidates, of course, being the key element to all recruitment processes.

Over these 15 years more than 300 recruitment websites have been shortlisted as Finalists and Winners. Some only once, others multiple times. All of these sites have now been automatically inducted into our family, The NORA Academy. This year again, we asked our members what they thought about their fellow Finalists, shortlisted for the 2015 awards.

Additionally, and for only the second time, we have presented the only peer award in our industry, The NORA Academy Award. Our award winners are as follows:

Best Innovation in Online Recruitment

As ever, the last 12 months has seen a tremendous surge in innovation on all fronts, which challenge industry norms, and help to shape the future of the recruitment sector.  Our award for Innovation in Online Recruitment, demonstrates the progress being made, in a fast evolving employment marketplace.

Presenting the Award for Best Innovation in Online Recruitment tonight is Eric Potts of Talenetic, whose site Oilfinity won this award last year. Our award winner is The Dots, a unique online job service originating in Australia, providing a distinctive community for the creative sector.

Best Newcomer in Online Recruitment

Our Newcomer award not only recognises brand new entrants to the market, but also newly launched or dramatically revamped services.  In particular, our finalists here have shown uniquely new ways of delivering their services to candidates.

The award for Best Newcomer in Online Recruitment, was presented by the Queen of UK Recruitment, Louise Triance from UK Recruiter. Louise presented this award to Hung Lee, founder of Workshape.

Best Employment Advice Website

In an area which is often overlooked, the provision of practical employment advice is of particular interest to candidates.  This award recognises those who excel in this regard.

Paddy Doyle of our award sponsors Clinch presented this award to multiple winners Monster.

Best Trade Publication

Trade Publications, often in line with trade bodies, in the UK, have a unique role in each professional marketplace and dedicated industry sectors.

This award was presented by Wendy McDougall, CEO of Firefish Software to the very excellent Drapers Jobs.

Consumer Publication

Newspaper recruitment advertising for many publications still has a long way to go.  However, the service provided by our Finalists this year really shows how it can be done very well indeed.

Christine Tautari, co-founder and Director of The Needle Online, presented this award to The Guardian.

Best Small Employer

Unsurprisingly, recruitment agencies also feature strongly in this category, as small employers recruiting for themselves in their own right.

Our award sponsor, Shaun Weise, of Bullhorn announced this year’s winner as Advanced Resource Managers.

Best Major Employer

Large national employers in the UK, often led by extremely experienced in-house recruiters, and progressive HR leaders, have really raised the bar this year, and shown how to recruit candidates nationally and in volume. Not only advertising vacancies, but also reflecting and enhancing their employer brand.

Jonathan Pratt, of 6 time NORA winner s1jobs, presented this award to Virgin Atlantic.

Best Small Recruitment Agency

The UK has the highest density of recruitment agencies found anywhere in the world, and some 80% of those are small owner-managed firms.

The award for Best Small Recruitment Agency Website was presented by Rob Edwards, of our award sponsors Chameleon-I, to Aspire.

Best Large Recruitment Agency

This award is in recognition of that middle ground between small recruitment agencies, and national PLC organisations.  You could say that these firms have the spread of clients and candidates to probably be the most accurate barometer of the UK economy.

Our award sponsor, Michael Wallace of TempBuddy, presented this award to Spencer Ogden.

Best National Recruitment Agency

These recruitment industry giants have enormous clout in the marketplace, and ensure their online presence appeals to both candidates and clients alike. Building a website that feels personal to jobseekers is no mean feat on this scale.

Paul Higgins, founder of our award sponsor, Choobah, presented this award to Manpower.

Best Regional Job Board

Regional job boards are able to provide candidates and employers with a local focus, which they can identify with, and respond to.  Throughout the country, regional and local job boards do an outstanding job in catering for their needs.

Our fantastic award sponsor, Stephen Warren, CEO of Results Generation, presented this award to IrishJobs.ie.

Best Specialist Job Board

This award category has always been the most hotly contested of all our awards.  This year has been no exception.

Matt Comber Director of Volcanic, presented this award to Creativepool (who were winner of our Best Innovation award in 2014).

Best Generalist Job Board

Given the profile of the Finalists here, this is often seen as our flagship award.  This award recognises the largest and most popular recruitment websites in the UK, catering for all industry sectors, and continually investing in developing their product.  This is, of course, great news for job seekers, who are the beneficiaries of this competition.

This award was to be presented, by our most loyal supporter and sponsor, Filip de Geijter, CEO of Actonomy. Unfortunately Filip was Ill, so Stephen O’Donnell presented this award to CV-Library, who win this prize for the first time, after being a finalist for most of the last 15 years.


This is only the second year of this award, and the results are very revealing of how recruitment websites regard one another.  Last year, our first recipient of the Academy Award was CV-Library.

To join Stephen O’Donnell in presenting this final award of the evening, was Alex Hammond, Client Development Manager of our Headline Sponsor and awards partner Broadbean Technology.

The top three sites, as voted for by you, the NORA Academy, are CW Jobs, Jobsite and Indeed.

CW Jobs have been ever constant throughout the life of the NORAs, being shortlisted as a Finalist nine times, and the Winner of Best Specialist Job Board in 2008. As a member of the Totaljobs Group, CW Jobs has access to some of the very best online recruitment technology, but they really excel in delivering a unique service to their niche audience.

Next we come to Jobsite. Built by three brothers, Keith, Graeme and Eric Potts, Jobsite not only wrote the rule-book on job boards in the UK, but continually reinvested in innovation, and never stood still.

Now part of Stepstone, Jobsite continues to build from strength to strength.

Lastly we have Indeed. Whilst Indeed began life as an aggregator of job adverts, they were always determined to be so much more. Now Indeed not only has all the facilities of a major job board but, in worldwide clout and ambition, could be described the biggest agent for change in our industry.

Alex Hammond announced that Third place goes to Indeed, and Second place to CW Jobs.

This means that the Winner of the NORA Academy Award for 2015 was Jobsite.

In summation, our 15th annual NORAs event was definitely our best ever. Finally, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our guests on the night; in particular to our award sponsors, our expert judging panels, all of tonight’s Finalists, and of course our fantastic Winners.  Our biggest thanks, of course, go to the tens of thousands of jobseekers who took the time to nominate their favourite recruitment websites.

Many commiserations to those who aren’t holding a trophy this year, and huge congratulations to those who are.   Remember, that being shortlisted as Finalists for the NORAs is a terrific achievement in itself, and all the more-so if you’ve been fortunate enough to win.  Please look after your trophies, find a good spot to show them off, and let your own candidates know of your success in the National Online Recruitment Awards!

Along with the jobseekers, we will be watching your sites very carefully indeed in the coming 12 months, and look forward to seeing you all for the 16th annual National Online Recruitment Awards next November.


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