Hung Lee, curator/editor of industry newsletter Recruiting Brainfood

An acknowledged thought-leader, particularly in the technology recruitment and recruitment technology spaces, Hung Lee has done it all during his roughly 20-year career in the industry and profession. He’s been a resourcer and a recruitment consultant, worked business development and all other aspects – except coding, as he likes to point out – of his own tech job matching company – as well as providing consultancy services to help other recruitment-related businesses develop long-term, sustainable internal recruiting capacity for tech start-ups. At the moment, he’s curating a weekly industry newsletter called Recruiting Brainfood. Lee’s mantra is “More signal, less noise”, a motto he’s carried with him throughout much of his career – clearly, the Recruiter Awards judges agree.


Acre is a sustainability recruitment agency, with the purpose of helping businesses build a safer, more sustainable future for generations to come. It operates from offices in London, New York and Amsterdam.

  • The judges said Acre demonstrated a positive impact through both the work they are doing with clients and their own initiatives. Core markets include energy, cleantech & climate change; environment, social & governance (ESG) and sustainable & impact investing.
  • The company strives to deliver recruitment that isn’t just good for businesses, but good for the planet. Its core markets are orientated around progressing different areas of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Sustainability is the DNA of the business and is what drives Acre forward – placing purpose on the same pedestal as profit. Acre’s culture helps the company and its employees to shape the quality of life for future generations.
  • Supported Plastic Oceans UK with pro bono recruitment to hire its CEO and a leadership team of five, plus helping the organisation with its skills and leadership coaching on a pro bono basis via the Acre Frameworks development business (five sessions).
  • Staff also supported Plastic Oceans UK – Acre’s charity for the past three years – by fundraising £9k with a hike across the Accursed Mountains in the Balkans.
  • Dedicated staff volunteering days (two days per person, per year) to support the London Wetlands Centre or a cause of choice.

Judges’ comments: “They showed an impressive appreciation of the broad range of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as a coherent and strategic approach to developing meaningful responses to the sustainability challenges we face.”


Also: The judges said the number and quality of submissions this year was great to see and all the entrants were to be congratulated for bringing sustainability into their thinking. There were great examples of how sustainability could be used to engage clients and workforce, and there were some inspiring initiatives of activities designed to address the sustainability challenges the world faces.

ITV Apprentices – ITV in partnership with Chatter Communications

ITV is the largest commercial television network in the UK. Looking at its Apprenticeship Programme, the social campaign set out to improve the diversity of applications that ITV receives, with a specific focus on inspiring BAME groups to apply for roles across the board, females to apply for tech roles and males across commercial roles.

  • Good use of partnerships and the community gave authenticity to the organisation’s promise of inclusion and belonging. Impressive results in the increase of application diversity.
  • Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and TikTok were used to geographically and demographically target its audiences based on assumed interests, and census data that suggested more diverse areas of population for social mobility.
  • Content included branded creative with powerful messaging, along with engaging videos to encourage candidates to apply dsitributed through media careers influencer @talk_2_dan. Messaging focused on hints, tips, culture, daily diaries etc and all roles were shared across the main ITV LinkedIn page, and in both BAME and Disability LinkedIn groups. Adverts on social media also tagged @SCOPE, @Remploy and @Mencap to help reach a wider and more diverse network.
  • The campaign met ITV’s business objective of reaching the most diverse audience groups ever targeted. The judges were impressed by the way the campaign stood out, not least in the incredible amount of research and planning to get the mix just right.
  • What also differentiated the campaign was that it avoided using traditional job boards, which would have been the easy option. However, it almost certainly wouldn’t have reached the diverse target audiences needed to fulfil ITV’s aim of attracting more diverse candidates.

Judges’ comments: “This partnership reached and engaged a unique set of people, supporting them through a recruitment process throughout, even when they couldn’t meet face-to-face. An approach that sets a standard that could be repeated as a success model for other organisations, and was therefore our winner.”


Truck-Sized CV Campaign – Zoek


Recruitment management software firm Tribepad provides an applicant tracking system (ATS), onboarding, contractor management software, video interviewing and job board solutions to help firms attract, recruit and retain.

  • The Covid pandemic showed how Tribepad’s customisable products came into their own, making quick, reactive adaptations to its ATS to enable a healthcare client on the frontline of the UK Covid effort to screen candidates and move them through the process quicker.
  • Without charging, Tribepad developed its Contractor Management platform (Flex) into RecruiterHub to help out-of-work recruiters, as well as adapting the same platform to support a local volunteer service to help charities as part of the national Covid support effort.
  • Tribepad custom-built its Candidate Verification functionality for the organisation to verify candidates’ DBS checks, driving licence and other documents before setting their status as ‘verified’ and mobilising them – speeding up the whole process significantly, from weeks to hours in some cases. The platform allowed the organisation to recruit, mobilise and manage more than 1,100 volunteers.
  • Tribepad worked closely with a client in local government to help with its ED&I strategy [equality, diversity & inclusion] and in turn improve its recruitment process. The client is now receiving five times the number of applications than with its previous ATS. In addition, by using Tribepad’s anonymous applications feature, 40% of their applications (compared to 18% previously) and 39% of their hires are now from a BAME background.
  • The judges also praised Tribepad as building a sustainable business for helping recruiters. In 2020 the company became a carbon-negative, climate-positive supplier. Working with Ecologi, Tribepad has planted over 330,000 trees so far to offset more than 1,500 tonnes of CO2.

 Judges’ comments: “Tribepad has always shown how it can innovate but in the face of the pandemic it also showed its credentials as a true business partner to its clients and a caring and committed member of the recruitment ecosystem.”

Also: The judges’ decision was not easy. All of the shortlisted companies in this categories are to be credited for their commitment and purpose.



Suits Me


Odro provides video software services to the recruitment industry, developed to help agencies streamline their processes and drive profitability. Products include advanced interviewing, sales messaging and video content creation tools in a complete, end-to-end solution.

  • Thanks to the pandemic, video interviewing has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ almost overnight. Odro enjoyed the financial success that comes with being in the right place and the right time. However, the company did not stop innovating and created a new product that helps its clients leverage the most from this medium that is here to stay.
  • In August 2020 Odro introduced the ‘Producer’ tool allowing recruiters to add high quality, professional video to job ads or to generate new customers via promoting the recruitment firm or the recruiter.
  • Video content has never been more popular, especially on LinkedIn. Armed with Producer, customers can now take full advantage of this growing trend. They can record from within the platform, drop new content into the system or re-purpose existing videos with a Producer make-over.
  • The judges were inspired to hear of the innovation and success that companies of all sizes and longevity brought to the recruitment industry. The last year was particularly challenging and the judges were encouraged to see how many companies grew handsomely despite the incredibly difficult headwinds.

 Judges’ comments: “Since the launch of the Producer tool, more than 3,500 videos have been produced and published by over 700 recruiters across 246 agencies. Innovation, widespread adoption and financial success made Odro our obvious first choice. Take a bow!”

Morson Group

Morson Group operates from more than 50 locations worldwide, have 10,000+ contractors, process 700,000+ timesheets a year and deliver millions of people hours annually to client projects. In the wake of Covid-19, they shifted their focus to develop technology and solutions that prioritised mental and physical health, business continuity and community reinvestment.

  • In 2020, Morson’s relationships went beyond contractual agreements; they took a true partnership approach to ensure that their clients could achieve as close to business-as-usual levels of operation as possible, but also provided a suite of services that enabled them to prioritise their workers’ mental and physical health.
  • The group adapted its own business rapidly but effectively, in order to ensure they could offer a continuity of service to clients, despite 97% of the internal workforce working from home.
  • In line with social distancing guidance and new legislation, Morson quickly developed a Covid-19 Support Hub with OFQUAL-accredited approved training courses on in-office and on-site health and safety, social distancing, behaviours and workforce management technology. A series of online, always-available wellbeing events were also created.
  • The group’s Fit For Work app – originally created to assess whether workers have received sufficient health and safety briefs for their roles before entering sites – was reconfigured to arm their 3,000 remote workers with early intervention technology, which worked to identify whether they were experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 before attending client sites.
  • As an example of the group’s adaption to the Covid challenge: leading UK construction and civil engineering company SRM identified the need to attract longer-term talent pools in its competitive candidate marketplace. The Morson marketing team organised and advertised a virtual careers event, specifically targeting demographic groups aligned to SRM’s requirements.


Judges’ comments: “We were particularly impressed by the winner’s balanced approach to investing in headcount, their value-adding partnership with their clients and their capacity to adapt to changing times.”

Also: This was a difficult category to judge because all the submissions demonstrated an impressive approach to providing outsourced recruitment services in a difficult environment.

Ganymede Solutions

Ganymede Solutions is a £100m turnover recruitment business incorporating the brands of ATA Recruitment and Ganymede. ATA Recruitment is a permanent and contract recruitment supplier to the engineering and technical sectors. As well as similar recruitment activities to ATA, Ganymede provides managed workforce solutions to the transportation and infrastructure sectors and are the largest supplier of labour to key regions of Network Rail. They have up to 1,000 workers on the UK’s railways per day and manage all their safety and competency requirements through their compliance team.

  • Although the company has been making the transition to paperless processes since 2019, the pandemic proved a catalyst in speeding this up. So as well as conducting the compliance role remotely, the team has also had to learn new processes, meaning a duplication of workload.
  • As many placements are on critical rail infrastructure, the compliance function has remained as busy – if not busier – as pre-pandemic levels. Compliance are now auditing fleet occupancy (Covid restrictions) and completing Covid questionnaire checks. Challenges around training and the closure of drug and alcohol testing centres have had to be resolved, and the compliance elements of medicals and competencies managed even more tightly to ensure the expiry dates of workers’ credentials can be planned for.
  • IR35 – the compliance team has developed a process to ensure they are supporting their clients to take ‘reasonable care’ while protecting their own interests as the fee payer.
  • Ganymede have a number of compliance verification checks in place to ensure that their onboarding processes, as well as the continued engagement of workers, are compliant with legislative, industry-led and client-specific requirements.
  • The company is subject to regular external audits by both clients and industry governing bodies.

Judges’ comments: “The winners took a proactive approach to compliance, helping them and their clients stay ahead of competition. Impressive internal and external auditing process ensure robust compliance.  They went over and above what would normally be expected.”

Goodman Masson

Goodman Masson  is a finance, technology and Recruitment Process Outsourcing recruitment business, with offices in London, Dusseldorf and New York.

  • The company founded its ‘Be a hero, make a difference’ – BAHMAD – team in January 2020, which places diversity, inclusion and respect at the heart of the corporate ethos.
  • Its DI&R change initiative, which is split into four networks, has fundamentally changed the way staff understand and think about equality. Everyone has participated in training.

                1) Pride, embracing the LGBTQ+ community.

                2) Origin, supporting a race-inclusive culture and providing a safe space for employees to educate themselves on social issues around race, class, religion and heritage

                3) Balance – supporting gender equality through encouraging positive career support and

                4) Access – the exploration of the company’s approach to disability

  • The company used its connection with the world of social housing to roll out two new offerings during the pandemic: The company recognised that lockdowns would be a very lonely time for many residents, particularly the vulnerable and elderly, who would be in need of social interaction. So, a befriending offering called ‘We’re free to chat’, was designed, in which volunteer furloughed staff called residents at home. During the height of lockdown more than 2,600 people across nine housing associations were called. Second, Careers Start @Home was a series of five online programmes designed to boost residents’ employability skills. Each of the five recorded webinars last roughly 15 minutes and have been attended by at least 250 people per webinar. Included were: how to navigate LinkedIn; CV writing; searching and applying for jobs; preparing for interviews; and additional qualifications and development.

Judges’ comments: “As with the ‘small’ category, we focused our judging on firms’ reactions to Covid-19, as opposed to financial performance. The winners went the extra mile by helping out their community. For example, having furloughed staff speaking to the lonely via their befrienders programme, and helping housing association residents upskill with an employability skills programme.”

Also: We were impressed by companies’ speed of reaction in assisting their staff and clients throughout the pandemic.

Seven Resourcing 

Seven Resourcing is a multi-award-winning, global recruitment agency supplying staff across eight core sectors, and played a pivotal role in supplying crucial temporary health & social care staff to the front line during the fight against Covid-19.

  • Seven Resourcing yielded a 40% increase in gross profit and a 10% increase in staff during the pandemic, thanks to a team willing to work around the clock for its clients and innovative recruitment processes to match, to meet the huge demand for health & social care staff.
  • Seven’s marketing team yielded a 40% increase in web traffic, a 60% increase in conversions (CV uploads, contact forms and job applications) and a 30% increase in social media followers.
  • The agency introduced its digitised PayTech timesheet system, saving Seven and its clients time and money.
  • By retraining staff in frozen sectors (animal health, education, etc), Seven accomplished its promise to its staff that nobody would be furloughed, would lose out on pay or made redundant as a result of the pandemic.
  • The agency also invested resources into mental health support for its staff, employing a full-time mental health professional and organising workshops. Seven also brought the Mind charity on board, to professionally train managers to an accredited standard in staff mental health support.
  • Staff benefit from a rewards system that includes access to fully funded, external learning & development opportunities.


Judges’ comments: “Not only did Seven Resourcing experience impressive commercial growth during a difficult period, the business also illustrated innovation, investment, compassion and reward. The development of new online offerings and technology to change the way their clients process temporary staff has been a game changer and the commitment to the wellbeing and mental health of all its stakeholders is fantastic.”

Also: This category is always hotly contested as it’s a large space in the UK recruitment market – the quality this year was really impressive. Strong focus on the internal stakeholder and the customer experience, both of which will continue to elevate the profession.


Oyster Partnership

Signify Technology

Signify Technology is a bespoke recruitment solutions agency that serves the Scala community.

  • When Covid-19 hit, Signify Technology decided to support the community in any way possible. They organised two virtual, global conferences, where attendees could watch talks presented by their favourite industry inspirations. The conferences were hosted over 13 hours in one day and presented by 13 speakers. The ticket sales were donation only, and all proceeds were donated to charity.
  • A commitment to charitable causes overall has been a priority for the company over the past 12 months.
  • A commitment to diversity is integral to the company’s progression as a business. It is continuing to build a diverse workforce, hiring based solely on skill; the workforce is 29% BAME and 48% female.
  • Despite challenging times, Signify has still managed maintained its business growth. Since 2017 it has achieved an 884% growth in sales, thanks to the high level of determination and the tenacity of its consultants. In 2020, it partnered with 118 new companies while the market was increasingly difficult to navigate, with many organisations putting a freeze on hiring.
  • The team took great care, commitment and sensitivity when working with those who had been made redundant because of the pandemic and were able to successfully place 257 engineers into new roles.

Judges’ comments: “Signify made employees and community their priority. They did a great job pivoting their conference to a successful online event, which also raised money for charity. Their financials look good, too. Good growth, despite the pandemic.”

Also: The judges added that they were looking for a brilliant business overall, plus their reaction to Covid-19 and how the entrants looked to enhance the reputation of recruitment during difficult times. Overall, it was a hotly contested category with a good number of commendable response.