The 2013 ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards

ERE was created in 1998 as an online gathering place for recruiters. It was designed as a destination where the community could network, share best practices, and learn from each other. The ERE Awards were a means to celebrate the best & the brightest in the recruiting profession.
Content is from the site's 2013 archived pages providing a glimpse of the ERE Awards guidelines, application process, FAQ etc..

ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards
San Diego, Calif.
Mar. 15, 2010

This is your chance to be recognized and share how your recruiting success is helping your business — and furthering the recruiting profession.

In this, the ninth year of the ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards, finalists include a New York hospital that’s a finalist in two categories, a flower delivery company, a big technology and a big banking company, government contractors, management consultants, and a fast-growing home-loan organization.

“It really brings me hope to see people doing excellent things,” one judge wrote to me, about the industry’s leading awards for talent acquisition.

We made a few changes since last year’s ERE Recruiting Excellence Award winners and finalists were announced. For the first time we have an onboarding category. We split the “department of the year” into large and small companies. We altered the “careers website” a bit to encompass more than just a company’s own site, but social media and similar sites as well. And, we added an “innovation,” award, which will be announced at the upcoming Recruiting Innovation Summit.

The other winners will be announced at the ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo in San Diego, where the finalists will up on stage in a perennially popular q-and-a session for the audience.


Don’t Miss This Opportunity To Put Your Recruiting Department’s Best Practices In The Spotlight.

Whether it’s your your careers website, your referral program, retention program, military recruiting program, onboarding program (new category this year), your branding initiative, or another talent strategy, this is your best chance to showcase what’s working at your organization.

ERE Media is now accepting applications for the ninth annual ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards. All entries are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on January 11, 2013.


Apply today for the industry's most prestigious recruiting award

The winners will be announced at ERE's upcoming conference in San Diego.

Don't miss this opportunity to put your recruiting deparment's best practices in the spotlight. You can join an illustrious group of past winners, such as Enterprise, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Whirlpool, as leaders in the recruiting field. Big companies, small companies -- they all are given a chance. Don't let your hard work go unrecognized.

We are currently accepting applications in nine categories. To view the complete of categories visit

Here's what one of last year's winners has to share about his award: "Being recognized for our work at Microsoft by our peers is a very encouraging experience (given the great work that is being done by recruiting departments around the globe). It is also serves to challenge us to continue to explore, discover and pioneer." - Marvin Smith Talent Community Evangelist Microsoft Entertainment & Devices


Attendee note by Roger Sherman: Our small high tech firm is always looking to hire the most talented graduates from the top schools but because of our size, we are always outbid by the big tech firms. In addition to this challenge, we are currently in the process of a FoxPro replacement to modernize our database management systems. I attended the conference to see if we could find more info on software modernization. It was enlightening to see the strategies and effort applied to recruiting, much of which is behind the scenes. I realized that we needed to do much more than write a brag sheet of what our enterprise offers new employees - we need to create a compelling argument and continually update the benefits posted on our recruitment website (we didn't even have one). But since we work for many large multinationals, we do have an impressive list of benefits, not just financial. I took copious notes and picked up every brochure put out by the other applicants for these awards. When I got back to NYC, I sought the counsel of someone who may have been himself recruited - former Queens assistant district attorney and now a corporate attorney working in management for American Express, Benjamin Pred. We share an interest in Ultimate Frisbee and while working out together I asked him how he viewed the recruitment efforts outlined in the brochures and my notes, and whether he himself was a target of a recruitment effort. He told me he was disappointed that none of the recruiters he met with supported an Ultimate Frisbee team and suggested that might be the winning card to play if we wanted someone like him. He then threw the Frisbee way over my head and laughed as I ran after it. I was annoyed, but I did hear what he had to say. We now sponsor a team.


Awards Winners Session at ERE Recruiting Conference

Award winners will be recognized at the annual ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo in front of hundreds of the leading in-house corporate recruiting professionals in the world.


Recruiting Excellence Award Announcement and Session

Finalists will be notified in February 2013. Winners will be named in April at the Spring ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo in San Diego, where you’ll have the opportunity to share the great work you’ve done with you recruiting colleagues and peers.


The Conference for Corporate Recruiting Leaders

From April 15-17, hundreds of in-house corporate recruiting leaders will gather in San Diego for the top recruiting conference in the industry – The ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo. You can’t afford to miss this!



Criteria for Winning, Categories You Can Apply in, Questions You’ll Be Asked

There are three things below. First, we’re going to talk about the criteria. Then, the categories. Lastly, on this page you’ll see the actual questions that you’ll see on the application.


Judges are instructed to make a decision based on the questions in the application. Judges should turn around the questions and ask themselves to what degree the applicant has succeeded in that area.

So let’s say the question on the application is, “Show evidence of senior management support for college recruiting activities.” Judges should ask themselves, “to what degree is there evidence of senior management support for college recruiting activities?”

Similarly, if a question asks applicants whether their branding initiatives have created more demand among applicants, judges should ask themselves whether, based on the applicant’s answer, the branding initiative has created more demand among applicants.

Generally speaking, many of the past winners have met business needs and accomplished business goals, rather than just improving recruiting functions or recruiting departments. They’ve also tended to have good data to demonstrate their success. On top of that, they’ve usually done fairly innovative or new things rather than successful initiatives but ones that are behind the curve or should have been much sooner.























Best College Recruiting Program

Please provide any basic/factual information, such as who works on your program (how many people, where they are, etc.), how many colleges you target, in what countries/states, etc. With that out of the way, please describe evidence of the most important thing: how the college program is paying off or resulting in quality hires, or better hires than in years past. This will help narrow down applicants to a list of finalists; judges may get back to you for more information in selecting a winner.

Best Corporate Careers Websites

If you’ve applied to this category in the past, you’ll notice this description has changed a lot. Now, the focus is on any sites your company manages for careers — your careers section of your company website, but also others, like a Facebook page, or Glassdoor page, or LinkedIn page, or any others. Please describe any qualitative and quantitative information about the sites … for example: traffic growth, conversion rates, drop-off rates, budget, who works on your site, etc. How have the sites paid off or contributed to improved profits, better employees, and other quantifiable outcomes? How do you decide how to allocate time and money? All this will help narrow down applicants to a list of finalists; judges may get back to you for more information in selecting a winner.

Best Employee Referral Program

Please describe how your referral program has helped you attract better people and has helped your business. Please share any basic factual (mainly quantitative) data on your program (e.g. percent of employees from referrals, and whether they stay longer or perform better). Tell us why the program’s unique or successful. Also – talk about the role of social media, if any. This will help narrow down applicants to a list of finalists; judges may get back to you for more information in selecting a winner.

Best Employer Brand

Please describe your employer brand and how it has paid off — the quantifiable results. If you did a specific branding initiative, talk about the timeline, budget, who was involved, etc. Also let us know how it relates to your consumer brand or overall company brand. This will help narrow down applicants to a list of finalists; judges may get back to you for more information in selecting a winner.

Best Military Talent Program

Describe your program related to hiring people transitioning from the military, or other hiring from the military/veterans/guard/reserve. Describe the benefit, and the business payoff. Let us know any data you have on the numbers of people hired, their retention, and so on. You might want to describe any advertising you’ve done. And how you’ve translated skills to the civilian world.

Best Onboarding Program

Talk about your onboarding program. How has it transcended “where’s my desk?” to really help people get excited about the company’s mission or to otherwise support your organization? What happens before an employee starts, and after? Who is involved? What are the the goals, and the results?

Most Strategic Use of Technology

Please describe (qualitative and quantitative) how your recruiting technology (such as a website, talent acquisition system, screening technology, artificial intelligence, blogs, audio/video, forecasting/planning systems, etc. or some or all of the above) has helped your business. Your technology may be something not listed above! This will help narrow down applicants to a list of finalists; judges may get back to you for more information in selecting a winner.

Recruiting Department/Function of the Year

Tell us how your recruiting department, your recruiters, and (if applicable) others working on talent acquisition, have helped your business. How has it resulted in better hires? How is this translated to business outcomes? Let us know what you’re doing that’s unique. Talk about challenges you’ve overcome. This effort may even be happening in a department with a name different than “recruiting” — for a baseball franchise, for example, it could be the scouting department.

Most Innovative Recruiting Department

Describe what your recruiting department is doing to drive innovation within your talent acquisition function. This can be the implementation of new technology, re-imagining the department, improved processes, new roles/focus for staff members, or a combination of any of these. Describe the results so far or the results you hope to attain as well as how you hope this innovation will give you a competitive edge. Describe some of the challenges you faced in driving this innovation.



Rules and Regulations

All entries must meet the following criteria to be considered for ERE’s Recruiting Excellence Awards:

  1. Only submissions from recruiting departments and other corporate departments who are involved in talent acquisition will be accepted and evaluated. Submissions from vendors on behalf of clients will not be accepted.
  2. You must check off any permission boxes.
  3. If you talk about certain programs and initiatives in your application (such as a launch of a careers site), those must be in place for six months.
  4. Neither ERE nor the judging panel is obligated to disclose judge’s feedback or scores given, number of applications received, or names of organizations applying for awards that did not make the finals.
  5. ERE employees, contest judges, and their immediate families are ineligible for the Recruiting Excellence Awards. Judges will excuse themselves from rating applications by companies they are currently doing business with or have done significant business with in the past two years. Judges should not be applicants, and applicants shouldn’t judge.
  6. ERE will profile award winners in the ERE Daily, in conferences, webinars, and elsewhere, but will not release any data that you have indicated in your application is confidential. Winners and finalists will participate in a q-and-a session for attendees at the ERE conference in San Diego.

If you have any questions or concerns about the above rules and regulations, please contact Todd Raphael at [email protected].

The Awards Session at ERE Recruiting Conference

Finalists — not just winners — will all be on a panel at the ERE conference in San Diego, April 15-17, 20013. (The exception is one category – the “most innovative recruiting department” award — given out at the Recruiting Innovation Summit, May 17-18, 2013.)

The awards panel is perennially a favorite conference session — a chance for recruiting leaders to ask questions and discuss best practices with the prestigious companies that won.

Winners from Years Past

What a list it is — the companies and organizations, from the U.S. to India to elsewhere, that’ve come home with ERE Recruiting Excellence Awards in recent years.

They span industry and company size, but what they have in common is the award has led to more recognition and more exposure for their recruiting departments.

Among the honorees:

American Cancer Society
Ernst & Young
PNC Bank


Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions about the Recruiting Excellence Awards? We’ve got answers. Call (212) 671-1181 x. 806 or email [email protected] if this page doesn’t help you find what you’re looking for.

How is this award unique?
It’s only for recruiting and related talent successes — not for benefits, training, and so on. It’s chosen among an audience of the most progressive and interesting and dynamic recruiters. It has a rich history and its winners have become widely respected in the field.

Do I need to be a big, for-profit corporation to have a shot at winning?
No. Non-profits from any part of the world are welcome to apply. Government agencies from any nation are welcome to apply. Small and mid-size companies are welcome to apply. Some winners and finalists are well-known, big-name companies, but many others are smaller and become well-known through this process!

Can I enter multiple categories?
Yes, three.

What is the deadline for awards applications?
All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, on January 11, 2013. Entries received after that date will not be accepted. You will be notified when we receive your entry. We very strongly recommend you apply a few days earlier, in case you have any technical issues.

I’m a vendor who sells products and services to recruiters, such as Manpower or Korn/Ferry. Can I apply?
Only submissions from recruiting departments or other internal corporate departments, applying for their own companies, will be accepted and evaluated.If you’re a CEO, or a human resources department, or a business unit, or some other department applying for your company’s success in talent acquisition and talent management, that’s no problem. But if you are a vendor applying for your efforts selling a product or service, this isn’t the best venue for you.

I’m not a recruiter. I’m a CFO, a CEO, a General Manager, an owner, a VP of HR, etc. Can I apply?
Yes, no problem. Submissions from recruiting departments or other internal corporate departments, applying for their own companies, will be accepted and evaluated. If you’re a CEO, or a human resources department, or a business unit, or some other department applying for your company’s success in talent acquisition and talent management, that’s no problem.

Will I get exposure for winning?
In a nutshell, yes! In the ERE Daily email newsletter and You’ll be on a panel at the ERE conference in 2013, April 15-17. ERE will announce the winners, and your firm can send a separate release to local media in your area if you wish. There will be a lot of opportunities to publicize your success. (One award is done differently; the “most innovative recruiting department” award is given out at the Recruiting Innovation Summit, May 17-18, 2013.)

What if there is information I want to provide for the application but I want this specific piece of information or data to not be publicized?
If there’s a statistic or projection you’d like to keep confidential, no problem. Let us know. We will not release this information. Otherwise, however, we may use parts of your application in putting together slides about the winners, or articles about the winners.

Are there finalists? Or just winners?
ERE usually names finalists. The winners are announced in April at the ERE conference (except for the “most innovative recruiting department” award, given out at the Recruiting Innovation Summit, May 17-18, 2013.). The finalists are announced before then. There have been some excellent finalists in the past who have gotten some good exposure for being finalists, even though they didn’t win.

I’m not sure what category to enter in.
Shoot an email over to [email protected]. We can probably help you decide. You cannot enter two categories with the same application. You can enter two categories for two totally different applications.

I’d like to hear more about some past winners.

There are a lot of places to find this information.

  • Here’s a video of the 2012 honorees, and a short look at the finalists from 2012.
  • Here’s a video of the 2011 honorees as well as a brief look at the finalists.
  • If you subscribed to the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, check out your past issues to see a lot of articles by and about winners (such as the June 2007 articles about employee-referral-programs by Tenet and Fair Isaac; the July 2007 interview about workforce planning with HealthEast; the May 2006 article about recruiting innovation by Recruiter of the Year Dan Hilbert of Valero, and the May 2006 article about college recruiting by Jennifer Warne of Towers Perrin).


The Judging Panel

Here’s a look at some of this year’s judges. We’re still happy to have more — contact Todd Raphael at [email protected] if you’re an experienced recruiter who’s interested.

L brenner

Linda Brenner

Managing Partner

Designs on Talent

Raj Singh

Raj Singh

Director - Global Talent Acquisition

Intersil Corporation


Alan Fluhrer

Director of National Recruiting

Marcus & Millichap


Logan McCune

Director of Recruitment and Selection

Northwestern Mutual


Todd Vician

Director of Human Resources / Recruiting



Cris Supina

Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition

Johnson Controls


Tana Dionne

Recruiting Manager, Talent & Organizational Effectiveness



Jody Ordioni




Sue Marks

CEO and Founder



Todd Raphael

Editor in Chief



John Vlastelica

Managing Director

Recruiting Toolbox


Dr. John Sullivan

Professor of Management

San Francisco State University