Meet our Judges

Our judges are all Senior Talent Acquisition professionals with track records of success within our industry so well positioned to assess the very best in Talent Acquisition. Find out more about them here...

Peter Hetherington
Recruitment Director
Genomics England

Peter has returned as Chair of the Judges for this year's FIRM Awards, and is a talent acquisition SME for Genomics England.

Peter has been a member of The FIRM from the beginning, a former member of the advisory board and chair of the Judging panel since the very first FIRM Awards.

His career spans global head of talent acquisition roles in firms such as CEB/Gartner, XL (Now AXA), Capita, Link Group and he is also the author of some of the papers in the FIRM's expansive resource library.

Today, Peter is a talent acquisition SME for Genomics England (the world's leading research organisation into the human genome and consequent healthcare applications), and works with Udder to help organisations in any sector implement, adopt and get the most out of their recruitment technology investments.

Ben Craig
Head of Recruitment & Employer Brand
Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Ben is joining us from the fintech Wise (TransferWise), where he is currently Head of Recruitment & Employer Brand in London. Over the last 3 years, Ben has built a recruitment team that has scaled the org from 1,000 to 3,000 employees across 16 international locations.

Prior to Wise, Ben worked for Aristocrat (gaming) based in Sydney, where he led APAC and then global recruiting, across 8 international locations. On the weekends he's on his road bike or ocean swimming & surfing when the opportunity arises.

Emma Fulton
Head of Marketing Planning
British Army / Capita Defence Recruiting Group

Emma is Director of Marketing Operations for Capita’s Recruiting Partnering Project with the British Army. Responsible for marketing engagement across all owned channels, taking those with awareness and interest and converting them to applicants by showing the breath of the Army offer in a fresh and exciting way.

She was previously a Resourcing Partner and member of the Resourcing Leadership Team at LV= where she was responsible for Employer Brand, attract and social strategy, working to ensure the group brand and employer brand and strategy aligned. Prior to this Emma was a Recruiter and Resourcing Partner for Defence company QinetiQ. Emma started her career as an HR generalist, but she soon realised where action was and moved into Recruitment and the heady world of attraction and talent.

Emma Smith
Delivery Resourcing Manager

I have gained over 10 years recruitment experience working in house across Financial Services, Public Sector Legal and Logistics organisations. I have had experience of volume and niche recruitment across all salary bands up to executive level. I now head up the Delivery Resourcing team at Hermes and I am passionate about developing processes and implementing innovations to support the recruitment of self-employed couriers nationally. Having previously been a winner and presented at the IHR awards, I am really excited to be judging this year and cant wait to see the entries!

Georgie O’Connor
Talent Acquisition Lead, Northern Europe

Georgie is the Talent Acquisition Lead for Northern Europe at Mondelez International, one of the world's largest snacking companies with brands including Cadbury, Oreo and Philadelphia, with 2020 net revenues of $26billion, over 80,000 employees and operations across 150 countries globally. Georgie leads the Talent Acquisition strategy, which includes the Early Careers and Employer Branding agenda for her business unit. Heading up a team of 24 TA professionals, working across the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark & Finland. She has grown her team over the last few years, transforming talent acquisition to be more proactive, strategic and innovative by striving to be forward thinking talent partners to the business. Driving more focus on external recognition for the business unit, she has led recognitions which include 2021 Glassdoor BPTW, 2021 Glassdoor Top CEO’s, 2021 Universum’s 100 Most Attractive Employers (Student & Professional), 2021 Universum’s Most Attractive Employers in D&I for STEM (ranked 1st), 2021 Target Jobs Top 300 Employers as well as gaining recognition for her own team from 2021 IHRA and the 2021 FIRM Awards in winning the “Large Recruitment Team of the Year”. Alongside her role, Georgie has a particular interest in growing DE&I initiatives, she is an active member of the Inclusion@MDLZ group which is an internal forum to discuss diversity, equity & inclusion topics for the Northern Europe business unit, she also works as a Global Key Account Manager in a project capacity for one of the Global business functions, supporting them with their hiring and talent attraction needs. 7 years prior to joining Mondelez, Georgie worked agency side, for an international executive search business, supporting companies on their talent & hiring needs, including recruitment, sourcing initiatives & talent mapping, which strengthened her experience across industries and markets and ignited her passion for hiring within FMCG. Her biggest focus outside of work is her family and friends, she especially enjoys going on new adventures with her Husband and their 5 year old Daughter, most recently exploring the UK south west coast in Devon and Dorset.”

Heather Kitto
Head of Resourcing & Contingent Recruitment
NFU Mutual

Heather is all about people and talent, identifying what motivates teams and supporting them to deliver great results, develop their careers and be successful. Heather started her career in hotel management but swiftly moving to recruitment for slightly more social hours! Heather has experience in all aspects of the recruitment industry, having worked in external Agency recruitment, Managed Services, RPO, and latterly moving to an In-house role.

Heather feels lucky to have had opportunities she’s has in her career to date, running large corporate accounts and Managed services, complex RPO’s, volume contractor workforces, building Capita’s internal resourcing function and finally, transforming inhouse teams to have the skills they need to engage the best talent in the market and deliver value for the business. Heather is now the Head of Resourcing for NFU Mutual, she joined transform and centralise the resourcing strategy. The team, technology, process, external profile and contractor management elements of the strategy have all been delivered. NFUM was pleased and proud to have won the “Outstanding transformation and impact” award in 2021. Heather lives in Leicestershire and loves spending time with her family, friends and her Alaskan Malamute x Siberian Husky, Nuka that they rehomed from the Husky Rescue Centre.

Jon Hull
Head of Resourcing
Balfour Beatty

Jon Hull is a veteran of the Recruitment industry, spanning a wide range of industries including, Distribution, Professional services, Financial Services, and Construction.

He has been named in the most Influential voices in the industry on several occasions. He is passionate about ensuring that Resourcing is at the forefront of the commercial discussion, solving business issues through people and recruitment. He has a background in developing teams, leading transformation and data led decision making and the power of telling stories through data.

Jennifer Candee
Global Head of Talent Acquisition

Jennifer was formerly the Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand for Mondelez International, one of the world's largest snacks companies with 2019 net revenues of $26billion, over 90,000 employees and operations across 165 countries globally.

Jennifer set and led the global TA COE strategy, agenda and organization of close to 300 TA professionals across 14 Business Units in N. America, Latin America, Europe and AMEA. She brought the team to new heights winning awards for Global Onboarding, their Global Employer Brand launch and Global Exec TA. For

10 years prior to Mondelez, Jennifer acted as the Global Head of Talent Acquisition for SABMiller, the second largest global brewer and one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola drinks prior to its acquisition by ABInBev. Her background spans over 20 years of broad Talent and HR experience across a breadth of industries from financial services, telecommunications, and manufacturing to retail and drinks sectors.

Jennifer is a regular speaker at local and international forums and is passionate about creating sustainable solutions to address the strategic future of talent challenges, youth in STEM and employer branding.

She was named as one of the Top 20 UK Recruiting Pioneers, profiled as one of the 11 most influential UK based resourcing leaders by Recruiter Magazine in 2013, 2015 and again in 2019 and was profiled in Changeboard magazine in 2015 and in Recruiter Magazine in 2019. Her biggest passions outside of recruitment are her two energetic boys ages 10 and 12 who keep her young or make her old depending on the day.

Melanie Punch
Head of Careers
Investec plc

Mel Punch is the Head of Careers at Investec Plc an ‘out of the ordinary’ Bank and Wealth Manager with offices across the UK, US, Asia and Africa. Having joined the business 4 years ago to head up recruitment, Mel now looks after Recruitment, People and Talent Consulting and Employee Relations driving a smoother candidate and employee experience.

Throughout her career Mel has worked in a number of different industries including Retail, Communications, Start-up, Professional and Financial Services. A proud Northerner, outside of work Mel likes to walk the outdoors and explore new countries (or counties as it has been more recently). She recently left the buzz of London on the quest for more trees and a better work/life balance.

Manjuri Sinha
Global Head of Talent Acquisition
OLX Group

18 years plus experience in HR with expertise in Technology Talent Acquisition across industries; IT Consulting, Ecommerce, Business Process Outsourcing and manufacturing. As a strong advocate of diversity in IT, I am a part of the D&I Council and drive the D&I hiring strategy for the group. As a passionate speaker and panelist, I have spoken at 31 conferences in the past three years. I have been published in leading magazines like Business of Fashion, New York, HR Tech Outlook, and co-authored a book called The Builders Guide to the Tech Galaxy. Currently Heading the Technology Talent Acquisition strategy and team for OLX Group, a Prosus Naspers company across the world in Europe, Turkey, India, Indonesia, North America & Latin America. Prior to joining OLX, was leading global Technology TA at Zalando GmBH. Before that led a HRBP team in Accenture India, for Life Sciences and CGS technology verticals. Currently also provide Tech Talent architecture advisory to others companies in the Prosus group, across the globe. Worked and lived in India, Sweden, Czech Republic and now call Berlin home. My passions are travelling and exploring new cuisines.

Salma Rashad El Hamalawy
Director Talent Acquisition

Salma is Global Talent Acquisition Leader for Corporate Functions, leading a team of Executive Search professionals focusing on the talent acquisition strategies for Johnson & Johnson’s Executive Committee and their direct reports, helping to identify & hire the future C-Suite leaders. Salma began her HR career as an HR Manager and worked in different industries including IT, Retail and Banking before moving on to work in various Resourcing roles for companies such as Citi & Tata Consultancy Services. She has been most recently recognized as one of 11 Most Influential In-House Recruiters 2021, by Recruiter magazine. Having lived and worked in South America, the Middle East and Europe, she is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. She is currently living in Switzerland where she enjoys hiking & swimming with her husband and 2 children.

Judging Process

There are 25 Awards categories - each category undergoes two stages of judging, the first is online judging and each entry is assessed by at least three judges.

The next stage is a live final round judging day that takes place in April and all shortlisted entries are reviewed and judges scores calibrated.

No judge is permitted to assess any categories that they have entered and a judges' company is not permitted to enter more than five categories otherwise this is deemed a conflict of interest and they are forced to withdraw from judging.

All entries will be judged against the criteria indicated for each category. Decisions of the judges will be final.

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