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The Judges

Steve Playford

Managing Director, Financial Times Career Management

Steve Playford is an experienced Commercial Director who specialises in Recruitment Media. He has spent most of his career with blue chip UK media companies, most notably Telegraph Media Group and The Financial Times. At the Telegraph he successfully re-launched Telegraph Jobs before moving to head up the market leading UK executive job boardwww.exec-appointments.com in 2008 following acquisition by The FT. Steve also developed and grew the biggest UK resource for Independent Directors at the FT before launching the first ever formal education product in that sector in 2011. As part of his current remit of Managing Director at Financial Times Career Management he recently launched a new job board for the US executive market FT.com Jobs. He is a taxi driver in his spare time - ferrying his two young daughters to ballet lessons, swimming lessons, piano lessons, brownies and various coca-cola fuelled parties!


Laura Stoker

Executive Director of Global Training at AIRS

Laura Stoker began her recruiting career as a researcher for executive search firms working on international and domestic projects. She has also worked as a Recruiter for J.D. Edwards in Denver, Colorado and as a Technical Recruiter for EMDS in Brussels, Belgium. She has been using AIRS techniques since she attended one of our first training classes in 1997 and now enjoys teaching the same knowledge to a new generation of Internet Recruiters.


Nigel Bicknell

Director of Business & Product development, Guardian News & Media

Nigel Bicknell is a digital recruitment specialist with over 15 years online experience for Guardian News & Media, where his current role is to lead the strategic and commercial development of its professional recruitment business. Previously he was Research director at the Financial Times. His present obsession is mobile recruitment.

Joe Rodgers

Managing Director, WJP Floyd

Joe Rodgers has been the MD of WJP since we were founded in 1995, working with commercial clients of all sizes. Floyd was founded in 1990, and focused on the Not for Profit sector. In 2003, we merged into a single business. The key people from both businesses are still with us – as are many of our original clients. Our client list includes major names in the commercial and Not for Profit sectors, including Shelter, Save the Children, G4S, Fenwick and Laing O’Rourke.


Matt Alder

Consultant on Digital, Mobile and Social Media Marketing Strategies for Talent Acquisition, Recruiting and HR

Ever since he first worked with the web back in 1997, Matt Alder has been fascinated by the emerging technologies that change the way companies go about recruiting people. He implemented the UK’s first Mobile Recruiting campaign way back in 2002 and is recognized as a highly influential recruitment futurist as well as a leading digital, social and mobile strategist. Using his unrivalled experience of leading digital migration within large organizations and unique insight into the opportunities emerging technologies can offer, Matt helps businesses get the very best out of their recruiting activities by helping them integrate new approaches into their existing digital recruitment strategy. As well as delivering pragmatic business solutions that connect go ahead organizations with the elusive talent they seek, Matt’s also a respected commentator, a regular blogger, and an accomplished public speaker. 

Richard Alberg

Chief Executive at Myworksearch Ltd

Richard Alberg is founder and CEO of Myworksearch Ltd (www.myworksearch.co.uk), an innovative online service that handholds an individual on the journey into employment.  It uses sophisticated technology to provide workflow automation, eLearning, activity management, data, reporting and the company’s proprietary Nudge Engine® to inexpensively, affordably and at large scale assist jobseekers.  Prior to MyWorkSearch Richard founded Psychometric Services Ltd (PSL).  PSL developed and published psychometric tests and was a pioneer in the field of online recruitment.  Kenexa purchased PSL in 2006 and Richard became a Senior Vice President with responsibility for their European and then their Asia-Pacific businesses. Richard is a frequent industry commentator and has contributed to print and broadcast media. He has spoken at conferences throughout the world and is one of the guest experts on a series of industry training videos.


Ruth Owen

CEO, Whizz-Kidz

Our aim is to ensure that every disabled child has an opportunity to be something special…a kid. There are an estimated 70,000 disabled children and young people in the UK waiting for a wheelchair that fits their young lives. That’s where we come in. Whizz-Kidz provides disabled children with the essential wheelchairs and other mobility equipment they need to lead fun and active childhoods.


Davor Miskulin

Business Development Manager at Burning Glass Technologies

Davor Miskulin has worked in a diverse range of industries (Recruitment Technology, Manufacturing, Merchant Banking and Humanitarian) across 5 continents and has so far lived in 4 countries. In recent years Davor's focus has been predominately on International software Sales and Business Development within the recruitment and Talent Acqusition space. Prior to that Davor's main focus has been on linking IT business strategy with the key business drivers and implementing business change initiatives designed to improve organizations and enhance business performance.