Appcast Wins Gold in the 2021 Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards

Prestigious award recognizes Appcast Xcelerate for its innovations in recruitment marketing and talent acquisition technology

LEBANON, N.H. – Dec. 16, 2021 – Appcast, a global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services, today announced that it won a Brandon Hall Group Gold Award for Excellence in the “Best Advance in Recruitment Marketing Technology” category. The award recognizes Appcast Xcelerate for its innovation in delivering intelligent recruitment advertising technology that helps organizations attract more qualified candidates and improve recruitment outcomes.

In today’s highly competitive labor market, Xcelerate has a proven track record of helping employers secure a steady stream of qualified candidates and overcome hiring challenges. Xcelerate integrates seamlessly with employers’ applicant tracking systems (ATS) and uses real-time market and job ad performance data, along with advanced algorithms to automatically select the best places to post jobs from a network of more than 10,000 job sites. Xcelerate helps organizations reduce cost-per-hire, increase candidate volume, and meet diversity hiring goals by reaching more candidates from underrepresented groups.

“I’m immensely proud that Brandon Hall Group has recognized the excellence of our technology and more importantly, the people behind our technology, in driving recruitment outcomes,” said Chris Forman, founder and CEO of Appcast. “Employers today are faced with an incredibly tough labor market, and we’re delighted that Xcelerate was recognized as an innovation that alleviates the challenges of attracting and hiring qualified talent.”

The largest and longest running awards program in Human Capital Management, the Brandon Hall Group assembled a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, and Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives to evaluate Xcelerate based on the following criteria: product, unique differentiators, value proposition and measurable results.

“HCM solution providers must be experts and visionaries in technology, but they also must have the ability to anticipate the diverse needs of employers as they work to adapt to ongoing change,” said Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke. “This requires a blend of curiosity, empathy and agility that is difficult to achieve. We have seen an extraordinary level of insight and creativity from our Excellence in Technology winners that has been exciting to see.”

To learn more about Appcast Xcelerate, visit

About Appcast

Appcast is the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services. With advanced technology, unmatched market data and a team of the industry’s best recruitment marketers, Appcast’s technology and services manage over half a billion dollars in job advertising annually on behalf of more than 1,500 clients. Headquartered in Lebanon, N.H. with offices in Boston, Mass., New Brunswick, Canada and Minsk, Belarus, Appcast is a subsidiary of StepStone, one of the world’s largest job classified businesses. To learn more, visit and follow on Twitter @appcast_io.


About Brandon Hall Group

Brandon Hall Group operates the largest and longest running awards program in Human Capital Management. As an independent HCM research and analyst firm they conduct studies in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management. These benchmark studies help organizations by providing strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results.

Coupling the research studies with the best practice from the awards, Brandon Hall Group has helped more than 10,000 clients globally and more than 28 years of delivering world-class research and advisory. At the core of our offerings is a membership program that combines research, benchmarking and unlimited access to data and analysts. Membership enables executives and practitioners to make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services which aim to put the research into action in a way that is practical and efficient.

Brandon Hall Group has also launched professional certifications for business and human capital management professionals to upskill themselves and gain credentials for career advancement. (



Audrey Surette

Gabriel Marketing Group (for Appcast)

Phone: 978-500-4857

Email: [email protected]

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.