What does recruitment excellence look like in 2020?

Authored By Carly Fordred

There’s few industries that don’t hold annual Awards and the recruitment industry is no different. But in a year where the prospect of a typical gala dinner and all the kudos that goes with stepping up to receive your accolade is gone, is the importance of winning lost?

According to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) absolutely not. In fact, the need to highlight excellence within its membership has never been so significant.

Central to APSCo’s Awards for Excellence is the support of recruitment industry service providers who commit to the industry Awards via sponsorship. These businesses share a passion for celebrating excellence inside their own businesses and recognise that their role as sponsors speaks to the values they drive within their own organisation.

Industry specialists in the provision of taxation, accounting and financial reporting services, Sovereign Private, are Major Sponsor of the 2020 APSCo Awards for Excellence. Having been part of the industry for over six years, the company sees 2020 as the “ultimate test of a business’s resilience.”

“Excellence is not only just about having a strong contracting book, which is still incredibly important, but it is also about how the leadership team responded to the challenges the year presented,” says Managing Director, Paul Masters. Ultimately though, “excellence is reflected in the business’s ability to rapidly adapt to change and swift financial recovery.”

The importance of driving excellence in 2020

With 8 categories specifically created to acknowledge the exceptional circumstances of running a business during the pandemic, the Awards have gathered a passionate and committed group of category sponsors that recognise the importance of driving excellence in the recruitment profession.

“This year presents a great opportunity to recognise the recruitment agencies that have risen above and beyond the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown their way, says ‘Best response to the Pandemic – Innovation’ sponsor, Entity Solutions.

“Businesses large and small have had to transform the way they work overnight to deliver to their candidates, employees, clients and partners.” Entity Solutions is a strong believer that using technology to increase efficiency and providing outstanding service is a sign of excellence.

According to ‘Candidate Experience’ sponsor CareerOne, “there has never been a more important time to recognise and reward excellence than against the unprecedented adversity we faced in 2020. “It is for this reason we define excellence as not only leading-the-way and striving forward, but also helping your community along the way.”

WorkPro, sponsor of ‘Best response to the 2020 pandemic – WHS’, agree that it’s never been a more important time to recognise excellence in the industry.

“While excellence usually means to go ‘above and beyond’, this year it’s about celebrating those who not only moved their organisation forward during a health crisis, but did so while maintaining their compliance standards and delivering on their duty of care to all staff,” says WorkPro founder, Tania Evans. “Doing the right thing and keeping up obligations to ensure team members feel safe, supported and well-trained throughout a time of change is what excellence looks like in 2020.”

‘Best use of Digital’ sponsor, Ayers Group, realize that 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, however “Good people, with good values and excellence, will always shine through, even in the toughest of times,” says Managing Director Colin Cuthbert. Recognising excellence is a mantra the company follow internally in a number of different ways (client feedback and staff feedback are the main contributors; however team leaders are always looking at excellence from their team in whatever they do.) Individuals are publicly acknowledged and rewarded during weekly team meetings for going "over and above".

Similarly, excellence underpins the culture at Sunsuper, this year’s sponsor of the ‘Best approach to Health & Wellbeing’. Striving for excellence “sharpens our focus on our members and employers, and helps us to deliver better products and services. It’s a part of our DNA.”

“We actively support excellence across our own organisation in multiple ways, says Sunsuper’s Stephen McKay, Head of Relationship Management, Corporate and Institutional, and are “pleased to support that same commitment to excellence in the recruitment industry, particularly during such a difficult and challenging year.”

‘CSR Initiative of the Year’ sponsor, SEEK, say, “it’s great to be able to recognise the hard work and achievement within the industry.”

“The resilience that we have seen across many individuals and agencies throughout this period is clearly evident, and we at SEEK want to acknowledge and congratulate the industry for adapting and demonstrating resilience during a very challenging year in 2020,” says SEEK’s Con Marchesan, Head of Recruitment Industry Segment.

Staffing Industry Metrics are both managing and sponsoring the financial data-driven Award categories of ‘Best Performer of the Pandemic’ and ‘Most Improved of the Pandemic’.
With so much disruption and negativity attached to the year, Managing Director Nigel Harse says there’s “no room for tall poppy syndrome” andwe should find new ways to celebrate and reveal what can still be achieved during these challenging times.”

“There has never been a better time to let financial data reveal the impact of instantly changed market and working conditions on businesses,” he says. “Their own results will show the effect of different strategies used to change and drive the business curve.” Benchmarking key financial metrics from the previous six months will objectively identify the Award winners in these categories.

Recognising the best of the best

So while there won’t be a physical stage for winners to collect their statue in 2020, there are countless reasons to celebrate excellence and reflect upon what can be achieved in the face of adversity.

The recruitment industry will receive the recognition it so duly deserves with a group of finalists for APSCo’s Awards for Excellence announced on October 15 and the winners on November 26.

You can find out more about the APSCo Awards for Excellence and the companies supporting them, here