With the Recruitment awards season nearly upon us, I wanted to share some insights from my time at Cox Purtell, where we enjoyed success in this space at the RCSA, Recruitment International, Global Recruiter and Australian HR Awards.

Here’s the secret sauce behind our success 🌭

It’s All About Structure

Generally, the beginning of the submission process is the hardest part. You know, the part where you’re staring at a blank Word document, cursor flashing as it waits patiently for the sheer genius to pass between your brain and your keyboard?

I always found the easiest way to start is to copy the award criteria into your document. Use this as your bible, your guide. After all, this is what you will be judged on. Follow it closely and always make sure all of your points relate back to the criteria.

Teamwork Makes the Awards Go Round

There should always be one person who is tasked with project managing the submission and making sure it comes together in time, but ensure that each section of the submission is allocated to the most relevant department.

When you’re entering general categories such as Candidate Care, CSR, Best Agency and Client Service awards, you will need input from several areas of the business to complete your submission. HR should be the ones writing about internal hiring processes, Marketing should be responding to the sections about how the company digital strategy supports the submission, etc. This way, you’re getting the best, most relevant responses from each area of the business.

If you’re entering a Marketing, Branding, or Social Media Award, this will generally sit with one department. I used to look after these submissions in their entirety but I still had more than one person review the entry prior to submission. This helps to ensure there are no careless mistakes and that the responses always relate back to the criteria.

Back it Up

Lip service is nice, but numbers don’t lie. Where possible, back up your content with numbers and data to give it more weight. You can weave through as much crafty Marketing language as you like, but it will never trump a clear, concise, evidence-based submission.

Points for Trying

This is by far the most important point.

If you’re nominated for an award, make some serious noise on social media from your company accounts and your recruiter’s social accounts, too. You haven’t ‘just’ been nominated. You have been shortlisted, therefore you’re already considered to be among the best. Be proud!

Don’t just make noise when you find out and the day of the event, but keep it consistent throughout the promotion period before the award ceremony – this timeframe is usually 1-3 months. During my time on the award trail, the lack of promotion from most nominated agencies really surprised me – I see this as a huge missed opportunity.

An example: When I was at Cox Purtell, our #MakeTheMove campaign was nominated for Best Recruitment Campaign at the Australian HR Awards. We were a boutique recruitment agency shortlisted next to PwC, McDonald’s, Accenture, Telstra, and International Convention Centre Sydney to name a few. As the only nominated company with less than 1,000 employees, this was some serious David and Goliath shit.

Did we win? No. Did we expect to win? Not really. But boy did we shout from the rooftops about our nomination. The fact that we were the only recruitment agency shortlisted alongside these massive corporations meant that we were seriously punching above our weight in the recruitment space. Despite walking away without a trophy, I’m probably more proud of this achievement than anything else.

You’ve Gotta Be in it to Win it

Don’t be discouraged if you’ve never entered or won a Recruitment award. Every single company will find themselves in this exact position at some point in time. Start by getting one submission under your belt and you will improve over time.

Each time you complete another entry, you will learn so many lessons about the structure, content, and the process required to pull it together. The first few submissions I ever wrote weren’t shortlisted at all – but I didn’t give up! I learned from my mistakes, refined my process and tried again.

So that’s the secret sauce! I hope I could teach you something. I’d love to hear more about your journey to the Recruitment trophy cabinet – feel free to hit me up on Twitter or connect with me on Linkedin ✌🏼

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