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Celebrating excellence in recruitment

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo


Here at APSCo, it always makes us extremely proud to witness how members are flourishing professionally while demonstrating and supporting the professional standards that APSCo embodies – and the winners of this year’s Awards for Excellence certainly didn’t disappoint. As you would expect, across the board, every company which was celebrated on the evening demonstrated a deep understanding of the markets in which they operate - and knack for capitalising on opportunities to drive profitability. However, this year, I think it’s fair to say that the level of creativity that firms are adopting to reach organisational objectives was particularly noteworthy.      


For example, Sanderson Government & Defence took home the Best Client Initiative trophy for its success in tapping into a closed community to significantly boost hires at a cyber security company. The client was in need of niche technologists who hold the highest level of security clearance available in the UK. Sanderson delivered by introducing recruiters with the same level of clearance as the candidates they were targeting to allow conversations to happen at end-client sites. The firm also launched networking events to generate a broader talent pool, worked to build a strong EVP among target stakeholders and introduced a referral programme. The result: the number of hires exploded well beyond the customer’s expectation, increasing 500% on the previous year. 


CSR Initiative of the Year went to Smile Education, which is truly going above and beyond to integrate itself in the market in which it operates. In a sector where staffing companies are too often accused of taking advantage of chronic talent shortages, its recruiters are working hard to build relationships within the community to differentiate themselves. The firm’s DBS-checked staff routinely help out at school fetes and sports days as well as chaperoning school trips. They also deliver workshops on CV writing and interview techniques to pupils, firmly cementing Smile’s reputation as a company which is not afraid to get involved and give back.  


Meanwhile, international digital recruitment specialists, Trust in Soda, impressed judges with its innovative approach to confronting the IT gender gap issue to pick up this year’s Diversity & Inclusion Award. After discovering that women often feel discriminated against at DevOps events, the team established their own not-for-profit networking platform to support females in the profession. Designed to inspire leaders of the future, Women in DevOps is now a truly global community of around 3000 professionals, which has been invited to deliver talks as far afield as Kansas City and Brazil. Unsurprisingly, the initiative has also reinforced the recruiter’s brand profile while boosting its candidate pool.


It’s not only recruitment companies which are pushing the boundaries to drive progress. Suppliers to the sector are also providing us with the means to revolutionise the way we work. While the term social recruiting has been talked about for years, one organisation, Paiger, is doing more than just talking. It has recognised that recruiters now more than ever need to be marketers and marketers in recruitment need to utilise their consultants’ networks. Paiger allows recruiters to automatically share jobs with an engaging update and visual to their social channels. It also finds the best content for a particular industry sector and sends a daily email with industry insights and an ability to update social media with one click.


As the above examples demonstrate, it seems that the most innovative firms are becoming increasingly agile to navigate today’s evolving landscape – and many of us could take a leaf from their books. As the old adage goes, we make progress by standing on the shoulders of giants, and success stories from across our sector should act as an inspiration to the entire recruitment community. 


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