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  • Tuesday, 15 October 2019 6 00 pm
  • Tuesday, 15 October 2019 11 59 pm

RI Awards 2019

The world’s most prestigious recruitment industry Awards programme is back in London, giving you the opportunity to win one of the most coveted accolades in the sector. This year, the Awards are taking place at a brand-new venue - The Brewery, London! So make sure you join us and recruitment professionals from across the country to celebrate at the black-tie Awards dinner on 15th October 2019. This year  will be bigger and better before, so whether you've attended the Awards before, or have yet to experience an RI Awards dinner, you'll want to book your place at this event. 

The Awards, which recognise true innovation and best practice, are a wonderful celebration of our fantastic profession. Last year, over 350 recruiters representing some 180 different companies entered and attended the RI awards. They were judged by 30 of the biggest entrepreneurs, business leaders and pioneers from our industry, which is why winning an Award carries so much gravitas. 


As previous winners will testify, winning one of RI's iconic purple Rs is a truly rewarding and motivational experience for the entire team. There is a real return on investment in both winning and making the shortlists. Your staff deserve to be recognised for their hard work, dedication and commitment, show them you truly value their efforts.





The Best Recruitment Company to Work For up to £10 Million

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £10 - £20 Million

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £20 - £40 Million

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £40 - £100 Million

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £100 Million + 

The Growth Company of The Year

The International Recruitment Company of the Year

The Best Company for Client Service 

The Best Company for Candidate Service  

The Best CSR Initiative

The Diversity & Inclusion Champion 

The Most Innovative Recruitment Company of the Year  

The Back Office Team of the Year

The Specialist Recruitment Company of the Year 

The Brand of the Year

The Best Temporary Recruitment Company 

The Deal of the Year 



The Entrepreneur of the Year

The Hall of Fame



Monday 3rd June - Submissions and entries open
Wednesday 18th September - 5.00pm - Submissions and entries close

Tuesday 15th  October – RI Awards Gala Dinner, The Brewery, London.


Keep up to date - use the hashtag #RIAwards2019



All entries are £140 per category
All black-tie dinner places are £165 per person

Tickets for the dinner and bookings to enter the Awards are now on sale.


- RI's Corporate Members can enter as many categories as they wish and send along two guests for the dinner all at no charge. Membership has more than privileges - join today.
















Sponsorship packages are now available!

If you'd like more information on sponsoring an Award in 2019

please contact David on +44 (0) 1483 740874 or


The Best Recruitment Company to Work For up to £10m 

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £10 - £20m t/o

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £20 - £40m t/o



The Best Recruitment Company To Work For - £40 - 100m t/o​

The Best Recruitment Company to Work For £100m+ t/o

The International Recruitment Company of The Year:

Best CSR Initiative

The Specialist Recruitment Company of the Year

Entrepreneur of the Year 

The Best Company for Client Service

The Best Company for Candidate Service

The Most Innovative Recruitment Company of the Year

The Best Temporary Recruitment Company

The Brand of the Year

The Growth Company of the Year

The Back Office Team of the Year

The Diversity & Inclusion Champion

The Deal of the Year

Voted for but not entered:


The Hall of Fame 

Judges tips & pointers

Ensure each point of the criteria is addressed – if you don’t meet one of them, best to say so (saves the judges trying to find it in vain!).

Fill out the numbers, they are confidential and frame how the business is performing. If your numbers are not ‘healthy’, e.g. profit is down, despite higher turnover, it’s a good idea to explain why this is.

Provide evidence and third party endorsements to back up the points being made with testimonials from all three key stakeholders ie candidates, clients and consultants

Stick to the word count, avoid formatting and bullet point your answers to help visually.

Really explain why you should win the award THIS year.

Don’t use only 800 words when you are given 1000 words, UNLESS you totally nail it

Don’t use the word “evidence” and not supply data to support it. 

You’ve sent lots of links in your submissions?  I’ve yet to find paper that clever.

Be passionate and real – and talk about the people who make up your business.

Not providing your financials when the submission doc demands them? Silly!

You tell us a fact but offer no data to support this, eg, our interview to placement ratio is industry leading? Really what actually is it?

Avoid too many generic comments, such as “we provide outstanding client service” or “we provide a dynamic working environment for our staff and excellent opportunities for progression”. Back up these claims with as many facts as possible. Client and contractor surveys, testimonials, staff satisfaction surveys, staff retention rates etc.   We are also seeing an increase in the number of agencies who monitor their Net Promotor Scores.

If possible, the investment in training should be quantified in terms of hours and monetary value and the return on that investment should also be reported in an awards entry. That could for example translate into the number of promotions, an improvement in net fee income, margins, client retention or staff productivity.

Judges are increasingly looking for examples of CSR initiatives, as well as a focus on diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Don’t get fixated on one thing about your business that you think you do amazingly well – others may not think it is that important, or that great.

Make sure the vision and strategy of the business are clearly and concisely articulated in the written submission – don’t waffle or give an unclear message. You need to be crystal clear and punchy.

Be prepared to answer the question: how will winning this award affect your business? Or, what are you going to do about it if you win this award?

Avoid ‘management speak’ or clichéd/over-used industry phrases – the chances are somebody before you has already used it, and it will weaken your pitch. Keep it factual and clear.

You won’t win an award based on things you are going to do, only on things you have actually done (and have evidence for – both the doing, and the effectiveness of). Don’t try to sell your vision of what your business will be like in two years’ time, or what you want it to be. You’ll only win it based on what it is now, and what it already does.

In summary, winning an award can provide real benefits for recruitment agencies, but success will not come down to offering staff free bowls of fruit and reward trips. Rather, the entry needs to be crammed full of evidence to demonstrate how you set yourself apart from other agencies in an incredibly crowded market. 

Chairman of Judges
Ian Nash 

Ian has 25 years of experience with the recruitment market. His previous roles have included group board director roles for both Michael Page and Robert Walters. During his 13 year spell at Page, the business was transformed from a UK-centric financial recruitment company to the multidisciplinary international recruitment company that exists today. Page and Walters both dramatically grew in terms of scale, profitability and market value while Ian was a director. 

John Rose

John has spent most of his working career in the recruitment sector, having started in the industry in the late 1980s. John has an impressive track record leading successful business turnarounds and driving profitability. Whilst CEO of Hudson’s UK/Ireland operation, he integrated 12 acquisitions, re-shaped the business and grew profitability (EBITDA) from (£100k) to £11.3m. As CEO of Kellan Group Plc he returned the loss-making Berkeley Scott business to profitability and led the acquisition of Quantica Plc. John was most recently CEO of FiveTen Group where he built a strategy based on specialist recruitment brands, took the business into immature, less commoditised markets and significantly increased the Group's profitability. Through his own venture, Vered Consulting, John now acts as Mentor/NED/Operating Partner to recruitment businesses and their leaders, helping them through their growing pains and  both building and delivering sustainable and valuable strategies.

Sue Cooper

Sue's recruitment career spans over three decades and three leading recruitment  businesses. Following a seven year tenure at Hays Plc Sue joined Page Group in 1992 as part of the Page Personnel senior team helping to grow the business from 18 to over 300 UK staff. After a long and very successful career at Page Group Sue moved to join Morgan Hunt - a privately owned public service recruiter. During her six years with Morgan Hunt Sue was promoted to MD and in 2016 CEO. The business enjoyed significant success & growth and in 2015 was voted RI Best Recruitment Company further awards followed as the business matured. Early 2017 saw Sue step down and retire from the corporate world and moving on to set up her own business - Scoop Consultancy offering her services to SMEs across sector wanting to use her experience to help achieve growth & success.

Sue is passionate about the challenges facing the female leader in the recruitment sector and keen to share her experience to help others.

Miles Hunt

Miles is an entrepreneur, board advisor and investor with over 20 years’ experience building successful companies.  He is a former lawyer and the founder and former CEO of Empresaria, Group, a staffing company that he built to over £200m revenues with operations in 20 countries.  He now invests in and advises companies primarily within the Human Capital Services sector through his investment company Benula Capital.  He is currently Chairman of Serocor, a UK based IT and Engineering recruitment group, Darwin, a technology recruitment company operating across Europe, Davidson, an Australia based talent management company and Oasis HR, a London based HR recruitment company.  He is also Chairman of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (“APSCo”). Awards include Staffing industry Entrepreneur of the Year (Recruitment International) and national finalist Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year.


David Higgins

David spent circa 20 years building Harvey Nash plc into a £500m turnover global professional services organisation.  David's roles have encompassed Managing Director, Chief Executive, Executive Deputy Chairman and most recently Non-Executive Deputy Chairman.  As a highly effective senior international business leader, his past successes have included growing Harvey Nash significantly in terms of size, revenue and profits as well as expanding a previously UK-centric business into a global organisation covering Europe, Asia-Pacific and the USA. David has a proven track record in creating growth, both organically and via strategic acquisitions. He has also taken a private business through to a successful flotation on the London Stock Exchange. He currently advises entrepreneurs and owners of SME companies.

Fiona Kay Lander  FCIPD, FIRP, MIOD

Business Link approved trainer Fiona started Lander Associates in 1997 and heads up a team of experienced recruitment trainers and an efficient operations team in Head Office . With over 30 year’s recruitment sector experience, Fiona started her career with the government working on initiatives for the long-term unemployed. She then moved to Blue Arrow in 1986 and held a number of roles in both operations and training, including Training and Development Director. A move to the US followed in 1992 to continue training and Fiona also designed training seminars for well-known US presenter Anthony R. Byrne for his world tour in 1993. While in the US, Fiona was also commissioned to write a training book and training articles. Fiona is regularly published in trade journals and online including Recruitment International.

Suhail Mirza

Suhail qualified in the City and practiced as an employment lawyer for several years. He was owner of a healthcare business (employing over 220 people) for 12 years which he successfully sold in 2014. He is also extremely well connected within the recruitment sector across both listed and privately held businesses.


Over the past decade he has worked with investors in the recruitment and support services sectors. He has written the City Page for RI since 2006 and also writes for leading healthcare journals.


Most recently he has become a Non Executive Director at H1 Healthcare( the nursing and care provider based in Scotland) and also leads the Healthcare Practice at Alium Partners the well known interim business. He has a range of interests in support service providers including partnering with Virgin Fastrack 100 business RACS Group and is Chairman at CPD safe and Non Executive Director at Argonaut.

Adam Fletcher 

Adam has over 20 years’ experience in the recruitment sector, mostly as an operator but more latterly as an investor and NED / advisor.  Adam starting his recruitment career joining a graduate training scheme for an IT staffing business called Computer People. After much success in sales and management was appointed as UK Managing Director in 2003. He spent the next 5 years at the helm and more than doubled the size of the business to over 350 recruiters and £40+m net fees. Subsequently, Adam held Board Appointments at Ajilon, Adecco UK and Elan Computing (now Experis). In 2011 joined Hamilton Bradshaw Private Equity to launch a buy and build programme focussed upon specialist recruitment. Adam led 6 acquisitions to create an integrated recruitment business generating more than £20m net fees, now trading as Ignata. Today, Adam works with a portfolio of specialist SME recruiters, primarily advising on growth planning, value enhancement and exit realisation. 

Geraldine King, Chief Executive, National Recruitment Federation (NRF)

Geraldine is a qualified technician, trainer, and leadership coach who started her career in the electronic industry. During this time of her career, she worked for three of the major multinationals in various supervisory and senior management roles in the technical, quality, and training departments. She spent seven years with Grafton Recruitment where she managed three of their offices on the east coast. 


She joined the Federation in 2009 and is responsible for the running of the NRF office and all divisions of the Federation, including all PR & Marketing and internal communications. Since her arrival to the NRF she has been focused on expanding the services of the NRF to members, has introduced the accredited Certificate in recruitment practice to the Irish recruitment industry and is committed to developing a full academic career path for recruiters in Ireland.


Geraldine is a member of the council board of the Fingal Dublin Chamber, and a member of the MBA interview panel at Dublin City University.


She is currently studying for a Masters in Human Resource Management. Married to Martin they have 2 daughters Nikki and Aimee.

The National Recruitment Federation is a voluntary organisation set up to promote and maintain standards across the recruitment industry in Ireland for recruitment agencies.

Simon Michaels Bsc(Hons) FCA


Simon Michaels is a qualified Chartered Accountant, who provides business and financial consultancy to a range of corporations. He offers a flexible solution to managing corporate finances, which is tailored to suit the client’s needs.


As a Chief Financial Officer, he has demonstrated his strategic and commercial skills at Group Board level and has a proven track record in the review of acquisition targets, due diligence and business integration, as well as providing a hands-on approach to assess the broader strategic issues.


He has held senior financial positions in both private and public companies, including Harvey Nash Group plc, the specialist recruitment services provider. He was Finance Director of the Group’s UK & US Operations for three years and, prior to that, Finance Director of UK Operations, having joined the business in 2000. Simon was also involved in the restructuring of Harvey Nash and the acquisition and integration of new businesses.

Simon has worked with many businesses over the last 10 years, including Digital Gurus Limited; as CFO and Board Member Simon was instrumental in the sale to Rethink Group Limited. More recently, Simon was CFO of Henlow Recruitment Group Ltd who was recently sold to nGage.

Simon is now CEO of HW Fisher Business Solutions, the business support arm of HW Fisher. Specialists in providing back office and CFO services, HW Fisher Business Solutions works with a wide range of clients, from start-ups to established businesses across many industries and service sectors.

HW Fisher is a top 25 UK chartered accountancy firm. They have 32 partners and around 320 staff in London. Their reputation is grounded in quality and reliability, delivering outstanding advisory services quickly and effectively.

Dave Pye, CEO, NextGear

Dave has had a stellar career in the professional services arena with a significant focus within the recruitment sector.  He is known as a key speaker, writer and influencer.  Dave has worked with organisations across Europe and has been responsible as MD for two of the UK’s largest public recruitment companies.   As well as working within the private equity community, Dave has also led and grown niche, private companies before becoming co-Founder of NextGear, a Scale-Up Management Consulting firm specialising within talent and technology.   Dave is an NED of a number of recruitment companies and a passionate ambassador for the power recruitment brings to the UK economy. Dave is married with 6 kids and in whatever spare time he has, works as a Trustee with two charities focusing on education and international humanitarian relief.  

Graham Palfery-Smith – 6CATS 

Graham Palfery-Smith has been involved in the recruitment industry for almost 40 years. He is an accomplished and highly experienced strategic senior manager who has built and run a wide range of specialist recruitment businesses internationally, including HW GroupFaroFiveTen Group and parts of Robert Walters; having extensive international M&A experience in the sector, with experience of more than 50 transactions. Presently, Graham, is Chairman of 6CATS InternationalebstaCoppergate International and Spring FF&E and non-executive director of several businesses including Executives in Africacube19The Recruitment Network and Capital International Staffing. An enthusiastic supporter of the industry he retains his passion for the sector despite his advancing years!

 Tim Moynihan 

A qualified accountant, Tim had an executive career and was a Finance Director with Hays. On leaving Hays, Tim embarked on a portfolio career and has for nearly twenty years specialised as an advisor to entrepreneur, family owned, and private equity backed staffing and recruitment firms. These include Huntswood, Astbury Marsden, Change Recruitment Group, Directorbank, Techpartners and Trinity Group. He has held several senior roles, including chairman, non-executive director and advisor. Tim is currently a non-executive director of Education Placement Group, McGinley Support Services and Proco Global.