How a SARAs win is a game changer for your career
The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) are back this year to recognise outstanding professional service and exceptional client support across the recruitment industry. And, after a year like 2020, excellence seems even more worthy of celebration.

A SARAs win can have benefits across a range of areas, from personal and company brand to employee attraction. Plus, there’s the important recognition to be gained from an industry-leading panel of judges.

But to really understand the benefits, who better to ask than previous SARA winners?

Powerful validation

Kaizen Recruitment was awarded Small Recruitment Agency of the Year in the 2019 SARAs. The company’s Managing Director, Matt McGilton, says it provided validation that their hard work was paying off.

"We thought we had a unique value proposition and the way to really test that is to nominate for these awards and have an independent jury assess that against your peers,” he says.

“We had a great team, but we wanted the recognition, which also leads to branding opportunities. To be able to say that you're a national award-winning business is really quite powerful."

A huge “confidence kick”

Clare McCartin, Managing Partner, Davidson Executive and Boards, was recognised with the Recruiter of the Year award in 2016. She says winning the SARA gave her a huge “confidence kick”.

"My CEO nominated me the year I won Recruiter of the Year. I have also nominated outstanding performers in my team. The key reason for that is I firmly believe you get a great lift in confidence, a sense that you're on the right path and to keep doing what you're doing because you're making an impact."

The SARA recognition provided a boost to McCartin’s personal brand within the broader recruitment sector and created opportunities to speak at industry conferences.

"As a female leader, I think a few confidence-boosting moments, particularly early in your career, can be quite powerful,” she says.

The award also inspired McCartin to start an award program for women in the public sector.

"We specialise in the public sector and I'd always found it quite challenging to get females into our talent pipeline,” she explains. “I thought, ‘imagine if we could provide a platform for a range of different female leaders though an award-style program’. So, we created the Top 50 Women in the Public Sector initiative.”

“I've had feedback from some of these women that the public recognition caused them to start thinking about CEO roles, which many have now secured."

A boost for your brand

Winning an industry award like a SARA is widely viewed as an endorsement of your company brand.

McGilton says Kaizen uses every opportunity to promote its SARA accolade.

"In all our pitches, we can say that we are a national award-winning agency and the association with SEEK brings a lot of credibility.”

“Testimonials from clients are really important, but when you can combine that with a national industry award, it can be a huge game changer,” adds McGilton. “In all proposal documents we send to clients, we have our SARA award front and centre.”

M&T Resources is another previous SARA winner. In 2018, it received the Excellence in Candidate Engagement award. Executive General Manager, Paul Hutchinson, says the win has delivered huge benefits to the M&T Resources brand.

"Winning an award like this helps us maintain our trusted advisor status and really sets us apart from the competition,” he says.

“We see SEEK as a reputable brand and a key player in the recruitment industry. Even being a finalist in these awards is a huge accolade, but to win is such an achievement, no matter what the category."

Attraction and retention tool

A SARA award can also enhance an agency’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and help to attract high-performing employees who want to work with a recognised business.

“We promote our award to help attract people to come and work in our team,” says McGilton.

Along with helping to attract top talent, a SARA can provide the morale boost that helps you to retain them.

"We see excellence in candidate engagement as something to be very proud of, because our purpose is helping people achieve greater success, whether that's clients or candidates,” says Hutchinson.

“To have won the award really boosted team morale and gave us all a sense of pride in what we do day to day."

For previous winners like Kaizen Recruitment, even the process of entering can offer rewards.

"Every time you write an awards submission, it really helps you to reflect on where you're at as a team and as a business,” says McGilton. “It helps you to look at whether you've actually achieved what you've set out to do.”

The 2021 SARAs are now open, so it’s time to prepare your submission and give your business the opportunity to take hold of the benefits an award can bring.

Submissions for the 2021 SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) are open until July 30. Visit seeksara.com for details.