IRP Awards – Celebrating the end of a positive year

IRP awards

We have recently completed our very first application for an award and have been fortunate enough to be shortlisted in our category. The IRP awards are regarded as the Recruitment industry’s most prestigious awards and winning an IRP award is the most impressive industry recognition an individual or company can achieve (Read more about the awards here.) To be shortlisted is an absolute honour.

We have never applied for any awards in the past. Primarily because we previously believed the time was best spent focusing on business improvement. However, on this occasion, the time felt right to apply to the IRP awards due to the significance of them. They are the only recruitment sector awards run by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) who are the main governing body for the industry. There is a real resonance between the attributes focused on by REC and our modus operandi as a company. Therefore, we felt it important to go through the application and learn from the process.

We aren’t attending the awards with a ‘win at all costs’ mentality. Whilst we would be delighted and honoured to win, the actual application process has been a very worthwhile exercise for us and an eye opener, in a good way. It actually provided the company with an opportunity to reflect; to consider what we offer beyond the daily standard process of running a business and how we add value to our team. Having been selected down to the last 10 in our category, it is great recognition for us and something that we would never have expected just a few years ago. Especially in the first few years of establishing the business. In the formative years explaining to prospective clients who Cityscape Recruitment were fell on similarly deaf ears as when I ask my kids how their day at school was.

IRP awards

As the revenue of the business has gradually increased over the years as well as the staff base, it has enabled a self-perpetuating process of reinvesting in the business. One real pleasure of working in this industry is being able to reward those that graft away each day and help the company to exist. When a company is forming it’s very difficult to reinvest due to every penny being required to invest in just surviving and there being less ‘fat’ to play with. However having reached a point where we are operating naturally with cohesiveness and an innate confidence in the business, it allows us to reward those that have assisted in the success much more. The reward doesn’t have to relate solely to fiscal rewards. They also include training, social/team events, community involvement, increased focus on charities, improving their immediate surroundings, better systems, increased advertising, engagement in social media, career development, to name but a few. Even down to ensuring the fruit bowl is kept full to promote topping up their daily intake of healthy food (the only healthy intake for most).

We have recently promoted one of our employees to a Senior Consultant. Somebody who joined the company 2 years ago and had 3 years’ prior experience with (several) other recruitment companies in our sector. She started her employment with ‘interesting’ working methods and absolutely no intention of progressing beyond the role of a resourcer. Within 2 years with us she has been promoted twice, is evolving daily in her role and has huge scope to progress further. Facilitating and experiencing people progressing professionally and, consequently, benefit in their personal life is what makes this job great! I don’t claim merit for this, by the way, she has an endearing amount of passion for recruitment. Given the right environment, this passion, in conjunction with consistent hard work, has helped her to sail forward naturally.

It is currently a great time to celebrate being a recruiter. The UK recruitment sector is so advanced in comparison to most other countries. There are 26,000 recruitment companies trading here at present. To be a good recruiter in the UK, with the amount of competition that exists here, means you really do have to be on your toes. Anybody who has been involved with recruitment overseas will appreciate the level of competition that exists here in comparison to other countries. The latest report on jobs shows that staff appointments are increasing at the slowest pace for 6 months with growth being held back by an uncertain outlook and skills shortages. There are not enough candidates for the roles available; this will only become acuter as we stagger away from Europe. This is good news for the future of recruitment and reinforces the necessity for our existence! I was disappointed but totally unsurprised 2 weeks ago when somebody suggested typing “recruiters are….” into Google to see what the top 5 recommended searches are that followed these 2 words. I won’t go into detail, you can enjoy that exercise yourselves. Needless to say, recruitment as a sector could benefit from a bit of a rebrand. If David Beckham can enjoy his resurgence from being so ostracised after his red card against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup to the immense popularity that he enjoys today then I’m sure the recruitment sector stands a chance of an image makeover…

IRP awards

As a business, we are certainly focusing on good practice and believe that this will help provide the sustainability required to plough through whatever economic challenges that we may or may not face post-Brexit. As the competition grows I’m confident that good practice will become essential and maybe one day the suggested searches on Google may make more positive reading! There is a quote from an American author which states “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”. This sums up our mindset at the moment. Recognition would be amazing but the journey to this point has been of prime importance and is something to really celebrate. So we will all bundle down to the Westminster Bridge Hotel on 6th December- no doubt following a panic for many to get hold of a tuxedo at the 11th hour despite several weeks’ advance notice! – with the aim of celebrating the progress we have made as a company, our brilliant team and to spend a night rejoicing being good recruiters. Anything beyond that is a bonus!

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