“I’d like to thank my Admin team for filling out the entries. My parents for raising such a legend. Obviously, the judges. Thanks so much for this, it really means a lot. Here’s your cheque.”
It’s not that much of an exposé to call recruitment awards flawed.
By their very nature, they’re not really based on much more than money. There might be the odd exception. But by and large, I’ve not seen one which qualifies as truly meritocratic. Which is strange for an industry totally that way inclined.
Look at some of other awards about in the world…
In entertainment you’ve got the Oscars, or the Emmy Awards, or The BAFTAs.
You’ve got the Nobel prize for intellectual achievement in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace, and economics.
There’s the Booker prize for literary work.
There’s the Pulitzer prize for achievements in journalism and musical composition.
Some have their limits, but none are based on someone buying a table at an event, just to be in the nominations. And this is why awards in recruitment stand out.
It might be more universal than just recruitment too. There’s almost certainly overlaps with other industries in the manner of ‘awarding for achievement’. But that doesn’t make it OK or mean it doesn’t need fixing.
“Best Company to Work For”
In the UK, the Times is possibly one of the more reputable UK newspapers, if there is such a thing, and therefore perhaps one of the more resepctable awards to win for recruitment agencies.
Until you realise how it’s voted for.
Companies are supposed to give voting forms to their employees to accurately judge their ability as employers.
Yet, I know for a fact a huge number of recruitment companies don’t pass them on.
Instead, the forms are filled out by admin teams to game the results, so they look like fantastic places to work. Which when you think about it, is quite funny.
I know this is how it works.
So I guess virtually every recruiter knows this is how it works.
And certainly those who’ve been around the block. **
And how do they know it?
Because they’ve probably worked for a business that’s won an award based on an employee voting system, and not had the chance to vote.
It’s almost like management don’t realise their staff will question it. And so they undermine the intelligence of the very people they’re trying to impress.
It’s all a bit odd, isn’t it?
Then the same people post job ads or updates on LinkedIn boasting about the awards they’ve just coercively won, to impress the people who know it’s fabricated.
And so the oddities continue.
Are these businesses not just promoting their deep pockets, rather than commercial achievement?
It’s no better here in Aus
In Australia we’ve got plenty of awards you pay to enter. And it’s not like the judges can spot true winners in the market if they’re not at the table.
There are some that are equally as open to manipulation as their Times antipodean equivalent.
And there are countless others which always seem coincidentally to go to the best customer. And by best, I mean those who pay the biggest fees continuously.
And you might think it’s not the end of the world to pay for an award as a business. I mean, it’s just another way of setting you apart. Maybe if you’re against another agency for a potential hire, they might join you?
Maybe clients and candidates think the same? Perhaps their understanding of awards isn’t as in-depth and so it offers a competitive advantage? Like a shiny gold star from teacher.
My honest guess would be candidates and clients don’t care.
They want their jobs filled with the best people. Or to get a job with a great company. I’d be amazed if a client would dish out business on the basis of an award. Certainly if the service didn’t match.
And for potential hires? It might actually do you more harm than good.
I mean, if you’ll lie about the legitimacy of an award based on merit, what else might you lie about?
I know this might sound revolutionary and a touch OTT. But I promise this feeling’s echoed by a huge amount of people in our industry. So whether you believe me or not, is up to you.
But there’s a broken system here. And it might not work out well to simply cover your ears and pay to play.
A lack of data
The reason we’re at this point in the awards industry is due to a lack of data.
How do you understand which companies are best to work for, without asking their employees? And how do you ask employees without going through Management? Can you ever trust you’ll get an honest response?
It’s also obvious awards needs financial backing to even exist, and so that money needs to come from somewhere.
And let’s be honest, no one’s going to pay for an award they never win.
And so around and around we go with a flawed system, based on financial obligation, and not much to do with genuine accolades.
If you think about how recruiters work, there’s opportunity to get reviews and ratings quite regularly. If you ask the right people. Namely, candidates and clients.
And that’s Sourcr’s whole deal.
We’re free to join. And the recruiters who use Sourcr are consistently rated by those they work with.
It’s the missing secret sauce to make awards based on merit.
And now, we’re offering that sauce for free, to every recruiter on our platform.
You could be crowned, legitimately, the best recruiter in your market. You could use that title on LinkedIn. Get it embossed in rose gold Silian Grail font on a deck of egg-shell business cards. Maybe even get yourself a watermark.
Imagine how regal your email signature would look.
And beyond the pageantry, think of the increase in business. The candidates who’d come your way. The clients you’d impress.
Sourcr’s mission is to increase trust in recruiters and the industry as a whole. And these awards not only uphold those standards to our users. But also make awards more fair.
Awards based on data. Not who has the deepest pockets.