6 Ways awards can drive recruitment

Awards and prizes are wonderful.  An award makes you feel good. And it can give you, as a company, good news to announce to staff and customers. Maybe you get a little something for the trophy cabinet, or a widget earned for the company website.

Whether the business wins an award (for an excellent product, outstanding customer service, etc.) or you’re presenting awards to fellow businesses as part of a prestigious awards program, awards are positive recognition for the organization and, even better, they’re highly visible. 

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Winning – or sometimes just being shortlisted – for a reputable award enhances your reputation from a PR standpoint. When people need the service or product you provide, they’re more likely to remember your name and brand. And then you get more business. Which points to a fairly direct impact on the bottom line. If, on the other hand, you’re handing out the awards (for a job done well, a ground-breaking new idea or initiative, selfless teamwork, etc.), businesses in your sector are engaged and motivated – and not just the award-winners. You are providing an incentive and recognition, which ultimately impacts the bottom line.

But what about impacts that aren’t directly financial? How does an award or awards program affect your business processes? Like, say, recruitment?

Recruitment benefit #1 – Building credibility

Nobody really wants to work for a company at the bottom of the league, especially during a period in which recruitment is a ‘candidate’s market’. The best applicants are looking for high-flying, highly credible employers. Hosting an awards program is a credibility boost. It’s an external validation that shows you’re a leader in your field and lends huge authority to your business’ market position.

It’ll attract more positive attention and a larger, better pool of job candidates that helps your company grow. This was the third most popular reason small businesses implement HR technology, according to recent research, and awards help achieve this by helping your business stand out in a competitive job market.

Recruitment benefit #2 – Brand boost

Apart from a general lift to your company status, awards can boost several elements of your brand. For example, do you present yourself as a market leader? Your brand is your primary recognition factor in the marketplace, including the market for new hires, and running an awards program is a potential brand enhancement.

What’s more, a brand that says to potential employees that they’re at the top of their field and actively engaged in their industry shows what a strong position they’re in for the future, and provides a more secure outlook to jobseekers. People like to work with brands that work with other successful businesses, and by positioning yourself with other market leaders in your field you can gain more credibility and trustworthiness in your field.

Recruitment benefit #3 – Benchmarking

The process of winning an award involves you being compared to your industry peers. In other words, it’s a benchmarking exercise in which you came out on top. And running an awards program for your industry sets you aside as an authority to distinguish fellow leaders in your field. Serious job seekers spend a lot of time researching their potential employers and anything that sets you apart in a positive way is going to attract more and/or better-qualified candidates, and what’s better to draw their attention than hosting a prestigious award?

Recruitment benefit #4 – Social media presence

So, where can you ‘brag’ about your awards? Social media is the obvious answer. Whether it’s discretely bragging about your success at your sector’s ‘Oscars’ or prominently displaying your ‘Employee of the Month’, you’re increasing your profile and, given that modern technology-assisted recruitment practices include building talent communities and pipeline via social media, being able to show off on LinkedIn, etc. is a boost to any recruitment campaign.

Plus, any company positively adding to their industry by hosting an awards program will likely get a significant amount of inter-industry brand engagement on their social media. This is a great means of networking with talent currently in your industry and building awareness of all you have to offer. In addition, social media brings engagement with sponsors and headline nominees for your awards, which add a certain amount of status to your presence online.

Recruitment benefit #5 – Boosting employee morale

What’s a better vote of confidence than having your team choose the winner of a prestigious event? Trusting your internal team with the power of judging and scoring entries into competition is a huge responsibility, and lends a huge amount of trust in their knowledge and capabilities - a massive morale boost for your employees!

Further, an in-house awards program is an obvious potential morale-booster, but external awards can have the same effect. Any business award is a recognition of hard work by some or all of your workforce and that tangible acknowledgement of your team is likely to contribute to employee morale, reminding them what’s wondering about working with you. And as a knock-on, employees are far more likely to recommend you as an employer when they feel good about working for you. 

Incidentally, one survey found that 82% of employers felt employee referrals offered the best ROI of any recruitment channel.

Recruitment benefit #6 – Better quality candidates

In a way, this is what the previous five benefits are leading to. The best companies attract the best employees and winning or running an awards program shows that you’re the best, too.  A timely award, well-used in your recruitment campaign, may make the difference between a shortlist of outstanding candidates and a list of your competitors’ rejects.

Of course, once the assessment process is over and your new hire arrives for their first day, it’s important you live up to this promise…!


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Guest post written by Dave Foxall.
Dave is a writer for HRMS World who has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years. He now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music and the HRMS software market.