Normally I leave the burlesque dancers, beer and loud music to the weekend, however, I find myself recovering from a fun day at the Global Recruiter awards in Café de Paris.

Stepping into the dark basement of Café de Paris at 3pm from the ever-bustling Piccadilly Circus, I wasn’t sure what to expect over the next few hours.  The arrival of the burlesque dancers initially made me think I had stepped back into a stag do.  Yet, beyond the inappropriate dancers, I found all the signs that the recruitment industry is loving life and full of the optimism that comes when a market gets together. 

The world can criticize recruiters of being many things, but one thing they can’t say is that the industry lacks passion. A large part of the wider industry regularly announces the impending demise of the agency recruiter, however, I can tell you that if the passion of the 300 or so recruitment professionals in the room is replicated across the 100,000 recruiters in the UK, then it will certainly be around for a while.

From the moment Gary King, Commercial Director at Global Recruiter took to the stage, it was clear that everyone was excited to see who was leading the way in the industry. Thankfully Gary kept the pace up in giving the special commendations and awards, succeeding where many awards ceremonies fail in keeping everyone engaged. My own personal favourites were Amoria Bond, who won Best Medium Sized Recruiter, click here for a full list of winners.

However, I do know that many leaders reading this will be thinking ‘what’s the point in putting yourself up for an industry award, when it’s really just a glory contest for those to try and make up the best story for the judges’.

Whilst I have sympathy for this view, what’s clear from today is that being shortlisted meant a lot to the companies that were there, not just the owners and managers, but most importantly the consultants that work hard every day to help their candidates and clients.

Working in an agency of any size can be a thankless task, with praise coming from your candidates, clients or even your managers in often short supply. So when you next think about whether you want to apply for any type of industry award, put your cynicism aside and think about how your team will feel rewarded and motivated. Agencies that win awards notably also attract the best staff and go on to build a strong employer brand.

If your company has the good fortune of being shortlisted, you’ll be able to give your team a great day out at the Cafe De Paris. Lastly, thank you to Gary and the Global Recruiter team for inviting me to attend on behalf of Recruitment Buzz.