Voting for Seek Annual Recruitment Awards (SARA) 2008 has opened.
Launched in 2003, the SARA Award is a popularity contest where job seekers cast their votes for their preferred recruitment firms. The SARAs has been fairly successful in raising the profiles of recruitment service providers and the recruitment industry in general.
An alternative award, recognising best practice in the recruitment industry, is Fairfax Employment Marketing Awards (FEMA) . Unlike the SARA, the FEMA Award has a panel of judges to select the winners. FEMA also have a wider reach and larger category of awards, recognising other talent service providers like advertising agencies and employers themselves. Entry for FEMA is currently open.
At their very best, industry awards can be useful tools to differentiate the best from the rest. At their worse, they can be viewed merely as a marketing ploy to gain easy publicity. The awards have their share of critics too. Still, in spite of some inherent flaws – participation in some categories of FEMA is restricted to advertisers on Fairfax. Or in the case of SARA, popular votes alone does not mean quality – industry awards are the right way forward in highlighting good performers (or the importance of good performance) in an industry often plagued by quality issues.
Until there is a foolproof, universal method to measure and compare one service provider from another, awards like FEMA and SARA, at the very least, serves as useful screening tools. Remember to vote.