3 tips for a creating a winning SARAs submission
The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) are back to recognise excellence across the recruitment industry.

The unique challenges of 2020 bring even greater significance to this year’s SARAs. The dedication and innovation of recruitment agencies and professionals from across the country is even more worthy of celebration.

Judged by an independent panel of industry leaders, the SARAs are open to all professionals across the recruitment industry.

Bridget Cooksley, Manager Specialist Recruitment with the New Zealand Department of Corrections, has been a SARAs judge for the past five years and says they’re a valuable platform for showcasing outstanding achievement across the industry.

“I love seeing what agencies are doing,” she says. “I’m really excited about the future of the industry.”

The value of a SARA

Cooksley has more than 25 years of experience in the recruitment industry in both agency and in-house environments. She says winning an award like a SARA brings great benefits to both agencies and individuals.

“Winning a SARA is good for business and great for your profile,” she says. 

“The judges have had years of experience in the industry, so it’s valuable for your candidates and clients to hear about how great you are from experienced professionals outside of your business. You’re up against your peers, so if you win an award, it shows that you are head and shoulders above others in your industry.”

“It also has a positive impact on your own staff,” adds Cooksley. “Winning a SARA can be really motivating for the people in your team who have worked hard to build your brand and build your business.”

Submission tips

Entering the SARAs has many benefits – from brand building to benchmarking your work against the best in the business – and Cooksley has some advice for how your submission can impress the judges.

  1. Paint a clear picture

Cooksley says the best submissions paint a clear and concise picture of achievements.

“Good submissions are easy to read,” she says. “You get a really good sense at the end of a submission that you know the recruiter or you know the organisation. Include real examples and if you include video with your submission, keep it short and to the point.”

  1. Show measures of success

A submission should include quantifiable evidence of your achievements, says Cooksley. This could include data that measures candidate experience, or the return on investment of a workplace innovation.

“A lot of submissions can read like a marketing brochure,” she says. “What I’m looking for are examples of proven experience as well as metrics or KPIs to measure the success of an initiative. What were the benefits for the candidates and the clients?”

  1. Focus on the detail

How many times have you read over your submission? Does it make sense? Has a colleague or friend read it to check for clarity and accuracy?

Cooksley says errors in submissions can be jarring for judges. “Ask someone to read it for you so you ensure it makes sense and do a spell check!”

“Recruiters are doing great work out there, so we want to hear about it,” says Cooksley. “This is your platform.”

Entries for this year’s SARAs are now open, so it’s time to prepare your submission and showcase your achievements.


Submissions for the 2021 SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) are open until August 6. Visit seeksara.com/nz/ for details.