How winning a SARA is a game changer for your career
The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) are back this year to shine the spotlight on the excellence and innovation of recruitment agencies and professionals from across New Zealand.

Winning a SARA brings a range of benefits, such as recognition from an industry leading panel of judges, career validation and valuable networking opportunities.

These are just some of the benefits that Sophie Te Huia has experienced since winning the Recruitment Consultant of the Year award in the 2017 SARAs.

Powerful validation

Te Huia says winning the SARA gave her the confidence to launch her own recruitment business, Talent Network New Zealand. And she credits the win with validating her career.

“Winning the SARA helped with both the internal and external validation of my career,” says Te Huia.

“It helped me to be mindful of what I do every day and the tangible difference and benefit that it makes. It was amazing to have that celebrated and recognised in the industry. It also opened a lot of doors in terms of networking and accelerated my personal brand within the industry.”;

Career accelerator

Te Huia has been in the recruitment industry for almost a decade. She started in an internal recruitment role before moving across to agencies and says she “fell in love with connecting people to work”.

She was nominated for Recruitment Consultant of the Year while working as Branch Manager at Fluid Recruitment. “The award was an amazing platform for celebrating the work we were doing,” she says.

"It’s an incredible opportunity to be recognised externally, but also to recognise your own contribution to the industry. I’d been in the industry for about two-and-a-half years at the time, and it was a real career accelerator for me.”

Huge networking opportunities

Te Huia is still benefiting from the networking opportunities that come with winning a SARA.

“It’s enabled me to build a rapport with some industry legends that still support me today,” she says. “The relationships I’ve made have been awesome, especially for my own business start-up journey.”

The win has also developed Te Huia’s appreciation for achievement and celebrating her team more organically.

“It helped with my own team development by celebrating and acknowledging the things we do every day.”

Tips for submissions

When it comes to appealing to the judges, Te Huia has valuable advice for writing a winning submission.

“Clear, concise information is really important,” she says. “Celebrate your unique points of difference. Where relevant it might be worth including client or candidate testimonials or case studies.

“What’s really great is that SARA categories are really specific about areas of best practice, so focus on those.” Each category has a unique list of criteria, so it’s worth cross-checking your submission against the award criteria, just as a candidate ticks off the essential criteria of a job ad in their application.

The SARAs celebrate excellence in recruitment agencies and professionals from across the country – and the awards night is widely considered a highlight of the recruitment social calendar.

“Even just going to the awards helped me to meet other like-minds within the industry,” says Te Huia. “And it’s an amazing night, so you definitely want to be part of it.”

Want to be recognised as a leader in the recruitment industry? Head to to find out everything you need to know about the SARAs.