The inaugural edition of the Asia Recruitment Awards in Singapore was a celebration of the best recruitment practices in the region, reports Darren Beck.

GroupM Asia Pacific and Elliott Scott HR bagged gold as the Grand Winners of the first-ever Asia Recruitment Awards 2015, held in Singapore this past month, and organised by Human Resources.

After a succession of trophies in various categories, the two companies took home the top honours as the best in-house recruitment team and recruitment agency, respectively, at the inaugural ceremony.

The Asia Recruitment Awards honoured the successful recruitment efforts of companies in the past year, with each entry judged by practising HR professionals from across the region.

Imre Vadasz, regional HR director at Sony, was among the esteemed jury. He commented: “Getting the right people on board is fundamental to any successful operation.

“I am very happy that I could be a small part of this great initiative to share and recognise the efforts, innovations and successes of this crucial business activity: recruitment.”

In front of a record-breaking audience of 345 top talent acquisition specialists at the Hotel InterContinental, GroupM Asia Pacific secured the gold awards for Best Recruitment Technology, Best Career Website and Best Recruitment Advertising Strategy.

It also won two silver for Best Recruitment Evaluation Technique and Best Staff Referral Programme.

Not to be outdone by its in-house counterparts, Elliott Scott HR emerged victorious among the recruitment agencies, bagging silver for Best New Recruitment Agency, gold for Best Client Service, bronze for Best Regional Recruitment Programme, alongside its coveted Grand Winner trophy.

Li-Ki Khaw, head of HR at ANZ Banking Group, and one of the jury members, said: “I am indeed encouraged, as a HR practitioner, to see the engagement levels of both corporates and agencies in the sharing of best practices, and being proud in their profession and functionality.”

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) followed suit with a total of five trophies, winning gold for Best Employer Brand Development and Employee Brand Development.

It topped its tally off with bronze for Best Staff Referral Programme, Best Staff Recruitment Evaluation Technique and Best Use of Digital Media.

The Recruitment Agency of the Year category proved competitive, with ScienTec Consulting grabbing gold, just edging out Michael Page and Robert Walters.

In the category for Best New Recruitment Agency, new kids on the block, 33 Talent, wrestled the gold in what proved an extremely tight race to the finish line.

The judges were impressed with the range of innovative practices undertaken at both mature and young organisations.

Anuradha Purbey, HR director at Aviva Singapore, explained: “As a judge, it was a great learning experience for me as it gave me some meaningful insights on some of the leading practices in the recruitment area.

“Something that stood out for me was the focus on customer centricity by individuals and companies to better understand and deliver what was expected and the ever increasing use of technology to create a great employee experience in the talent acquisition process.”

Among the Best Graduate Recruitment Programmes, Maybank came first, in a testament to the bank’s extensive efforts in the war for the new generation’s brightest talent.

The bank also took home the silver trophy for Best Recruitment Evaluation Technique (in-house) and bronze for Best Candidate Experience (in-house).

In light of its initiatives to bolster its forces with digital recruitment, Certis CISCO Security earned the gold for Best Use of Digital Media, along with a silver in Best Recruitment Advertising Strategy.

Competition was fierce as ever for the Best In-House Recruitment Team of the year with contenders ANZ Bank, VMWare, IDA, Dell, Novartis Consumer Health and Changi Airport Group battling it out – with VMWare making the cut to pole position.

In the individual categories, the contender from Real Staffing Group, Manjit Kaur, won gold as Recruitment Consultant of the Year, with Walter Tan, from Charterhouse Partnership, following closely with a silver in hand.

Among in-house recruiting professionals, Eileen Oh, from Changi Airport Group, scored the gold trophy for Recruitment Professional of the Year, followed closely by Shmeer Bharoocha from the ANZ Bank with the silver.

Other notable mentions for the night included Kadence International, which won gold for Best Candidate Experience (In House).

The Best Recruitment Innovation category saw gold winners for JobStreet.com among the agencies and Citi Singapore for in-house teams.

Jury member Evangeline Chua, the head of human resources at Citi Singapore, spoke of the experience of being part of the judging team.

“As an HR practitioner, it is a privilege to be able to contribute towards shaping recruitment standards and helping the HR community to acknowledge the good work done by other HR practitioners across the region.

“I look forward to the 2016 Asia Recruitment Awards.”