The Awards

About the awards

The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards are all about you – the innovative people and agencies pushing for excellence in the recruitment industry.  

The awards recognise the work of industry leaders and best practice, as chosen by a panel of expert judges. 

Join us at this prestigious event to celebrate all you do within the sector, because 2017 is your year!


Each of our winners will be formally acknowledged at our awards evening and will gain access to a range of benefits including:

  • Raise company or personal profile in the market
  • Be recognised and endorsed as a leader in the sector
  • Gain exposure to our judges – all of whom are industry leaders and influencers
  • Award winners access a range of tailored benefits to further promote and market their business


Want to be part of the awards?

Nominate yourself, your agency or a colleague you admire using our entry form. Entries are open from June 08 to July 28.

Our panel of expert judges will choose the winners ahead of the awards ceremony, announced on November 16 at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney.


Recruitment Agency of the Year

This category is open to all recruitment agencies and there are three Awards given, based on agency size:

  • Small Recruitment Agency of the Year (1-10 full-time consultants)
  • Medium Recruitment Agency of the Year (11-50 full-time consultants)
  • Large Recruitment Agency of the Year (50+ full-time consultants)

Judges are looking for commitment to workplace culture, innovation, candidate engagement, commercial growth/achievement and the agency’s contribution to the success of the recruitment industry as a whole.

Recruitment Leader of the Year

This category is open to all recruitment professionals at management level, or in a leadership role. 

Submissions will demonstrate the ability to foster relationships, solve problems, communicate effectively, and adapt to change.

Judges are seeking someone who inspires and motivates others, performs to business objectives, and is making an impact within the agency and recruitment sector as a whole.

Most Innovative Agency of the Year

We want to hear from progressive recruitment agencies that are harnessing data and analytics to provide insight, solve clients’ challenges and fuel innovation.

This may be as insights delivered to clients to influence recruitment strategies, or analytics that enhance business practices, relationships and processes.

Excellence in Candidate Engagement

The hiring process influences a candidate’s acceptance of a job offer, as well as their perception of the recruiter, the organisation and the sector as a whole.

Submissions should demonstrate how the agency goes above and beyond to provide an exceptional candidate experience which helps promote the professionalism of the industry.

Judges will be looking for recruitment agencies demonstrating best practice in candidate engagement with special emphasis on ethically building and retaining candidate pools.

Recruitment Consultant of the Year

This Award is open to all recruitment consultants currently employed by an Australian Recruitment Agency.

Recruitment consultants can be either self-nominated or nominated by a peer within their agency.

The submission will demonstrate the achievements of the recruitment consultant, how they have excelled in an area of client and candidate engagement, and how they have contributed to the recruitment industry as a whole.


Experts in their field, our exceptional judges have been hand-picked to select the winners of the 2017 SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards.

Elaine Garner, Head of Advisory Services (Workplace Relations), Coles

As Head of both the Talent Acquisition and Advisory Functions at Coles, Elaine brings a unique insight into the employee lifecycle in one of Australia’s largest private sector employers. Responsible for 27,000 hires annually, Elaine is focused on improving the candidate and hiring manager experience through targeted change that truly makes a difference.

Relatively new to the role as Head of Talent Acquisition, Elaine has been with Coles for 4 years where she has led a large team of workplace relations professionals to deliver practical, commercial advice across all Coles’ brands. With her combined Talent Acquisition and Advisory functions, Elaine is responsible for setting the strategy for both functions, which make a significant contribution to cultural change across the organisation.

Elaine has successfully designed and led organisational change across diverse industries in both Australia and the UK. 

Julie Mills, Managing Director, APSCo Australia

As Managing Director, her key focus is on ensuring the Association’s standards and business intelligence is at the forefront of every Member’s agenda and that of their clients and candidates.

Julie’s representation of the contracting and recruitment sector spans sixteen years and, throughout that time, her interest has been on the nature of work, the flexibility and diversity of the workforce and the necessity for a strong contracting and on hire workforce.

Her engagement with research and statistics to encourage conversations on these topics has ensured her involvement in working groups at all levels of Government across issues as diverse as Australia’s unemployment, EEO, Disability Frameworks, Mature Age, Upskilling Youth, Skills Taskforce, Immigration and more recently, ICT qualifications reviews in Australia and New Zealand.

She is currently a member of Deakin University’s Chancellors Round Table, the Queensland Government’s ICT Advisory Group and The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland QAssure Steering Committee as well as a non- Executive Director on several Boards.

Julie is an active social media contributor on Twitter as well as a guest columnist in a number of online and print journals and a regular Conference speaker and MC.

James McIlvena, Head of Talent Acquisition, Wealth Management, Commonwealth Bank

James started his recruitment career in 1998 post his university studies. After spending a total of 5 years in agencies (enjoying travel in between jobs), he joined an internal recruiting function at General Motors Holden in 2003. He spent four and a half years there enjoying a diverse role that covered student recruitment programs and building a team to cover specialist hiring. He then joined Alexander Mann Solutions starting with ANZ Careers before moving to Sydney to head up the RPO solution for Deutsche Bank across Asia Pacific.

A change to HRX led to a fantastic opportunity working with Lend Lease as they established the onsite RPO solution. James then moved into a Head of Accounts role that provided tremendous diversity of experience leading HRX onsite solutions across a range of companies including; Lend Lease, BHP Olympic Dam, Brookfield, Lexis Nexis, Honeywell, Atlas Iron and Newmont.

His current role is Head of Talent Acquisition at CBA for Wealth Management. During his three years at CBA, highlights include the hiring process and support for the build of the Advice Review program and leading a project to revitalise the employee referral program.

James’ formal qualifications include a degree in Psychology and Psychophysiology and a Graduate Diploma in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. 

Rachael Powell, Chief People Officer, XERO

Rachael Powell is the Chief People Officer and is responsible for Xero’s human capital and talent function globally.  She has previously held senior positions in talent management, strategy, business development and marketing across online and technology businesses, whilst also spending time as an Associate Director for a boutique recruitment and search firm.

Passionate about nurturing talent, Rachael believes in strength-based leadership and positive engagement programs to effectively mobilise the business strategy.  She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor in Business (Accounting and Marketing) and is currently completing a Masters in Applied Positive.

Paul Stratford, Director Global Talent, Telstra

With a strong reputation as a commercially-minded HR executive, Paul is dedicated to coaching and partnering with senior executives to achieve strategic business goals. As Director of Global Talent at Telstra, Paul is known for deriving value and impact, building individual and organisational capability, identifying and accelerating potential, building an inspiring, engaging and empowering culture, and driving a talent mindset.

Prior to this, Paul has performed a number of key HR generalist leadership roles across Telstra since he joined in 2007, including General Manager – Talent Development and Performance, where he was responsible for transforming our approach to performance, accelerating the development of Telstra’s entire high potential pipeline and implemented several innovative development experiences for specific talent cohorts. 

His 20 years’ plus experience spans across multiple industries, including Health, Aged Care, Defence and Financial Services. 

He holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Graduate Diploma in Business Leadership, CAHRI membership and is accredited in Lominger Leadership Architect competences. 

Robert Van Stockrom, President, RCSA

Robert is the CEO and an owner of DFP Recruitment and brings with him a wealth of experience from senior Executive roles within Listed Multinational companies and Private Industry. His energy and success is derived from a genuine passion for the industry and for his Company. DFP is amongst the top ten privately owned recruitment firms in Australia and has won several industry awards including the Workplace Safety Award for 2015. DFP also enjoys one of the highest talent retention rates in the industry.

As well as being an owner and CEO of DFP Recruitment, as well as the President and Board Director of the RSCA, Robert holds other varied roles and memberships:

• Board member of Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

• Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management

• Certified Professional of AHRI

Robert is also an ex local Government councillor and chairs a young Entrepreneurs group, providing coaching and mentoring for up and coming business stars. He also holds a Diploma in Business and a Graduate Diploma in Logistics from Monash University.

Trevor Vas, Director, ATC Events

Trevor has 24 years’ Recruitment Industry experience and is the Co-Founder and CEO of both the Australasian Talent Conference (ATC) and Human Capital Management Solutions (HCMS). 

Over 11 years the ATC has put on more than 40 major Recruitment/Talent conferences in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. These events have been attended by over 4,000 delegates and sponsored by over 300 companies.

Through HCMS Trevor has consulted and implemented Recruitment Centres for both permanent and contingent staff.  He has worked with the likes of, AGL, BHP Billiton, GE, Origin Energy, Westpac, Suncorp, New Zealand Post, Sky City, Auckland District Health Board and many others.

Trevor is also a Director of the PNORS Technology Group and Have a Voice.

Kevin Wheeler, Director & Founder, Future of Talent Institute

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute and Global Learning Resources, Inc.

He is the co-founder and a director of the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, speaks frequently at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy.

Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several Silicon Valley tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco.


Check out what our 2016 Winners have to say about writing a SARA Submission.

Winners Benefits

Winners will have access to a range of benefits, including:

  • Trophy recognising your achievement
  • Branded SARA winners logo for marketing and promotion purposes
  • Valued at $7500, production of an ‘in-profile’ SARA award winning agency video, which will be housed on SEEK Insights & Resources and can be shared through your own channels
  • Promotion of your winner video across SEEK’s social media channels, targeting candidates of your choosing*

*Please note this is subject to SEEK’s standard privacy policy