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 15 to August 04.

Our panel of expert judges will choose the winners ahead of the awards ceremony, announced on November 23 at the Auckland Museum Atrium Room, Parnell, Auckland.


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 (1-5 full-time consultants)
  • Medium Recruitment Agency of the Year (6-19 full-time consultants)
  • Large Recruitment Agency of the Year (20+ 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 a New Zealand 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.

Bridget Cooksley, Principal Adviser Recruitment, Department of Corrections

Bridget has a wealth of recruitment experience within both agency and in-house environments in both New Zealand and Australia. She is currently the Principal Adviser Recruitment with the Department of Corrections (in New Zealand) where she has oversight of national recruitment processes and procedures and leads a high-performing team delivering recruitment solutions within National Office. Her role includes developing and oversight of recruitment policies and procedures, sourcing strategies, selection and pre-employment processes which are both best practice and fit for purpose.

Bridget manages the Department’s relationships with external partners including psychometric testing, advertising and pre-employment screening providers, recruitment agencies and is the main point of contact at Corrections for the All-of-Government recruitment solution. During her career she has worked tirelessly to increase the professionalism of industry, both when leading teams within recruitment agencies and building the in-house team at Corrections. She recognises that the best results are achieved when recruitment agencies work in partnership with their clients, where there is transparency, mutual respect and understanding. She expects to receive professional service from the recruiters the Department engages and is often heard reminding her hiring managers to ‘be a good customer’.

Marisa Fong, Co-Founder, The Madison Group

Marisa co-founded The Madison Group in 1998, successfully growing it to become New Zealand’s largest, privately owned Recruitment Company.  Having won numerous awards, it was acquired in 2013 by a public company in a textbook deal that has set a precedent for the industry.  Since then, Marisa has invested in a portfolio of angel investments, and supports causes close to her heart. She is currently Chair for Professionelle Charitable Foundation, Advisory Board member for NZ Work Research Institute (an adjunct of AUT), Learning Chair and incoming President for Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, an Advisory Board member for Weirdly (an HR tech platform), and is a Trustee of Simplicity, a low fees and not for profit Kiwisaver Fund aiming to disrupt the Kiwisaver investment community.

Marisa is a member of NZ Asian Leaders, Institute of Directors, SuperDiverse Women and Global Women and was a mentor for First Foundation for four years.  Marisa recently launched, in partnership, a new venture (TBC Partners) supporting owners of private enterprise on their entrepreneurial journey.  Marisa is passionate about NZ Inc. and channels all her commercial and advisory involvement accordingly. She has a husband, a teenage daughter and a dog, all mostly house trained.

Mark Knoff-Thomas, CEO, Newmarket Business Association

Mark Knoff-Thomas has a diverse business background that has evolved over the past 20 years. His experience has accumulated from various sectors including: education, broadcasting, consulting, general management and recruitment. He has operated within start-up, small to medium, and large multinational corporation environments at an executive leadership level.

He has 15 years recruitment experience, with around 10 of those spent agency-side. Mark currently heads up the Newmarket Business Association which represents the almost 1,300 businesses within the Newmarket business precinct.

Adrian Pickstock, Managing Director, Quad Coaching, CEO IABNZ

With 20 years senior executive management experience in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Dubai and South Africa, Adrian Pickstock has successfully led medium to large corporations through significant growth, development and change.  He is the Managing Director of Quad Coaching, a business coaching consultancy specialising in people, strategy, execution and financial management. Adrian is also the CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau New Zealand (IABNZ), which represents this country’s fast-growing, exciting and dynamic interactive advertising industry.

Leslie Taylor, Employment Brand Manager, The Warehouse Group

Leslie is the Employment Brand Manager at The Warehouse Group – one of New Zealand's largest retailers with over 25 brands, 12,000 people and 240+ sites across New Zealand. Leslie is responsible for positioning Retail as a Career and each of their five core brands as a great place to work. Leslie’s role encompasses Brand, Marketing, Communications, Digital and PR applied to HR. The Warehouse Groups brands have won numerous Retail Employer of the year awards and have been recognised as both winners and finalists in the IBM Best Places to Work awards. She has mentored over 40 Marketing and Communications Interns and Co manages the Auckland Employment Brand Network. 

With over 10 years’ in recruitment and 5 years’ in employment brand, Leslie is passionate about the positive impact Employment Brand has on a company’s reputation, awareness, attraction, retention and engagement. 

Amanda Tolley, Group Manager for Talent Acquisition & Development, SKYCITY Entertainment Group

Amanda is the Group Manager for Talent Acquisition & Development with SKYCITY Entertainment Group, responsible for all activity relating to the recruitment and talent development for SKYCITY Auckland and strategic management of talent for the Group. 

A self-confessed ‘recruiter’ at heart, Amanda has been in the industry for 14 years, experienced in both external agency and internal recruitment and is a firm believer that a high performing talent function can contribute strategically to an organisation’s success.

Alan Ward, Head of Talent and People Strategy, Sovereign

Alan is Head of People and Talent Strategy at Sovereign, part of the People & Culture team where he is the lead for Talent, Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, OD, Leadership and EVP, to deliver people initiatives that enable organisational success.  He works with colleagues from CBA Group across Australasia, leveraging initiatives into the NZ business.

Alan has broad experience in Talent and HR leadership, focussing on strategy design and delivery. Previously Alan built and lead successful teams at the University of Auckland, Westpac and Fonterra which included setting up new teams for local and global recruitment.  Alan’s background also includes a start-up search consultancy in Europe, and so has a background as an external supplier, in an RPO, and in-house.


Check out our tips to help write a winning submission!

Winners Benefits

Each of our winners will be formally acknowledged at our Awards evening and will gain access to a range of exclusive 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