Recruitment Awards 2022 - Winners and Finalists

UK Recruitment Awards 2022 Winners and Finalists Announced

The UK Recruitment Awards 2022 by Business Awards UK were announced in March 2022. The awards acknowledge and recognise exceptional accomplishments by recruitment agencies and organisations throughout the UK. Over 40 recruitment and talent agencies entered to compete for award categories for companies and individuals around the United Kingdom, all of which have demonstrated exceptional their achievements in categories such as candidate and client care, innovation and more.

The private panel of judges, consulting from various recruitment sectors with the Business Awards UK team, have declared winners and finalists in the announced categories below.

Recruitment Awards 2022 Winners List

Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Permanent & Best Specialist Recruitment Agency – Alchemy Global Talent Solutions

  • 27 years of experience in permanent recruitment across various industries worldwide
  • Global reach with 10 different languages spoken by staff
  • Specialist in permanent recruitment with knowledge and understanding of sectors and clients
  • Alchemy Global goes above and beyond by educating passive and active talent networks about clients and supporting clients’ brand awareness
  • Consistent growth and repeat business due to success in permanent recruitment and recognition for service excellence

Best National Recruitment Agency – Frontline Recruitment

  • Central office recruits throughout the UK, from Scotland to Plymouth
  • Personalized approach with on-site interviews and regular check-ins with candidates
  • Frontline Recruitment focus on ensuring candidates feel supported and valued

Best Local Recruitment Agency & Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Temporary – Huntsman Recruitment

Huntsman Recruitment Ltd’s close relationship with the local community and support of local job centres showcases their commitment to the area and demonstrates their impact on the local economy.

  • Provides excellent customer service for temporary employment staff
  • Focuses on hands-on approach and match criteria of role with candidate
  • 300+ 5-star Google reviews reflect their dedication to customer service

Recruitment Agency of the Year Small, Best Health Wellbeing Strategy & Best Client Support – OPRA Group Ltd

OPRA Group were selected for their awards due to their approach with each client as a unique entity and going to great lengths to understand their culture, aspirations, and staffing requirements, providing tailored services to source high-quality candidates to meet the client brief.

OPRA Group have demonstrated impressive growth and have a unique People Solutions Service that sets them apart from the competition. They have also won the New Possible Best New Agency Award 2022 and have several accreditations and partnerships.

Recruitment Agency of the Year Micro & Best Recruitment Partnership – TCC Recruitment

TCC Recruitment’s awards are based on the comprehensive approach taken with their business, including data-driven analysis, optimisation of the talent pipeline, benchmarking top professionals, and significant improvements to the hiring process and personnel retention.

  • Data-driven approach to support growth of client
  • Thorough analysis of business model and requirements
  • Implemented immediate solutions and established long-term practices
  • Optimised talent pipeline and Applicant Tracking System
  • Benchmarked top professionals through psychometric testing
  • Reduced advertisement costs by accessing a global pool of candidates
  • Reduced hiring costs by 80%
  • Made the hiring process 50% more efficient
  • Increased personnel retention by 40%

Best Candidate Care – Live Digital Marketing Recruitment

Live Digital Recruitment places a high value on personalising every experience to deliver a personal touch to every recruiting process they undertake. They communicate with clients directly and ensure that every detail is taken care of and perfected to the highest standard to uphold the standard of their brand as well as their client’s brand. The company places a high priority on creating an encouraging and comfortable environment that fosters open communication where they can understand clients and candidate needs, opinions, and personas. This approach ensures that they make the right matches and that the recruitment process is stress-free for all parties involved.

Live Digital Recruitment uses modern technologies and video solutions to operate across countries and continents as well as increase their reach for clientele and qualified candidates. This approach ensures that they can deliver results more efficiently, faster, and with a high degree of accuracy.

Best Newcomer Agency – Arto Recruitment

  • Life Sciences recruitment agency placing senior and executive-level candidates across Europe and North America
  • Rapid growth since founded in 2020, now with a double-figure headcount
  • Significant investment in a state-of-the-art office in Canterbury, Kent

Best Candidate Training & Best Job Board – Evenbreak

Evenbreak is a social enterprise run by and for disabled people, aiming to reduce the disability employment gap through training, consultancy, and careers support, and helps employers become more inclusive and accessible.

The company specifically targets a group that may face additional barriers in the job market and goes above and beyond to ensure accessibility and support. 

Best Comms, Best Employee Training Learning Development Strategy – Forward Role

Forward Role demonstrate a clear commitment to supporting candidates’ personal and professional development through their candidate advice centre, which communicates advice and guidance on CVs, interviews, and career tips.

Forward Role emphasises the importance of upskilling and provides a wide range of courses and resources to help employees develop their skills and knowledge. This approach ensures that their employees stay ahead of the curve and can progress to the next career level.

Their positive reviews from ex-employees are a testament to their commitment to employee training and learning development. These reviews demonstrate that Forward Role is a supportive and nurturing workplace that values its employees and invests in their personal and professional development.

Best Onboarding Programme, Best Leadership Development Strategy – The Candidate

The Candidate offers a unique approach to recruitment by hiring consultants with marketing backgrounds, which makes them more knowledgeable about the industries they recruit for. This, coupled with the company’s collaborative and supportive work culture, ensures that consultants are well-prepared to provide candidates and clients with reliable and consultative services.

The Candidate offers a comprehensive development and training program that includes individual development plans, honest and genuine progression opportunities, and regular 1-1 meetings with directors and managers. This shows that the company is committed to the professional growth and development of its employees.

The Candidate offers a highly attractive package that includes a generous basic salary, bonus/commission, annual holiday and well-being days, remote working options, a lifestyle subscription, regular team-building events, and private healthcare insurance. This shows that the company values its employees and is committed to providing a healthy work-life balance.

Overall, The Candidate’s unique approach to recruitment, comprehensive development and training program, and attractive employee package make it a deserving winner of the Best Onboarding Programme and Best Leadership Development Strategy awards.

Best Engineering Recruitment Agency – Gibson Watts

Gibson Watts, as a purpose-led executive search and professional recruitment consultancy within cleantech and green energy business sectors with a strong network and successful track record, has made a significant impact on the growth and development of these industries.

  • Purpose-led executive search and professional recruitment consultancy in the cleantech and green energy business sectors
  • Significant impact on growth and development of industries with a focus on sustainability and mitigating climate change
  • Strong network of industry professionals with a proven track record of successful placements

Best Third Sector Recruitment Agency – GoodNews For Life

  • Specializes in screening and selecting candidates for the NHS and care homes
  • Holds a professional demeanour throughout the process, linking candidates to employers and preparing them for interviews.

Best Banking Financial Services Recruitment Agency – Harrington Starr

Harrington Starr – for their strong focus on being thought leaders in the industry, their dedication to adding value to the market, and their specialised team and resources for executing difficult client assignments.

  • People-centric approach, candidate remains at the heart of the process
  • Host events to make career empowerment accessible to a diverse audience
  • Provide comprehensive onboarding and ongoing learning and development opportunities
  • 10 years in operation, embedded into financial services and technology market
  • Proactive in ensuring their position as a source of success, consultation and support
  • Year-on-year growth with increasing headcount, revenue, and marketplace awareness
  • Multi-disciplinary team with expertise from customer success, marketing, operations, technical, and external recruitment advisors

Best Use of Technology in Recruitment & Best HR Technology Strategy – add-victor

add-victor has recently developed its back-end software and created a premium marketplace for candidates and employers.

  • Pioneering approach to matching individuals with unique backgrounds to employers
  • Decade of experience and success in supporting Sport & Military Personnel in transitioning into corporate world
  • Demonstrated success in placing individuals into the financial services sector
  • Bespoke Employer & Partner relationships that capture tomorrow’s workforce and corporate world aspirations
  • Innovates to support Candidates & Partners in their performance journey
  • Offers one-to-one relationships and tailored strategies for each client and candidate
  • Offers flexible engagement with 3 packages from bespoke outsourcing to employer-led process solution

Diversity Inclusion Champion – Lightning Travel Recruitment

Lightning Travel Recruitment’s purpose is to be the change they want to see in the travel industry. They acknowledge that the industry lacks diversity and unfair recruitment processes exist. They strive to overcome these challenges, and this purpose-driven approach is admirable and inspiring.

Lightning Travel Recruitment’s values guide their actions every day, and they promote empowerment, humanity, and continuous improvement. They encourage authenticity, celebrate differences, and foster long-term relationships. They strive to lead the crowd and challenge the status quo.

  • The company has a diverse workforce with 50% trans and 75% LGBTQ+ representation.
  • They have a commitment to education and awareness about ED&I topics through their ED&Why educational video series, blog posts, and dedicated ED&I page.
  • They use inclusive and diverse images to promote their job openings on social media.

Lightning Travel Recruitment were chosen because their commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond just hiring a diverse workforce. They actively educate and raise awareness about important ED&I topics and use inclusive marketing practices to promote their job openings. This shows a genuine commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace, and a willingness to lead by example and inspire others to do the same.

Best Private Equity Recruitment Agency – Privatal

Privatal specialises in recruiting senior finance and M&A positions for private equity-backed companies, allowing them to gain a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges and culture of the private equity industry. Through their extensive networks, Privatal’s consultants source PE-calibre, senior finance talent, demonstrating their ability to connect with top finance professionals and link them to leading private equity houses and their portfolio companies.

Privatal is committed to establishing long-term relationships with its candidates, offering support beyond any single business. This commitment includes helping candidates find the right role, supporting them in their new finance function through the PE cycle, and ultimately assisting them in finding their next opportunity. This dedication to fostering long-term relationships reflects Privatal’s focus on finding the best fit for both candidates and clients.

Most Innovative Recruitment Agency & Best IT Technology Recruitment Agency – Randstad RSR

  • Successfully placed candidates at Google with a challenging interview process.
  • Collaborated with partners to offer unique features to candidates such as pre-interview experience.
  • World-class candidate experience to grow with partners
  • Led and mentored new recruiters to make successful placements.
  • Works with exceptional candidates with a world-wide approach
  • Cross functions with partners and clients for best candidate experience
  • Collaborated with internal teams and provided DEI training
  • Full life cycle training into an international organisation

Start-Up Recruitment Agency of the Year – Search 5.0

Search 5.0 has a unique approach to addressing the global developer skills gap, demonstrating growth and engagement through its consultative approach and social activities.

  • Addresses the global developer skills gap
  • Matches world-class talent with renowned firms
  • Engages with social activities and has started its own podcast series (Code Bytes)
  • Adopts a consultative approach to recruitment
  • On an upward trajectory as the inevitable choice for software engineering recruitment services

Best Hyperlocal Recruitment Campaign & Best Professional Services Recruitment Agency – Systematic Recruitment

  • Focus on diversity and inclusion, employee mental health programs and inspiring career progression
  • Female-led small business with big impact in Rec2Rec Recruitment
  • Partnered with top Technology & Engineering agencies with strong D&I focus
  • High YoY revenue growth and 75% candidate retention
  • Service-driven female powerhouse

Best Recruitment Agency Marketing Campaign, Best International Recruitment Agency & Best International Recruitment Campaign – Templeton and Partners

Templeton and Partners has a significant global presence, having opened offices in Paris, Warsaw, Bangalore, and New York in 2021. Founded on the principle of D&I 25 years ago, the company also has a truly diverse workforce, with 68% of employees being female and 50% of the company being female-led.

  • Builds specialist international tech teams for businesses
  • Works in 40 countries, with 70% of staff originating from abroad
  • Speak 25 languages to engage candidates in their own language
  • Creates offshore hubs of skilled local IT professionals to drive digital transformation
  • 80% of revenue derived from outside the UK
  • Key benefits include access & availability, labour savings, fast talent acquisition, and customer satisfaction.

Best Staff Training, Best Employment Advice – Trigon Recruitment Limited

  • Developed a unique relationship with a client, replicated with a national charity
  • Offers free consultancy to improve delivery and recruits across the wider business into unique roles that support marginalised groups
  • Unique delivery model with a 4-stage candidate vetting process
  • Feedback from candidates shows exceptional support
  • Demonstrated significant year on year revenue increase
  • Supporting the Employability & Skills Sector, National Charities, NHS commissioned projects
  • Unique 4 tier candidate screening process
  • Innovative and creative approach to recruitment

Best Reward Recognition Program – Verto People

  • Dedicated team with experienced recruiters and Verto Academy trainees, flexible hours and bonuses offered to employees.

Best Candidate Attraction on Social Media & Best Workplace Environment – Zachary Daniels

  • Three resident Labradors in the office for wellbeing
  • Strong focus on D&I with a collaborative environment
  • Latest tech for all employees (iPhones, Macbooks, and AirPods)
  • Monthly “Wrap ups” with various activities (waterpark, cocktail making, etc.)
  • Long-serving employees with many staying 2+ years
  • Instagram showcases their great work environment and culture

Best Recruitment Agency Website – Zelo Digital Recruitment Ltd

  • Tripled in size and revenue over the past 2 years
  • Focus on people with great retention rate and culture
  • Mirrored fast-paced digital and emerging technology industry

Individual Recruitment Awards

Recruitment Industry Leader of the Year – Chris King, Lightning Travel Recruitment

Chris, the Thunder and CEO of Lightning Travel Recruitment, won due to their ground-breaking approach to the industry. Despite having no prior experience in recruitment, Chris founded the company in 2019 due to frustrations with the traditional consultancy model. Since then, Lightning has become a disruptive brand, offering a personalised and innovative approach to recruitment.

Chris’s success is further demonstrated by their recognition as one of LinkedIn’s top 10 UK LGBTQIA+ creators for 2022, as well as featuring in prominent publications such as the Daily Mail and the Independent for their activism. As a leader, Chris has brought their values of diversity and inclusion to the forefront, creating a supportive and empowering work culture at Lightning.

Overall, Chris’s bold and innovative approach to recruitment, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and exceptional leadership skills make them a deserving winner of the Recruitment Industry Leader of the Year award.

Best Individual Recruiter Permanent – Gary Hunt, Verto People

  • Placed top talent at major companies in the Compressed Air Industry in the UK and Europe.
  • Made a significant number of placements in 2022, and exceeded revenue targets
  • Consistently provided exceptional candidate and customer care, as evidenced by testimonials and Google reviews.

HR Director of the Year – Craig Doyle, Trigon Recruitment Limited

Craig Doyle stood out from the other entrants with his extensive experience in the welfare-to-work and employability and skills sectors, his understanding of the various programmes and contracts in these sectors, his knowledge of the skill sets and personal attributes required for various roles, and his proven track record of assembling high performing teams. Additionally, his passion for helping organizations find the right talent and supporting individuals to reach their full potential further emphasises his dedication to the field.

Best Individual Newcomer – Shine Ndebele, GoodNews For Life

  • Quickly set up a successful agency despite adversities
  • Adapted to UK systems and won multiple industry awards
  • Recognised by the NHS as an employer

Recruitment Awards Finalists

Synergi Search & Select Limited

  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Temporary
  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Permanent Finalist
  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Temporary Finalist

Divine Recruitment LTD

  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Temporary
  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Temporary Finalist

Verto People

  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Permanent
  • Best Newcomer Agency Finalist
  • Best Recruitment Agency of the Year Permanent Finalist
  • Recruitment Agency of the Year Small Finalist


  • Best Banking Financial Services Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best National Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best Professional Services Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best Recruitment Partnership Finalist

Alvarium Talent

  • Best Candidate Care Finalist
  • Best Flexible Work Strategy Finalist

M Introductions

  • Best Staff Training Finalist

OPRA Group

  • Best Candidate Care Finalist

Total Swimming Group

  • Best Candidate Training Finalist
  • Best Use of Technology in Recruitment Finalist

Trigon Recruitment

  • Best Client Support Finalist
  • Best Third Sector Recruitment Agency Finalist

Charlie Todd, Harrington Starr

  • Best Individual Newcomer Finalist

Rick Thornton, PolishD

  • Best Individual Newcomer Finalist

Lee Harding, North Starr

  • Best Individual Recruiter Permanent Finalist

Alchemy Global Talent Solutions

  • Best International Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best International Recruitment Campaign Finalist
  • Recruitment Agency of the Year Small Finalist

The Jeya Group

  • Best National Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best Professional Services Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best Workplace Environment Finalist
  • Mid-Sized Recruitment Agency of the Year Finalist

Edison Search

  • Best IT Technology Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Best Newcomer Agency Finalist
  • Start-Up Recruitment Agency of the Year Finalist


  • Best Local Recruitment Agency Finalist

Systematic Recruitment

  • Best Local Recruitment Agency Finalist

Randstad RSR

  • Best Recruitment Partnership Finalist

Templeton and Partners

  • Best Specialist Recruitment Agency Finalist
  • Recruitment Industry Leader of the Year Finalist

BrightBox Group

  • Most Innovative Recruitment Agency Finalist


  • Recruitment Agency of the Year Micro Finalist

Gibson Watts

  • Recruitment Agency of the Year Micro Finalist
  • Start-Up Recruitment Agency of the Year Finalist

Harper Fox Partners

  • Diversity Inclusion Champion Finalist

Sarah B – Frontline Recruitment

  • Recruitment Industry Leader of the Year Finalist

Business Awards UK’s Director, Dan Trindade, said “Our inaugural Recruitment Awards showcased some of the very best of the industry, celebrating the achievements, innovations, diversity and spotlighting individuals who have demonstrated excellence in recruitment practices. From disruptive sourcing strategies to exceptional candidate experience, the winners have demonstrated outstanding performance and commitment to raising the bar in the recruitment industry.

“I have been thoroughly impressed by the calibre of entries we received and the level of competition amongst entrants. It is clear that the recruitment industry is constantly evolving, and these awards serve as a testament to the dedication and hard work of those who are driving this progress.”

Co-Director, Mark Byrne, also added, “We are thrilled to have recognised so many outstanding companies and individuals in the Recruitment Awards 2022, and we believe that their achievements will inspire others to strive for excellence in recruitment practices. We look forward to continuing to celebrate the achievements of the recruitment industry in future editions of these awards.

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