Entering the RCSA Awards Part I: Top advice from our judges

The advice offered by some of the judges of this year’s RCSA Industry Awards varies greatly from be brave and confident to use the opportunity to reflect on your own journey.

Applications for this year’s RCSA Industry Awards close on April 23 for both the Australian and New Zealand awards.

And all of our judges shared one piece of advice: “back yourself.”

“First of all, don't think about it too long, do it,” Greg Savage from Savage Truth said.

“Secondly, don't enter and ‘have a go’. Approach it with intent and bring all your resources to submit your best possible work. And finally be creative, be you, and be bold.”

Chair of RCSA’s Professional Practice Council, Ross Fisher said it was important applicants “tell your story proudly, and don't be afraid to brag about your pride in service and achievements.” Fisher also suggested a good rule of thumb was to “avoid motherhood statements.”

Queensland Rugby League HR Executive Jane Shand (pictured) was emphatic that “there are no downsides to this exercise.”

“My top piece of advice for someone thinking about nominating someone for the awards is simply to do it,” she said. “If someone doesn’t win they still have the knowledge that someone else considered them good enough to put forward. How awesome is that in an industry where your professional reputation is so important!”

Independent contractor Michael E Hall said award applications were not a time to be shy while HashChing Advisor and COO Siobhan Hayden quoted hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky who said “you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take” and urged those in the recruitment sector to get their applications in.

CEO of Ignite Global Kim Seeling-Smith said while the awards offer industry recognition, she said just as compelling a reason to enter is the fact “you can learn so much from the process itself, I think it can make you a better operator.”

Chairman of Slade Group, Geoff Slade, said he entered two industry awards when he was younger winning a National Small Business Award in the 80s and a National Family Business Award in the 90s.

“At the time, there was a lot of satisfaction in winning, it was good PR value which at the time was important to me, and at the time boosted my already healthy ego,” he joked.

“My advice would be to “go for it” – it is likely to be a boost to your business at least in the short term, and unlikely to be a negative in any way while also being very good for staff morale.”

Dora Peake, the HR Manager at Melbourne’s Transurban said the awards offer an opportunity for nominees to “reflect on their performance, demonstrate their passion and share their success stories which clearly demonstrate how they put clients at the centre of what they do.”

Caroline Harvie-Teare, the GM of People, Culture & Safety at Christchurch International Airport acknowledged that entering awards took courage and bravery, but also offered some “wonderful opportunities.”

“Learning from others, benchmarking what you do in the industry and the impact you make and the potential exposure for your brand, win or lose, are all wonderful opportunities,’ she said.

“My advice on the nomination itself is to think about your impact and the difference you and/or your company have made to your clients or candidates to help them perform better, have a more valuable experience, to address challenges, to lead the way using innovation and technology and to see the future.”

Stephen Shepherd CEO of TwoPointZero Career Coaching also reminded applicants to make sure they get to the point of their application rather than being distracted.

“Provide specific, quantifiable evidence to support the statements you make in your submission,” he said. “I am not interested in your perceptions I am interested in what evidence you are able to show me that supports your submission. I want to know what truly sets you apart in the eyes of your customers and candidates.”

If you have already started your application, have another look at what our judges say they will be looking for in nominations and make sure you are addressing the criteria for your best chance to win.

Applications close April 23 for both the New Zealand and Australian awards. Information on the awards and criteria can be found here.

Nominees contacting judges regarding award submissions will be immediately disqualified.

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