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Why Winning Isn't Everything (But It Is Nice)

I have to admit that my palms were a little sweaty.

The thoughts running through my head wouldn’t have been so loud if I hadn’t been sat in this very same seat before…. My company LMA Recruitment had been nominated as “Best Agency” at the industry-leading 2016 Recruiter Awards last Wednesday night. We had been nominated for various things for the past five years, but every time we came away empty-handed with a gallant smile and a “maybe next year.” Well, next year was here, again, and I was more than half expecting to feel that now familiar pang of disappointment.

But part of me still hoped that our efforts would be recognised.

The moment that our name was called, a flicker of disbelief passed through our group, but we quickly erupted with five years of delayed recognition. WE WON!

The brief walk to the stage made me think back to the difficult days of the recession, to my amazing people who had helped me get through it and the fantastic newcomers, who have helped LMA grow rapidly since. Recruitment is an unforgiving profession, but if you work with positive and determined people, you can get through anything. My team are superstars, and I am grateful to every single one of them. I probably repeated that a few too many times on the night itself…. sorry, but, it meant a lot to me!

However, as I went to sleep that night, hugging the trophy close, a thought occurred to me.

We didn’t need other people to tell us what a great job we were doing. We know that we “leave it all on the field” every day of every week, and happily we reap the rewards with clients, who come back to us, and candidates, who remember us. We don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for them, and they are the true measure of our worth. When you make a difference to someone’s life, you don’t need a pat on the back, you can sit on the train amongst all the gloomy commuters and know that you are doing your bit.

That is what makes us get up in the morning.

Having said this, that extra little bit of external recognition does help. Do we offer enough in the way of incentives at LMA? You know the things that you get when you do something, rather than simply just for turning up…. I hope so, and in the aftermath of the award win euphoria, I have a renewed faith in the “shot in the arm” value of a pat on the back.

The next morning was remarkable in its normality. A good few fuzzy heads but everyone managed to make it in, and in a “nothing-to-see-here” fashion, we just got on with things. Recruitment is a great calling, but it feels even better when you are told that you are making a difference.

p.s. I didn’t really hug the trophy…. although I wanted to.