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The cHeRries on top: enter north-east top HR and recruitment awards now

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Specialists in the field of human resources, training and recruitment in the north-east of Scotland have been urged to submit their entries to a prestiguous annual awards ceremony for the sector.

Nominations for the cHeRries Awards, run by the Press and Journal’s owner DC Thomson are open as of today.

Dundee-based DC Thomson is delighted to present the cHeRries, which recognise excellence in the fields of human resources, training and recruitment in the region.

Now entering its ninth year, the 2016 ceremony will be held on June 2.
The annual event features nine categories and attracts an audience of more than 500.

This year’s ceremony will be held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and will provide a fantastic platform for showcasing the best HR professionals and practices across the region.

Kerry Medford, event manager for DC Thomson Publishing, said: “The cHeRries Awards are a brilliant celebration of the best in human resources, recruitment and training in the north-east of Scotland.

“Today is the first day that people can enter the awards to highlight the best HR professionals and practices across the region.

“We have a wide range of categories for individuals and teams as well as the Top Cherry Award for Outstanding Contribution, the most prestigious of the awards to be won on the night.”
The awards scheme was launched in 2008 and has grown year-on-year.
The awards are backed by a high profile group of companies that are committed to recognising the importance of people to the success of businesses.

Alison Sellar, chief executive of activpayroll, sponsor of the Excellent HR Manager award, said: “Working closely with HR professionals, we recognise the vital role they play within an organisation and understand their direct influence on business performance. We are delighted to continue to support HR excellence in the north-east of Scotland and are privileged to celebrate your successes with you.”

Alison Woods, partner with law firm CMS Cameron McKenna, sponsor of the Exemplary Employer of Choice, award, said: “We are continuing our support of the cHeRries for another year in 2016, as it is more important than ever in this challenging market to recognise the contribution HR has been making, and to reward those showing genuine innovation and skill on making more from less. The awards continue to reflect CMS’ own ethos of recruiting and developing top talent.”

Stuart McWilliam, of recruitment consultancy Coutts Mennie, hosts of the Finalist’s Cocktail party in May 2016, said:
“The awards are a continued, tremendous way of recognising the commitment, contribution and hard work done by HR professionals in the north-ease of Scotland and the impact they have on the business community. Congratulations to all nominated and good luck to the finalists in 2016.”

Anne Davidson, Partner of specialist immigration solicitors Davidson Morris, said: “We are delighted to continue supporting the Cherries in recognising HR excellence and the crucial contribution they make to business success both in Aberdeen and globally. We are very proud to work with these gifted teams and leading organisations.”

Colin Leyden, Managing Director of Falck Safety Services UK, sponsors of the Tremendous Training & Development award, said: “At Falck ‘People helping people’ is how we describe our business.
“This mantra runs through every element of our company, from the training programmes we deliver to our clients, to how we train and develop our own staff. The latter is very important to us and we encourage our employees to live and breathe the Falck values by implementing and taking part in various HR initiatives. This year, we have chosen to sponsor the Tremendous Training & Development category, as we want to extend our support to other firms in the north-east who, like us, ensure their workforce is developed each year.”

Alan Fergusson, Employee Benefits Director at Mattioli Woods, sponsors of the main award for the night, said: “The cHeRries is a fantastic concept and we have seen some absolutely amazing local businesses come through the initiative over the past few years. Quite simply, there is nothing else which truly celebrates the ambitions, creativity and successes of a wide range of businesses across the north-east of Scotland”.

Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of Faculty of Aberdeen Business School at RGU, which sponsors the Blossoming Award for up and coming talent, said: “Aberdeen Business School continues to support the cHerRies Awards as the award itself recognises the importance of early career HR practitioners as well as the value of education programmes such as the MSc in Human Resources Management.”

Lesley de Jager, UK & Africa People & Organisation Director for WoodGroup PSN, which sponsors the Fantastic HR Advisor award, said: “A Fantastic HR Advisor is someone who brings out the best in people and makes a truly remarkable contribution to the company they work for. Our central core value is people so the profession of HR is highly valued at WGPSN and we recognise the importance of fantastic HR advisors! This is an award we’re very proud to sponsor.”

The entries open 11th January, and close 4th March 2016, and all entry forms and category criteria will be available on the website. The entry forms have to be sent to Kerry Medford, Event Manager – or call 01382 426212
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or by telephone 01382 426212.

The categories

Entrants have nine categories to choose from when entering the awards. They present a wide variety of human resources, training and recruitment activity, which covers the range of excellence that can be achieved.

Top Cherry Award for Outstanding Contribution, sponsored by Mattioli Woods

The Top Cherry Award for Outstanding Contribution is the most prestigious of the awards to be won. The accolade is presented to an individual who has been nominated by peers within the industry and selected by our panel of judges after much deliberation.

Exemplary Employer of Choice, sponsored by CMS Cameron McKenna
This award will be presented to an organisation which clearly demonstrates that people are genuinely an essential part of their business strategy.

Nominees should be able to demonstrate how a strong, employee-focused culture within the organisation has helped employees feel valued.

Judges will look for evidence of excellent staff communication and engagement practices and of the personal and professional development opportunities that staffs are offered to further their growth within the organisation. We are especially interested in creative initiatives which have proven to enhance employee engagement, retention and staff recognition.

Outstanding HR Director, sponsored by Amec Foster Wheeler
Nominees will be the most senior HR professional within the organisation, operating at or near to board level.

This category will recognise the HR director who has consistently made an outstanding contribution to business strategy in the last 12 months.
Nominees will be able to demonstrate meeting business objectives and therefore adding quantifiable value to the business and the value that their function has made on the organisation’s performance.

Excellent HR Manager, sponsored by Activ Payroll
Judges will be looking for evidence of an HR manager who, in the past 12 months, has made a clear and measurable impact on the organisation. This may have been through their effective leadership and development of a professional HR team or by being the sole HR professional in the organisation.

This is likely to have been achieved through a programme of development, implementation and integration of policies and practices which clearly support organisational objectives and which have made a significant impact on sustaining a positive culture.

Judges will look for evidence of the individual’s contribution to the leadership & development of the HR team, impact on organisational objectives and organisational culture and their commercial awareness.
Fantastic HR Advisor, sponsored by Wood Group PSN

In this category, judges will be looking for evidence of an HR advisor who, in the past 12 months, has gained respect from their client base by ensuring high visibility and face-to-face contact while proactively delivering a high standard of HR service and solutions.

They will be able to demonstrate their continuing professional development and provide evidence of how this supports their ability to understand their business and apply and adapt best practice to suit the needs of their clients.

Nominations will also be judged on evidence of their impact, provision of their individual HR service and solutions and evidence of learning from CPD activities undertaken in the preceding year

The Blossoming Award, sponsored by Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University

This award is for an up-and-coming talent in the field of HR who has yet to study for their professional CIPD HR qualification. This will be an individual who can clearly demonstrate a genuine commitment to developing a career within human resource Management, and who understands the contribution that HR professionals bring to an organisation.

The winner of this award will receive the coveted prize of full funding from Aberdeen Business School at the Robert Gordon University to study for their Human Resource Management MSC.
Tremendous Training & Development, sponsored by Falck Safety Services

Nominees in this category (whether a team or individual) will have demonstrated a strong commitment to designing and delivering cohesive and innovative training and development programmes and initiatives for their organisations in the last 12 months.
Entries should clearly demonstrate a strong relationship between the outcomes of such programmes and the organisation’s strategic aims and objectives. A direct link to and from performance management processes would further benefit the nomination.

The nomination should prove conclusively that there is visible and measurable relationship between the business’ training and development, and the performance of organisation, teams and individuals.

Extraordinary HR Initiative

This will be an individual, individuals, or team, who can show evidence of a creative and innovative approach to HR. Their nomination will offer examples of new initiative/s they have designed and successfully delivered in the last 12 months, through to implementation and beyond, and which set them apart from the crowd.
Examples include, but are not limited to, initiatives around areas such as compensation & benefits, IT (HRIS), acquisitions/ integrations, employee engagement, etc.
The nominee(s) must be able to provide evidence of how their initiative/s have delivered a measured effect on the business and its people, and how their input and impact has contributed to the organisation’s competitive position as an employer.

Finders Keepers Recruitment

In this category we will be looking for evidence of innovation and bottom line impact through the development of proactive and innovative recruitment strategies.
Entries should set out a clearly defined set of aims and objectives, and set out their link to the overall business strategy. The successful entry will be able to clearly demonstrate how their approach has differentiated them in a highly competitive skills market, and will provide evidence of senior level commitment and involvement in selecting talent for their business.

Tangible evidence of the impact on business success will serve to further strengthen the nomination in this category.

Here’s what more sponsors of the 2016 cHeRries Awards have to say:
CIPD Scotland are proud and honoured to be part of The cHeRries Awards, which celebrate the excellent achievements and successes of those working in the HR, recruitment and training industries in the north-east of Scotland.

Peterson are delighted to be sponsoring the 2016 CHeRries Awards. Developing people is one of our values and in this challenging market, we believe continuing to support and recognise achievements in HR, recruitment and training is more important than ever.

Polaris are delighted to be a sponsor of the cHeRries Awards 2016.
During the last 20 years, we have been fortunate enough to work with many excellent HR and training practitioners, whether their focus is training, learning and development or competence assurance. We see time and time again the impact that great HR and training practitioners can have on their team and their organisation.

Human Resources is crucial to the growth and development of the businesses throughout the north-east. A platform which is dedicated to the recognition of its people is a must, long may it continue.