Following the huge success of the first ever Wales HR Awards in March 2017, entries are now open for the 2018 Awards to celebrate HR excellence throughout the country.

Annual awards 

Created by Acorn, Wales’ leading specialist recruitment agency, and leading commercial law firm Darwin Gray, the Wales HR Awards is the annual flagship event of the Wales HR Network, which is the country’s leading HR networking platform for professionals to meet and share best practice about topical industry issues. 

The 2017 Awards quickly became a huge diary marker for Welsh businesses as they recognised and celebrated HR professionals and teams, highlighting the hard work and commitment they’ve carried out for their companies and the HR industry as a whole. Finalists and winners included Bluestone Resorts Limited, Cardiff Airport, Panasonic, Tata Steel, Menter a Busnes, Principality Building Society, Hafod Housing, Retail Merchandising Services and Welsh National Opera to name just a few.

Prestigous venue 

The 2018 Awards, which is set to continue the outstanding reputation that the first awards achieved, is being held at the prestigious new venue The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff Bay on Friday 23rd March.  BBC presenter Sian Lloyd is back by popular demand and will host the black-tie ceremony and dinner.

There will be 14 awards, including an overall winner announced on the night in the -new for 2018- HR Star Award. The categories are:

HR Team of the year

Best use of the Welsh Language (Team)

Best use of the Welsh Language (Individual)

Independent HR Consultant of the year

HR Director of the year

HR Apprentice / Assistant / Trainee of the year

Best HR professional – Financial / Professional Services (including Legal)

Best HR professional – Public / Third Sector (including Housing Associations, Charities, Education)

Best HR professional – Creative (including Arts)

Best HR professional – IT / Technology

Best HR Professional – Construction / Manufacturing / Engineering

Best HR professional – Retail, Leisure & Tourism

Employer of the year

HR Star of the year

New categories 

New awards for HR Star of the year and Employer of the year have been introduced to recognise a great contribution to HR in Wales as well as employers that are dedicated to improving and sustaining their workforce and their business environment.

A number of award categories already have sponsorship confirmed by returning and new sponsors including Quantum Advisory, ACT Training, Capital Law, Bowen Eldridge, Thomas Carroll, Insider Media, and Sweetmans and Partners, however, there are still opportunities available for businesses keen to get involved in supporting the HR industry.

Celebrating HR in Wales

Acorn’s Marketing Director, Dan Langford said: “The first Wales HR Awards were simply superb and the reaction from nominees, guests and sponsors was clear; an event to celebrate HR in Wales was overdue.

“The HR profession often suffers from a lack of recognition, and as a recruitment and training partner for thousands of HR teams in Wales and throughout the UK, we’re proud to have created these Awards and can’t wait to see what talent shines through in March 2018.

Fflur Jones, Head of Darwin Gray’s Employment Law and HR department, said: “We were delighted with the success of the 2017 Awards and with the support we have had from our Network members throughout this year. We are looking forward to what 2018 has in store for the Network and can’t wait to continue celebrating HR at what is becoming a hotly anticipated annual event! Our Employment and HR department works very closely with HR professionals in every market sector. We couldn’t be more pleased to see the profession gaining recognition year after year.”

Deadline for entries is 5pm Wednesday 31st January 2018.

For further details of the Wales HR Network events and awards visit www.waleshrnetwork.cymru