Top Welsh employers and HR professionals were recognised at the second annual Wales HR Awards on Friday evening.
Hosted by journalist and broadcaster Sian Lloyd, the awards – created in 2017 by leading recruitment agency Acorn and commercial law firm Darwin Gray in partnership with the Wales HR Network – saw companies from every corner of Wales attend the glittering black-tie event at the Exchange Hotel in Cardiff.
Celebrating outstanding people and businesses for their contribution to HR over the past twelve months, the evening featured inspirational keynote speakers from the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award: Partnership Manager for the DofE Award charity, Ian Gwilym, and DofE Young Ambassador, Billie Horsey, with entertainment for the 350 attendees from Newport-based Big Mac’s Wholly Soul Band.
Bluestone Resorts, Bangor University and specialist IT support provider CircleIT were among the evening’s success stories, with winners announced in eleven categories, including the brand new HR Star Award which has been introduced this year to recognise a professional for an outstanding contribution to HR in Wales.
HR Team of the Year was awarded to social housing provider Tai Tarian, who scooped three awards in total – with Organisational Development Specialist Kelly Mordecai winning Best HR Professional in the Public/Third Sector as well as the coveted HR Star Award for her clear and demonstrable impact on her team, organisation and local community.
Bluestone Resorts took home Employer of the Year for their ‘Every Person Counts’ philosophy, investment in their employees and aim to make a positive impact on their community, with Best Use of the Welsh Language awarded to Bangor University for the role their HR team has played in embedding the bilingual service offering provided by their 2,000 employees.
Acorn’s Director of Operations for South Wales, Maria Larcombe, said:
“It’s been absolutely fantastic to see so many excellent HR professionals come together to showcase the talent within HR in Wales. The standard of entries has been superb and we have some really deserving winners.
“Once again, it’s been a pleasure to host the awards alongside Darwin Gray as partners of the Wales HR Network and I’m looking forward to seeing what our winners and the profession as a whole can achieve in Wales over the coming months.”
Darwin Gray’s Head of Employment Law and HR Fflur Jones added:
“As the Wales HR Network’s annual flagship event, the Awards is a fantastic platform for bringing together HR professionals from all over Wales and across different sectors to recognise and reward their achievements.
“We can all testify that HR is a not an easy profession and isn’t known for being glamorous. However, it is a profession full of dedicated individuals and teams who work hard and quietly achieve great things. It has been wonderful to bring some acknowledgement and celebration into HR, shining a spotlight on the hard work and dedication that often goes on behind the scenes.”
2018 Wales HR Awards winners
HR Team of the Year (Sponsored by Bowen Eldridge)
Tai Tarian Limited
Best Use of the Welsh Language in HR (Sponsored by Cymraeg Gwaith)
HR Department, Bangor University / Prifysgol Bangor
Independent HR Consultant of the Year (Sponsored by Orchard)
Nia Bennett, Effectus HR
HR Director of the Year (Sponsored by Quantum Advisory)
Sarah King, Gower College Swansea
HR Apprentice/Trainee/Assistant of the Year (Sponsored by ACT)
Nina Williams, WRW Construction Ltd
Best HR Professional – Financial/Professional Services (Sponsored by Sweetmans and Partners)
Cath Day, New Directions
Best HR Professional – Public/Third Sector
Kelly Mordecai, Tai Tarian
Best HR Professional – IT/Technology (Sponsored by RMS)
Jennifer Griffiths, Circle IT
Best HR Professional – Construction/Manufacturing/Engineering
Rhiannon Fitzmaurice, HWM
Employer of the Year (Sponsored by Capital Law)
Bluestone Resorts Limited
HR Star Award (Sponsored by Darwin Gray and Acorn)
Kelly Mordecai, Tai Tarian