2024 HRO Today Association Awards Category Definitions

Company and Team Award Categories

Best in Class: Employee Experience

The employee experience is the journey an employee takes with your organization. It includes every interaction that happens along the employee life cycle, plus the experiences that involve an employee’s role, workspace, manager, and wellbeing. A positive overall Employee Experience not only builds a stronger work culture, but also impacts business performance. Tell us about your best talent management programs, highlight your employee experience success stories and key retention strategies that help ensure job satisfaction and make your company a great place to work!

Best in Class: HR Technology

How is your company utilizing technology differently, more efficiently, and in ways that make the lives of your employees and/or customers happier? Tell us about your latest advancement, upgrade, or unique solution that uses technology to work more efficiently and successfully within your Human Resource function(s). As recent technologies have emerged, HR is challenged by the business to adapt, adopt, and evolve to remain a relevant and value-adding strategic partner. How are you embracing and adapting current ways of working to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, artificial intelligence, Web 3.0, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the other latest trends in technology?

Note: This can be a standalone private labeled technology, customized for use within your company, or a new technology that you’ve developed for private use and/or taken to market for the entire industry.

Best in Class: Innovation (non-technical)

When HR can inspire and implement innovative thinking and best practices throughout the organization, remarkable things can happen. This award recognizes forward thinking innovation, resulting in improved employee and/or customer satisfaction, better business performance, and/or an advancement for the organization. Innovative ideas can help create efficiency, generate cost savings, increase customer satisfaction – and can be created with and without the use of technology. For this category we want to hear about the innovative IDEAS implemented where technology was not the focus*. Remember to tell us how the innovation has reduced costs, improved quality or in some way benefits the organization, its employees, and the way they work.

*If technology was involved or is a component of the innovation, that’s OK, we just don’t want technology to be the only component or leading function involved. If it is, you may want to refer to the award category, Excellence in HR Technology and submit a nomination form there.

Business Partnership Excellence

This award shows the power and strength of a true partnership. A partnership can be between an organization and an (outsourced) HR Services and/or Technology Provider OR a collaboration across two or more businesses that results in a positive outcome from a business, financial, and/or philanthropic standpoint. Nominations should discuss the successful results as an outcome of the partnership. How did the partnership come to be? What have you done differently as a result of the partnership? How is the partnership relationship managed to ensure continued success and that evolution occurs, when applicable, to maintain its performance? Please share any process improvements, efficiencies realized, key metrics, cost savings and/or impact on customer service.

Note: Because this award recognizes a “partnership,” finalists in this category are expected to have representation from BOTH partners during the virtual awards program.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Excellence

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a framework companies use to create supportive and inclusive workplaces for the spectrum of employees’ unique identities and experiences. It also helps companies understand, support, and anticipate not only employee needs but also the needs of customers or clients of different backgrounds. Human Resources works to ensure DEI is top of mind throughout their organization. Whether it be candidate selection, customer experience, employee engagement or the company environment itself; what DEI activities are you undertaking that stand out as a success within your office, organization, or even the industry? How are they measured, communicated, and evaluated to ensure successful outcomes?

Recruitment Team of the Year

This award recognizes the Recruitment Team that has demonstrated significant customer satisfaction, success and/or growth within managing the talent acquisition process for their organization. Tell us about your best recruitment strategies – those with spectacular results, your most creative ideas, utterly unique delivery methods and whatever else puts this recruitment team in a league of their own! Are people talking about their positive candidate experience when applying for a job and throughout the process that followed, whether they got the job or not? How do you ensure efficiency throughout the recruitment process and what is the most unique aspect of your process? Do candidates have a positive experience along each step of the way, whether engaging with technology, or a person? What would the Hiring Managers in this organization say about the team? Remember to share hiring metrics and include key performance indicators, as well as the team goals and projects that helped pave the way to success!

HR Team of the Year

Is your HR a powerhouse team that keeps the company moving forward with innovative leadership direction, dependable people and innovative programs and practices to drive home your mission, enhance your brand and stand out as an employer of choice? This award allows you to share the many successes, accomplishments, and achievements of your entire HR team. Tell us what your HR team does that is unique and makes it stand out as a highly valued, integral, and respected part of the organization. Describe your HR team’s overall strategy and objectives, and how they align with the rest of the business. Outline any major HR initiatives or programs implemented and/or improved that best highlight the team’s spirit, drive, and passion.

Individual Award Categories

HR Excellence Award

This award recognizes forward thinking, innovation, and creative solutions, as well as ideas generated and/or implemented by an individual. The HR Excellence Award is an award about someone who did something great: an event, accomplishment, project, or implemented an innovative idea with considerable success. We are looking for individuals that took on a new challenge and conquered it or victoriously navigated through challenging times and unwelcome change. We want to hear about the people who paved the way to something better for the organization and its employees and how they did it!

HR Leadership Award

A Leader creates an inspiring vision and effectively motivates people to engage with that vision. They demonstrate extraordinary treatment of their employees, resulting in positive business results. With the technology now available, there are many aids to good leadership. But none of them can take the place of fearless introspection, feedback seeking, and committed efforts to behavioral change for greater effectiveness and increased positive impact on others. The HR Leadership Award is about a person’s leadership traits, ability to mentor, lead people, and inspire.

Simply put, HR Excellence is about someone who did something great. HR Leadership is about someone who IS great.

Member Leadership Award

This award recognizes an HRO Today Association member who consistently contributes their time and expertise to support, participate and actively engage in association programs and activities and acts as an advocate of the association. This award honors a member who has made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of the association and Human Resources industry overall.