News & insights

SF Recruitment shortlisted for Top Employer Award

By Fiona Frudd
SF Recruitment shortlisted for Top Employer Award

Twenty-four employers have been shortlisted for the 2023 WM People’s Top Employer awards which celebrate the very best companies for diversity and inclusion, flexible working, career progression for women, mental health and family support.

This year’s awards, the 13th annual awards, recognise best practice in the face of ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19, political turbulence, growing inequality, the energy crisis as well as labour shortages. Work on diversity and inclusion has arguably never been more important as employers struggle with talent attraction and ensuring they are resilient in the face of current and future turbulence.

The shortlisted employers will be reviewed by the Awards panel of expert judges, which this year includes two new judges to reflect some of the major challenges of the last year around diversity and inclusion and older workers.

The Top Employer Awards 2023 are sponsored by NHS Professionals. There are nine categories: Best for Mental Health, Best for Returners, Best for Flexible Working, Best for Family Support, Best for Career Progression for Women, Best for Diversity and Inclusion, Best for Older Workers and Best for SMEs.

There will also be an Overall Top Employer Award awarded based on the winners of all the other categories.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 7th February. The keynote speaker is Jane Portas, author of The Risks in Life Series of award-winning insight reports and financial wellbeing guides.  She is the creator of 6 Moments That Matter, a unique life-stage approach combining money and life wellbeing to help people live a secure financial life, and to enable organisations to improve fair financial futures. Her work, including her authorship of Insuring Women’s Futures’ manifesto, is credited with informing the adoption by the UK Money and Pensions Service of a gendered approach to financial guidance and a focus by financial firms on inclusive customer approaches and closing the gender pension gap.

The shortlisted companies are:

Best for Mental Health

Sponsored by Kearney
This award celebrates employers who have been exemplary in the way they have sought to protect their employees’ mental health.

Shortlisted:  Beazley, Capco, Vistry Group and ServiceNow

Best for Diversity and Inclusion

This award is for organisations who demonstrate actions taken to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

Shortlisted:  Aggregate Industries UK Ltd, Capco, Colt Technology Services, FDM Group, McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd, MediaCom UK, ServiceNow, The Gym Group and Westminster City Council.

Best for Flexible Working

Sponsored by FDM Group
This award is for employers who show how they promote and manage flexible working and encourage a flexible culture in their organisation.

Shortlisted: Lloyds Banking Group, Paddle, SF Recruitment, TechNET IT Recruitment Ltd, Zurich Insurance.

Best for Family Support

Sponsored by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
This award is for employers who demonstrate how their policies and practice support working families and carers.

Shortlisted: Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, ServiceNow, Unilever UK & Ireland, Westminster City Council.

Best for Career Progression for Women

Sponsored by McDonald’s
This award is for employers who demonstrate initiatives aimed at developing women’s leadership potential, including women’s networks, mentoring initiatives, outreach, training and return to work programmes.

Shortlisted: Aggregate Industries UK, Colt Technology Services, EMCOR UK, MediaCom UK, Revolent, Vistry Group.

Best for Returners

Sponsored by Sky
This award is for employers who demonstrate stand-out programmes or initiatives aimed at returners – those who have taken a career break and are looking to get back into the workplace

Shortlisted: FDM Group, J Murphy & Sons, Willmott Dixon.

Best for SMEs

This award is for SMEs who demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices.

Shortlisted:  Birdie, HTG, TechNET IT Recruitment Ltd.

Best for Older Workers

This award is for employers who provide details of what they do and how it helps older workers, including through metrics, how they are monitoring success and individual case studies which show impact.

Shortlisted: Lloyds Banking Group, MediaCom UK.

Gillian Nissim, Founder of, the umbrella group for and, says: “The last year has once again seen a lot of turbulence with labour shortages across sectors being a big feature. We have finished the year in recession with pressing concerns about rising costs and demand for higher wages. The short term future is for more of the same so employers need to have the right structures in place to attract and keep the best talent and adapt to whatever they might face. Understanding the different pressures on different colleagues so they can deliver their best needs to be front and centre.

“We have been very impressed by the quality of entries to this year’s Awards. Shortlisting has once again been very difficult as many employers have demonstrated that they have gone the extra mile despite all the pressures they are facing.

Those shortlisted all offer stand-out examples of good practice and we look forward to sharing that with other employers in our Best Practice Report next year.

“We hope that, in challenging circumstances, we will continue to see employers driving innovation so that everyone is able to fulfil their potential at work.”

The Awards will be judged by an expert panel made up of Gillian Nissim, founder of; Andy Lake, director of; Jennifer Liston-Smith,  Head of Thought Leadership for Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions; Dave Dunbar,  Head of Digital Workspace at the Department of Work and Pensions; Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management; and new judges Salma Shah, Writer and Founder of Mastering your Power, and Kim Chaplain, Associate Director for Work, Centre for Ageing Better.


Fiona Frudd
Fiona Frudd
Head of Marketing