Best Employer Excellence

Have you set a precedent for recruitment and retention?

The Employer Excellence Award recognises a vehicle retailer in Northern Ireland who has set a benchmark when it comes to recruiting, developing, and retaining its employees by developing a culture of employer excellence.

The award winner will showcase its strategic approach to attracting and nurturing the best talent, providing professional growth, supporting wellbeing, and fostering a strong culture of diversity and inclusion.


Essential Eligibility Criteria

  • This category is open to all vehicle retailers in Northern Ireland, including dealerships, used vehicle retailers, leasing operations, vehicle maintenance and repair specialists and automotive part suppliers.
  • The employer excellence programmes or initiatives should be Northern Ireland specific and not form part of a wider-group or brand campaign based outside of NI.


Award Criteria

Strategic Talent Attraction: Demonstrate innovative recruiting strategies and practices that showcase the retailer’s commitment to attracting top talent, highlighting the importance of employer branding.

Professional Growth and Development: Demonstrate comprehensive training and development programmes that are in place to enhance employee skills, promote career advancement, and support professional development.

Employee Wellbeing: Evidence of initiatives aimed at supporting employee wellbeing, including mental health resources, work-life balance policies, wellness programme, and a safe working environment.

Diversity and Inclusion: Demonstrable efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, including specific policies, training, and employee resource groups.

Innovative Employment Practices: Demonstrate the adoption of flexible working arrangements, unique employee benefits, and digital workplace solutions that contribute to a positive work environment.

Leadership Development: Demonstrate leadership and management programmes that prepare team leaders to effectively support and develop their teams, along with showcasing positive leadership practices.

Recognition and Reward Programmes: Demonstrate systems to acknowledge and reward employee achievements and contributions.

Community and Social Responsibility: Evidence of the company’s and employees’ involvement in community and social responsibility initiatives.

Achievements and Recognition: Demonstrate external recognitions or awards received that validate the retailer’s commitment to being an exemplary employer.


Submissions should be clear, concise, and supported by verifiable evidence or data where possible. Each criterion should be addressed individually, providing specific examples or case studies that demonstrate excellence and distinguish the dealership from its competitors.

The judging panel may request to interview or set a test for an entrant as enhanced assessment if required.

Making Your Entry Stand Out

When you’re making your application, take your time to be clear. It’s easy to over explain your achievements, to go into too much detail or to spend time only on one item.

Try to break down your application into sections that are clear, concise and really tell a story about who you or your brand are. Our judges want to understand you, get to know you and to understand the authentic contribution you’re making to the industry.

Keep it simple

Be clear and concise in your application, the judges want to see exactly what you can do.

Use examples

If you have stats or specific stories, include them. Our judges want to get to know you.

Be yourself

Be authentic. Tell us what your experiences are, not what you think our judges want to read.

Sing your praises

This is your chance to really shout about what you’ve been doing. Don’t be modest!

Let's get started

Hit the ignition on your entry to this year’s awards. Click the link to be sent to our online awards application portal, create a login and save your entry as you progress. Then, when you’re ready, submit ahead of the deadline.