Winner: Charlie Appleyard: Director, Annapurna Recruitment

The judges found the winner’s tenacity and resilience truly inspiring, particularly in coaching other employees and sharing his passion for his job.

  • Charlie spearheads the Munich business and is a big advocate in the London office for as many employees as possible to learn German – he has hired a German teacher who comes in three times a week – as a way of creating a culture across the channel and enabling the offices to feel inclusive.
  • Charlie created Annapurna HPP (High-Performance Program) to give new employees the chance to optimise their business capabilities at an earlier stage. The HPP sets weekly and monthly targets, which are aligned to what Annapurna’s top performers deliver upon, and was implemented as a way of new starters being able to determine what ‘good’ actually looks like.
  • Charlie has been a leading advocate of embracing technology for real business benefit. Every Monday, Charlie records a Hinterview (video interviewing platform) and sends it around the company to give market insights, congratulations and motivation for the week ahead.
  • Charlie was the lead project manager for celebrating Annapurna’s 10-year anniversary throughout 2018 and co-ordinated this across the company in his weekly company Hinterviews. The 10-year party was part of his wider employee engagement plan to engage the community in the success of the company so far, encouraging each and every employee to play a key part in Annapurna’s success going forward.
  • Charlie’s vision for recruitment: If you empower your employees to be entrepreneurial and give them the opportunity to excel in an organisation, they will flourish.

The standard was very high and it was a close call between all entries. All demonstrated strong leadership skills both internally with growing their companies, as well as externally with regards to giving back to social issues. The judges felt the passion and human side to the sector through all the shortlisted entries.

Judges’ comments: “Charlie showed a passionate belief in how to run a modern community-led recruitment business. His enthusiasm about how he drives his beliefs through his company was clear to all the judges.”

Highly commended:

  • Sasza Bandiera: Managing Director, Oyster Partnership
  • Raj Tulsiani: CEO and Co-Founder, Green Park


  • Saffa Ayub: Founder / Managing Director, Bramwith Consulting
  • Rod Carmichael: Managing Director, CarmichaelUK
  • Debbie Caswell: COO, Search Consultancy
  • Tanya Loosemore: Managing Director, RGB Recruitment