IRP Award Winners 2014 – Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin says ‘it’s always good to differentiate yourself’ in his interview with Recruitment Matters. Tom took home the title of best Newcomer of the Year at the IRP Awards 2014 and shares his experience of winning. Tom shares his experience of winning an IRP Award for the first time and the positive outcomes it has brought to his career in recruitment. 

Tom Rankin IRP Award winner best newcomer
Tom Rankin IRP Award Winner Best Newcomer

Name: Tom Rankin
Position:  Specialist Database Recruiter
Company: Understanding Recruitment
Winner of: Newcomer of the Year


How has your career changed since your win?

Since I won I have built on last year’s success and this year is proving to be equally as successful. Last year was my first full year in recruitment. I started as an apprentice recruiter, finishing my course early, got promoted a few times internally and topped it off by winning the award. It’s been fantastic.

How did you get into recruitment? 

I came out of college at 18 and university didn’t seem like a good fit for me. I joined as an apprentice but quickly saw the potential to grow. I fell in love with the recruitment industry and more specifically the atmosphere and support at Understanding Recruitment has enabled me to develop so quickly.

What’s it like recruiting for IT systems?

I work in one area and have worked hard to learn the technology. I don’t call myself a technical expert, but I have developed a strong grasp of the technologies used within my vertical. This enables me to have educated conversations with both clients and candidates alike.

What are the biggest shifts in your sector right now?

Within my specialism I often work with businesses that are going through a transformation process with the way they use databases. A lot have been using bespoke CRMs but have started migrating to a more dynamic CRM. They are now opening themselves up to new data possibilities, using it to boost funding and revenue techniques.

Were you surprised to win Best Newcomer?

I was up against six or seven people and knew winning would be a challenge. Before it was announced I was incredibly nervous but when I found out that I had won I was incredibly surprised but also immensely proud of my achievement. Funny story at the time – I had a broken leg and I had to hobble up on stage with it.

What would you say to someone thinking about nominating themselves this year?

It’s definitely worth doing; you’re always in for a shot if you’ve had a good year. It’s always good to differentiate yourself from the rest of the industry.

What advice would you give yourself on your first day?

Strap yourself in for the ride. You’ve got your highs and lows – enjoy the highs and don’t let the lows get you down.


To see the full list of last year’s winners visit or visit the IRP Award Winner’s hall of fame

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