After years of being a slump, the UK economy is finally starting to blossom again. Employers are feeling much more optimistic for the year ahead with the Association of Graduate Recruiters’ suggesting vacancies were to rise by over 10% in 2014.

That positivity was also felt at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London last week, as the winners of the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards were revealed.

Employers from all around the UK gathered to find out if they were one of the lucky winners in the 10th annual recruitment awards.

There were 24 gongs on offer in a number of different sectors, including most popular graduate recruiters in finance, construction, consulting, utilities and many others.

The biggest winner on the night was Clifford Chance, which went home with the highly coveted graduate employer of the year award.

As well as being named graduate employer of the year, Clifford Chance was also a runner up in social mobility (new this year in the TARGETjobs awards) and diversity recruitment.

It was beaten only by Credit Suisse for advancement of social mobility in graduate recruitment and Teach First for the diversity award.

Graduate recruitment manager Laura Yeates explained why these two factors are important to Clifford Chance’s recruitment campaign.

“Social mobility and diversity, for us, is about trying to provide access points to students who may not otherwise have considered law as a career, catching them both at school and at university,” said Yeates.

She added: “One of the great things nowadays is that the digital age can really help employers reach a much wider range of students. Even students who may be economically disadvantaged will probably still be online.”

As such, the company has launched a number of initiatives, including UpReach and the Intelligent Aid competition. The first encourages socially disadvantaged students into law, while the latter ditches the CV and gives people the opportunity to win a place on a holiday programme by winning an essay writing competition.

Other winners included HSBC, Unilever, BP, Google, and Rolls Royce for most popular graduate recruiter within their sector.

Microsoft and Deloitte won best student marketing campaign for organisations recruiting fewer than and more than 50 graduates a year, respectively.

If you’re planning to recruit graduates this year, Discovery Graduates can help with all stages of the graduate recruitment process including attraction, recruitment and retention.