Former AA HR director Martin Sawkins has spoken of the huge recruitment challenge he faces in his new role at home emergency firm Homeserve.
Sawkins was last week appointed group HR director at the fast-growing company, which tackles plumbing disasters and other domestic breakdowns.
Homeserve has doubled its headcount in the past five years to 5,000 – and aims to continue its growth.
“I am just beginning to understand the scale of the challenges and starting to think about what we should be doing to meet them,” Sawkins told Personnel Today. “Trying to boost engineer numbers at a time of national shortage will be a tough task.”
Sawkins played down high-profile industrial relations problems at the AA, where the AA Democratic Union and the GMB have fought a long battle over the merits of the motoring services company’s private equity ownership.
“A lot was said and done publicly that did not reflect the reality,” he said. “It was not an acrimonious industrial relations environment internally.”
Although he left in September in the wake of the AA’s £6bn merger with over-50s services provider Saga, Sawkins insisted he had only fond memories of his time there. “I had seven years of association with the AA. I enjoyed every minute of it and I would not change a thing,” he said.