HR team makes final getaway from XL Leisure

The final two members of the HR team for XL Leisure Group will exit the Gatwick-based headquarters this month following a tumultuous autumn.

The group went into administration in mid-September, stranding tens of thousands of passengers abroad and forcing its 1,700 staff to hunt for new jobs.

Ruth Gawthorpe, the group’s HR director, said the biggest challenge for HR when a company goes belly up was changing mindset.

“It’s not easy switching immediately from dealing with the strategy of taking the organisation forward to working for a team of administrators and trying to help 1,700 former-staff find jobs elsewhere,” she told Personnel Today.

But Gawthorpe maintained that the scenario did not support the case for outsourced HR departments.

“What this has probably shown is the opposite that people trusted the HR team to help them in this difficult time because they knew us. Outsourced HR wouldn’t have that rapport,” she said.

Most of Gawthorpe’s 16-strong HR team have since found jobs, although some are as far away as Swansea and Manchester.

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