Winner: Craig Morgans: Head of Talent Acquisition and Learning and Development, The AA

The sheer scope of positive change Craig has instigated over the last two years has been phenomenal.

  • Craig has turned round a traditional, fragmented recruitment function, driven by people who weren’t talent attraction experts, along with a very much ‘post and pray’ advertising set-up, and an exceptionally low, poor-quality calibre of applications.
  • With a remit of transformational change, he’s inspired the business to make major strides – overhauling its employment proposition and dramatically improving its ability to strategically deliver against ambitious business objectives.
  • Through forging great relationships across the AA, Craig took time to understand senior figures’ frustrations. He has translated their needs into pragmatic, workable and innovative solutions, which have led to results in many aspects of the business, including employer branding, attraction planning, engagement, selection, hiring and onboarding, and business partnering.
  • Craig’s team is unanimous in positive feedback and praise for his leadership and teamworking. Just some of the responses are: “He’s highly collaborative and works closely with the internal team, stakeholders and our recruitment partners to develop a vision and strategy, which we all work towards.” “His original attraction ideas have made a real difference to the number of inductions we’re filling, as we now have a continuous pool of good candidates to draw upon. Gone are the days of struggling as a recruitment team.” “Craig is an amazing leader and always one to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to keep his team engaged and hungry to learn more!”
  • Craig believes recruitment should be fair, open and consistent, with the aim of finding the right people, with the right skill set, for each role. He has therefore tailored the assessment and selection process to not only attract the best, but also allow for the fact that people with limited working experience may actually be the best choice for a role.

Judges’ comments: “Craig is clearly an inspiring leader who has championed change and innovation over the last 12 months. Craig showed he was diligent in his approach but understood that the basics were important when implementing change and use of data and insight to drive decision-making. He seems to have significant skill and empathy in his role, along with a large dose of humility making him a worthy winner in this category.”


  • Adrian Thomas: Head of Executive Recruitment, Civil Service