I worked in-house for many years in employer branding roles — and the prospect of leaving for a position at an agency always seemed daunting. Certainly, there would be rewards, I figured — but I imagined that such a transition might leave me stressed out, overburdened with work, and without the same sense of belonging I enjoyed working for a global asset management company. Still, I felt ready for a career transition that would give me a wider variety of experiences and offer the chance to stretch myself in new ways.
A few months ago, I took the plunge and joined Blu Ivy as the Director of Employer Brand & Culture. The experience has been profoundly eye-opening.
I was surprised to discover how much I see myself in every client. Before, I worked steadily in my own bubble, at times finding it more than a little lonely. It wasn’t until I left and started interacting with a variety of clients that I recognized how universal the employer brand professional experience really is.
At the same time, I have been surprised — shocked, even — by how amazing it is to be working in an agency setting. It has yielded benefits I hadn’t anticipated and dispelled a few misconceptions I’d been harboring.
I’ve had more than a few contacts ask me for my insights, so I’m sharing them here. Hopefully, it will help some of you feel a little more understood or even take the plunge into something new.
How I See My (Former) Self in My Clients Every Day
They Love Their Jobs
Employer brand professionals love their work. They are helping organizations identify what makes them great, and their influence on employee experience is helping to improve job satisfaction and quality of life for so many. It turns out that, despite the challenges of this field, that spark of passion is universal.
They Are Hungry for Context
They have the drive, and sometimes they have the budget — but they are craving more expertise than they can access in-house. With a perspective tied to the practices and thinking of their company, it’s hard for them to get an industry-wide view.
They Face Challenges Advocating for Resources
In so many organizations, employer branding is seen as a niche function falling somewhere between marketing and HR. EB has the power to benefit every corner of the organization, but it can be challenging to educate leadership of its impact, and more difficult still to win the mandate necessary to make the aspirational aspects of an employee value proposition a reality throughout the organization.
They Are Strapped for Time
Employer brand professionals often work on small — or one-person — teams, and usually have more on their plate than they can accomplish. This is especially true in the current tight labor market, when recruitment marketing campaigns are the focus of more attention than ever before.
They Could Use a Friend
With such small teams, these EB professionals are usually used to going it alone. When we join an engagement, we’re all excited for the chance to work in a generative, creative, and collaborative partnership. Doing it together is way more fun.
Why I’m Happier in My New Role
It’s an Amazing Lifestyle
I assumed that working for an agency would take away a lot of time with my family, but the reality is that I’m more present with them now than I was, because I’m far more intentional with my time.
One of the benefits of working with a great employer brand agency is that they walk the walk when it comes to a vibrant culture and satisfying work-life balance. After all, how can we help clients in these areas if we haven’t learned to help ourselves?
At Blu Ivy, our leaders bring in doctors to teach us about health and benefits. They ask us to prioritize our own harmony and balance, and to protect our calendars accordingly. Unless there’s an unavoidable client need, we don’t work Friday afternoons.
The Quality of My Work Is Growing Exponentially
Until I saw it first-hand, I didn’t understand the degree to which my move to Blu Ivy would uplevel my skills. We work with a phenomenal — and flexible —employer branding framework, customizing it to the needs of every client.
Our strategic work is built on an extraordinary amount of research — from focus groups to surveys. And I am constantly getting exposed to new problems and new solutions, getting a bird’s eye view of employer branding best practices across industries.
Risk and Creativity Are Part of My Every Day
At Blu Ivy, failing is part of my day-to-day. Here, my focus isn’t on the ego of being the best — but on how we can learn to provide an experience like no other. Every day, I must show up ready to explore new worlds.
We are not a company that copies and replicates. We design and redesign constantly. That’s why I love what I do. Each time, our work starts from scratch. And the beauty of that? I constantly strive to become more innovative and resilient, adapt to our client spaces to play creatively. Our culture is an incredible environment that sets the right conditions to innovate with and for our clients.
I don’t feel alone here. It is not about the “I” but about the “We”. We build magnetic employer brands and high-performance cultures because of our humanity, empathy, empowerment, and curiosity to set ourselves on a constant journey of discovery!
Director Employer Brand and Culture
Blu Ivy Group is a global leader in employer branding, organizational culture, and recruitment marketing. We help organizations across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors build extraordinary employee experiences, magnetic employer brands, and high-performance cultures.
From C-Suite to Employer Brand and Talent Acquisition leadership, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations and design the most compelling workplaces of the future.
For inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.