Hi, Rally community! My name is Lauren Murray and I’m an Employer Brand Specialist with HubSpot, specializing in content strategy for our HubSpot Life social media channels. I’ve been in my role for a little under 4 months now and this is my first official foray into employer branding and Recruitment Marketing.
Do you know how people often talk about career paths as a ladder? Well, mine’s been more like a rock-climbing wall — uncovering the next ledge one step at a time with my palms a bit sweaty. Most recently, I’ve pivoted sideways on this career climb, from marketing into Recruitment Marketing. And today, I’m excited to share more about my transition into employer branding how I landed my role at HubSpot and the skills I think every aspiring Recruitment Marketing professional should have.
My career journey and the importance of belonging at work:
Forewarning, I’ve had a lot of jobs. Like a lot, a lot. I started my career in real estate marketing right out of college, before moving into non-profit brand management. From there, I hopped into freelance social media marketing for several big name clients (think: 3M, the NFL, InVision and Essence Magazine). I then did a stint in healthcare and am now working in tech!
Looking back, my time with Essence (then NaturallyCurly.com) was the first ledge on my career rock climbing wall. As a member of a 4 person editorial team, I was responsible for identifying stories from our social community to translate into long-form blog posts. Under the lens of sharing relevant and important news in the DEI space. I often wrote about the Black diaspora in respect to curly hair, new product launches that were created by small minority business owners, the lack of diversity during New York Fashion Week and so many other important stories.
I quickly realized that what I was most passionate about was creating diverse and impactful content, so I decided to explore that on a larger scale by joining a big skincare company. My role there consisted of building out their global social media strategy. Though I enjoyed the work, I was constantly made aware that I was the only person in the room who looked like me and I started to feel that I didn’t belong in that room. Eventually, I ended up being laid off from that position, and it took me upwards of a year to find another full-time job. While this wasn’t an easy experience, being in that role really opened my eyes to what I wanted from an employer: a sense of belonging.
So, during my time of unemployment (288 days to be exact), I did a lot of soul searching. I spoke with many people from various industries through informational interviews and used their insights to inform my job search. At the end of that 288th day, I had a new role in a new industry, entering the world of talent acquisition working as an HR coordinator for a hospital system.
Finding a workplace advocate
If you don’t find the right advocates and mentors during your career journey, it’s going to be incredibly hard to scale that climbing wall. I was extremely fortunate that in my role as an HR coordinator I had a leader that advocated for me and actually helped me to find my interest in employer branding. As an HR coordinator responsible for onboarding all new hires, my role should have been very siloed, but it was the exact opposite.
I was encouraged to go on a roadshow and shadow other teams like corporate marketing, recruiting and benefits, and share my marketing insights with them. My name had been mentioned in rooms I had not even been in yet because my leader was often sharing information about me and my background with the other department heads. Her support eventually landed me an opportunity to pitch an employer branding strategy to our hospital C-suite, where I was able to demonstrate how we could leverage Recruitment Marketing strategies to increase the candidate pipeline for our hard-to-fill roles.
Fast forward 6 months, I shared this tweet about wanting to pivot into the employer brand space full-time. It would end up taking me another 8 months to land my current role, but I reflect on this day as a turning point in my journey.
How I landed my dream Recruitment Marketing job
My journey to HubSpot was a culmination of all of my past experiences rolled into one nice bow. When I found my role, I was not actively looking for a new position, but instead was back in an exploration phase. Through a query on LinkedIn for marketers who also had their SHRM-CP certification, I connected with a HubSpot recruiter, had a 30-minute chat and landed a phone interview. From there, I went on to 3more interview rounds. In every single one, I was determined to show my unapologetic self.
I studied the HubSpot Culture Code and made sure to proudly explain my stance on DEI work. I also made sure to include numbers (like impressions, reach and engagement) for the social media work I had done in the past to show my impact.
Here are the 8 tactical steps I took to ready myself for my interviews with HubSpot and position myself for a Recruitment Marketing career:
- Enhanced my personal website with refreshed branding
- Updated my digital portfolio
- Turned on Google alerts for HubSpot news
- Became even more active on LinkedIn by posting relevant content
- Sought out blogs like Rally Recruitment Marketing!
- Researched my interviewers
- Practiced my interview Q&A responses with friends
- Asked for LinkedIn recommendations from previous managers
The first 100 days in Recruitment Marketing
HubSpot has a new hire resource called ‘The 100 day plan’ where your manager maps out your goals, projects and assignments for your first days as a HubSpotter. In my plan as an Employer Brand Specialist, I was given the following 3 assignments:
- Manage our HubSpot Life Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels autonomously
- Develop a project management system for our yearly workplace award announcements
- Build an interactive web experience for our First-Gens in Tech conference
Developing the webpage was a huge win for me because it showed I could be creative, take direction, share impact stories (as I have loved producing in the past) and that I could work cross-functionally across departments.
After running our social campaign paired with PR efforts, organic sign-ups, and tons of on-the-ground work by our recruitment team, we reached an attendee number of 700 people! Talk about a huge win for a new HubSpotter to be a part of this experience!
On a smaller scale, I consider all our #HumansofHubSpot and employee takeover features on Instagram as wins. Finding the unique stories of HubSpotters across the globe and being able to share them on social media is extremely rewarding and representative of the inclusive lens we want to bring to our HubSpot Life channels. We have a collective community of 38,000 followers and growing, so I am very eager to begin to implement my 2021 strategy to see what our accounts will look like next year. Here are just two of my favorite features:
My top piece of career advice? Never stop learning and growing
At HubSpot, our mission is to help millions of organizations grow better. But, there’s also an expectation that we continue to grow and better ourselves. As I #growbetter every day in my role on HubSpot’s employer brand team, I’ve found that leaning into the following qualities is my key to success in a Recruitment Marketing career:
Being in a new role and starting fully remotely can make it trickier to learn and grasp the full scale of what HubSpot employees work on across the globe, so I have to exhibit constant curiosity. And with that curiosity I need a healthy dose of patience. I have to remind myself I won’t be perfect at my job overnight!
Flexibility is also key because social media (and the world for that matter) is constantly changing, but having the confidence to rely on my knowledge and experiences is what makes me a valued member of the team.
I am so excited to continue in my career with HubSpot, not only to learn more about employer branding but to truly provide as much value as I can in this space.
If you’re considering making the switch to Recruitment Marketing from a previous role in marketing, communications or recruiting, it is absolutely possible. And, if you’re not completely sick of virtual coffee chats, let’s connect! I’d love to know more about your career journey. Cheers and happy climbing!