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In conversation with Jennifer O'Brien - Global Employer Brand Leader of the Year 2020

As the world is “restarting” business and work life more actively every day we had a conversation with the Global Employer Brand Leader of the Year 2020 Jennifer O’Brien and Global Talent Acquisition Leader of Candidate Attraction & Experience at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Tell us a bit more about your background
With 25+ years of experience in human resources, Talent Acquisition has always been a labor of love for me.  I began as a recruiter but rotated to many different areas of HR to broaden my expertise. I took advantage of management and coaching opportunities along the way, sharpening my leadership skills.  Experiential learning was a critical factor in my development as I love to learn by doing.  Thus, when I moved to specialize later in my career, it was an easy decision for me. Talent Attraction is where I excelled at the intersection of employer branding, recruitment marketing and channel management.  It allows me the opportunity to be creative but lead and collaborate with others to successfully accomplish our goals.

What made you so involved in working with Employer Branding? 
A passion for helping others. I love getting people excited about working for a new company!  So much of our time each day is dedicated to work – people deserve to be happy and feel like they are contributing in a big or small way.


What has been the key challenge working with Employer Branding at Booz Allen Hamilton in this pandemic year? 
We don’t look at this as a challenge but an opportunity.  With the removal of almost all in-person interactions, we as talent acquisition professionals must find new ways to optimize and personalize our engagement with our audiences.

What have you learned? 
We have learned that our candidates yearn for engagement.  When presented with new opportunities to interact with our brand, candidates are attending more branding/reputational virtual events, providing candid feedback on their experiences and have been more willing to become a talent ambassador once they are hired.


What is the top EB priority in Booz Allen Hamilton the next 12 months?
We want to provide dynamic opportunities to engage with our candidates through our employer brand, recruitment marketing, events and the overall candidate experience. 

In your opinion, what are the 3 key things that are new or more important than ever working with Employer Branding in the coming years?

  1. Candidate experience will continue to be a critical focus in a consumer-driven market. While Talent Acquisition has lagged in this area compared to other industries, I feel it will remain top of mind with our candidates especially with the emerging focus around future of work.
  2. During COVID, we adjusted to a new virtual work environment and implemented efforts to elevate our employer brand during this challenging time. With total recovery uncertain, we must continuously assess how brand should pivot or evolve to meet the needs of our candidates.  Thus, I believe that by being agile to continuously build and execute our employer brand will be the number one differentiator for success in the coming years.
  3. Predictive analytics have become key to better understanding workforce demand and pipelining opportunities within the talent market. Over the last few years, we’ve seen robust talent/market tools emerge on several platforms, but many brands still struggle to forecast in their own companies. Looking inward to really manage this gap will be a critical path for many organizations.


View Jennifer O´Brien's professional profile on LinkedIn.


Katarina Önell

Client Director

070-184 22 82

Mathias Axelsson

Client Director

070-184 21 76

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Kantar in conversation with Jennifer O'Biren