Aspiring Women 19.07.2022

Aspiring women @ Broad Horizon – Rachel van Brunschot

Rachel van Brunschot | Senior Employer Branding Specialist at GAC Business Solutions since January 2022 | 31 years | Optimist | Engaging | Creative thinker | Inspiring

Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in management, economics, and law and continued her studies at Tilburg University where she obtained a Master’s degree in philosophy and business ethics. Prior to her current function, she mainly worked as a recruiter in a number of companies. In March 2020 Rachel joined GAC Business Solutions as a corporate recruiter and employer branding specialist. Almost two years later she was appointed Senior Employer Branding Specialist within the company. “With 240 employees at GAC Business Solutions, it is vital to maintain a pleasant working environment for all employees,” says Rachel. Rather than allocating all HR budgets to recruitment ad campaigns, GAC Business Solutions has appointed Rachel as a Senior Employer Branding Specialist in order to retain the current employee base. 

Burn the churn
One of my main tasks consists of increasing the name awareness of GAC Business Solutions towards potential employees. Therefore I write blogs and make sure our company is active on social media.” She continues: “This is achieved by introducing the faces behind the brand and letting our employees do the talking rather than sharing the organization’s point of view on certain topics. An important part of the job also consists of organizing events and activities in order to maintain a pleasant working environment for our employees. The main goal is to keep the employees onboard and make sure they are happy to be part of the team.

Atypical company
GAC Business Solutions strongly focuses on the personal growth of its employees. “Rather than planning yearly performance reviews, we regularly organize growth- conversations with our employees. These talks are very much geared toward development and together with the employee we stipulate which career path he or she envisages within the company and how this can be achieved. We allow ample room for creativity from our employees and will consider how certain ideas can be addressed and deployed. Briefly, at GAC Business Solutions we very much appreciate entrepreneurship from our employees!” Rachel’s function is currently unique within the Broad Horizon group. “I regularly have brainstorming sessions with Melissa, Head of HR for the Broad Horizon Group, to see how we can integrate some ideas regarding employer branding across the various labels of the group.

Why the Tech industry?
Initially, Rachel had doubts about working in a tech-oriented environment because she is quite focused on the social and personal aspects of her job. She soon realized the other connotation regarding the sector. “This industry is perceived very differently than what it is in reality,” says Rachel. “It’s a high-speed industry where a lot of things move very rapidly, meaning you are also constantly evolving as an employee.

Inspire young women to work in the Tech sector
Luckily we see a trend of more women finding their way to the tech industry. At GAC Business Solutions we are very active in attracting the younger generation of women to our company and the IT sector in general. We do so by organizing career days and knowledge sessions, submitting articles for external newsletters, and setting up internal training courses. We also deploy partnerships with colleges where we present inspiring business cases from the industry. Women who are currently working in the IT sector should be an inspiration for the younger generation of women who are considering working in this industry. It is a topic that should remain on the agenda for a good number of years still” says Rachel. 

What stigmas exist around women in the tech sector?
Rachel notes that women often want to achieve a social impact within their jobs. “Although it may not seem obvious to the general public, the IT sector is multi-present and is required in many disciplines with schools and hospitals as examples that come to mind. Women perceive functions within the IT sector as distant, product-related, and oriented toward implementation, while the client relationships within a company such as GAC Business Solutions are equally, if not so, more important for certain functions. By attracting more women in less technical functions we will be able to build a positive image of the industry and thus attract more women for technical functions within our company in the long term”. 

How do you stimulate women to be part of the tech industry?
My personal contributions are the stories I write on a regular base. I recently also played an important role in our recruitment campaign where we communicated our core values. The choices made for this campaign were aimed at breaking the traditional gender roles in society. Hopefully, this will have a positive impact on the ability to attract more women to our company and the sector in general” says Rachel. 

What are your professional and personal ambitions?
Professionally I would like to set up a GAC community. The main goal of this community would be to make sure employees and potential candidates would easily find their way to our company and would be eager to join the group. This requires a different approach to recruitment as we currently know it.” 

Rachel continues: “On a more personal level, I would love to be involved in the future development of employer branding and implement my expertise throughout other labels and organizations in order to make a difference for companies and employees alike. Excel in employer branding and get the market moving on this subject! Join speaker opportunities and motivate companies regarding the positive impact of employer branding.” 

Who or what has had a strong influence on your professional choices?
I’m grateful to both my parents for the upbringing they gave me and the ability to interact with people without prejudices. I’m lucky to have been part of a warm nest, which reflects in the fact that I attach a lot of importance to community building. My mother was a hardworking career woman and as such the traditional gender roles did not exist within our family. 

My education, and especially the course in philosophy, changed me as a person and taught me to approach things from a different angle. It also stimulated my creativity, which is now very useful for my writing skills. 

What’s your favorite quote?
Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives’ – Michele Obama. For Rachel, it’s important to leave a mark and have a certain impact on people’s lives. “Belief in what you do, go for it, and remain focussed” she ends.