On the heels of major growth, Arlington, Virginia-based stock media company Storyblocks has appointed Allison Jno-Baptiste as its new vice president of people.
The human resources executive will be in charge of further diversifying Storyblocks’ recruiting tactics and employee pool. Since announcing its acquisition by Great Hill Partners earlier this year and seeing the increased demand for its services through the pandemic, Storyblocks also launched a creative diversity and inclusion campaign called Re:Stock.
Storyblocks first launched in 2009 by Joel Holland as VideoBlocks, a subscription-based stock video service with the goal of providing budget-conscious content for video editors. The company has since rebranded to provide video, audio and images through a subscription model that offers unlimited downloads.
“Given that Storyblocks is currently at an inflection point due to its rapid scaling efforts in the D.C. area, it is critical for me to focus on fostering talent acquisition and pipelining, seamless onboarding experiences, organizational design and structure, and retention efforts,” Jno-Baptiste told Technical.ly.
With local roots, Jno-Baptiste brings an extensive resume of HR experience after holding leadership positions at Marriott International, Georgetown University, COMO Hotels and Resorts and Brown University. She has already hit the ground running, with a few tasks she’d like to accomplish first.
“In the immediate term, I plan to meet one-on-one with every member of the Storyblocks team as well as our Business Resource Groups and Affinity Groups,” Jno-Baptiste said. “It is vastly important for me to learn more about the Storyblocks team and get an authentic sense of the people and culture that have made this organization so successful.”
Jno-Baptiste said that as Storyblocks is approaching a rapid growth stage — it counted a reported 115 employees in June — the company is focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), an important pillar in its growth plan. (Check out its dozen or so open roles, including a handful in the engineering department, on its website.) She will focus on building DEIB goals that tie to the company’s core values and business goals. Jno-Baptiste will also create strategies, frameworks and programming related to talent management, acquisition, culture, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and leadership development.
“This includes our emphasis on connecting with the fabric of the DMV community, but also approaching DEIB from a demographic, experiential and cognitive perspective,” she said. “Ultimately, these goals should reflect the communities that we serve as an organization.”
A big part of Jno-Baptiste’s job will be to connect with the company’s diverse community of creators and businesses that it serves. The purpose of Storyblock’s Re:Stock campaign is to expand the selection of representative and authentic content in the company’s content library.
“We believe that the traditional pool of stock content creators that dominate the field today are not producing diverse or inclusive content,” she shared. “Representation matters, and this campaign does a great job emphasizing the critical importance to us that our content reflects the world that we live in and features positive images of underrepresented communities.”
Jno-Baptiste said her personal background as well as her work experience in both the private sector and higher education have shaped her capabilities to excel in a position like this.
“I plan to drive the process of further developing Storyblocks’ employment brand,” she said. “I would like us to be seen as one of the top employers of choice not only in the D.C. area, but globally. We are a fierce and fearless community.”
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