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THE TOP 20 BRANDED HR PROS: Meet Dawn Burke, VP of People at Daxko...

Let's face it - Fearful of the spotlight and conservative to a fault, HR pros generally aren't the best examples to look towards when it comes to professional branding. Kris Dunn (Kinetix RPO, The HR Capitalist) and Tim Sackett (HRU Technical Resources, think that needs to change.  That's why they created this series - The Top 20 Branded HR Pros (sponsored by the team at Glassdoor).

KD and Tim searched the globe for HR Pros who used the tools at their disposal (writing, speaking, social and more) to brand themselves in the HR space, but limited the results to actual practitioners in the areas of HR, Recruiting and Talent Management.  No consultants, no vendors. They found out well-branded HR pros who are actual practitioners are hard to find.  

Tim and KD are running the Top 20 they found here on the HR Capitalist and at  No rankings, just inclusion in the list and some notes on why.  There are at least 20 well-branded HR Pros in the world.  These are their stories. 


If you want energy, Dawn Burke is your kind of HR pro.  VP of People at Daxko in Birmingham, AL, Burke is a living example that you don't have to live on one of the coasts to carve out a great reputation and brand.  See Burke's "player card" below and we'll talk about the details after the jump (email subscribers, enable images or click through to see the picture summary below).

Glassdoor Top 20 - Dawn Burke

Burke's energy comes from a passion for the people side of business and a theatre background.  Rising through the ranks in retail and as a HR pro at places like MailSouth, Burke caught a break when she landed in the top HR spot at Daxko.  A progressive software company, Daxko has a work environment that encourages people to be visible to the outside world as part of its people/recruiting strategy.  

In the last 5 years, Burke's built an impressive personal HR brand with that opportunity.  One thing you'll see about this top 20 series is that it's hard to find HR pros who write about their craft with any type of regularity.  Burke might lead America in this category as she holds down a regular spot at Fistful of Talent, and has also experimented with her own blog at and most recently at

But all the writing in the world can't cover up a boring personality, right?  Fortunately, Burke doesn't have that problem, as evidenced by her regular speaking performances.  She's spoken at multiple conferences, but one thing that makes her unique is her willingness to do video - she hosts her own monthly show at FOT call "No Scrubs" and has been a regular on similar shows as well.  She works at the speaking craft via multiple mediums and the theatre training no doubt has served her well.

Writing and speaking in this fashion separates Burke from the pack, but she checks other boxes as well.  We call her "Twitter Famous" because with 8K+ in followers, she's near the top of the list for actual HR practitioners.  She's also got her LinkedIn game going with thousands of connections and more recommendations than most HR pros you'll see.  If we had to knock her for anything, she needs to get her Instagram presence up - but you can't have it all, right?

By now, you might be asking, "so what?"  That's fair.  You can do all the branding activities you want as an HR practitioner, but you still have to make it all pay off.  That's where the concept of being a Brand Ambassador comes into play for Burke.  She's clearly using her presence from a branding perspective to become a better recruiter of talent for Daxko, as all channels she's active in invite people to check out the company repeatedly.

We get it Dawn - Daxko's worth checking out.  So are you!

Check out Dawn Burke here - Writing, Speaking, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram 


The Top 20 Branded HR Pros is brought to you by Glassdoor, who invites you to attend the Annual Glassdoor Employer Branding Summit on September 25th, where a stellar speaker lineup of industry experts and thought leaders exploring the intersection of employer branding and talent acquisition, the candidate experience and employee engagement. 

Tickets are sold out, but wait!  You can attend the livestream online featuring studio coverage with Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett by registering here (click to register).  Fun and games are sure to be a part of that coverage.


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