Dara Sandford

Employer Brand Strategist
Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Dara is an Employer Brand Strategist with a background in recruiting and years of experience driving intentional growth, strategy, and content creation globally. At exaqueo, she brings a passion for optimizing employment relationships and a relentless curiosity about the “why.” Dara is an articulate communicator and avid storyteller with a knack for building strong employer brand positioning that attracts the right people to the right companies at the right time. With knowledge that spans Talent Acquisition, Branding, and Marketing, she jumps right into any project to support company growth and goals.
Get to Know Dara

Growing up in a family of psychologists, I’ve always been fascinated with the ways that we think and behave. I find people fascinating—especially how, for the most part, what we want and need is to belong and to feel secure, validated, and supported. After being recruited to work in recruiting over a decade ago, I realized that connecting people with companies and cultures is what really gets me excited. I love to help companies find differentiators, craft and customize their authentic stories, and find the best ways to share them with the world. In other words, ‘Employer Branding’ is where I was meant to be. 

With a background in tech, I am constantly motivated to push the envelope and strive for creative, authentic solutions every day. I love working with people who truly care, and I take the time to understand why and how things work. I’ve worked with global teams, and I’ve worked in wildly uncertain and tumultuous times, and I take pride in my empathy and ability to communicate with all teams across any challenges. I’ve been a recruiter, event planner, digital community manager, talent marketer, and an employer brand strategist— plus everything in between—and I am happy to bring this breadth of knowledge to my clients.

Outside of work, I am usually chasing fresh air and love to walk anywhere and everywhere with my Aussie Shepherd, Byron. I’m from Seattle originally, spent 15 years in the Bay, and then decided that I deserved some consistent sunshine and moved down to Santa Barbara (good luck getting me to leave!). I am an avid planner and love finding ways to connect with my people, going on adventures with my husband and pup, discovering yummy restaurants, tracking down new hot spots, and listening to music with the windows down. I am always listening to podcasts and reading new books. If we have the chance to work together, I apologize in advance for nodding vigorously and waving at the end of every meeting.


BA, Communication + Minor in Retail Management
Santa Clara University

Industry Experience

6sense, Principal Employer Brand Manager

Twitter, Employer Brand Program + Marketing Manager

Google, Technical Recruiter

My First Paycheck

I worked the floor at a local Boutique / Salon in Seattle

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