Katie Ernst: A talent partner who loves people

Katie Ernst (left) and interns pose for a group photo while volunteering at Hope Blooms.

Katie Ernst (left) and interns pose for a group photo while volunteering at Hope Blooms.

In this employee spotlight, we feature Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Senior Talent Acquisition Partner Katie Ernst.

Meet Katie Ernst

Originally from Chicago, Ill., Katie loves working with people. Her first HR position was with a hospitality company as a talent acquisition coordinator. Unfortunately, when COVID-19 hit, many recruiters were laid off, including Katie. She started her job hunt and found an opening at Blue.

“I saw there was a talent partner position posted and thought, ‘This would be perfect,’” said Katie. “I was trying to be selective as there weren't very many HR jobs in general because a lot of companies were doing hiring freezes.”

Katie knew of BCBSND’s involvement in the community but was also looking for a great team environment. In her interview, she connected with the team instantly and joined Blue in June 2020.

“I was looking for that cohesiveness, which I got and love – I love my team. They're amazing,” said Katie. “When I was offered the position, I was so excited because I finally felt like I found a new home.”

A culture of effective collaboration

Something Katie really appreciates is the chance to work with employees in all levels across the organization. As a recruiter, she gets to learn about what each team or department does, what each individual position does and how she can help them find the right person for the work they need done.

“In my position I get to meet so many different people and I live and thrive off people,” she said. “Not all people in the company get a chance to do that, but I can do that on a day-to-day basis and that’s awesome.”

Working together to acquire top talent

Katie has many goals in her role – from taking a strategic lead on projects to finding top talent in innovative and meaningful ways. Her team is her main inspiration.

“I have a really wonderful team who definitely inspire me and drive me to reach my goals,” Katie said. “We collaborate and talk about the things we want to work on.”

Leading our intern adventures

As part of her role, Katie runs the BCBSND internship program. 2022 marks her third year of running the program. It’s also the biggest class to date with 20 interns total.

Last year, interns were assigned a final presentation at the end of their internship. The presentations were one of Katie’s favorite memories with the program. Interns were tasked to work with another division outside of the one they were accepted to work in. Many innovative ideas were presented as a result. 

“One intern did a presentation on AI and how it can help HR automate certain tasks, another on how COVID affected the number of individuals who were getting pregnant in North Dakota,” said Katie. “They all came up with great topics. With an even bigger group this year, I’m curious to see what this year’s interns will come up with.”

Apply today and meet our Talent Acquisition team 

We greatly appreciate Katie’s work at Blue. Her love for people and drive to understand the needs of others is unparalleled. If you’re looking for an opportunity at Blue, we recommend visiting our Careers page. If you apply, you may get the pleasure of working with Katie.

Katie Ernst, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner
Katie Ernst, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner