How a busy HR department helps 450+ employees and freelancers stay connected



A move to a new, multi-floor building reduced fixed desks which made it hard for people to find each other - especially if they were new or working on a freelance basis. People no longer used desk phones to stay in touch and needed up-to-date contact details on their mobiles. People found it embarrassing when they didn’t know someone that came to speak to them, or that they needed to find, and had no way to match a face with a name.

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Advertising & Design
London, United Kingdom

No two days are the same for the AMV BBDO HR team. The 450-person agency they look after, alongside three smaller subsidiaries, sees lots of movement and includes nearly a hundred freelancers working across different floors of the building.

Amidst the hustle, how do people know who’s who and connect with the right person?

For us, Names & Faces was a godsend. Without it we would have anarchy: people running around looking for each other constantly, or coming to us for help.
Kelly Knight, HR Director at AMV BBDO
Inside AMV BBDO's beautiful bankside office in London

Find who you’re looking for and get in touch fast

The AMV BBDO workforce used to be more or less permanent and all working from fixed desks, but roughly four years ago this changed when they relocated offices.

When we migrated to a new building, we no longer had fixed desks. We were so used to everyone having a phone on their desks but suddenly people were constantly moving around.

Advertising is a particularly collaborative industry and individuals frequently get told to go and find a specific individual to get context for a project or ask for help. Trying to describe people so they are easily findable is difficult, Kelly says:

Having photos of everyone, including freelancers is great. If you’ve met someone but can’t remember who they are, you can just scroll through a department until you find their name. From there you can make calls, message people, or make notes.

For many, Names & Faces works as a phonebook. Over 80% of the AMV BBDO staff use Names & Faces weekly, and 15% do so daily: “I use it as my telephone directory. So literally, I just call everyone from Names & Faces and don’t need to store numbers in my phone.”, says Kelly.

Saves time and embarrassment for the HR team and new joiners

From organizational redesign, department restructure, acquisitions, D&I, appraisals and hiring, advising line managers, and standard HR operations like onboarding, the HR department has a lot of balls in the air and deal with a lot of people every day.

“Everyone knows who you are but you don’t always know who everybody else is.” explains Joshua, “It’s embarrassing when you don’t remember someone but with Names & Faces you can quickly check.”

Names & Faces is a critical part of their onboarding process for new joiners, who use it to familiarise themselves with who they need to know. Joshua describes an added benefit: being able to surreptitiously identify someone at a distance instead of awkwardly wandering over!

“People use Names & Faces all the time, across the board. Even if they do know who that person is, if they quickly need to find their number to give them a call they know they can straight into the app and find a number fast.”

Emergencies: From an administrative nightmare to peace of mind

Names & Faces has an add-on called Check In that enables organizations to quickly account for people in times of crisis. AMV BBDO were one of the earliest adopters:

“Given that we are in London there are always security issues. To be able to get a message to all of your staff within 30 seconds on text, email and notification is invaluable.”

Kelly explains that handling emergencies was a nightmare before they had this option. If they didn’t have a company laptop on hand, with the special software they needed to contact everyone, they had no way to ensure everyone was safe: “It’s economical; it’s not expensive for what it does; it’s well utilised and we don’t have to do any admin.”


A growing number of advertising agencies like AMV BBDO use Names & Faces to help their people get to know each other and get in touch.

If you’d like to buy Names & Faces or Safety Check for your team, contact us.