2012 Optimas Award Winners: Sodexo Inc

Article excerpt

Sodexo Inc.

2012 WINNER: Vision

Industry: Food and facilities management

Based: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Annual revenue: $8 billion (North America)

No. of employees: 125,000 (North America)

What it does: Provide food and facilities management services to 10 million consumers daily.

A few years ago, the recruiting team at Sodexo Inc. noticed a growing trend of job seekers using mobile devices to access job postings and career sites. But when they landed at websites that weren't optimized for mobile use--including Sodexo's--the sites wouldn't work.

"We knew we needed to do something or we were going to lose traffic," says Arie Ball, vice president of sourcing and talent acquisition. For a company that recruits 4,500 executive and management positions every year, that was a risk it didn't want to take.

Sodexo also believes mobile will help the company recruit minorities, which is critical to the company's rigorous diversity goals. "Minority groups--once thought to have the least computer access--comprise the largest group of mobile users," Ball says.

According to the Pew Research Center, 51 percent of Latinos and 56 percent of African-Americans access the Internet via a mobile device. And 38 percent of black and Latino smartphone users go online mostly using their cellphone. To increase traffic among more diverse populations, in 2010 Sodexo optimized its career websites for mobile traffic and built three separate mobile-enabled career portals for current and past employees and job seekers who had never worked for the company. …