Magazine article Workforce Management

Sodexo

Magazine article Workforce Management

Sodexo

Article excerpt

A MULTIGENERATION RECRUITING STRATEGY ENABLES THE FIRM'S NORTH AMERICAN UNIT TO CONNECT WITH JOB CANDIDATES OF ALL AGES AND IMPROVE HIRE QUALITY.

Sodexo has leaped into the social media world of Twitter, Facebook and the like. But that doesn't mean the supplier of food and facilities management services has abandoned traditional ways of reaching out to job candidates and employees.

Job openings for the international firm still can be found on job boards like Monster.com, and it continues to attend job fairs, says Arie Ball, vice president of sourcing and talent acquisition for Sodexo's North American operations. She says that by having a comprehensive plan of attack, the company can connect with the four generations in the workforce typically labeled as Gen Y, Gen X, baby boomers and matures.

"You really need to have it all," Ball says.

Severa! years ago, Sodexo's 120,000emplayee North American division looked aï growth goals through 2015 and saw potential talent trouble ahead - it had ambitious plans to expand in areas where it faced a weak pool of talent. To best attract, develop and retain employees, it decided to target various age groups differently. Building a diverse workforce also was a priority for the firm, which is based in Paris and employs 380,000 people worldwide.

To connect with Gen Y'ers, Sodexo launched a new internship program for college students. It also established a social media presence, fts recruiters tweet on Twitter, interact with candidates on Facebook and maintain a careers blog. In addition, Sodexo has sought out military veterans, in part through a project to translate military experience and skills into civilian competencies. And it has reached out to older workers partly through its Alumni Reconnexions program,

So far, Sodexo's mufiigenerational recruiting efforts have concentrated on exempt employees.

Thanks to the social media strategy and an updated careers Web site, traffic to the firm's careers page tripled in less than a year, to as many as 1 50,000 unique visitors a month by August 2008.

The company was able to improve hiring speed and quality even as it cut its annual recruiting advertising budget in North America by $300,000. …

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