If you like social media and recruitment, you might have heard of the successful Sodexo case study. If not, you’ll love this post. Sodexo is the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in the US, Canada and Mexico and the 21st largest employer worldwide. They have 120,000 employees in the US, they serve up 9.3 million meals to hungry customers every day.

The company’s trailblazing efforts in social recruiting are very impressive and successful; it is a real inspiration for anyone who is trying to use social media for recruitment and employer branding in innovative ways.

The Sodexo Strategy

Sodexo has developed a strong employer brand by creating a real community around the brand and its employment values. As a company that operates in a B2B (business-to-business) environment, the challenge was even bigger: how do you create a community and build a strong employer brand around that? Sodexo have chosen to focus on their greatest asset; their people. The human side is really highlighted: who are the people behind the jobs, what they do, what are their stories.

Sodexo’s career site is a big recruiting hub: the talent community is a good way to stay informed of the company’s opportunities. Sodexo’s culture starts here, with the diversity tab for example.

In addition to having a solid career site, Sodexo is also present through a career blog and on social media.

The career blog is about engaging with people, and creating both internal and external content, such as great posts giving insightful tips for job seekers or photo contests. The objective here is to keep people active and interested.

Facebook Strategy

The Sodexo Career page on Facebook, Sodexo Careers – Past, Present & Future is a key meeting point of all of Sodexo’s values. “So innovative, so creative, so personal, so different, so Sodexo”: the idea here is to gather people who worked, are working and will work for Sodexo. The social aspect is very important: an opinion is more credible if shared by a person rather than by a corporate organisation. Moreover, honesty and authenticity are key points to developing successful communications on Facebook.

All the Sodexo sub-pages are reachable from the page, including: Sodexo, Sodexo Diversity and Inclusion, Sodexo Foundation, and Sodexo Sustainability. The company is really involved in charity work, equality and environmental issues.

Video is always an easy and fun way to spread an idea! Showing a very happy and motivated staff, Sodexo has a very active YouTube channel. They communicate about what is going on for the people at Sodexo: the idea is to be creative! Some of the most viewed videos are “Making every day a better day” (35,422 views) and “Spirit of Mentoring Video” (13,408 views).


The Career Blog is directly integrated into the Facebook page. That way all the content is centered on one same platform. Sodexo has chosen to keep their career blog along with its Facebook career page: the blog is therefore still updated regularly. Again, it’s really oriented towards the people themselves, giving advice on job hunting, human ressources, and recruiting. Contests are also organised to keep people creative around the brand’s name (a photo contest for example).

Sodexo: the Community

The company seems to be like a big family: people are proud to be in the community and help is really often given through donations, charity work and life quality improvment. The idea is also to give each employee the opportunity to learn and advance in their careers. Sodexo has built its image as a “Good Place to Work” and a “Good Place to Give”. The community shares the stories of the company and its achievements.

Twitter Strategy

Sodexo also has a career Twitter account: it’s the perfect way to share information and drive traffic to the website. The account is part of the strategy as a whole, reflecting the brand’s image. Still very human with a picture of the Senior Marketing Manager – Talent Acquisition along with the logo (very much like the @LinkHumans Twitter feed actually).

They share content related to Sodexo and recruitment, but most importantly directly communicate with people, whether they are candidates or not. It’s a plsce where questions are exchanged and answers given, not just another boring feed of vacancies.

LinkedIn Strategy

Sodexo has a company page followed by 25,890 people. The page has several features, such as a careers tab, or the list of employees on LinkedIn. Most of Sodexo’s hires will be non-professionals and this is why LinkedIn is not a focal point for their social recruiting.

Having said that, the company also has a Sodexo USA Careers group on LinkedIn: with 6,179 members, and a week over week growth rate of 72% (sounds high but it’s LinkedIn’s figure!), conversations are exchanged and topics discussed. It’s a good place to start engaging with recruiters if you’re a potential candidate, and get to know the latest opportunities at Sodexo.

Results

In terms of tangible results, Sodexo has built a big community online: the Facebook Career Page has 7,355 fans, and the Twitter account 7,206 followers.

On the recruitment side, more than 45% of Sodexo candidates have used one or more of Sodexo’s social platforms in their job searches. Moreover, recruitment advertising costs have been reduced by $300,000 annually.

Finally, the traffic to Sodexo Careers web page has raised by 182% since the launch of the social presence.

What we can learn from it

  • Employees are the face of your employer brand: highlighting the human side of your company is an authentic and honnest way to build a strong community.
  • Gathering people to build a “family” spirit creates a reliable community that will share happy contributions!
  • A great social media strategy starts long before technology, if you are doing things right within the business it will reflect well on social media and any other communications channel.

The success of the social recruiting strategy in the US has prompted Sodexo to roll out the same in other markets, including France which is Sodexo’s homeland. Stay tuned on this blog as we will report what Sodexo have up their sleeve next!

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