Sodexo Wins Workforce Management 2009 Optimas Award

November 17, 2009

Recognized for innovative multi-generational recruiting strategy

Sodexo Wins Workforce Management 2009 Optimas Award

GAITHERSBURG, Md., November 17, 2009 – Sodexo received a 2009 Optimas Award from Workforce Management magazine for its innovative strategy to attract and retain the four generations of workers that are represented in today’s workforce. 

The Optimas Awards are presented to companies across the globe to recognize workforce management initiatives that directly improve business results. The Optimas Award winners will be featured in the December issue of Workforce Management magazine and online at

Sodexo’s award was in the Vision category, which recognizes companies for the ability to develop and execute a strategy to anticipate internal and/or external trends that will affect the organization, and to respond proactively. The company was honored for its comprehensive Multi-Generational Talent Strategy, which explored innovative ways to employ talent, build options for flexibility that would appeal to different generations, and create a work environment where all employees can thrive.

Sodexo, with 2008 revenues of $7.7 billion, is a leading provider of on-site service solutions specializing in corporate, health care, education, and government markets in the US, Canada and Mexico. Sodexo employs 120,000 people in the company’s six business lines, serving more than 6,600 clients and ten million customers daily.

“Our analysis of the impact of demographic trends on the talent pool critical to our business convinced us that launching a multi-generational strategy was necessary to position Sodexo to compete for top talent,” said Arie Ball, vice president of Talent Acquisition. “With four generations now represented in the workforce, our approaches to recruiting, attracting, developing and retaining talent had to be tailored to the differing needs, preferences and aspirations of each generation. Adding to the complexity of this initiative was our company’s strong commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

As part of the initiative, Sodexo strengthened its alternative work arrangements that emphasized flexibility and challenged its own assumptions on topics such as retirement, benefits, and telecommuting to ensure its offerings would meet the needs of all employees. The company revamped its training and development offerings to ensure relevancy to different groups, and incorporated options for live training, e-learning and webinars into its onboarding programs.

The company also trained its staff on developing and managing a diverse and multi-generational workforce; launched updated alumni, internship, employee referral and college recruitment initiatives; and initiated multiple strategies to communicate, engage and attract talent across diverse populations and multiple generations, including the use of social media.

Ball said these focused employment branding and social media strategies have increased traffic to the Careers page of the corporate website, positioned Sodexo as a progressive company, and enabled the company to reduce its annual recruitment advertising expenses by $300,000 a year, while improving cycle time, quality of hire and customer satisfaction.

Sodexo, Inc.
Sodexo, Inc. ( is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at

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