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7/22/14

An Ongoing partnership between Sodexo and the American Culinary Federation (@ACFchefs)

By Guest Blogger, Colleen McKie, CIR/CDR  Sr Recruiter  Sodexo Talent Acquisition Group

The 12th post in our Recruiter Series that features the specific environments we hire for and what it takes to succeed.
As a Recruiter with Sodexo for 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to hire many talented Food Service Professionals and have been bitten by the “foodie” bug.  While I am not a culinarian, I LOVE watching all the Chef shows on TV.  I am proud that Sodexo chefs are some of the top culinarians in the country, achieving success outside of work too!  Not only do many enjoy competing in national and international culinary competitions, they also enjoy mentoring through programs like Sodexo Future Chefs.

As Sodexo prepares for the American Culinary Federation National Conference (ACF) in Kansas City, MO later this week, we connected with one of our top culinarians to discuss how Sodexo and ACF has impacted his professional career – including competing AND mentoring.

Phuong “Ed” Cao competes in the Iron Chef 
competition at the Sodexo Chefs Conference in Atlanta.
Sodexo Executive Chef, Ed Cao CEC, was recently featured in the ACF newsletter talking about his culinary career.  We met up with Chef Cao to talk about his experience as an Executive Chef and how Sodexo has played a role in his culinary path throughout the last 17 years.

Phuong “Ed” Cao was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam - the 10th out of 11th kid. His family came to the US as refugees.  To help the family, he started working at the age of 15 at local hotels and restaurants while attending high school.  He and his mother started a successful catering business when he was just 18.

Q: Who first inspired you?

A: My mother was the first person who inspired me to cook. I remember wondering how she took so few ingredients and created delicious dishes, as if by magic. I learned an important lesson from her: when cooking, always start with fresh ingredients and cook from the heart.  Even now, I am happiest when I cook side by side with her!

Q: How has Sodexo assisted you in your professional development and in your desire to mentor and compete?

A: Sodexo inspired me to further my certifications and to build a greater culinary foundation. I found exceptional leadership in my management team, who supported my willingness to excel to become a Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator and Culinary Nutrition Food Certified.  Despite the social nature of what we do, chefs can become isolated by the daily demands of the operation.  Certification and ACF membership created networking opportunities that opened doors to new career pathways and showed me how to believe in myself during fierce competitions.  The most fulfilling aspect is that I found a love of teaching and mentoring as result of the certification process!

Q: What can you share for someone seeking a culinary career path with Sodexo?

A: Because Sodexo gives their employees opportunities to learn and grow your career, it’s a place you can call home for your entire career. The partnership with the ACF was built to help you prepare for your certification and advance your culinary skills and expertise. The ACF actively participates and provides guidance to Sodexo during Expertise in Action, a Spirit of Mentoring program, where chefs mentor other employees who are interested in obtaining their certifications.     
Additionally, the Sodexo Culinary Board partners with Talent Acquisition for a three-part webinar series aimed at career advancement. Employees who participate in the webinar series earn continuing education credits that are recognized by the ACF towards recertification.
Want to learn more?  Sodexo will be at this years’ National ACF Conference in Kansas City, MO.  Stop by our Trade Show booth #321 starting this Sunday to talk with top Sodexo Chefs and our recruitment team, Suzanne Thompson, Trisha Gary and myself.  Please join our Talent Community and tell us a little about yourself today!

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7/16/14

Why Building Strong Connections is Critical – Even if You’re Not Looking for a Job

By Guest Blogger Kris Strohmyer, Senior Recruiter

Did you know Sodexo has an alumni community? Also known as Reconnexions, this online network is a meeting place and resource for former salaried Sodexo employees. By joining, previous employees have the opportunity to reconnect with friends and coworkers, gain access to member-only events, keep current with career and special project opportunities and much more.  

If you’re unfamiliar with Reconnexions or the process of hiring former employees in general, you may be wondering why we developed this program. While it may not be obvious to some, recruiting former employees back to Sodexo has a lot of value for both the company and the candidate.

First and foremost, the ramping up process is much quicker because the candidates have already been with Sodexo, know the systems and understand the culture and environment. This is very attractive to hiring managers who want to keep their businesses running smoothly, but it is also a much easier and seamless transition for the employee who is just getting back into the swing of things. Additionally, many of these individuals have already been through our management training programs and are familiar with everything we have and everything we stand for, so it’s less of a risk for them than leaving a current position for a brand new company.

This is also where the “grass is always greener” perspective comes into play. When people leave for new roles in new companies and it doesn't work out, they can truly appreciate what Sodexo has to offer. They now know that they've tried out the other side of things and can see the value in what we bring to the table.

However, Reconnexions isn't just for former employees who aren't satisfied at another company. We also use the alumni program to rehire former salaried employees into a variety of roles, including full-time, part-time and temporary. For example, maybe you've retired but want to reenter the workforce on a part-time basis or you’re looking to jump fully back into your career. Either way, we’ll welcome you back into a position that’s suited for your needs.  

An important lesson for employees and job seekers

Whether you’re an active or passive candidate, there is a statistically good chance that you’re considering new opportunities as you read this. No matter what job you are in currently, the Reconnexions program is a good reminder to build meaningful relationships and always put your best foot forward because it doesn't go unnoticed.

When you’re an employee, it’s important to work hard and stand out because it can pay off. The job market today is all about networking and creating great connections without burning bridges. If someone knows your work and knows you do a great job, it’s an easy decision.  

Meet “Boomerang” Rachael Bush

When employees leave a job or a company, it’s not necessarily because there was something wrong. Whether for personal or family matters or simply a new career opportunity, it’s not uncommon to exit on good terms knowing there may be an option to return at some point down the road, like Rachael Bush, retail manager for Sodexo at Marquette University.

In Rachael’s case, it’s not that she was unsatisfied with her job or the company. While she left for her own personal reasons, once she had more experience and tools in her tool belt, she was ready to come back, show off what she had learned and move forward with her career at Sodexo.

Read Rachael’s story on our blog early this year here to find out what drew her back in after a few years away!

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Are you a former Sodexo employee interested in returning to the company? Join Reconnexions today!


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7/15/14

As a Sodexo General Manager, you can build strong collaborative relationship with our clients

By Guest Blogger, Gina Smethurst, Recruitment Manager for Facilities Management

The 11th post in our Recruiter Series that features the specific environments we hire for and what it takes to succeed

Last month Sodexo paid tribute to World FM Day, where we celebrated the successes and contributions Facilities Management Professionals bring to the built environment around the World. If you missed the key takeways, you can view them here.

Venus McCoy
General Manager for Sodexo
Shell Oil - Houston, TX
I was excited to learn how Facilities Solutions continues to evolve with the environment around us, as well as the professionals in the space. According to the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the overall percentage of women in facilities management is approximately 24 percent, but this number is steadily on the rise!

This year in our World FM Day digital magazine, we highlighted female FM professionals at Sodexo who lead the way in their field. As Recruitment Manager for FM, I have the pleasure of watching our managers, like Venus McCoy, succeed at Sodexo, so I’d like to share her perspective on this growing industry.

GS:  What do you get out of your current role that you couldn't get from any other work?

VM:  I get satisfaction from a job well done. Having two great mentors helped me gain knowledge from different resources and afforded me the ability to think differently and bring my whole self to work. Many dimensions of diversity are alive and well in this organization such as gender and minority, to name a few. This personally allows me to contribute to my full potential. Sodexo provides many development and training resources that facilities, engineering and energy management professionals can tap into, including professional certifications and lean six sigma concepts.

GS: How have you grown to succeed at Sodexo?

VM: Being a General Manager at Shell Oil has challenged a different side of me. I have a very supportive leadership team that encourages me and thus brings out my creative side and strengthens my areas of development. This has allowed me to build a very strong collaborative relationship with the client and can ultimately represent Sodexo proudly.  

GS: How do you go “above & beyond” for a client?

VM: One of my responsibilities is conducting tours of our site for “VIPs” from overseas.  One area that we did not manage was the labs, which was not up to par by Sodexo standards. I knew the tours would lead to the labs and approached the client stating that my team could get them deep cleaned and could refinish the floors to enhance their beauty. My client agreed and the tour was a success. In turn, I received lots of compliments, as they expected something simple, but in reality, they were wowed because we took the time to go above and beyond a simple cleaning.

GS: What advice would you give to someone who’s considering a career in FM?

VM:  In my current role, there is so much room for creativity, and I truly enjoy it, considering my background in hospitality and degree in arts. This kind of work gives me enthusiasm and continually re-inspires me. Every career field has its challenges, but so does everything in life! If you take the chance and go for it, you’ll quickly see that being a General Manager for Sodexo a very satisfying career.

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Venus is currently a General Manager for Shell Oil managing two sites that include programs such as landscaping, Environmental Services, audio visual and mailroom services. She initially started her career with Sodexo as an Operations Manager and quickly moved into a General Manager position forming a collaborative relationship with her client.  Connect with Venus on LinkedIn!



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7/10/14

Behind-the-Scenes: An Inside Look at Sodexo Operations

By Autumn McReynolds, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

Last week, I shared insight with you regarding the training and process our Talent Acquisition team goes through in order to recruit the best qualified candidates for our management opportunities.

From initial site visits and ongoing development to in-person meetings and recurring calls with unit leaders, the members of our team are committed to understanding the business they recruit for, including unique challenges and opportunities that may be present for their job environments and geographic locations.

Having participated in a recent training that involved interactive discussions, a tour of Sodexo USA’s headquarters and a site visit with the team, I wanted to pass along some of the highlights to give you a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes at both HQ and one of our large Senior Living accounts.

HQ Tour
  • Ever wondered how Sodexo creates its menus? During our first stop of the day, Chef Rajiv Jaggi showed us around the Test Kitchen at HQ and explained the process for developing recipes that can be followed by Sodexo Chefs at all units, as well as working with our RDs to determine accurate nutrition information for our menu items.
Sodexo Chef Jobs

  • Next, Bill Yaglou, SVP of the Right Start program, shared how his team works to ensure the success of new site openings through virtual and on-site support, which not only improves the Quality of Life of our managers and their teams, but also increases client satisfaction.
  • Throughout the remainder of the morning, we spoke with leaders in talent development, diversity initiatives and brand communications about the many ongoing efforts and resources developed to support the growth of our employees, create an inclusive work environment and showcase Sodexo as the leader in Quality of Life services.

Site Visit
  • Upon arriving at client site Asbury Methodist Village, Sodexo Dining GM Evaristo Gustines took us on a tour of the many kitchens and dining areas to show us what it takes to prepare and serve 1,900 meals per day to the residents on top of planning special events like a monthly dinner where selected residents get to dine in the kitchen while watching and talking with the chefs.
  • As we continued through the community, Harold Jones, Sodexo Environmental Services GM, talked to us about cleaning and caring for the facility and the residents’ belongings. The size and quantity of equipment in the laundry area was a good indication of what a huge job our Environmental Services teams really have. 
Sodexo Environmental Services / Housekeeping Manager Jobs

  • Finally, Mike Jones, Sodexo Construction/Project Manager, explained the different aspects managed from the Facilities side, including residential renovations, grounds, upkeep and more. As the 12th largest Continuing Care Retirement Community in the country with several independent living options, assisted living suites and skilled nursing residences, the Facilities Management team plays a critical role in the daily operation of the village.

Overall, this was a great experience, and I highly recommend taking the time to connect with your colleagues who work in other job disciplines and environments to learn about what goes on behind the scenes, just as our recruiters do.

If you’re not a Sodexo employee yet, I encourage you to spend some time on our Careers site to learn more about the opportunity areas and job environments mentioned above, as well as many others available across the country. If you’re ready to join the team, you can get started by applying online!



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7/8/14

Discover Environmental Services and Housekeeping Management Careers with Sodexo’s NEW Career Site

By Kristen Jacobs, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

I recently shared the launch of our new Facilities Management career site, which was designed to help job seekers explore opportunities specifically in the areas of FM, Energy Management and Clinical Technology Management. I am excited to follow up with the launch of Sodexo’s latest job-specific career website SodexoHousekeepingJobs.com.

The new site focuses on careers in Environmental Services (ES), including management positions in Housekeeping and Custodial. Job seekers can also explore a variety of roles in eXPress Services, focusing on providing our clients a centralized channel of support to improve patient satisfaction in healthcare settings. In addition to getting the scoop on ES jobs at Sodexo, you’ll find news and events, like the Women in Environmental Services Forum recently hosted by women in senior leadership ES roles here at Sodexo.


Before you explore the new site for yourself, let me share a few of my favorite features:

1.   On the Go
With a responsive design that makes the site user-friendly on any device, candidates have access to valuable tools for exploring career opportunities, preparing for interviews and networking with recruiters from anywhere they choose.
2.   Career Growth
Learn about positions available in the ES track with the Career Growth tool. From entry-level management to senior leadership roles, job seekers can find the right fit for them at any stage in their career, while also exploring the vast advancement opportunities available with a career in Environmental Services.
3.   Recruiter Connection
This exciting new feature allows candidates to identify and connect with a recruiter in their discipline or geography. Start a conversation to find out about opportunities in your area or learn more about the skills needed for careers in ES.
4.   Team Tweets
Speaking of conversation, ours is happening right on the Team Tweets page. Follow our recruiters for industry news, career-related content and exciting job opportunities.
5.   Sodexo Stories
This is a great way to get a day-in-the-life perspective from managers in ES or eXPress Services. Check back often for new profiles and fresh perspectives!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new site. Share them in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter. And watch for updates to our additional career sites, yet this summer! 

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7/1/14

Learning About Sodexo from the Inside Out

By Autumn McReynolds, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

When working for a global organization, one that happens to be the 18th largest employer in the world, getting to know your coworkers in other locations can be challenging. 

Even more than getting to know them, there are likely many aspects of their roles in the various job disciplines and environments going on behind the scenes that you’re not aware of. While critical to the operation of the business, certain functions simply have less visibility than others (though they’re no less important).

This brings me to last week, when I had the opportunity to join a group of my Talent Acquisition teammates at Sodexo USA headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland for three days of interactive training and learning.

Talent Acquisition Training

From the outside, it may my difficult to understand what goes into recruiting the best qualified candidates for the hundreds of management positions we have open every month. What you may not know about our recruiters, however, is that they go through extensive training during their first month and year at Sodexo and then participate in ongoing development programs to make sure they have a solid understanding of the business and areas they recruit for in order to provide strategic support for our unit-level managers.

A critical piece of this onboarding process is an initial site visit to learn more about how Sodexo operates from the inside out, while connecting directly with the unit managers to better understand their hiring challenges and opportunities. Additionally, our recruiters are often invited to participate in recurring calls with leaders in the areas they support to become more involved in the business and gain an inside perspective of the operational challenges they face.

During this recent training, our team learned about building business acumen and working hand-in-hand with the hiring managers to find the absolute best talent for every opening; then, we headed to HQ for a morning of tours and 1:1 discussions with key members of the Sodexo corporate staff; and finally, we spent time at client site Asbury Methodist Village to hear from the Sodexo managers who oversee Food, Facilities Management and Environmental Services. 




Stay tuned next week for some fun facts and highlights from this training that will give you an inside look at what goes on at Sodexo HQ and one of our large Senior Living accounts!


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6/26/14

Take your RD career to new heights with the Sodexo team

By Guest Blogger, Colleen Stauffer RD, LDN, - Multi-Service Operations Manager

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela. 

As I reflect back on the last five years of my career, this quote perfectly captures my journey as a Registered Dietitian.  Today, I share my story of how the Sodexo team empowered me to create my own career path taking my nutrition background to new heights. 

Colleen Stauffer RD, LDN
Multi-Service Operations Manager
Sodexo
My career began in 2009.  I started in a shock trauma center but within 6 months, a position for a chief clinical registered dietitian opened up in the same hospital system.  My manager at the time encouraged me to apply for this management position to further advance my career.   

As a new RD in a management role I was drawn to Sodexo because of the plethora of resources and opportunities that Sodexo offered employees to enable them to excel in their career. Once I joined the Sodexo Team In 2011 as a Clinical Nutrition Manager/Patient Service Manager, it became clear how I could choose my own adventure!  

What I enjoy most about working for Sodexo is that it offered me so much opportunity to grow and expand my skill set through continuous training and networking with great Sodexo managers.  Sodexo has challenged me on many occasions to step out of my comfort zone, which I am grateful for. 

In only 3 years I have been exposed to clinical management, patient services and operations thus allowing me to take on general management duties such as unit financials.  I firmly believe that when working for Sodexo the only person that can stand in the way of advancing your career is yourself!  

One of the best mentors I had was an Environmental Services General Manager with Sodexo.  When I saw a posting for a Unit Leadership position, I was hesitant to apply.  He said, “Do not ever disqualify yourself!”   Because I surrounded myself with great talent, had the desire to always learn more with such great resources at my fingertips, I ended up becoming the Multi-Service Operations Manager for Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), a multi-institutional health care system comprised of 13 hospitals across Illinois and Wisconsin, where I oversee clinical operations.

I am proud that the company I work for inspires me to continue to grow and allows me to inspire others with the passion I have to best serve our patients, customers, and clients.

Are you ready to take your RD career to new heights? Then apply for a Sodexo job today!


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