Pin It


#DontBeaSkipper this Thanksgiving

By ChloĆ© Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

While I am all for getting the most of the holiday season, I always shake my head when I see neighbors break out their Frosty the Snowman and other holiday decorations too early in November. Not to mention those who become consumed with Black Friday deals, which is the antithesis of being thankful for what we have.

My friend Alicia's son claimed that those folks are “skippers” and started the hashtag #DontBeaSkipper.  I agree with him that Thanksgiving is too important to skip.  

It’s a time to be thankful for all the great things in our life and for the people who influenced our career and personal life; something we often forget to do the other 364 days of the year.

Let's not forget the joy of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the time spent with family and friends and the bounty that is ours throughout the year.   

Food and cooking are a big part of any holiday celebrations, so putting food safety practices in focus will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Basic principles like cleaning and sanitizing, and cooking to proper temperatures should also not be skipped!

Here are some simple tips to expand your food safety knowledge base suggested by the National Restaurant Association* and the Sodexo Quality Assurance & Food Safety team to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

1.  Thaw your turkey in the fridge. While you can thaw a frozen turkey under running water or in the microwave, the best way is in the refrigerator.  The general rule of thumb is to allow one day of thawing in the refrigerator for every 4 lbs. of turkey.

2.  Store raw turkey away from ready-to-eat food. Make sure your raw turkey is covered and stored in a leak-proof container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. You want to keep it away from foods that are ready to eat, such as desserts and salads, to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. 

3.  Clean and sanitize your sink and counters. After rinsing your raw turkey thoroughly, properly clean and sanitize the sink and surrounding area before starting to prepare any other food. 

4.  Cook your turkey to safe internal temperature. Use a properly calibrated meat thermometer to check that your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Insert the thermometer to the dimple on the stem in the thickest part of the breast and thigh for accurate readings. 

5.  Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Prep salads, cranberries and other colds items first and store them in the fridge until ready to serve. Then prep your hot dishes closer to serving time so they stay hot. Keep all food items outside the “temperature danger zone” (41 to 135 degrees) as much as possible. 

6.  Safely reheat leftovers. Whether from a meal prepared at home or picked up from a restaurant, leftovers are part of the holiday tradition. Store each dish separately in clean, seal-able, leak-proof containers and reheat to 165 degrees when you’re ready to enjoy round two of your Thanksgiving meal. 

Join me this week and encourage others to #DontBeaSkipper of this Thanksgiving holiday.

Have a food safety tip to add? Leave it in the comments!


Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget

Pin It


Germ Zapping Xenex Robots are Good for Your Facility and Your Resume

This article first appeared in the November issue of C@reer Connections, Sodexo's monthly e-newsletter. Sign up today!

By Brad Tomaski, Senior Recruiter - Health Care Environmental Services, Nationwide

Xenex. How do you pronounce that? It’s pronounced “zen-x.”

That’s what I was asking the first time I heard the word on a tour of a hospital. It turns out, Xenex is a germ zapping robot. When I saw Xenex in person at the AHE conference, I thought maybe this thing will transform itself into a magical cleaning robot from a Sci-Fi movie. As I learned more about it, I became more and more intrigued about this technology and the impact it has on the Environmental Services world that I recruit for at Sodexo. 

For instance, at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, NV, Sodexo has the #1 and #2 rated Xenex robots for the entire country based on their use. Brad Rich, the General Manager of Environmental Services at the hospital, says they are using this cutting edge technology every chance that they get so they can give patients peace of mind that their hospital room has been thoroughly cleaned. It ensures corners are not being cut and we have done everything possible to safeguard that room’s cleanliness.

And at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, KS, Sodexo General Manager Randy Mincke has people dedicated to running their machine on rotating shifts. They’re also leaving behind little cards saying that the room was cleaned by a Xenex machine.

How does this relate to your Housekeeping or Environmental Services resume?  Well, the answer is simple. If you have experience working with Xenex, be sure to include it on your resume! Referencing your experience in this area can help you stand out in the crowd of applicants by showing you know how to use this cutting edge technology.

So, this is the power of Xenex. Yes, it has an interesting spelling and pronunciation. No, it’s not a transforming robot. But it is a transformative technology that can have a big impact at a hospital and on your resume.

Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget

Pin It


Giving Thanks: Five People Who Influence Your Career

By Trish Freshwater, Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition

A number of years ago, I read the book “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom. If you have not read the book, it’s about a man named Eddie and the five people he meets in heaven who explain how interactions with others throughout his life shaped and influenced his experiences and outcomes over time.

The book provides much fodder for reflections on life and the impact we have on others. One of the biggest lessons from the book, for me, is that we are all connected in some way by our actions – almost like a game of dominoes, a cause-and-effect relationship that is sometimes obvious and other times not revealed immediately or at all.

Giving consideration to this theory  and considering it against the backdrop of our careers, it is an interesting exercise to consider who has influenced our career choices and outcomes. Looking back, it’s easy to see how our talents, interests and successes have been influenced by so many others along the way. In the spirit of giving thanks, perhaps you might recognize some of these people in your own life.

  1. K-12 Teachers – Perhaps an obvious consideration, but I bet it won’t take long to think of just a few who stand out as influential for you. As you consider your memories of those teachers, you may just find the early beginnings of your talents being developed for your future career.
    My sixth grade teacher was fundamental in developing my early writing skills. I remember Mr. Brophy’s red pen edits on my papers, and his instructions on how to improve my writing. This theme carries on as English teachers from junior and senior high rise to the top of my memories, continuing to shape my writing skills and other interests. Who stood out for you? What influence did they have on who you have become?
  2. Your first boss – With that first job you held in high school, you were probably happy just to be making gas money so you could hang out with friends and not rely on your parents to get you places. But, somewhere along the way, that first boss managed to teach you a few things about responsibility and expectations – even when hanging out with those friends seemed more important.
    I remember that stark lesson when I tried to call out because I was invited to the beach, which seemed far more exciting than working on a sunny Saturday in July. But commitments came first. Honoring your word built character. And the boss said no in a way that made you understand this value very quickly.
  3. A college professor or advisor – Reflecting on the college years can bring a number of influential memories that helped you grow into the person and professional you are today. But if you think back to your professors and/or advisors who participated in on-campus professional organizations, one or two are likely to stand out – the professor who took the time to meet with you after class or who served as a mentor long after you left his or her class; or the advisor who took interest in your abilities and helped you find ways to grow your professional experience in ways you had not considered.

    These important people worked closely with you at the birth of your career, providing guidance and direction. Or, like me, one of those professors exhibited such passion for his or her work that it made you dream of what it would be like to love your work so much that it simply became an extension of your existence. Who was there as you found your wings?
  4. The worst boss you ever had – We’ve all had at least one. And, maybe it wasn’t the boss – but the job itself that was awful. Either way, we found ourselves in a less than desirable situation. The thing about these bad jobs is that they teach us about what really matters in our professional world. We learn about the types of people who compliment and spur our professional growth; we discover the types of jobs or work environments that foster our productivity, or stifle it; and, despite ourselves, we grow and learn and take a giant step forward towards building our career success. The bad bosses and jobs become significant steps along our career paths.
  5. The best boss you ever had – Great bosses can come along once in your career or several times. Early on, a great boss may be the one who saw your potential and created opportunities to help you grow. Later on, it might have been a boss who served as a mentor, helping you reach for goals and career success. Or, maybe it was a boss who just got you and understood your drive and let you run with it. These “great bosses” push us to reach new heights and help us find great personal satisfaction in our work.  They hold a special place in our career memories.

Of course, this list is far from complete. So many other people have likely played a huge role in supporting your career dreams over the years – parents, close friends and colleagues, and other professional contacts (maybe even a Sodexo recruiter!).

No matter who comes to mind for you, it can be humbling to reflect on how others have played a starring role in the development of your talents, skills and career success. Why not surprise one of them this November with a note of thanks – a simple note to acknowledge their role in your life. This simple act may have a greater impact on them than you might realize.

Tell us about the people who influence your career by leaving us a comment on our blog!

Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget

Pin It


My Story, My Military Family #NMAM

By Guest Blogger Yvonne Schuster, Executive Recruiter - IS&T and Solutions Center

My father served 26 years in the Army before he retired.  My siblings and I were “military brats”, children of active-duty military personnel.   For those of us who have grown up in this environment we find the term “military brat” endearing, and identify with the unique subculture it brings.

My siblings went into the military to continue serving our great nation and giving back.  While I never went into the military, I continue my support of the military from the sidelines as an Army wife who now has her own “military brats”.

Life as a dependent (that’s what we non-service members are called) can be hard, but also very rewarding.   The sacrifices that military families make are many. When duty calls and the service member deploys, life goes on.   Here’s what my experiences have lead me to understand:

  • It’s still hard for me to answer the question, “Where are you from?”
  • Home is where the Army (military) sends you.
  • Never get too comfortable where you are because  once you’ve finally unpacked your boxes, hung the curtains, made friends and gotten used to your new home, adjusted to new location or languages and made plans for the next year, orders arrive and you are told you have to move in 3 months.   Typically, every 3 years we look forward to new adventures and making new friends.   My children are able to experience and appreciate diversity as they encounter many cultures.  The beauty in this is that we have made friends across the globe. 
  • Deployments take the service member away for short and long term separations.  Spouses take on both parenting roles, children learn to deal with the absence of a parent and brothers/sisters/parents must wait and hope for their loved one to return.
  • It takes tremendous strength and courage to say “see you when this deployment is done” as you drop your spouse off with their unit.  Then turn to your kids and assure them that everything is going to be fine, all while holding your tears in so they won’t see you cry.
  • Life is not always fair.  
  • The pain of the losses when friends/family don’t return.
  • The military community bonds together to support one another.   

I wouldn’t have the life and experiences I have today had it not been for the military.   Being
a part of the military is to be part of a special company culture, and I’m always on a mission
to give back to today’s service men and women.

In my role as an Executive Recruiter for Sodexo, I love helping transitioning military members understand how their unique talents and skills, dedication to teamwork and commitment to excellence can fit into a thriving career at Sodexo.

As a part of this process, I’m proud to mention how supportive Sodexo is to military families. We offer job transfer and flexible work options for spouses and foster the education and well-being of dependents through programs like the Marine Corps Community Services Youth Sports Association, Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run and Healthy School Award program, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

During National Military Appreciation Month, I am proud to share my experiencing growing up in a military family and now working for a leading organization that supports “military brats”.   

What’s your story?

Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget

Pin It


Honoring our Veterans!

By ChloĆ© Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

Today we salute the millions of selfless individuals who have courageously served our country. The impact they make extends beyond military service into the workplace, where their unique talents help us better serve patients, students, working professionals and even other military personnel.

On our blog header this month, you will notice red poppies which commemorate military personnel who have died in war.   I have long known what the poppy stands for, but recently learned the correct way to wear them.

Poppy etiquette says that women should wear their poppy on their right side and men on the left. 

The red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives; the black represents the mourning of those who didn't return home; and the green leaf represents new growth  and future prosperity after the war.  

Also many people say that the leaf should point to 11 o'clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War I finally ended

As I salute the twelve veterans in my family, I feel proud to work for a company whose commitment to veterans has long been woven into the fabric of the corporate culture. 

This Veterans Day, read our newest heroes’ stories then explore a Sodexo career where a passion for serving others can serve you!

Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget

Pin It


Why One Talented Chef Left Fine Dining for Hospital Dining

By Kristen Jacobs, Employment Branding Sourcing Manager

What I love most about stories of Sodexo chefs is the common themes of creativity, passion and the spirit of giving. Time and time again, when I have the opportunity to speak with our chefs across the country, I am amazed at the enthusiasm that these talented culinarians have for their craft.

I recently spoke with John Selick, the Executive Chef II at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beechwood, Ohio. He’s been with Sodexo since 2004 and has a real passion for shaking things up and putting his own personal touch into his work.  “I like to interject my ideas to make things better. By introducing local produce and seasonal items, I’m able to bring something new to the job every day.” 

With a fine dining background, John’s start in hospital dining came with a little uncertainty. “When I first walked in, I thought it was so institutional. What did I do to my career?”

Looking at the bright side, with good pay and more time with his family, he took the leap and found that he loved it. “I have a much better lifestyle now. We’re busy in the morning, but I have most of my evenings, weekends and holidays with my family. I keep telling my talented chef friends that our employees and clients would LOVE them! They’d do great here – everyone loves good food!”

Executive Chef John Selick with his cooking
competition team at Quantico.
John has been with UH Ahuja Medical Center since the day it opened five years ago and has a real connection with the caregivers and doctors. “This place is really special to us. I’ve gotten to know everyone through daily lunches and special catered events. It feels great to be recognized for having the best food in the system.”

John’s passion for food follows him out into the community, along with his spirit of giving. He serves as a guest chef at local charity fundraisers for Autism Speaks and March of Dimes, often making it a family affair with his daughter as his helper. In addition to feeding military personnel with his wife and three kids each Thanksgiving, John recently led a team of military members at Quantico in a cooking competition. “It was fun teaching them some new things!” shared John. “The people on our team learned a lot and it was a different style of cooking.”

Speaking to chefs considering a career at Sodexo, John offers some advice on what it takes to be successful. “You have to love what you do. Dining services in corporate, education or hospital settings may be different than what you’re used to, but you can bring your passion and make a better experience for people with fresh and healthy food.”

If you’re ready to take the leap, search Sodexo Culinary career opportunities in your area.

Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget

Pin It


Sodexo Sales Careers Bring Personal and Professional Satisfaction

By Guest Blogger Neil Kilgallon, Executive Recruiter, Sales

This post is part of our Recruiter Series featuring specific environments we hire for and what opportunities they have in store for you!

Neil Kilgallon
Executive Recruiter, Sales - Sodexo
Sodexo is growing. And we're growing fast - not just in our food and nutrition services, but also in our facilities management and clinical technology areas, as well as nearly every aspect of our business.

Fueling this growth are Sodexo's Sales Executives. As the executive recruiter for Sales at Sodexo, I have the opportunity to share our story with many candidates interested in growing our business. Additionally, this past summer we held a focus group with representatives from our Sales team to learn more about why they chose to join Sodexo and what makes them stay. Here is just one of those stories.

A Recognized Brand, Collaborative Culture

"Sodexo has a great brand in all of our industries," said Jeff Hamlin, Director of Business Development for Sodexo. "Over time, we've done a good job of taking care of our clients, so word of mouth has helped us build our business. Because of this, prospective clients often know before I walk in the door that Sodexo is a valuable service company and a prospective partnership could be a win-win."

Having a solid reputation certainly helps Sodexo's Sales teams, but, more importantly, it's the career opportunities and the related benefits that keep our Sales Executives motivated.

"At Sodexo, our Sales teams enjoy a culture that is collaborative and inclusive where we embrace each other's diverse ideas and backgrounds," explained Hamlin. "We work together, we share resources, and we celebrate each other's successes. This helps with the day-to-day and when presenting to clients, because we are unified."

Global Opportunities, Work-Life Balance

For Hamlin, who is based in Richmond, Va., he's been learning about Sodexo's integrated solutions offering since joining the company in 2014.

"Early on, Sodexo was a leader in the foodservice industry," said Hamlin. "But over the years, we have expanded into a number of areas, including Nutrition, Housekeeping/Environmental Services, Facilities Management, Energy Management and even Construction Management. With all that we have to offer, you can grow your career in almost any direction. And, the way our Sales teams are structured, you can quickly work on global and national deals just by reaching out to counterparts across the country and overseas."

Still, there is a good amount of state-side travel in Hamlin's work given that his territory covers several Mid-Atlantic States.

"The good news is that many of Sodexo's Sales team members work from home," explained Hamlin. "So, when we do travel, we can control our schedules by consolidating trips. Also, because of the nature of our business model and our results-oriented culture, I have the flexibility to manage both my work and personal obligations. The work-life balance is a significant benefit for our team members."

Industry-Leading Compensation

When it comes to compensation, Sodexo offers an industry-leading commission plan for meeting and exceeding sales targets, along with a set salary structure.

"The compensation is different from my previous employers and has the potential to be very lucrative," said Hamlin.

Some of the greatest moments of success for Sodexo's Sales people have been their own personal satisfaction in creating value for our clients, creating jobs in local communities, and realizing the impact they have on so many people.

"At Sodexo, it's about quality," said Hamlin. "Sodexo has a lot of great tools, great clients and really great value to offer clients. But it's not a 'cookie cutter' approach; when we have the opportunity to demonstrate our value, focusing on all of the different areas of expertise Sodexo offers, we can offer a broader range of services to meet our client needs."

Interested in a Sales career with Sodexo? Visit for a list of current openings as well as networking opportunities with me.

Blogger Tips - Get This Gadget