Sodexo was looking for a simpler system to handle applicants, while giving them a better candidate experience. TribePad delivered
Sodexo is the 21st largest employer in the world, according to its website, and is one of the leaders in food and facilities management services. In the UK and Ireland alone the firm employs 35,000 staff to deliver on-site service solutions for more than 2,300 clients across all market sectors. The solutions provided range from food services to construction management, reception to asset maintenance for clients in offices, schools, prisons, hospitals, military bases and hospitality events.
Today, employers — even the 21st largest in the world — need brand attraction to appeal to jobseekers. Head of talent for Sodexo UK and Ireland, Melanie Hayes, didn’t think the company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) was promoting the brand as well as it could to candidates, or properly engaging with them. She told Recruiter: “We wanted to offer a better candidate experience. If they were rejected [for one role], in the old system candidates would be lost” — even though they may be better suited to another role. She was also keen to give her team and the hiring managers — “we recruit in the thousands” — a better experience by having a much simpler system.
Finally, Hayes explained that because Sodexo is such a huge business, with six divisions in the UK and Ireland alone, the talent team was looking for a talent management system that could offer real internal engagement, “so that employees could get an idea of the roles in the different parts across the business”.
So in June last year, Hayes initially “did some work with the old system to see first whether we could ‘tweak’ it”. Finding this was not an option, Hayes then looked at a significant number of suppliers. “We were clear as a business as to what we wanted,” she said. “However, there was only one supplier that offered a bespoke product that could be adjusted to meet our needs. The others all tried to sell us off-the-shelf solutions.” The supplier was TribePad.
Hayes told Recruiter she was particularly impressed with how Lisa Scales, co-founder of TribePad, and her team came in and “actually listened to what we wanted”. As well as the desired candidate engagement piece, Sodexo still needed an ATS. However, TribePad didn’t have an ATS as part of its offering. This was definitely going to be a challenge. Yet both partners saw this as a positive. “It was a great opportunity to work with Sodexo to build a very intelligent version of an ATS,” Scales emphasised. And Hayes was equally enthusiastic. “We worked well together,” she said. “TribePad worked to understand what we needed and built an ATS specifically for Sodexo.”
Scales and the TribePad team visited Sodexo and spent a lot time getting to know what the talent team wanted from a talent management system. “Sodexo wanted to get a handle not only on their traction of candidates but also on how to attract internal candidates,” Scales said. She explained that TribePad gives organisations the ability to have an all-encompassing recruitment plan, while at the same time making use of social media platforms for attracting and hiring the right talent. The system is able to suggest jobs to candidates, proactively, “which gives candidates a better experience”, she said. And through social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, people can discover more about the employer brand. “Candidates want to read about the brand first and foremost,” Scales said. “Passive candidates need a lot more than ‘here’s the job’.” The candidate can then start to get involved in groups and forums, and connect with other members in the community via the Resources section of the TribePad system.
Another bonus is the system’s ability to search for candidates in a particular location through ‘geotagging’, which uses GPS to pinpoint where potential jobseekers are residing. Hayes said this is useful for hiring managers finding candidates for roles in remote locations.
Although Sodexo has only been working with the TribePad system for two months, Hayes said she was “absolutely delighted” with results so far. Based on a similar period of time, the number of applicants have more than doubled to 11,000, Hayes said, with an improvement on ability to fill vacancies faster and candidate matching “better than expected”. She continued: “My team are delighted — and we’re getting good feedback from our hiring managers, too.”
“Confidence is key when dealing with a partner. Knowing what you want — people who actually listen to you. Don’t fit the client into the project. TribePad came in and spent time with us; they did lots and lots of research. They really listened to what we needed. They challenged us as well — it was a real partnership”
Melanie Hayes, Sodexo
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