With 32,000 sites in 80 countries, 420,000 employees, and over 50 years of experience, Sodexo has earned its notable brand recognition as one of the world’s most diverse companies. To help attract top talent, Sodexo’s U.S. Talent Acquisition Group decided to launch a national story-based branding campaign to provide an inside look at the company’s culture.

The challenge? Between their broad employee base and such varied roles within Sodexo, there were so many different types of employee experiences to highlight and stories to be told. That’s where we came in.

What we did

Sodexo conceived a “Start your Story” campaign to recognize the personal and professional experiences of their unique employee base. To capture various professions Sodexo initially chose three sites in three different business areas (higher education, healthcare and corporate). These stories were the fuel and inspiration for engaging interactive and video content to be used on Sodexo’s career site, blog, and social channels.

At each of these sites Stories Inc. interviewed just a few of the many outstanding Sodexo professionals in areas ranging from facilities management to environmental services to culinary arts. As the stories poured out, both the Sodexo employment branding team and Stories Inc realized two things: one, that there was a heck of a lot of material still left to be unearthed; and two, that this was going to work.

A year of content

The stories were so abundant and versatile that by project’s end it amounted to over a year of content for the employment branding team. The Stories team visited six Sodexo sites, interviewed 45 professionals, built a professional photo library, and unearthed dozens upon dozens of stories. In these conversations, the Stories Inc. team discovered what it is truly like to work at Sodexo and the life-altering impact each professional makes every day for the populations they serve. As we culled through the scores of stories to determine the focus of the 10 videos, three themes emerged.

The first was what it broadly means to work at Sodexo, with an emphasis on improving lives and career advancement. These videos educated potential candidates on the overall culture that exists throughout Sodexo regardless of profession or location. The second theme featured specific careers, informing candidates on what exactly their role would entail and the opportunities within them. And finally, Stories Inc. featured what makes Sodexo a top diversity employer globally. From women in leadership to devotion to veterans, Sodexo’s diversity helps cultivate a rich culture driven to improve the lives of both the professionals and customers.

Timely content all year long

Together with Sodexo’s employment branding team Stories Inc went to work taking these stories and creating engaging content. Sodexo has staggered the launch of the 10 videos throughout the year accompanied by a post on the company’s Careers Blog. On Veterans Day Sodexo released an engaging blog post and video celebrating their active and retired military employees. Sodexo has also used the content to promote events such as the Women in Facilities Management Roundtable that the company sponsors each year, as well as to fuel the content of their Instagram account.

By providing consistent, timely content Sodexo is able to actively cultivate its candidate community, educating passive and active candidates alike on topics surrounding a career at Sodexo.

Static content with a long shelf life

In addition to the timely release of videos and blog posts, Stories Inc and Sodexo’s employment branding team also used interviews and photos to create static content to be used throughout the first year and beyond. The careers page was repopulated with engaging content aimed to educate candidates on what it truly means to be a Sodexo team member. Candidates will find that each functional area has its own video and own story.

And wasting no part of the buffalo, interview content not used in videos was still optimized, with Q&As and photo graphics featuring employee quotes from the interview transcripts. In order to engage both passive and active candidates the Stories team devised an online, interactive quiz. Respondents were asked to reply to a series of scenarios and upon completion were identified as a certain “persona” based on their answers. Each of these personas are real Sodexo professionals accompanied by 45-second clips telling their stories. This interactive feature fosters the relationship between Sodexo and the candidate that could become a future company team member.

Stories with impact

In the seven months since the launch of the story-based content, Sodexo has seen tangible results. On their YouTube channel, the videos have received over 8,500 views and clocked 11,800 minutes watched. The 13 Sodexo blog posts featuring the videos have themselves received over 26,200 views. In the four months since the launch of the interactive Difference Maker Quiz, it has been taken over 2,500 times.

While the interviews may be over and the stories in the books, we can’t wait to see Sodexo’s employment brand continue to grow this year and beyond!