I wrote a post recently about Sodexo’s strategy of actively sourcing internally and why this is a brave and effective strategy. Having spent some time with Sherrie Valderrama at #truAmsterdam and VP of Talent Attraction for Sodexo USA, Arie Ball, theres a few other strategies that Sodexo adopt that I believe show why they are so effective as a team.

Sodexo have a fairly unique and equally effective approach to what is known as Boomerang hiring. Boomerang hiring is the practice of sourcing former employees back in to the organisation. Theres lots of benefits to rehiring ex-employees. You know how they work and are likely to fit in to the team you are hiring for. Statistically, staff who have left, found things to have not quite been so good elsewhere are far less likely to leave again. You cut the on-boarding time down considerably because the people already know 90% of what they need. There are so many obvious benefits, it begs the question why more businesses don’t actively target their alumni in the way that Sodexo do.

The biggest challenge seems to be taking a grown up attitude to people leaving. In the business I used to work in when I had a job, anyone leaving were never spoken of again, unless it was to say how they weren’t that good anyway or were burnt out. Sometimes leaving is taken as a personal slight, and all connection lines are cut. When I left my last job, I was barred from e-mailing in within 20 minutes, and this attitude is not uncommon.

By contrast, lets look at what Sodexo do. All leavers are invited to stay in touch by joining alumni communities on the ex-employee micro-site “Reconnexions”, or the Facebook or LinkedIn Group. When you go to the site, which is headlined as a place where ex-employees can keep in touch and get access to resources, you can see who is back. Thats a page of faces (28 0n the week I looked), each with a link to the story of why they had returned.Theres also a blank space “Reserved for you!”. This screams out the message that returners are welcomed back.¬†

Building these alumni communities, running newsletters and places where ex-employees can network,and be informed of suitable jobs as they arise,encourages returners.The hiring figures from Sodexo show that between September and now, 146 staff have been rehired in to Management and Executive positions. This represents over 10% of the external hiring and 5% of the total hiring figure. Impressive numbers that show this is working, and another example of great talent sourcing from Sodexo.

There are 19 different communities run by Sodexo or places to connect. Arie Ball, V.P. for Talent Attraction at Sodexo will be at #truDublin to discuss the Sodexo talent attraction strategies, social or otherwise.

What do you do to attract Boomerang hires?


Sodexo Reconnexions

Sodexo Internal Sourcing

Arie Ball

Sherrie Valderrama talks internal sourcing