Sodexo’s talent acquisition team might have been dramatically different today had Anthony Scarpino pursued his original intent of becoming a veterinarian. After changing his major to nutrition and obtaining a master’s, he became a dietitian and eventually landed a position with Sodexo.

Did you know?

Sodexo is the largest employer of dietitians in the U.S.

After a decade as food-service director, his boss approached him with an opportunity in recruitment. He has since spent his last 5 years in talent acquisition, and that is the “super abridged” version of Anthony’s passage to his current title, Senior Director for Talent Acquisition.

As Anthony explained to me, he wears a lot of hats including management of veteran outreach and employment branding in the U.S. throughout the online and social media space. Since Sodexo is so renowned in the industry for their accomplishments in social media, I wanted to know what Anthony thought about why that is and what advice he would give other companies.

Nancy: Since you’ve been with the company so long, what do you think Sodexo does really well in the area of talent acquisition?

Anthony: That’s hard – I don’t like to brag. I think our social media presence is really one of the benchmarks in our industry. I think the secret sauce of why we’re so strong in that area is we have the engagement and involvement of virtually the entire talent acquisition organization. The entire leadership team is present on Twitter, Facebook and other social media spaces.

We have somewhere around the neighborhood of 30 recruiters that are active on each of the different portals. It’s likely that our entire team is active on a site like LinkedIn. We’re able to amplify a message because we have the involvement of our entire team, whereas other organizations will have one social media manager sharing the content.

We’re also very focused on improving the diversity of our workforce and attracting the best and the brightest diverse talent to our organization, so I think we do a real strong job at that as well.


Check out some of Sodexo’s rankings and awards:

  • Named a “Best Company for Hourly Workers” by Working Mother Magazine
  • Named a “Best Company for Multicultural Women” by Working Mother Magazine
  • Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Companies” by FORTUNE
  • Named One of World’s Top 50 Green Outsourcing Suppliers
  • Ranked number three in the world among outsourcing services companies
  • Ranked #2 among “Top 50 Companies for Diversity Inclusion” by DiversityInc
  • Named One of the 2009 DiversityInc Top Ten Employers for LGBT Workers
  • Named a 2010 Straight for Equality in Business Awardee by PFLAG
  • Ranks Second on the 2009 DiversityInc Top Ten Companies for Latinos
  • Named as One of “World’s Most Ethical Companies”

Nancy: There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to a social media strategy, including team structure, messaging and approach. What advice would you give to a company just starting in social media, or maybe has dabbled but struggling to get to the next level?

Anthony: The important thing is to realize it’s not all about you. It’s about talking with the customer, or with the candidate. The first thing that I would recommend to companies is to audit their brand online and spend some time on all of those social spaces; what’s being said about your company, who’s talking about you as an employer, who’s talking about you as a product, what things are they saying they need? Then do the same thing with your competitors. What are they saying about your competition that identifies a niche that you might be able to fill?

Then decide how best for you to participate, whether it’s one person or multiple persons.

Nancy: Lastly, how does DirectEmployers Association help you with day-to-day work and your various roles?

Anthony: Originally we were interested in DirectEmployers because of the job distribution model and the ability to get our jobs out there and attract the best talent for the future Sodexo leaders. A model that’s made by employers for employers really helps all of us as well. It’s not something that you’re going to spend an extreme amount of money on without getting results. We get great results and it’s a real cost-effective program.

DirectEmployers fills a lot of needs for me. It’s not just the job distribution, OFCCP compliance and getting our jobs out to veterans and the states, but the benefits of membership fits both my recruitment needs, as well as helping build our brand presence.

A special thank you to Anthony for participating in this interview and speaking on our social media panel at the 2011 Annual Meeting & Conference. Members can view his presentation on the Pipeline.

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