31 May 2016
Icon - Industry Insight

Insight into Engineering Careers with Sodexo

This post was written by Mike Harris – Technical Services Manager, Key Markets, Sodexo Corporate Services

Why Sodexo as a Company of choice for an Engineering Professional?

I had never really considered Sodexo as a potential employer. Like most Hard Services individuals I was not aware of the depth of Sodexo, the wide range of job roles that the employees undertake and the massive increase in delivering TFM activities that it is seeking to achieve.

Two significant things started the process of making me better informed and changing my perspective. I discovered through LinkedIn, that a well-known hard services industry professional had joined Sodexo in a very senior position. I did not know this individual on a personal level but was aware of him as a senior management figure with my previous employer. At pretty much the same time I also became aware that Sodexo has secured a large TFM contract for a blue chip provider in the financial services sector. I had worked on contract for this organisation previously and was aware of the high standards and levels compliance they required of hard services delivery at their UK locations.

From the above I started to understand that Sodexo were operating in areas that could be of interest to me and that they clearly had a strategic plan that was mature enough to be attractive to both potential clients and senior management staff. From a personal level this indicated to me that, to the best of my knowledge Sodexo were, from a hard services perspective sufficiently established to have really clear direction on their strategy but still looking to further grow this area. This could provide the career opportunities needed if I wished to take the next step.

I started to view the Sodexo job boards on a regular basis, a vacancy appeared for Technical Services manager for the BAE Systems WPS contract. I applied for this role and started with Sodexo in April 2014. The role has been everything I hoped it would be, I have found that Sodexo is a place where training is available when required for both compliance and career development reasons, there is a very strong culture of networking (both formal and informal) to promote improved service delivery and employee engagement and regular opportunities to review employee progress and development plans.

What can we do to drive interest in our Engineering Opportunities?

I feel there are still a lot of hard services professionals who like I was, are not aware that Sodexo could be a suitable place for them to work. Certainly the profile is changing and Sodexo is becoming known wider through the hard services sectors but there is still work to do. Sodexo are committed to the Apprentice programmes and we on the BAE contract are exploring if a Building Services Apprentice could be accommodated at one of our sites which is great. Speaking as someone who entered the industry in 1985 through a similar route I would encourage all contracts to acknowledge the known industry wide skills gap and start making our own candidates for succession in the hard services sectors.

In addition we need to improve the profile of Sodexo at operational level in the hard services area. Most of us hard services people have a reasonably wide range of contacts at all levels on LinkedIn and similar sites and sharing of the various appointment and vacancy announcements that appear on our feeds would widen the exposure of Sodexo immensely. In addition I see that lots of industry publications have an Appointments column, perhaps the relevant ones could be targeted towards hard services publications to widen the audience and drive our success in the Engineering field.

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