Sodexo, a leading FM services provider, has won the Best Use of Technology category at this year’s Caterer and Hotelkeeper Awards, also known as the Cateys.

Sodexo received the award in recognition of its Be More than a Spectator recruitment campaign which was used to recruit 4,000 staff for the London 2012 Olympics.


The campaign to find enough employees to fill the one million working-hours began in 2011, with many candidates being discovered at one of the 16 university fresher fairs visited by the Sodexo team, and from all of the host boroughs in London.


Once recruited, the newly-employed staff had to be kept engaged, in some cases, for up to eight months, in the run up to the Games. The Be More than a Spectator campaign included a combination of touch points for the new recruits – both digital and offline – to increase engagement, ensuring candidates would arrive for their shifts and deliver the expected standard of service. Social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter were used to great effect, and a website that integrated Sodexo’s existing applicant tracking system was built, making the process easier for all users.


More than 160,000 unique visits were made to the Be More than a Spectator website during the recruitment process and over 90% of candidates who expressed an interest initially at recruitment, remained engaged with the process through to accreditation. Meanwhile, QR codes were used across all marketing material so that channel effectiveness could be evaluated and in all, cost savings were made of £1.1m.


Chris John, managing director, Sodexo Prestige and Corporate Services, said: “I am delighted that our Olympic HR team has received this well deserved recognition. The Be More than a Spectator campaign has provided us with a well known, well respected legacy brand that we can use to great success in our sports and leisure business. We are very proud of this achievement.”


The Catey Awards were first held in 1984 and are an annual celebration of the hospitality industry’s highest achievers. They have been described as the industry’s equivalent of the Oscars and previous award winners have included Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc.  

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