Over at the Link Humans blog we recently wrote a case study about Sodexo’s social recruiting success in the US. The piece was very well received, especially by Sodexo themselves who tweeted, commented and shared it. In case you don’t of the company, Sodexo is a one of the largest food services and facilities management companies in the world, with 380,000 employees, representing 130 nationalities, present on 34,000 sites in 80 countries (thank you Jimmy Wales).

They are also very advanced on social media, particularly for employer branding and talent acquisition. So it’s perfectly normal to be tweeting with their VP for talent acquisition, who is Arie Ball.

On Twitter you have to expect the unexpected and when we were tweeting about how great Sodexo are, someone jumped into the conversation and tweeted: “I know people at Sodexo being treated like garbage. But it’s not the one with a degree :-)”.

I saw that and thought oooops, best to leave that conversation now. It obviously doesn’t look great and I was wondering if Sodexo would acknowledge the message which was public on Twitter.

Sure enough, about 12 hours later, probably due to time zones, Arie Ball replies with “We value every one of our employees and would like to know more – please send us a note [email address]”. I translated that from texting language by the way.

I thought this was rather impressive, here you have a Vice President of a huge company taking their time to reply to a random Twitter user halfway across the world. Arie Ball’s reply looks very genuine and I don’t know what will happen next but judging by this response, I’d expect this to be dealt with properly.

The lesson here is that when you are a very transparent company and you have chosen to use public channels such as social media for your communications, you have to be ready to deal with the negatives. You open yourself to criticism but as long as you stay professional and actually take the time to listen to people you impress third party folks like myself. Indeed, by demonstrating this responsiveness and maturity, you even get a blog post written about it!

Has this ever happened to your company? How did you deal with it?

Related: How To Contact PayPal Customer Services: Twitter.

Image credit Mike Baird

Read more: Sodexo Saves The World