Hero why-and-how-family-run-business-gordon-food-service-got-social-with-their-recruiting

Why and How Family-Run Business Gordon Food Service Got Social With Their Recruiting

Posted by Samara Parker
February 25th, 2013

The past few weeks we've been focusing a lot on taking the plunge into social recruiting. We've shared tips on how to get started, done a link love devoted to the subject, and now we're bringing you an interview with a client of ours who has done an amazing job of using social recruiting: Gordon Food Service.

Dave Wiltjer was kind enough to answer some of our questions about how and why Gordon Food Service uses social to recruit.

Jobcast: Gordon Food Service is obviously quite savvy when it comes to social media. What does the term social recruiting mean to you?

Dave: When we discuss social recruiting, we are talking about using social tools that will help with us in attracting and sourcing passive candidates. We also view social recruiting as a way to stay current with the various generations we are hiring from in today’s job market.

Jobcast: Why did Gordon Food Service decide to use social media for recruiting?

Dave: We decided to utilize social media for various reasons:

  1. To reach a demographic that relies on and uses social media in everyday activities.

  2. To reach a broader segment of the population, meaning those elusive passive candidates.

  3. To extend our employment branding efforts and have a medium for connecting with potential candidates more quickly and directly.

Jobcast: How has Facebook in particular helped grow the Gordon Food Service employer brand?

Dave: Our strategy for social media recruiting was very defined before we launched the sites. We created the Facebook GFS Careers Site as a means for people to see what our culture and our people are like. We update the site with posts about events that take place in various locations, community service projects, and other fun activities that the company has sponsored throughout the year. Our goal is to give potential candidates an idea of what it’s like to work at Gordon Food Service.

Jobcast: Gordon Food Service has done a really great job with Facebook branding. How important is branding to your social media strategy?

Dave: The use of social media to support our branding efforts at Gordon Food Service is very important to us. Social media is a growing marketing channel and we want to make sure we are communicating our messages where our customers, potential customers, employees, and potential employees are. We are continuously learning about what works and what doesn’t work and refining as we go.

Jobcast: Which social recruiting sites does Gordon Food Service use for recruiting?

Dave: Gordon Food Service utilizes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Jobcast: Are job boards still a part of your recruiting strategy?

Dave: Not as much as they were in the past. We still use them in some locations, but less each year.

Jobcast: What advice would you have for other companies looking to grow their employer brand?

Dave: Have a well defined strategy before launching the sites. Know how you are going to interact with people on the sites, how you are going to respond to inquiries, negative and positive. Be as transparent as possible. People want to see what it’s really like at your company. Try to respond as people, not as a corporate entity. Candidates want to interact with someone not something.

Jobcast: Are there any changes or advancements you would like to see in social recruiting?

Dave: I am a huge LinkedIn user, however, being that it is only for professionals, I would like to see some other sites that are geared more towards entry level operations positions. We hire a lot of warehouse and transportation individuals and it would be nice to have a site that captures their information and gives us recruiters a way to connect with them about opportunities.

Jobcast: What should potential employees know about Gordon Food Service company culture?

Dave: Gordon Food Service has a family culture as we are a family-owned company. We have been around for over 115 years and have grown by being the best in our industry. Gordon Food Service treats their employees like family, by providing exceptional benefits, facilities and work / life balance.

Jobcast: Why did Gordon Food Service choose Jobcast for Facebook recruiting?

Dave: When deciding on various options for integrating our jobs on Facebook, we ultimately decided to go with Jobcast. Some of the keys factors in making the decision were, price, size and location of Jobcast. Since we are a North American company, having the option to partner with a Canadian based company was a key component.

Also, the size of Jobcast was appealing, since they are not the biggest out there, I figured they might be more willing to work with us if any changes needed to be made, which I can tell you, they have and it’s been great. Every time I needed an update or something changed, they responded right away and have come up with solutions for us.

The last key component was price, as we are always looking at our bottom line, the price point from Jobcast coupled with the service they provide made it an easy decision when it came to signing the contract.

Jobcast: Thank you so much, we really appreciate having you as clients!


Jobcast: Is there any topic you would like to see covered on the Jobcast blog? We aim to please :)

Dave: I visit the blog regularly to get helpful hints from others. Keep doing what you are doing.

Jobcast: And now we're blushing!

We'd like to give a big thanks to Dave and Gordon Food Service for taking the time to answer these questions and being such a great example of effective social recruiting! For more inspiration you can find Dave on Twitter and GFS on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and LinkedIn.

Next week we'll be bringing you a post all about recruiters who transformed their careers by getting social, stay tuned!