Conversational AI
4 min read
December 14, 2021

Quicker than quick serve: How McDonald's cut hourly time to hire by 60% and created an experience candidates love.

Did McDonald's find the Holy Grail for hourly hiring? Josh Bersin examined the impact of their McHire platform, launched in 2019, on high-volume hiring.

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OK, so picture this. It’s Monday morning and you’re an hourly employee at a local restaurant working a shift you don’t love, with no opportunity to grow. You’re heading home from work and stop in at your local McDonald’s for dinner at 10 pm. You pull into the drive-thru and see a sign posted on the window advertising hourly management positions.

Normally, you’d ignore it. After all, applying to jobs is a headache. But this one’s different:

“Ready for something new? Text XXXX to 38000 to apply in minutes — and start this week.”

Intrigued, you pull out your phone and start a text conversation. You’re not redirected to some clunky career site. You don’t have to create a username or password. You just reply to a series of simple prompts and questions from a friendly assistant named Olivia.

By the time you pickup your food from the drive-thru window a couple minutes later, you have a video interview automatically scheduled for tomorrow morning.

And by the next day, you have a job offer sent to your phone — all through the same text conversation that started your application. With one tap, you accept the job and you’re starting on Monday.

A vision for a simpler way to hire hourly.

Sound like a pipe dream? It’s not. This is exactly what hourly recruiting has looked like at thousands of McDonald’s restaurants since the company launched McHire with Paradox in 2019.

The platform is boosting high-volume hiring for McDonald’s and its franchisees every year. And as Alexa Morse, McDonald’s director of workforce planning and talent acquisition, recently shared in a case study with The Josh Bersin Company, it’s been transformational.

“We’re ensuring candidates are constantly engaged rather than having to wait for a hiring manager to respond, or wait for an interview to get scheduled,” Morse told Bersin. “For hiring managers, it gives them hours back in the week to be able to focus on restaurant operations, employees, and customers.”

Exactly how big of an impact is McHire having for McDonald’s restaurants' recruiting and hiring?

  • 95% of candidates rate their experience positively — a massive improvement over candidate satisfaction scores with other hiring software
  • Time-to-hire has been reduced by 60% — meaning McDonald’s is narrowing the candidate pool and extending offers faster than most other employers

In other words, it’s the Holy Grail for hourly hiring.

McHire is faster and easier for hiring managers who don’t often have field recruiting support,  saving them hours every week. And candidates love it — which is crucial in an industry where job applicants are also often a company’s customers.

Even in tough job markets, hourly hiring doesn’t have to be hard.

I love this story.

I still remember the frustration I felt 20 years ago applying to local restaurants on my college campus… and never hearing back. Even today, as I drive around my town and see “Now Hiring” signs everywhere, there are days it feels like we haven’t made much progress.

But we have. And McDonald’s is proving that real transformation — and a complete rethink of how hiring can and should be done — can deliver real, powerful results.

“Numerous industries are facing uncertainty with staffing, a situation that has been exacerbated in 2021 with rapid changes in the labor market,” the Bersin team writes in the case study. “However, McHire’s capabilities for speed and simplicity have helped McDonald’s restaurants hire faster and at higher volumes than ever before.

I’ve worked in HR technology for quite awhile and I’ve never seen an hourly hiring market as challenging as the one we’re in. And yet, despite all those challenges, there are ways to work around them — to create an advantage where none seem obvious.

Want to read their full story and The Josh Bersin Company’s full (and fantastic) case study? Check it out below.

Written by
Josh Zywien
Chief Marketing Officer
Josh Zywien
Written by
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