High-Volume Recruiting at Its Best: Lessons from McDonald’s


For years, McDonald’s UK relied on a paper-based process to hire 20,000-25,000 new employees each year. This story may sound familiar. Job seekers walk into a store, ask if they are hiring, fill out an application and return to the store with a completed form. As a leader in the quick-service restaurant business, this process wasn’t going to cut it in an increasingly competitive market. The amount of time required for hiring managers to manage this process and the probability that one of the applications would get lost along the way was costing McDonald’s both quality applicants and money. So, how did they respond?

In less than two years, they have successfully revamped their entire model by relying on technology and online recruitment to lift the administrative burden of both job seeker and hiring manager.

What Did They Do?

1. Interview Management. After six months of carefully examining 27 different talent acquisition systems, a team of three recruiters (no, you did not misread that…only three recruiters) selected Peopleclick to manage their recruitment process. One of the criteria for selection was Peopleclick’s robust Interview Scheduling tool which reduces the time to fill and improves the quality of hire. This tool manages the interview process by selecting the candidates, sending them a personal correspondence with possible interview times and dropping the time they selected into their outlook or lotus calendars. It also sends correspondence to the hiring manager letting them know that the interview has been scheduled.
2. Psychometric Testing. By requiring each candidate to complete a psychometric test (provided by Kenexa), hiring managers not only reduce the number of interviews from two to one but also measure these tests against the employees’ performance one year into the job.
3. Computers at Every Location. Five years ago, the biggest challenge to recruiting hourly workers online was limited access to computers. In 2009, this is no longer an obstacle. While many stores respond by offering kiosks to apply, McDonald’s spent $1.6 million on PC software and computers for each of their locations.

What Changed?

1. McDonald’s UK experienced a twenty-five percent increase in the number of job applications making McDonald’s UK the leader in the private sector.
2. They reduced 90-day turnover by 30%.
3. The model created in McDonald’s UK is now being implemented in McDonald’s Ireland with the adoption of Peopleclick for restaurants in Ireland.

High-volume recruiting is a daunting task. By investing in technology, McDonald’s achieved exactly what it was trying to accomplish “ease of access.” We are publishing a more in-depth case study on this topic next month. Stay tuned… 

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