Commentary

McDonald's Taps Snapchat For Huge Hiring Push

When you’re the biggest fast-food chain, nothing you do happens on a small scale – including recruitment.

McDonald’s announced it is looking to hire 250,000 people across the United States this summer, with an advertising campaign rivaling any mass-market consumer brand. Where is the Golden Arches looking to find all these new (typically millennial) employees? Snapchat, of course.

McDonald’s is putting Snapchat at the center of its summer hiring push, wooing potential applicants ages 16-24 with 10-second video ads called “Snaplications,” paired with an interactive hub that allows users to apply online from a Snapchat link.

The ads feature current McDonald’s employees talking about their positive experiences working for the company. Viewers can respond to the ads by swiping to the McDonald’s Snapchat page. There, they can see available job openings at local restaurants.

Interested applicants can then download and fill out a brief application for a local restaurant directly from their smartphone.

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The “Snaplication” strategy was first deployed by McDonald’s in Australia in April of this year, which allowed them to submit a video using a special Snapchat filter that shows them wearing a McDonald’s uniform. As part of the stateside campaign, the fast-food giant is also advertising for job applicants on Spotify and Hulu, again in hopes of reaching the millennial target audience.

McDonald’s currently employs around 850,000 people in the U.S., the majority at franchises, but like many other fast-food and retail chains that depend heavily on teens and young adults, employee turnover rates are typically very high, with big seasonal shifts. According to some estimates, employee turnover rates in the fast food industry overall exceeded 100% per year in the last decade.

To boost retention, in 2015, McDonald’s and its franchisees began raising pay above local minimum wage and offering more generous benefits at many locations.

Although this strategy paid off with lower turnover in the short term, it also inspired other big employers like Wal-Mart to adopt similar measures, spurring investor concern about spiraling wage competition.

The workforce crunch is even more acute because the pool of available labor in the 16-24 age range has been decreasing, due to a combination of long-term demographic changes, longer academic terms, and the improving labor market for adults, which reduces the pressure on teens to help support their families.

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