McDonald’s teams with AARP on national campaign to recruit older workers
McDonald’s, which often promotes itself as “America’s best first job,” has formed a partnership with AARP to hire more workers over the age of 50.
As part of the partnership, AARP will feature McDonald’s employment postings its job board. The company will also work with AARP on a five-state pilot program to match low income American seniors with jobs.
The fast food giant has previously reached out to older workers through local campaigns, but this marks its first national effort. Forty percent of McDonald’s workforce are teens, while only 11 percent are over 50.
One reason McD’s is looking to hire older workers is because teenagers and students typically aren’t available or willing to work earlier shifts. The breakfast shift starts at 5:00 a.m.
Another driver is that unemployment remains at near all-time lows. Finally, with today’s elders living longer and generally staying healthier than past generations, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has named the 55-and-older population as the fastest-growing segment of the workforce since 1996. BLS projects those over 55 will represent 24.8 percent of the civilian workforce by 2024, up from just 12 percent two decades earlier. Many work to buffer their retirement savings.
For restaurants or stores, older workers can bring “soft” skills, such as experience in reacting to pressures, solving problems and collaborating with others. Older workers also tend to be more reliable and support a more diverse working environment. In McDonald’s statement, Susan Weinstock, AARP’s VP for Financial Resilience, cited the often surprise benefit of two-way mentoring, whereby both older and younger generations offer learnings for each other.
One risk of hiring older workers may be generational conflicts that can arise, including an uneasiness working under younger supervisors.
Hiring managers often have a conscious or unconscious bias toward older hires, as well. Studies regularly find rampant age discrimination across industries. In what many view as ageism, common stereotypes about older workers are that they are not adaptable, less tech-savvy and not trainable.
- McDonald’s Collaborates with AARP and AARP Foundation for Multi-Generational Summer Hiring Push – McDonald’s
- McDonald’s is teaming up with AARP to hire older workers – CNBC
- McDonald’s commits to hiring older Americans to fill jobs – USA Today
- Are older workers retail’s ideal employees? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros than cons for retailers and food establishments in hiring a greater percentage of older workers? What are the best ways to address age biases, whether from younger or older employees?