McD’s Looks to Fill 50,000 McJobs

Apr 05, 2011
George Anderson

up visions of poorly
paid hourly employees
toiling in an unpleasant
working environment
with little chance at advancement.
McDonald’s is intent on debunking that view.

"McJob is going to enter the conversation,"
Rick Wion, social media director at McDonald’s USA, told Advertising Age.
"Rather than avoid the term, let’s embrace it and turn it on its ear."

Jim Norberg,
a senior vice president in the company’s restaurant support office, told The
Wall Street Journal
that he started out with the company as
a teenager making fries. He told the paper, "We want to show people what
a McJob really means to those of us who have them. About 40 percent of our
company staff started out working in the restaurants, so the opportunities
are out there in a big way."

The fast food operator has announced that
it has 50,000 jobs to fill and applicants will get the opportunity to land
work as part of McDonald’s National Hiring Day on April 19.

The company’s website
offers this introduction: "Maybe it’s a way
to buy that first car. It could be a way to support yourself in college. Or
it might be the way you enter the corporate world. Whatever you’re looking
for, McDonald’s can help you make your own way, with challenging careers,
quality benefits and the best opportunities around."

McDonald’s has launched
a national campaign highlighting current workers to recruit new hires.

creative part is really highlighting the people at McDonald’s and dispelling
the myths that there isn’t opportunity working here," Marlena Peleo-Lazar,
global creative officer at McDonald’s USA, told Ad Age.
"We really wanted to highlight our crew."

Adam Hanft, chief executive officer
of Hanft Projects, told the Journal, "I
think over time they could’ve created an impression that these aren’t jobs
of last resort. But hiring in mass like this makes it seem like they aren’t
very picky about who they hire, and I don’t think it’s going to make anyone
feel better about the job or working there."

Discussion Questions: Is McDonald’s on the right track to dispel the negative view of McJobs with its National Hiring Day program? Why do you think the chain is looking to burnish its image as an employer at this point in time?

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8 Comments on "McD’s Looks to Fill 50,000 McJobs"

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Kevin Graff
10 years 1 month ago

I think McDonald’s is absolutely on the right track here. Are they supposed to sit back and let ‘myth’ and ‘cynicism’ ruin their employee culture?

Is working there the perfect career for everyone? Of course not. Just like any other retail or food service job. However, for the right people, a McJob or any other retail job can be the start of a great career. In fact, most of you reading this probably started, like me, on a sales floor or behind a counter, and look at you now!

I’ve already made ‘friends’ with our local McD franchisee and have my kids’ first jobs already lined up with him where they’ll learn how to do a job right. Too bad my kids are only 5 & 6 so they’ll have to wait awhile!

David Livingston
10 years 1 month ago
One the biggest complaints I get from clients is they can’t find people who want to work. Regardless of the economy, it’s always difficult to find good employees. The USA seems to have quietly implemented a minimum wage of about $40,000 a year whether you work or not. If a person chooses not to work they can easily earn about $40,000 a year in welfare, unemployment, food stamps, medicaid, rent assistance, child care assistance, earned income credit, utility assistance, etc. If you make somewhere between zero and $40,000 the government will generally provide some kind of assistance to get you to the $40,000 level. So basically if you are making less than $40,000 you are a volunteer. “Poorly paid hourly employees toiling in an unpleasant working environment with little chance at advancement” pretty much sums up working at McDonald’s. I don’t care how you re-brand that message, smart people are not going to buy it. I know a few single moms who will not work more than 32 hours because they would lose all their… Read more »
Gene Hoffman
Gene Hoffman
10 years 1 month ago

McDonald’s business is rising, its menu is broadening, its dollar menu seems institutionalized but its work crews seem robotic albeit efficient. While many of MD’s executives may have cut their career teeth in MD’s french frying spuds, the hiring of 50,000 people on a single day does not create the image that MD’s is a career-enhancing place to toil.

Gene Detroyer
10 years 1 month ago

The previous comments are right on. McDonald’s in Fairfield County, Connecticut, actually have vans that shuttle workers from the Bronx to Greenwich, Darien and such because they can’t enough local young people to work.

For most people these jobs are for the money. They are not for career enhancement. They are not challenging and not virtue building. Simply they are McJobs and nothing more. No advertising in the world will change making burger flipping to anything more than burger flipping. These jobs will lead to no more success than that experienced by the high school athletes who dream they will make it to the pros.

Jonathan Marek
10 years 1 month ago

Kevin and David’s comments are both right, and interesting to consider together. Per Kevin, there is a huge value in instilling work ethic, even at low wage, as a path to bigger and better opportunities. Per David, there is a huge disincentive in our society for working low wage jobs versus not working at all. And among higher income families, there’s a disincentive from parents willing to give anything to their teenage kids without the kids working. At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I fear for the future of America’s work ethic.

Craig Sundstrom
10 years 1 month ago

I suppose somewhere between the surrealistic scenes of crowds camping out for a handful of job openings at Walmart, and the fantasy of “easily” collecting $40K in benefits, there are places called McDonald’s and people who might potentially work there. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with working there, and it sometimes leads to something more (which is to say it like most every other job in the world). But offering up the non-sequitur that because managers have come from the ranks, the ranks will (all) become managers, is something I think people will find hard to believe…and with reason.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
M. Jericho Banks PhD
10 years 1 month ago

I’m lovin’ it. Good move, Ronald. Unless, of course, it’s as weak as the similar campaigns McD has half-heartedly launched in the past. And here’s eyes on your weak employment campaigns, too, Walmart.

But I digress (something rare for me). Adam Hanft is dead-on in his review. En masse hirings belie the theme that McD is looking for special people. And as for burger flipping, didn’t McD recently run a campaign specifying that they no longer flip burgers? Instead, they have special grilling machines to do that? I think that was McD but I can’t find the TV commercial.

In college a close friend who clerked at 7-Eleven told me what a great job it was. I went on to manage two 7-Elevens as a college student and later become the National Ad Mgr for Southland Corporation’s 7,000 store 7-Eleven chain. It can be done. But for me it was word-of-mouth from a buddy. Not from an ad campaign. P’haps McD should consider that avenue as well, especially considering the power of social media.

Jerry Gelsomino
10 years 1 month ago

The consistent quality of working conditions seems to be of importance here. I seldom see happy people behind the counter of a McDonald’s in any store, in any country, I’ve visited. The same can be said in many Starbucks. Interesting, that has not been the case is Subway. Can dealing with mostly hot menu items have something to do with employee satisfaction?


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