McDonald's is taking a savvy social-media approach when it comes to trying to help round up the estimated 250,000 workers it's going to need to fill its ranks this summer.
Forget trolling LinkedIn to scroll through resumes. McDonald's is going straight to Snapchat, where teens and college-age men and women gossip and share photos.
The fast-food titan is calling its hiring tool "Snaplications." A Snapchat user can view a 10-second video ad about how great it is to work at McDonald's and if the job prospect wants to know more, there's a link to McDonald's career page in Snapchat and to the job application.
More than half the people hired at company-owned McDonald's are in the 16- to 24-year-old bracket and for many of them, these summer gigs are their first jobs ever, the chain said. Snapchat could not be immediately reached for comment.
Snapchat is a great way for McDonald's to connect with young workers, said Susan Hay, founder of the career coaching firm Launching U. "Showing up as someone who knows how students spend time on social media is smart of them," Hay said.
Though both teens and employers say they want to hire younger workers, teenage employment has taken a nosedive since the late 1970s when nearly 60% of teenagers were working. Today, it hovers around 35%. Even during the summer months, when teenage employment typically peaks, fewer teenagers are working. More than 71% of teens age 16 to 19 had a summer gig in July 1978 versus 43.2% last summer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists say increased competition from older workers, lack of opportunities and more desire for flexibility among teenagers are just some of the reasons leading this trend. McDonald’s use of Snaplications might just be what the industry needs to tempt teen workers, whose preferred method of communication is social media, into filling out an application.
“Their phones are the center of their lives,” said Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob, an online job search engine, adding that one reason why fewer young people may have jobs is because many want to apply for jobs on their phones only. "“Quite frankly, it’s hard to complete an application from a phone."
McDonald's expects that its own and franchised restaurants will hire an estimated 250,000 people across the country this season.
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