- Prospective employees can now learn about job openings at McDonald's by asking Alexa, Amazon’s electronic personal assistant and cloud-based voice service, the restaurant chain announced Wednesday.
- The fast-food giant said its connection to Alexa through its Apply Thru skill is "the world’s first voice-initiated application process" of its kind and part of the company’s campaign to drive global applications. McDonald’s said users need to open Apply Thru to activate their search; they can then start the application process by answering a few questions. Applicants then receive a text message with a link to continue applying.
- "We must continue to innovate and think of creative, and in this case, groundbreaking ways to meet potential job seekers on devices they are already using, like Alexa," David Fairhurst, executive VP & chief people officer at McDonald's, said in a media release. "Alexa has many of the qualities we look for on our teams — friendly, responsive and fun. I am looking forward to having our application process simplified with Alexa."
The Amazon Echo skill isn't the first foray into new tech for prospective McDonald's employees. The chain in 2017 rolled out "Snaplications" allowing job hunters to receive job postings and begin the application process through the Snapchat app on their phones.
As Fairhurst noted, the moves were aimed at meeting potential applicants where they are, providing a personalized recruiting experience.
A bad candidate experience can undo the most meticulously planned recruiting and hiring efforts. A 2018 study of Fortune 500 companies by talent relationship marketing firm Phenom People found that employers that don't bother to provide candidates with a positive experience throughout the recruiting process fall behind in three key categories: attraction, engagement and conversion.
Talent leaders often believe they offer an "excellent" or "very good" candidate experience, but job seekers don't agree, a recent Randstad Sourceright study noted. Personalizing the experience can go a long way in engaging those that apply, even with something small like personalized messages indicating application status; notably, 84% of companies surveyed by Phenom People did not personalize the experience, and a whopping 98% did not communicate to candidates their application status.
Experts previously shared with HR Dive tips for improving the candidate experience. They recommended: 1) avoiding the "Goldilocks" syndrome, whereby job postings are too short to give applicants enough key information, or too long and challenging to readers' attention spans; 2) making job titles descriptive and posting ads on relevant job sites; and 3) updating job descriptions so they accurately depict the opening.