McDonald’s HR department takes credit for chain’s success

McDonald’s HR chief David Fairhurst has insisted that his department can take “significant” credit for the fast-food giant’s success this year.

The company this month announced plans to hire 4,000 more workers to cope with an extra 2 million customers per month.

McDonald’s served 40 million people in July, up from 38 million in the same month last year, and Fairhurst said better people management was a major factor in the increase. Other influences included the economic downturn, healthier menus and modernised interiors, he said.

“Without a doubt, consumers are feeling the pinch [of the economy] and are questioning whether they need to spend £3 on a Starbucks coffee, or £100 on a family meal at a pub,” he told Personnel Today. “There have also been menu improvements, and the restaurants look very different.

“But there is a strong correlation between a store’s results and the quality of that store’s managers and training. HR has invested £15m a year on training and delivering confidence and competence. The people element is a significant contribution.”

McDonald’s has launched a poster campaign in stores and at high-profile advertising spots to fill the 4,000 posts.

Fairhurst denied that the recruitment campaign – entitled ‘My McJob’ – was an admission of the failure of his campaign to get the term rewritten in dictionaries.

“McJob has tremendous equity as a word,” said Fairhurst. “We’re using that equity to change perceptions, so rather than a failure, that campaign has been a success.”


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