McDonald’s saves £1.2m with recruitment overhaul

McDonald’s has achieved a 30% reduction in its 90-day staff turnover levels, leading to savings of £1.2m since overhauling its recruitment processes in April last year.

The ‘Hire the smile’ initiative sees candidates attend an initial competency-based interview. If successful, they then take part in an on-the-job assessment known as ‘Try before you buy’.

The practical assessment, which lasts a day for graduates and an hour or so for crew member applicants, takes place in partnership with an existing crew member, who then provides feedback on the applicant’s likely fit with the store culture.

As well as the significant cost savings, the initiative – which has so far been rolled out to 780 of McDonald’s 1,250 stores in the UK and to 70% of its franchised operations – has boosted mystery shopper scores and seen crew turnover fall by almost 9% to its lowest ever level.

David Fairhurst, vice-president for people at McDonald’s UK, said: “Some people are naturally gifted at engaging customers, and we want staff members who enjoy that, as it is not necessarily something you can learn. The opinion of peers is also vital, as it is important that they feel new staff are going to add something.”

The fast-food chain has also pioneered the use of on-street information kiosks, ‘iPlus Points’, for recruitment advertising – a move that helped the burger giant recruit 1,000 new staff in just four weeks last November.

McDonald’s trialled the iPlus Points at 100 sites across London as part of its Christmas recruitment drive. During the month-long trial, 28,000 people clicked through to view job information, with 12,000 of those printing off extra information.

“Long, stuffy application forms are not what our brand is about, and the iPlus Points are a perfect fit – friendly, simple and convenient,” said Fairhurst.

The trial, which is likely to be extended to other areas such as Bristol and Manchester in 2006, should be emulated by other employers, according to Fairhurst.

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