McDonald’s will recruit up to 6,000 people a year through the government’s Local Employment Partnership (LEP) scheme, provided they pass a three-week trial, the HR chief has announced.
David Fairhurst, chief people officer at McDonald’s UK, told Personnel Today the scheme will help act as a “stepping stone” back into employment while simultaneously improving staff loyalty and engagement at the burger chain.
Under the programme, both the short- and long-term unemployed will be offered pre-employment training and a three-week trial, after which they are guaranteed an interview for a permanent position.
Fairhurst said: “By taking this responsible approach, we’re tapping into a rich stream of candidates that otherwise might be missed. Intuitively if you give someone a chance, give them a qualification and open up doors, the loyalty and engagement is going to be obvious. Employee engagement has a direct link to customer engagement and to profit and success.”
With more than 2.03 million people currently unemployed, Fairhurst is hopeful that other companies will use the recession as an opportunity to invest in the available talent pool.
“Not every business can continue investing because it’s difficult out there, but those that can should continue to do so,” he said. “It will pay off, it will help us to come out of the recession better and stronger and quicker. We will all benefit from that.”
McDonalds’ decision to recruit using LEPs coincides with a report by Leeds Metropolitan University, which shows the fast-food retailer’s recruitment and training programmes have significantly assisted the social mobility of its staff.
The report found that 96% of staff felt the skills they had acquired from McDonald’s would be useful to any future prospective employer.