McDonald's beefs up job applications via Snapchat

Dive Brief:

  • McDonald’s, the burger chain with 14,000 locations in the U.S., is enlisting Snapchat to help fill 250,000 jobs this summer. Potential employees can start their application process with a “Snaplication,” which shows a 10-second video ad of McDonald’s employees talking about their jobs. After swiping up on the ad, a smartphone user will see the chain’s career page and a way to apply for a job at a nearby restaurant, Business Insider reported.
  • Jez Langhorn, senior director of HR at McDonald’s USA, said the company recognized that it needed to reach potential applicants through smartphones and mobile applications.
  • McDonald’s first tried "Snaplications" two months ago in Australia. The app’s Lenses feature let prospective employees wear virtual hats and nametags to see how they would look as one of the chain’s 106,000 Australian employees. Sixty-five percent of its Australian workforce is 18 or younger, a key demographic for Snapchat.

Dive Insight:

Today’s millennial generation teens are less likely to seek summer jobs than their Gen X and baby boomer predecessors, which makes reaching them more important for any company that wants to boost a seasonal workforce. McDonald’s use of "Snaplications" might be what the chain needs to attract workers looking for summer jobs — generally, teenagers, whose preferred method of communication is through social media. The percentage of teens with smartphones is estimated to reach 89% this year, according to eMarketer.

The number of working teens has risen slightly in the past few years, but employment in this age group has declined for 40 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited by The Wall Street Journal. Teen participation in the labor force during the month of July peaked in 1978 at 72% and fell to 43% last year. The federal agency attributed the decline to greater enrollment in summer school and a stronger emphasis on extracurricular activities and internships to show to college admissions officers. Increased competition from older workers, a lack of opportunities and a stronger desire for flexibility among younger groups are additional reasons for the decline in teen workers.

Meanwhile, job information and recruitment on social media provide a reason for consumers to check out the McDonald’s brand. A small portion of 18- to 34-year-old diners — one in five millennials — has ever tasted a Big Mac, and McDonald’s growth has stalled over the years as people pivot to healthier alternatives. To help turn millennial eaters into enthusiastic brand converts, the fast food chain has beefed up its social media team and messaging. Shaun Ruming, chief operating officer of McDonald’s Australia, told that Snapchat was keenly interested in the "Snaplication" results.

“They’re driven by trying to encourage users onto their platform,” he said. “We presume when someone applies via Snapchat, when their friends ask them how they got the job, they’ll talk about it.”

Filed Under: Campaigns