Fifty-Thousand Jobs? So What.

by John on April 5, 2011

By now, you’ve probably already read about how McDonald’s is going to attempt to hire 50K workers in one day.

In fact, our local NBC affiliate reported this morning that in Florida, McDonald’s was looking at about 375 positions.

Big deal.

Now I applaud their efforts, but let’s look at this for what it truly has become, a disingenuous public relations event.

Full disclosure, I once worked as a corporate recruiter here. While I didn’t primarily recruit for crew member positions, I did have the opportunity to work on a recruitment project for a series of restaurants corporate had acquired from a franchisee. Overall our efforts were OK, and I’m sure that if we had a bit more time and some pointed local intelligence, we would have made a bigger splash. However, I still don’t think it’s not going to be as easy as Ms. Fields and the organization wants you to believe.

Granted, I think that they’ll come close to extending a couple thousand offers, but these offers may be contingent upon several factors such as background checks, possible drug tests and maybe even managerial preference. Will everyone who shows up and interviews get an offer? I seriously doubt it. Will this all happen in one day as the company claims? Not a chance.

This event prompted me to think about one of the first conversations I had with Steve Browne. Steve’s an HR pro in the restaurant industry and when we first talked, I brought up the subject of high turnover rates. He responded to my question by asking a very pointed one of his own.

“John, why measure who left? They’re gone and they may not come back. Instead, why aren’t we looking at why people stay?” he replied.

I have to admit, that I was too busy looking at the big turnover number and I forgot about the much smaller retention number.

So why aren’t we looking at the people who stay and figure out what we’re doing right?

With all the talk and concern for the mass exodus of workers who are about to jump ship, this should be a very real discussion with your managers and leadership team.

By shifting the focus from wrong to right, they may actually have that a-ha moment. Then they’ll deserve that toy in the kids meal.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Kuhns April 6, 2011 at 7:45 am

Love your challenge at the end of this post John. Although in my industry “alumni” (as I prefer to call them v. rehires) are an important, albeit small, part of life; I love the push to focus on our loyal employees who stay through the good times and challenging times as well.

More good stuff to think about to start my day!

Trish McFarlane April 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Love the idea of focus on retention instead of gimicks to hire. Great post and you made me think!

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