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McDonald’s will let you apply for a job over Alexa

Prospective employees can initiate a job application in the U.S. and several other countries through Google Assistant or Amazon Echo devices.
Photograph courtesy of McDonald's Corp.

“Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s.”

The Chicago-based burger giant will now let people begin a job application process through Amazon Echo devices or Google Assistant in what the company says is the world’s first voice-activated application process.

The “Apply Thru” skill will be available beginning Wednesday in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the U.K.

“We must continue to innovate and think of creative, and in this case groundbreaking, ways to meet potential job seekers on devices they are already using, like Alexa,” McDonald’s Chief People Officer David Fairhurst said in a statement.

The addition of voice-activated job applications comes as the restaurant industry is dealing with arguably the worst labor shortage in its history. Low unemployment, fewer teens in the workforce and growing competition, along with continued industry expansion, have all conspired to limit the available pool of workers.

That is driving companies like McDonald’s to look for new strategies to get employees. And while many companies are bolstering their benefits or pay—McDonald’s has an Archways to Opportunity tuition program, for instance, and increased pay at company locations—technology is also playing a growing role.

Later this year, McDonald’s plans to launch a career navigation app in the U.S. that will allow employees to explore careers at McDonald’s and other industries.

In this instance, Apply Thru will enable people to start applying for a job simply by saying, “Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s” to an Amazon Echo. Or they can ask a Google Assistant, “Hey Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s.”

Apply Thru lets customers jump-start the application process by answering a few basic questions, such as their name, job area of interest and location. Potential applicants receive a short text message with a link to continue the application process.

Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Alexa, said the Apply Thru feature is designed “to create a simpler, more convenient job application process.”

“With Apply Thru, customers can start the process for a job at their nearest McDonald’s restaurant,” he said in a statement. “All they need to do is ask.”

The Alexa skill comes as McDonald’s has begun highlighting its status as the first job for many Americans through its “Made at McDonald’s” campaign. A recent survey found that 128,401 McDonald’s crew members have gone on to become nurses, 489,302 are teachers and 2.4 million have become entrepreneurs.

McDonald’s has 38,000 global locations, including nearly 14,000 in the U.S.

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