Voice assistants help apply for McDonald's jobs | News Coverage from USA

Voice assistants help apply for McDonald’s jobs

Edward C. Baig

USA TODAY

Updated 4:01 AM EDT Sep 25, 2019

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

With spoken words like those, Amazon Alexa or the rival Google Assistant can lend a hand, or rather voice, as you try to land work at the Chicago-based fast-food chain.

On Wednesday, McDonald’s announced Apply Thru, an Alexa or Google Assistant skill the company claims as a world’s first. It lets you use your own voice on any Alexa- or Google Assistant-capable device to seek employment in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the U.K, with other countries to follow in the coming months. 

There’s no need to impress Alexa or Google with your qualifications; neither assistant will make any kind hiring decisions, much less block your efforts to advance as a candidate. 

Apply Thru is merely the very first step in the application process. Taking advantage of the new skill won’t increase or decrease your job prospects. 

New Alexa devices: What’s Amazon planning to reveal – Alexa in the ear?

How it works

The script flows something like this:

After asking “Alexa (or Hey, Google), help me get a job at McDonald’s,” the voice assistant will tell you that the personal data you provide will be processed by Amazon or Google and transferred to McDonald’s, a nod to those concerned about privacy.

The voice assistant will then ask you the country you want to work in, after which it will make sure you want to “join a McDonald’s restaurant team by using McDonald’s Apply Thru?”

If you’re good with that, Alexa or the Google Assistant will ask for your name and begin to tell you in general terms about positions that may be available. 

“As a McDonald’s crew member, your role could range from preparing all of McDonald’s world-famous food to helping customers order their favorite menu items. As a guest experience leader, you could help create feel-good moments by making sure guests are taken care of.” 

If you’re still on board, you must supply your mobile number so McDonald’s can text a link to its national job board where you can more formally apply.

Looking for work? Your next job interview might just come by text message

The link may include positions at either corporate-owned restaurants or at the more than 90% of McDonald’s that are independently owned. Franchisees set their own wages and benefits.

Before saying goodbye, Alexa or Google might even apply a touch of humor: “You might not know a job at McDonald’s can lead you into technology, but 300,422 former crew members have become IT professionals. Ever notice that 0’s and 1’s look like burgers and fries?”

How McDonald’s is using tech to hire and train workers

The use of the voice assistants is part of the company’s more expansive Made at McDonald’s campaign, which is meant to amplify the opportunities a first job, part-time job, or lifelong career at the company can create. According to a company survey, in the U.S., more than 128,000 McDonald’s crew members went on to become nurses, more than 489,000 teachers, and more than 2.4 million entrepreneurs.

While job applicants of any age can use Apply Thru, the new initiative might help McDonald’s with a program it launched last year called Youth Opportunity. The goal is to reduce employment barriers to 2 million young people by 2025.

McDonald’s already lets potential hires apply by text, or via social media and messaging apps. The company says its hiring needs vary by country and season.

“I’m focused on ensuring that we’re also harnessing technology to enhance the employment experience of the 1.9 million people around the world who work in our company-owned and franchised restaurants,” says McDonald’s executive vice president and global chief people officer David Fairhurst.

Beyond the new voice-initiated hiring process, Fairhurst points to online scheduling to give employees greater flexibility in their hours, and the company’s use of gaming elements and augmented reality to train workers.

Email: ebaig@usatoday.com; Follow @edbaig on Twitter


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