Skip to main content


McDonald’s tackles recruitment bottleneck with drive to hire teens

Staff shortages start to bite.

Ian McCawley

Credit: Jurij Kenda via Unsplash.

Unleash Your Curiosity Latest approach follows fast-food giant’s investment in candidate incentives.

Amid ongoing recruitment issues across industries in the US, McDonald’s is seeking 14- and 15-year-olds to apply for jobs at one of its restaurants.

The fast-food giant is promoting opportunities for youngsters at its branch in Medford, Oregon, as it battles a shortage of workers.

According to the BBC, McDonald’s has seen a spike in applications since making the offer, which complies with US labor laws.

Fast-food and other outlets across the country are struggling to fill vacancies despite COVID-19 restrictions easing.

Total job vacancies jumped by 590,000 to 10.1 million on the last day of June, according to latest figures from the Labor Department.

That was up from a record 9.5 million openings in May and well above economists’ expectations.

The shortfall has been blamed on a lack of affordable childcare, generous unemployment benefits, and pandemic-related retirements and career changes.

Heather Kennedy, operator of McDonald’s Medford restaurant, says recent staff shortages were “unheard of” in her family’s 40-year history operating franchises for the chain.

Initially she tried to attract more workers by raising the restaurant’s minimum wage to $15, but did not spark enough interest. However, the outlet received more than 25 new applications in just a couple of days after opening its doors to under-16s.

Rapid change for fast-food recruitment

McDonald’s is not the first fast-food chain to ask younger workers to fill staffing gaps. Branches of Burger King and Wendy’s are trying similar tactics.

For its part, McDonald’s is a case study in using incentives to recruit, as UNLEASH recently described.

The company has decided to invest millions of dollars in order to raise hourly pay, introduce more time off, help cover tuition costs and offer emergency childcare for its restaurant workers.

It is also investing in training, as well as offering workplace flexibility, to its global employees. 

More like this

It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.