Career and Jobs

McDonald’s Finds New Ways To Attract Young Talent Through Amazon Alexa

In the “Great resignation” era, companies are looking for different ways to hire and retain talents. Amid a growing labor shortage, companies and employees need to streamline the process.

That is why HR departments are starting to embrace voice audio for hiring.

Social audio is the next big trend on the horizon for tech companies such as Facebook, Clubhouse and Discord. And McDonald’s is also a great example.

McDonald’s decided to make the process of applying to a job as easy and quick as going to the drive-thru. They wanted to provide candidates with an intuitive, consumer-like experience as well as     provide managers with the ability to post jobs and review candidates in minutes. To do so, they partnered with Paradox to create Apply Thru™.

I interviewed Josh Zywien, Chief Marketing Officer at Paradox, to discuss how he’s arming companies and candidates with the ability to apply for jobs using voice activation. Here’s what Josh shares:

Josh Zywien: At Paradox, we are trying to get work done in an automated way through simplifying the experience for the recruiter and the candidate. Our technology helps companies give the candidate assistance so that it is easy to apply for jobs, find jobs, schedule interviews and ask questions about the company. Think of it like Siri or Alexa for work to make the hiring process less painful.

Luciana Paulise: So I am going to call Alexa and get a job interview?

Josh Zywien: We all have been programmed to talk to devices. When you apply for a job, it can be the same thing. Now you are able to say, “Hey Alexa, help me find a job at McDonald’s.” On the other side, you’ll hear, “I am McDonald’s personal hiring system, Olivia (which is the name of our product).” The system can help you find jobs and apply with your voice. Prior to using Paradox’s Olivia, it took 15 days for McDonald’s to fill a job. Through our partnership, we’ve reduced that  to 2-3 days from the time a candidate applies to the job to the time they begin work.       

In the future, these machines will be able also to conduct interviews – something that’s still actively being worked on.    

Josh Zywien: Certain things within the recruiting and hiring are binary, such as, are you old enough to work, able to work on the weekends, or have a certain programming language skill set. You either have it, or you don’t. Because of this, Olivia will focus only on asking these kinds of questions. For employers, this saves a lot of time. 

Luciana Paulise: What is the benefit for employers and employees?

Josh Zywien: If you have a job opening, you may have 1000 applications. You can’t review all of them. So we automate the process to help employers understand who the qualified candidates are and enable them the ability to review them.      

The benefit for the candidate is that the applying process is more straightforward. Instead of answering 50 job questions, you only answer the five that indicate the requirements for the job. The process is also much faster, as we’ve been able to reduce the application process from 20 minutes to two minutes. Candidates will also receive an offer or a response much quicker too, whether they qualify for the job or not. If a candidate does not qualify for the specific job they applied for, they’ll get a response and suggestions to apply for different, relevant openings.

Luciana Paulise: Now, with COVID-19, companies are trying to be more human. How is this helping?

Josh Zywien: Olivia removes the burdensome tasks that human recruiters traditionally had to own in order to move candidates forward in the hiring process. For example, Olivia helps schedule interviews by integrating with the hiring manager’s calendar to suggest interview dates and times, and removes the waiting period for both the candidate and the employer.      

Luciana Paulise: What is the success rate, or if employees are happy with the process?

Josh Zywien: Now, the happiness rate with candidates is 99%. Most candidates expect to have a bad experience, so they find this innovative way of applying for a job more convenient and ultimately, different. If a candidate is at a McDonalds ordering food, they can simply look at the call to action on the window that provides information on how to text to apply for a job.      

Luciana Paulise: Can you use it with other types of jobs, such as engineers?

Josh Zywien: If you are hiring for engineering roles or nurses, instead of filing an application, Olivia will ask logistical and basic questions around skillsets, specialization, license and certifications. If a candidate answers yes to the most important questions in a very competitive market, Olivia     can get that candidate to the recruiter to begin the next steps in the interview process as soon as possible. 

Employees are demanding more from employers. How can companies attract, manage, and retain the best talent in this context with a candidate-driven market? Making the applying process easier could be the key, and AI can definitely help streamline it.

Find the interview here.

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