Magoosh GRE

HR Proposal: The recruitment and selection strategy adopted by McDonald’s

| April 2, 2015


The following study will be based upon the recruitment and selection strategy adopted by McDonald’s. McDonald’s is the largest chain of fast food restaurants. Currently the company operates in 119 countries, having approximately 30 thousand restaurants across the globe. Its headquarters is located in the United States. In 2011 McDonald’s increased its global sales by 5.6% while its revenues reached a record of $27 billion. Following its Plan To Win, in 2012 McDonald’s aims to: “optimize and evolve their menu, modernize the customer experience and broad accessibility to their Brand” (McDonald’s Corporation, 2012).
In particular, the following study will focus on McDonald’s in the United Kingdom. Currently McDonald’s has more than 1250 restaurants across the country. McDonald’s Company owns approximately 63% of them while the rest is franchised. McDonald’s hires over 67.000 people in the UK, including hours-paid employees, management team and office staff. Steve Easterbrook, Chief Executive and President of McDonald’s, postulates that Human Resources is a key priority at McDonald’s. He believes that “If you get the people part right, the rest will follow” (Fuller, 2006).
McDonald’s, similarly as other global giants, aims to recruit employees that will be willing to develop and to become managers in the future. Hence, recruitment and selection process seems to be an interesting topic to examine.

The hospitality sector has a bad reputation amongst the jobseekers. A number of businesses within a sector do not have an employment agreement or employment policy. The jobs within a sector are mostly part-time or temporary. Additionally they are low-paid. The managers often lack people skills, as they have no solid experience in management. Hence, the hospitality sector has been characterized by a high turnover of staff (Lye, 2007).
McDonald’s reputation as an employer has changed over the past decades. In 1991, Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland postulated that McDonald’s jobs were “low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-job in the service sector” (Fuller, 2006). In 2011, McDonald’s has been awarded HR Excellence Award for its Employment Engagement Strategy. Currently, McDonald’s is a significant employer in the United Kingdom, having 67.000 staff. In 2012 McDonald’s announced its plan of creating additional 2.500 jobs in the United Kingdom. As a reasonable actor, McDonald’s aims to recruit further right people that will support management team and contribute to the company’s growth in the future.
Therefore, the dissertation aims to answer the following research question: “What steps have been taken by McDonald’s to select the best types of employees?” The research question indicates that the dissertation will consider recruitment process as a determinant of a successful selection of employees. Further, the dissertation will also analyze an employment policy at McDonald’s as a guarantor of low turnover of staff.


Human Resource Management is one of key functions within a company. It includes attraction and recruitment of new employees as well as training, assessment and rewarding system within a company. The employees are perceived as a backbone of the organization, as they jointly contribute to the company’s success (Beach, 1980). As the business environment becomes highly competitive, the companies need to attract potential employees and to make sure that the employees will be willing to develop within a company and to contribute to its growth. While small businesses delegate HR issues to their senior officials or management team, large companies have a staff specializing in Human Resource Management or hand over a part of this job to the external bodies, recruitment agencies. In both cases, recruiters have to be very selective in order to prevent long-term negative consequences of hiring wrong staff such as poor performance, high turnover and failure to achieve company’s goals (Evans, 2007).
Not only do recruitment processes and employment policies become of keen interest to people working in HR departments, but they are also a subject of an ongoing debate in an existing literature. Considering first Human Resources Management in general, there is a number of scholars who analyzed the relationship between working incentives and worker’s productivity. Three scholars who gave solid theoretical basics to HR discipline should be mentioned. These are Maslow, Herzberg and McGregor. Maslow is a founder of a hierarchy of needs. Employment is regarded as a safety need, a next level after bottom basic needs. However, self-actualizations (i.e. climbing the career ladder) is at the top of the hierarchy of needs. It indicates that people need to be encouraged to climb the career ladder at the expense of other needs such as family or leisure (Wahba and Bridwell, 1976). Herzberg, in turn, specifies two sets of factors that increase people’s productivity at work in his Two Factor Theory. The first group are motivator factors such as achievement, responsibility, growth, promotion, while the second group – hygiene factors such as pay and benefits, supervision, company policy and administration (Feder, 2000). Lack of hygiene factors leads to the dissatisfaction of employees. Good organizational hygiene, in turn, constitutes a good foundation for the development of the motivator factors. The following theory has two important implications. First, the employers should focus on the worker’s attitudes to the performed job rather than on their interest in the job. Second, salary has been often wrongly perceived as a motivator while it has been a hygiene factor (Feder, 2000). McGregor developed Theory X and Theory Y. These theories divide employees into two groups, based on their job attitude and then, shape two different management styles. Theory X assumes that people are lazy and avoid responsibilities. Hence, managers should tightly control their workers. As the employees are not ambitious, a strong incentive program needs to be implemented in order to increase their productivity. Contrary, Theory Y postulates that the employees are self-motivated and self-controlled. Managers should create the right conditions for self-development of their employees. According to McGregor, Theory Y managers are more successful than Theory X managers in building mutual trust with their employees and hence, in HR development. As HR is a key function of the organizations, Theory Y managers are also more effective in achieving company’s goals (Steward, 2009).
Considering the recruitment process, there is a little discussion in the literature on the selection criteria, as the companies have been recruiting on various positions and hence, selection criteria are entirely dependent on the vacancies. Instead, the scholars (i.e. Richardson) focus on the recruitment strategies that can generally be divided on internal and external recruitment strategies. Internal recruitment refers to the recruitment within a company (a promotion of existing personnel or hiring through a recommendation of friend or family member by existing staff). The main advantage of internal recruitment is that the insiders know company’s strengths and limitations, its employees and culture. The internal promotion also strengthens the employees’ commitment to the company. On the other hand, sometimes it might be hard to find a right candidate on a particular vacancy and hence, the position might be offered to the person that does not have possibly best qualifications. Similarly, the company might not have a sufficient number of qualified staff to take newly created positions. Hence, it might lead to the promotion of people that did not get a full training and do not have a solid knowledge. External recruitment, in turn, includes informal and formal methods. Formal methods concern wide searches at the labour market for the candidates with no previous connection to the company. Informal methods regard searching company’s database for the retained resumes (i.e. rehiring former employees, hiring students who took internship programme within a company). The later method is faster and inexpensive compared to external methods (Richardson, 2000).


The following section will discuss the methodology used in the following research work. First, it will focus on the research design (research objectives, philosophy, strategy and approach) and then, it will consider methodology and its limitations.


Research objectives

The dissertation displays two main objectives. First, it aims to analyze the recruitment strategy developed by McDonald’s in order to demonstrate how McDonald’s attracts people to apply for a job as well as to reveal what employees McDonald’s is looking for. Second, it intends to examine an employment policy of McDonald’s in order to discuss the working incentives used by McDonald’s to ensure low turnover of staff.

Research philosophy

The research philosophy is based on research question, objectives and methodology. The following research considers recruitment strategy and employment policy as key elements of successful HR management. Hence, interpretivism is considered to be the most accurate research philosophy, as it focuses on social actions and their influence on people.

Research approach

The following research work will use both inductive and deductive research approaches. The deductive approach will be reflected in the review of existing literature on human resources management as well as in the discussion on the relevance of various recruitment strategies to McDonald’s recruitment concept. The inductive approach, in turn, will be reflected in the interview with McDonald’s Vice President. The interview will demonstrate the main values and principles of HR policy at McDonald’s in order to deliver a detailed understanding of the research context.
Research strategy (methodology)

As the recruitment strategies and recruitment processes are deeply researched elements of HR sector, the most accurate methodology seems to be the case study. It will focus on an in-depth analysis of the research topic on an example of a single company, McDonald’s. The following case study will have an explanatory character as it examines relationships between organization and its employees (In general, an explanatory research concerns relationships between variables i.e. the causes and the results).


Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used in the following dissertation in order to collect data. First, the research will include the semi-structural interview (qualitative method) with David Fairhust, McDonald’s vice-president responsible for HR department. This interview will be based on the list of 15 questions on recruitment strategy and employment policy at McDonalds and will provide a reliable data from the company’s side. Further, the interview will create an opportunity to gain the additional information due to the open-ended questions and the new questions brought up while interviewing.
Second, the questionnaire will be conducted amongst the McDonald’s employees (quantitative methodology). The questionnaire aims to demonstrate how employees perceive the recruitment process within McDonald’s (How easy was a recruitment process? How did they like the questions they have been asked? Did any questions concern their growth within the company and potential career in management?) as well as to present how willing they are to work for McDonald’s within next five years. In order to present reliable and objective information, the research target is to survey a group of 100 employees from five McDonald’s restaurants in London. The designed questionnaire will include twenty multiple choice, closed-ended questions, as it intends to provide comparable data. Nonetheless, it will also leave some space for comments so that the employee will have an opportunity to present any additional issues (concerns).


The validity and reliability of gained information are crucial for the research purposes. Hence, the researcher is aware of the limitations of the methodology and aims to minimize them. Considering the interview first, the researcher is aware that too sensitive topic, inexplicit questions as well as behaviour of the interviewer can affect interviewee’s response. Prior to the interview, the researcher will guarantee that all information will be used exclusively for the research purpose. Further, the interviewee will be given a copy of his answers in order to confirm that the interview does not offend the company and that the interviewee agrees to use the information in the following research work.
Considering the questionnaire, the questions might be imprecise or inaccurate and hence, the respondents might understand the questions differently than the researcher did. Hence, the pilot study will be conducted first. They will include a group of 5 employees and they will check the level of difficulty and feedback by the respondents. The pilot study also helps researcher to obtain some assessment about the reliability of the questionnaire which will be very helpful in detecting the weaknesses and grey areas. This will also provide help about some ambiguous and vague queries so that they will be amended prior to final presentation. Further, the uncomfortable environment can also have an impact on the questionnaire’s results. Hence, the researcher intends to ensure that the questionnaire will be anonymous and it will not have an impact on the working conditions of the employees who agreed to participate. The management teams in the McDonald’s restaurants are expected to help in achieving this goal.


Prepare Proposal MM:DD:2012
Literature Review MM:DD:2012
Final Literature Review MM:DD:2012
Pilot Questionnaire MM:DD:2012
Final Questionnaire MM:DD:2012
Results And Analysis MM:DD:2012
First Draft MM:DD:2012
Final Draft MM:DD:2012
Presentation MM:DD:2012
Final Report MM:DD:2012


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