While McDonald's prides itself on teaching teens the value of a dollar by giving them their first-ever paychecks, the fast food giant wants job-seekers to know that it isn't just catering to the younger generation — in fact, it's hoping to start attracting some older workers as well.
In order to accomplish this, McDonald's has teamed up with AARP and AARP Foundation. McDonald's is hoping to start strategizing on ways to bring in older works as it prepares to hire around 250,000 employees for the busy summer months.
“For the first time ever, five generations are now working together under the Arches. Together with our franchisees, we have a responsibility to each generation to provide opportunity, flexibility and resources for wherever they are on their career journey,” Melissa Kersey, McDonald’s chief people officer, said Thursday in an online statement. “Thanks, in part, to our new collaboration with AARP and AARP Foundation we’re looking to position McDonald’s as a place where people at every stage of working life can see themselves grow and thrive while bringing stability and a different perspective that everyone can learn from.”
To start attracting people age 50 and up, AARP said it would begin posting job opportunities at McDonald's on its website.
McDonald's vowed to do its part by launching a pilot program, which will utilize AARP's Senior Community Service Employment Program to align "employer and candidate job needs and interests." The program — available first in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina before rolling out nationwide — will work to clearly explain the career and educational benefits available to those interested in a career within the company.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program aids low-income, unemployed Americans aged 55 and over find jobs, AARP explains on its website.
AARP Vice President for Financial Resilience Susan Weinstock said she was "thrilled" with the partnership and found the idea of both younger generations and older generations working side by side particularly appealing.
"Integrating these workers with their younger staff can often bring unexpected benefits including two-way mentoring which supports growth for all. Our work with McDonald’s is a true first-of-its-kind for the QSR industry and we hope others follow,” she said, in part, in a statement.
According to 2017 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is estimated to increase by 11.5 million from 2016 through 2026. Over that 10-year span, the "aging population is projected to decline in the overall labor force participation rate," the agency says.
“Considering the labor trends for both the 50+ workforce and the growth of the QSR industry, McDonald’s leadership in this area is occurring an opportune time,” Ron Painter, president of the National Association of Workforce Boards, said in the news release. “People all over the country are facing challenges that are driving them back into the workforce and we need to connect them with employers that provide respect, dignity and opportunities for advancement and connection. It’s encouraging to see McDonald’s stepping up to the challenge.”