Instant Gratification-Apply on-line & Value Meal

You are in your car, reading the menu, in the drive-thru lane at McDonald's.

Then a voice appears-May I take you order please?

With confidence and without a hesitation you reply -I’ll have a number 5.

The voice says-proceed to the next window please!

You pay the 5 bucks at the first window and proceed to the next window

And… there it is, in a neat package-the value meal that you just ordered.  And that makes you very happy!


Instant gratification!


That is what we have come to expect from using the latest bells & whistles of technologies.  And this drive thru window experience has become the expectation of job seekers when they apply on-line for a job.

Do you really know what happens behind the scenes in a fast food joint, from the time you place your order at the intercom to actually receiving it at the pick-up window?

If you don’t know-ask someone who has worked at a fast food joint. 

When you think about it; the apply-on-line job application process is the same concept used by the drive-thru model at the fast food joints.

Let’s compare both models:



JOB:  Visit your favorite job search site (Monster, CareerBuilder, Employer Career Page)

MEAL:  Visit your favorite fast food joint (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell)


JOB:  You scan jobs by title or a keyword and click search to display the available jobs that might interest you.

MEAL:  You scan the huge menu of available meals that might interest you.



JOB:  You select the job that is most applicable to you and click the APPLY button.

MEAL:  You select the meal number that you want and repeat it out loud into the microphone.



JOB:  You take a huge chuck of your time to complete the application form and click the SUBMIT button.

MEAL:  You go to the next window and exchange some of your dollars for the meal.



JOB:  You get the job that you selected. (It will allow you to pay the bills that you are creating every day)

MEAL:  You get the food that you selected. (It will ease the pain, lessen the noise in your tummy and give you the energy to get you through the day)


As you can see, both concepts are similar in design and intent; which is to satisfy the needs of the customers in the shortest amount of time. 



JOB:  99.9% of the time you will not get the job when you apply on-line.

MEAL:  99.9% of the time, the meal that you ordered will be delivered to you at the pick-up window.



With the same expectation from the intended users, one model provide pleasure and the other generates disappointments.  It also leaves a few questions unanswered:

Mr. Employer, do you really care if job seekers know what happens behind the scenes after they apply on line for the job you advertised?

Do you know how many you have disappointed in your quest to fill just one open position?

Do you realize that your investment in tools to win the war for a very few are also tarnishing your brand and breaking the hearts of many?


Now, might be the best time to dismantle and rebuild before the demand shifts.



Views: 99

Comment by Valentino Martinez on April 8, 2011 at 1:21pm


Interesting comparison...the fast food process in getting a job.  It certainly does speak to "fast food" response expectations by some applicants. As if employers could make such decisions at a fast food order pace.  Pure fantasy...but wait... now I read that...that McDonald's has actually announced that it intends to hire 50,000 people on or by April 19th.... ...This does boggle the mind and will now set a precedent of true Fast Food Hiring by the Mother of all Fast Food employers McDonalds.  WOW...who'd a thought?


I was going to suggest that you not overlook the interview process before you get the job which you did not mention in your scenario of make a "Job Selection" the fast food order window and get the job at the next window.   With McDonald's plan to hire 50,000 on or nearly on April 19th they may resort to your example of select a job and it's yours.



Comment by Ken Forrester on April 8, 2011 at 1:43pm


I love the  McDonald's 50,000 hiring  connection; it didn't occur to me at the time I was writing this post. Now that I think about it. maybe McDonald's is on to something new in regards to how hiring will be done in the future.  I hope they are successful and certainly would like to see what goes on-on the back end after an application is submitted.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on April 10, 2011 at 1:36pm


I'm going to choke on my French fries if I hear about someone placing an order at the McDonald’s order-speaker box--asking for a McMeal, and a job, and is told to: “Park it and report to work, you’re hired!” 

I know that’s fantasy because it’s aligned with your blog theme on “Instant Gratification…” in hiring decisions.  I also know I won’t have to choke on my fries, because McDonalds will exercise a selection process that works for them.  It can be done. 

I worked on a recruitment team with Rockwell International that actually hired 5,412 professionals in a twelve month period (primarily technical positions in production, engineering, logistics, quality, procurement, hr, finance, business development, R&D, etc).  And we hired an average of 5000 per year for three consecutive years--so it can be done, particularly since McDonalds has 12,804 restaurants in the U.S.  With that many hiring authorities 50,000 hires by April 19th  is very doable…each would have to hire at least 4 new employees by or on the target date.

And when they do--it will be a shot in the arm for the folks who will apply and will be hired.  For some it will be their first job.  For others it will be a JOB with benefits, training, a paycheck, team interplay all providing customer service at various levels. 

No, I won’t choke on my fries--I will scarf them up and applaud Mickey Dees for making a dent in the long lines occupied be people who will value a JOB and an employer who will gain some great new employees and develop many future leaders out of that level of hiring.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on April 10, 2011 at 1:38pm


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