McDonalds Human Resources: What You Need to Know

McDonalds Human Resources: What You Need to Know
Last Updated: March 7, 2024

In 2021, McDonalds was recognized as the world's largest fast-food chain. Statistically, it served 69 million customers in more than 100 countries. The human resources division at McDonalds played a critical role in that success. 

Commentators attribute the success of McDonalds to several factors. These include its innovative business strategy, focus on client satisfaction, and capacity for growth. However, one of the most critical components of McDonalds success is its workforce; for this reason, it is necessary to examine McDonalds human resources practices.

A Glassdoor review found a 3.5-star overall rating on a scale of 5 for McDonalds human resources practices. Additionally, 6 in 10 employees said they would suggest McDonalds as a place to work. These numbers imply that McDonalds workers are satisfied with their jobs. Perhaps one of the main factors contributing to McDonalds great success.

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McDonalds human resources plans, implements, and develops strategies for hiring, training, assessing, and rewarding employees. The primary objective is to provide the company with a competitive edge.

McDonalds human resources is one of the most recognized in its industry. Its responsibility is to ensure that the right people are in the right places with the right abilities. It also involves connecting the right persons with the correct positions at the right time and cost.

Global McDonald's operations are developed and aligned with its plan-to-win operational strategy. McDonalds human resources also function to feed into this overall strategy. The core tenet of this strategy is the requirement to deliver an outstanding client experience.

The plan-to-win strategy focuses on products, people, place, price, and promotion (5Ps). With the combination of these 5Ps, McDonalds believes that it can achieve its mission of continuous improvement of customer experience. McDonald's human resource strategy comprises preparation, selection, education, performance, remuneration, and staff maintenance.

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The Position of Human Resources in McDonalds Structure


The corporate strategy of McDonalds aligns with its human resources management. This aligns with the organization's adaptable and dynamic structure, especially the role of human resources within the McDonalds structure. McDonalds organizational structure is functional and focuses on different business components and functions as the basis for determining the relationships and reporting lines between these distinct components.

A snippet from McDonald's executive team organizational chart, which shows the role of human resources, is shown below.

Heidi Capozzi is the Executive Vice President and Global Chief People Officer of McDonalds, responsible for managing the company's global human resources operations. According to a recent analysis of the HR reporting structure, 13% of HR directors at different organizations report directly to the CEO. This is the case for McDonalds human resources. The findings probably demonstrate how much employers value human resources in today's fast-paced workplace.

At McDonalds, human resources practices are given more prominence and significance. Studies have indicated that when HR reports directly to the CEO, the CEO values HR's contribution to the firm and sees it as a strategic function. As a result, HR might become more prominent and essential within the organization. 

Related: Human Resources Outsourcing: A Guide for HR Professionals

McDonalds Human Resources Philosophy 

‘We're not just a hamburger company serving people; we're a people company serving hamburgers.’- McDonalds

McDonald’s human resources philosophy promotes a positive work environment, prioritizes employee satisfaction, and offers competitive wages and benefits. The company’s approach to human resources has been vital in maintaining a satisfied workforce that delivers both quality and quantity of work. McDonalds human resources vision is to be the best employer in each community around the world. Being the best means opportunities, training development, satisfaction, rewards, and recognition.

The company has constantly reminded its employees that it is committed to their well-being. A common people promise at McDonalds is that - To all our present and future employees, we'd like you to know that we are committed. “We Value You, Your Growth, and Your Contributions."

To address internal and external variables, HRM practitioners at McDonald's have used a variety of solutions at both the operational and strategic levels. These include recruitment and onboarding techniques, employee engagement programs, e-enabling HR processes, ethical sourcing policies, and global HR strategies. 

The company's HR technology trends include staff involvement and connection through mobile applications and social media platforms and training and assessment using digital technologies like VR and analytics.

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Learning and Development Programs

‘Teach skills and values that last for a lifetime.’

McDonald's provides a range of training and development opportunities. These aim to improve staff members' abilities and expertise and support their professional development and the business's success. McDonald’s human resources uses a blended learning approach to apply training programs. These methods include the following:

  1. McTalent Development Program is a fast-track development program for externally hired talents to join the Store Management Team. It provides tailor-made training for participants to advance to restaurant general managers and mid-managers rapidly.

  2. The Star Competition is an iconic employee event with training, learning, and fun. It is a platform for participants to show their consistent training results and team spirit with rewards and recognition for top performers.

  3. Classroom training is an interactive event with clear learning objectives. The training is held in or out of the restaurant and guided by professional trainers for effective knowledge transfer. Activities include webinar broadcast, capstone course, restaurant experience, case study, visits and tours, online assessment, etc.

  4. On-the-job coaching and digital learning. The approach enables participants to begin their self-learning journey and work independently to acquire critical operational knowledge and standards while providing the participant with the chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with a coach. This builds practical restaurant skills and demonstrates how the concepts work in a working environment.

  5. Hamburger University is a critical component of McDonalds training and development program. It instructs high-potential restaurant managers, mid-managers, and owner-operators in restaurant management. Hamburger University students take courses about restaurant operations, leadership skills, customer service, operations, and procedures. The skills learned from the university are a lifetime gain for employees. 

The foundation of the McDonald’s training system is providing training when and where it is needed. Team members at McDonald's can become proficient and focused on the particular procedures and policies of the system through practical training. A portion of the staff will continue to work at the restaurant as vital parts of the team, while others may choose to go into management. Whether in an entry-level position or throughout a career, McDonald's training offers life skills that may be applied to various scenarios.

Related: Walmart Human Resources: What You Need to Know

Recruitment and Selection

McDonalds follows a specific recruitment process for most of its locations. However, some places might have their own unique hiring process. Generally, the recruitment and selection at McDonalds follows the process explained in this section, adapted from the McDonalds website

For the majority of positions, basic eligibility requirements apply. These include being at least 15 years old, having the ability to multitask, excellent communication skills, attentiveness, and a collaborative attitude. But, depending on the position, specific requirements could change; therefore, reading and comprehending the job description is critical before applying. Usually taking an hour or so, the application procedure requires applicants to submit their availability, employment history, and contact information. A 'personality' test is also given to evaluate attributes necessary for the position.

Related: Costco Human Resources: What You Need To Know

Application Review

Once submitted, the applications undergo a review process by hiring managers. This assessment includes an examination of the answers to the personality test. Candidates whose qualifications and personalities align with the company's needs are then scheduled for an interview, either online, via phone, or in person.

Video or Phone Interviews

Regardless of the interview format, meticulous preparation is crucial. Video interview tips are beneficial for those scheduled for online interviews. In contrast, phone interview preparation closely mirrors video interviews, with the main distinction being the absence of a webcam setup.

Onsite Visit

Candidates invited for in-person interviews should arrive punctually and well-prepared, bringing essential documents such as identification and social security cards, along with a resume. Though some documents may not be needed during the interview, their presence demonstrates organizational skills and quick thinking.

Pre-Employment Screening

McDonald's conducts criminal and educational background checks and standard procedures for potential hires. Although pre-employment drug and alcohol testing is not routine, the company retains the right to administer them under specific circumstances, such as suspicion of impairment, leading to potential disciplinary action.


McDonalds gives job offers to those who complete the interview process and pre-employment screening. During the initial phone call, discussions about availability and scheduling an official reporting date occur. Depending on the candidate's experience level, the initial weeks may involve training.

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Competitive Pay and Benefits

‘Pay Competitively’

To draw and keep talent across the board, McDonalds offers competitive pay that is appropriate for the role held by a Company employee. The company assesses competitive wage data and market trends to establish acceptable wage ranges and guarantee compliance with all relevant wage and hour legislation.

According to review aggregator Glassdoor, the robust benefits package at McDonald's includes insurance, health and wellness coverage, vacation and time off, and financial and retirement benefits. Overall, the pay and benefits were rated 3-star by US employees via Glassdoor. 

  1. Competitive - Pay opportunities are designed to attract, engage, and motivate personnel by matching the external worth of a position. McDonalds routinely assesses pay rates' competitiveness in comparison to peer organizations that match the company size, scale, performance requirements, and talent pool.

  2. Non-Discriminatory - Company employees are compensated at a level commensurate with their role, responsibility, impact, location, experience, knowledge, skills and performance, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or any other similar protected personal characteristics. This is backed by the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policy.

The McDonalds compensation philosophy goes beyond mere payment. It is designed to ignite exceptional performance, celebrate achievements, and shape behaviours that embody company values. McDonalds believes in clear communication so that pay programs are transparently explained through regular updates and a focus on simplicity. This ensures that every employee understands the link between their efforts and rewards. Furthermore, the company operates with the utmost integrity, adhering to all relevant legal and regulatory guidelines to build trust and foster a responsible work environment.

Resources to Get the Job Done

‘Employees need fundamental resources to serve customers’

McDonald's empowers its employees to shine with the tools and support they need to excel. From well-equipped kitchens and training programs to flexible work schedules, McDonald’s human resources fosters a work environment prioritizing productivity and well-being. This recipe for success ensures happy employees and, ultimately, satisfied customers.

McDonald's human resources fuels crew success with ample resources: strategically staffed restaurants, well-equipped kitchens, comprehensive training, and flexible scheduling. This empowered workforce tackles every order confidently, crafting consistent meals and radiating positive vibes, ultimately resulting in satisfied customers and a thriving environment for all.


It can be concluded that McDonalds human resources has implemented several initiatives to improve the performance of the employees, the organizational culture, and the engagement of the employees with the organization. Drawing lessons from the McDonalds HR framework for improved organizational outcomes is crucial.

Brandon Murambinda
This article was written by Brandon a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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