McDonald's bets on 'augmented writing' to curb bias in job descriptions
- McDonald's has partnered with Textio to make its recruiting and hiring processes faster and more inclusive through the developer's augmented writing platform. The software will help McDonald's hiring managers and recruiters write using the restaurant's brand language and craft gender-neutral job posts, according to a news release.
- Textio described augmented writing as a user interface designed to improve how content is received by viewers. The interface compares the text to similar documents in real-time, uncovering hidden structure and language. The developer uses "a massive data set of real-world hiring outcomes from hundreds of millions of job listings," which gains 10 million new documents each month.
- "At McDonald's, our goal is to create feel good moments that ensure everyone feels welcome and included. That starts with the language we use when we reach out to you as a candidate," Joshua Secrest, McDonald's senior director of global talent attraction, said in a statement. "Textio's innovative augmented writing platform will give us the insights to know, in real time, whether the language we are using is attracting the most qualified and diverse candidates we can."
McDonald's joins the list of companies turning to tech-based solutions to make basic HR functions like recruiting and hiring more innovative. Among them is The Home Depot, which announced its plans to hire 80,000 associates for the spring season using a new technology it developed to improve hiring. Other employers are experimenting with how AI can help predict candidate potential, as well.
Experts foretold that crafting more inclusive job descriptions would be a focus for talent professionals in 2019, but the practice may be even more important for McDonald's right now. Its move toward more inclusive procedures comes six months after workers at several McDonald's locations staged a one-day strike to pressure management to bolster efforts to end on-the-job sexual harassment. Among those striking were women who filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in May 2018, alleging pervasive harassment at some franchises, according to the Associated Press. Although McDonald's defended its anti-sexual harassment initiatives at the time, the company agreed to bring in outside experts to help resolve the problem.
This move also is part of McDonald's larger initiative to increase representation of women at all levels of the company by 2023. Its strategy includes crafting gender-neutral job descriptions in English speaking countries for office and restaurant rolls and to increase its diverse candidate slates and interview panels, according to a press release.