McDonald’s supersizes recruiting efforts with new text analysis platform

McDonald’s is betting on tech to help it reduce bias in the hiring process.

The fast food giant is now using Textio, an augmented writing platform which assesses the language in job postings in an effort to uncover patterns and detect bias. McDonald’s says it’s using the platform to compose gender neutral job posts, which coincides with its goal of combating gender bias in the workplace.

"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, says 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.”

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McDonald’s joins a growing list of employers, including Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Spotify and the NBA, that are using Textio.

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McDonald’s patrons and pedestrians pass the fast food restaurant at their location on Park Ave in New York on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. Photographer: Tom Starkweather/Bloomberg News.

In December, Angie Wesley, head of talent acquisition at financial services company TIAA, told Employee Benefit News that the company is using Textio as part of a job description rebuild process. Wesley says the technology tells employers how feminine, masculine or derogatory content is and will make suggestions to appeal to the type of candidate an employer wants to attract.

“You can put in that this job is for Louisiana, and it will adjust your language based on the scoring in Louisiana and what more people are referencing there, versus what they might reference in New York,” she says. “The big goal is for job descriptions to be most appealing to the candidates so you can get the most people to apply.”

See also: How TIAA uses HR tech to diversity hiring

Textio’s data comes from real-world hiring outcomes from hundreds of millions of job listings across industries worldwide. The dataset grows by 10 million new documents every month. McDonald’s will allow the platform to develop its capabilities in the hospitality and franchise industries, Textio says. McDonald’s receives upwards of 20 million applicants a year.

Secrest says McDonald’s is excited to see the language patterns that Textio uncovers in their hiring process.

“Textio takes the sometimes painful process of writing a job post or a recruiting email and makes it fun and engaging,” he says.

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