An Analysis of McDonald’s Employer Brand Strategy on TikTok

Nowadays, social media is more than just a platform to doom scroll on; it’s where friendships are formed, jobs are found, and people connect. The key is to hone your message for the platform you’re on and the audience you want to reach, which are closely related.

Recently, McDonald’s social media profiles have been revamped with content that enhances their employer brand in a way that is truly reaching people where they’re at — on TikTok, on Meta Reels, and more. 

McDonald’s employer brand is doing something right, as evidenced by the amount of views and saves their videos have accrued since being posted. Read on to learn more about McDonald’s employer branding tactics and how you replicate these at your company for better recruitment success.

McDonald’s viral employer branding tactics

Employer branding doesn’t have to be dull or boring. Below, we’ve selected six of the tactics that McDonald’s has used on their TikTok profile and outlined why the approach is so successful in recruitment.

Highlighting benefits and perks

One of the videos with the highest views (as of writing) is one where the first screen says something along the lines of “employee benefits” before showing taste testers sampling new, unrevealed chicken nugget sauces. This video works for a lot of reasons, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the iconic nuggets. McDonald’s knew who their target audience was — and who wouldn’t love to be one of the first to try the newest sauce? 

Moving beyond the obvious edible perks, this video does a great job of showing job seekers what a career at McDonald’s could potentially hold for them (taste tests and all). This is one of the driving reasons why job descriptions need to have the benefits and compensation listed clearly as tastefully to the top as possible. In fact, Hireology research has shown that 91% of job seekers would be willing to take a lower paying role within their desired salary range if it included a benefit that they valued, like schedule flexibility, career development opportunities, etc.

How to do this: Use your social media platforms to show job seekers the perks that come along with working with you! Not everyone has super secret sauces, but there are nuggets of joy in every workplace that can be used to enhance your online employer brand. 

Frequently asked questions

Another one of McDonald’s most engaged with videos is a very short and sweet explanation of their tuition assistance program. The video in question simply has a dark screen of a graduation ceremony with a heading asking, “Does McDonald’s pay for college?” The next screen explains in very concise language that while McDonald’s does not pay entirely for tuition it does provide assistance to eligible crew members.

How to do this: Job seekers have a lot of questions about potential employers — and you have the perfect opportunity to engage with potential job seekers and actively searching applicants on your social media platforms. Use your profiles to elaborate on the benefits and perks that differentiate employment with you from your local competitors, large and small. 

Tip: Feature some of these FAQ videos on your career site too!

Multiple employee voices

Peppered throughout McDonald’s TikTok page are one-on-one interviews with a wide variety of employee types, including the following individuals:

  • Chris Kepczinksi, CEO of McDonald’s
  • Chef Chad, McDonald’s Test Kitchen
  • Cody Risgby, former crew member and current fitness instructor, dancer, and tv personality

This is an ingenious tactic for a few reasons, starting with the breadth of department type showing that there are plenty of options for workers to find their right fit. Highlighting a video with the CEO humanizes his position, puts a face to the leader of the burger giant, and allows potential applicants to possibly create parasocial attachments to the company and mission based on his answers and intensity. 

Chef Chad, on the other hand, gives a glimpse into the playful and flavorful aspects of kitchen life. The addition of Cody Rigsby silently counteracts stereotypes about working at McDonald’s while he provides testimonials about his past as a crew member.

How to do this: Talk to your team, past and present, to see if anyone would be interested in participating in videos you can feature on your career site and social media platforms. One-on-one videos may be a more comfortable experience for someone who has never been in front of the camera before and they’re a great way for potential applicants to actually get a feel for what working with you would be like.

Provides glimpses of optional career paths

There’s more to McDonald’s than just flipping burgers. McDonald’s is a global company — and they have enough internal departments to prove it. The burger brand took advantage of its size by featuring glimpses of multiple career paths employees could take within its ranks. No matter what trajectory someone wants to take in their career, there is very likely a position at McDonald’s with the role they want on it.

As part of McDonald’s recent employer branding strategy, they featured short videos on a day in the life of at least four different employees, ranging from global policy experts to lawyers to even a cybersecurity intern. As a recruiting tactic, this approach really works with the younger generations because they tend to value professional development and opportunities to grow their careers.

How to do this: Try to get volunteers from every department in your organization, or at the very least, every employment level. The goal here is to show the variety of paths someone can take within your company and industry; entry level employees are no longer content with staying at where they started and need to see the potential future ahead of them. Use your social media and employer branding to give them what they need.

Spotlight key contributors

Nestled in the graph of videos McDonald’s has produced, is one that features a middle aged woman beaming at the camera. This short clip simply says how Nelly Quijano, the woman in the photographs, and her late husband Dominic invented the sausage burrito 30+ years ago at the McDonald’s in Houston that they owned.

This video was so simple, but so powerful. Whether you love sausage burritos or not, appreciating the story behind this fast food staple is easier to do once you can put a face (or two) to it. McDonald’s really appealed to the emotional side of viewers with this TikTok.

How to do this: No man is an island and accomplishing business goals without the assistance of others is, to put it nicely, highly unlikely. Your company may not be responsible for a beloved breakfast classic, but you probably have some rockstar employees who have made significant improvements and contributions to your workplace during their tenure. If these people are camera shy, you can always use old photographs or the like to replicate what McDonald’s did.

Appeal to the younger generation

Finally, let’s look at the platform itself that McDonald’s chose to post its videos on. It’s no secret that connecting with younger generations is now harder than ever before. Instead of old school methods of communication like in-person applications or newspapers, the youth of today have supercomputers in their pockets that can show them infinite possibilities of screens.

But McDonald’s found a way to cut through the noise on one of the most successful social media platforms of today: TikTok. By combining their brand recognition with a platform that teenagers and younger workers will likely scroll, McDonald’s found a way to connect with potential applicants who may or may not be searching for employment. McDonald’s appealed to the Gen Z crowd by showcasing what’s important to them, like meaningful work. Hireology research shows that a job with fulfilling or enjoyable work was the second most common reason why a candidate would choose a lower paying job option over another in their desired salary range, making this an extremely important factor to consider in the recruiting process. The best example of this that McDonald’s posted was the day in the life with the global policy expert, who briefly described why the work was so important to her. 

How to do this: Figure out your company’s bigger why — how does the work you do contribute to the quality of your immediate community? Answer this for yourself and then post that online to see if it rings true with any potential candidates 

Drive better quality applicants with a revamped employer brand

McDonald’s employer brand is a masterpiece in modern recruitment — but it wouldn’t be possible without the right tools and people in place. 

Discover how you can create a customized careers page dedicated to enhancing your online employer brand by scheduling a demo with Hireology today! 



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