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McDonald's Makes Online Connection With Local Workers And Communities

Oak Brook, IL-McDonald's "McState" project, which involves the creation of employee-recruitment and community-relations Web sites with addresses that include the chain's carefully protected "Mc" preface and a state name, launched in August. The first two such sites, www.McMinnesota.com and www.McWisconsin.com, had soft launches on August 18 and formal premieres on August 26 that featured point-of-purchase promotional materials, advertising support and a related online contest.

McDonald's 16-state Midwest division is fully behind McState, because the concept initially was proposed to the chain by Kuehl Operations of Hays, Kansas, a four-unit franchisee that has had success hiring online through its own Web site.

Between August 18 and September 5, the two new sites experienced almost 42,000 unique visitor sessions that generated 121,596 page views, McDonald's said. Nearly 8,700 of those people came back a second time to pump up gross log-on numbers to 50,300. During that time, McDonald's representatives reported, store-level job seekers submitted a total of 324 digital employment applications.

"We were blown away by the number of job applicants," said Steve Tompos, McDonald's Corp.'s senior manager of communications for the Midwest division. Tompos added that the chain has to "follow up with the operator community" to analyze at what rate online applicants were hired and the length of their employment "to give us a better business case [to talk about] going forward."

McState sites feature "Apply Online" areas and restaurant locators as well as links to the chain's national Web site, McDonalds.com; its Spanish-language site, lomcximo.com; its Internet play area for kids, Ronald.com; and the benevolent Ronald McDonald House Charities, or RMHC.com.

If successful in the Midwest, the McState concept is expected to be adopted by some or all of the chain's four other U.S. divisions. -Nation's Restaurant News

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