Who wants jobs as a fast food restaurant? Teenagers and young adults, of course. Where do you find teenagers? Well, if my teen is any indication, on Snapchat. The vast majority of Snapchat's 158 million users are between the ages of 13-34, with the largest group of those being 18-24. Just the age range for people looking for entry-level jobs, which is what most McDonald's jobs are.

McDonald's Australia (who rebranded there as Macca's in 2013) announced that they'd be accepting applications via Snapchat. Users can upload a short (10 second) video with a filter that puts them into a McDonald's uniform. From there, the recruiters will decide whether or not to move the candidate to the next step--filling out a digital application, according to Business Insider.

Great move or gimmick?

The short answer is yes. It would not be a great move for, say, an accounting firm, or your local hospital that is recruiting a new surgeon. But, fast food is where a lot of people start out their careers, and it's not that they have huge resumes to consider. Just about every teen and adult is capable of performing the work at McDonald's so it really is personality that will make the difference.

Using Snapchat lets that target audience of entry level people apply in a format that they are used to--not the stuffy old way their parents applied. (I applied at McDonald's once by asking for a paper application, which I then filled out with my best handwriting. I got a job offer but took a job at competitor Burger King, which also had a paper application. This was back in the dark ages of job hunting, also known as the late 1980s.)

Today's teens rarely put pen to paper, but they will put their face in front of any phone that happens across their paths. Which means that applying for work at McDonald's just became easier.

It's not an appropriate screening method for managers or non-entry level employees, because skills and experience matter there, but it is a great idea for people looking for a first job.

Cautions.

I'm not an expert on Australia's discrimination laws, but in the US, I'd be a bit nervous about having a video be the first round of selection. You'd need to make extra sure not to accidentally discriminate against people based on their race, gender, or age. You also need another method of applying (which you can do at the Macca's website).

You also want to be careful that you're not systematically weeding out older applicants. Of course, older folks are allowed to use Snapchat, but the vast majority of users are under 34. In the US, you'd need to make sure there wasn't a disparate impact on the over 40 crowd.

Should your business adopt this model?

If you run a business that relies heavily on inexperienced labor, then yes. It is definitely an eye catching way to get applicants. If your jobs require experience or education, stick with the traditional order of resumes and applications first.

Published on: Apr 11, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.