Mass Hiring : Should we or should’nt we?

It’s everywhere in the news that Chipotle is going to celebrate National Career Day in US on September 9th by hiring 4000 people on a single day.On that day Chipotle managers will interview 60 people within a 3 hours time from 8AM-11AM in each of the Chipotle store around the country.

Seriously..4000 people on a single day???

Ever since this interesting peace of news came out, like me ,most of you would have wondered that filling up 1 or 2 positions with a reasonable candidate itself takes in general 1-1.5 months time in normal companies and how Chipotle is gonna do this mammoth task.Recruiters spend days and months in collecting contacts,building up database,endless cold callings etc to line up a decent number of candidates for the interview process(leave aside the interview process for now).I know that Chipotle is definitely not looking for such highly qualified candidates for being their crew members who prepare food and take order ,but won’t it be still challenging?Especially when they say that they hold higher standards and want the best people who are authentic,motivated and hardworking.How would they ensure that the 4000 people that they are going to choose on a single day have those 13 essential ingredients (Motivated,infectiously enthusiastic,respectful,curious,happy,presentable,honest,smart,polite,highly ambitious,high energy,hospitable and contentious) for success?

Mass hiring is not anything new on the cart.Indian IT giants like TCS and Infosys hire from engineering college campuses on an average of 200-300 hires on a single day or two, summing up their campus hiring ,sometimes to a whopping 25k-30K in a single year.I must say that these IT companies have well defined hiring processes which is multi-staged including standard analytical tests and multiple rounds of interviews,eliminating candidates at every stage.Though they join the company over a period of 6-8 months,they do pose challenges to the organization including that of quality and longevity.

The challenge is not just to select these many candidates on a single day.Let’s say that these people(read Chipotle) have enough skills to identify the best 4000  candidates suitable for the jobs.That is just the beginning.These 4000 new recruits have to be onboarded,enrolled into benefits,all the other administrative formalities need to be completed and then comes the toughest part of getting them ready for the job.As Chipotle says what they look for in the candidates is not culinary experience or kitchen skills,it is really going to be a challenge for them to assimilate these people into their roles in the restaurant.In my experience ,I have never been in a Chipotle with no long queues and it’s the speed and skills of crew members help the lines move quickly.Placing the large number of recruits under training on the job can really affect the speed of the operations and that may obviously affect the customer experience.Who would have the patience to stand in long slow moving queues to grab a burrito for lunch unless you are a hard core Chipotle fan or if no other options are around.But hey,we know that there is no dearth of Tex-Mex food options in any city in US.

Chipotle should have a very systematic plans for placing and training the new recruits at right locations in such a way that it does not affect the normal operations.Also,even now,people take up restaurant jobs as interim options before they make a plunge into their real career choices,a vast majority of them being college students who have to earn some money during their studies.So recruiting in large numbers,training them and finally losing them soon can be a nightmare for Chipotle. If they want “Chipotle to be a place where people just don’t earn a paycheck,but a chance to make a real career”(as they say in their website),they need to have to some solid plans to retain these employees for a reasonable time and help them advance through the ladder.With the recent addition of new benefits plans like full tuition reimbursements and paid vacations,it seems that they are moving in the right direction,but it would be quite interesting to see how they are going to manage this entire thing.I think we may then have a better answer for our question ‘Should we or should’nt we go for mass hiring’.


The Ardent HR


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