McDonald's teaming up with AARP to hire older employees

Age 55 years or older is one of the fastest-growing segments of workforce

McDonald's has teamed up with AARP -- a non-profit supporting aged Americans -- to hire workers 50 and older for its breakfast and lunchtime shifts.

For the new initiative, all U.S. job postings from McDonald's will appear on AARP's online job board as the fast-food giant tries to fill roughly 250,000 jobs over the summer. 

McDonald's is also working with the AARP Foundation to launch a pilot program in five states -- Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina -- that will help match lower-income older Americans with potential jobs.

The jobs will range from cashier to shift manager, positions that older workers are especially well-suited for because of their so-called "soft'' skills, McDonald's and AARP said, like showing up for work on time and being team players who can build connections with customers.

Currently, about 11% of the workers at McDonald's company-owned restaurants are 50 years or older, while teen workers make up 40% of employees. Melissa Kersey, McDonald's U.S. chief people officer, said that franchised locations typically mirror those patterns, but she could not provide the specific data.

Older Americans are the fastest growing segment of the labor pool. By 2024, those who are 55 and older will make up 24.8% of the private labor force, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This isn't the first time McDonald's has targeted older workers. But while previous efforts have tended to be smaller, local campaigns, this marks the company's first national effort to connect with a group that increasingly wants -- and needs -- to continue working into what were traditionally considered the retirement years. 

While McDonald's is the first large quick-service food chain to do so, more than 800 businesses including Pay Pal and Bank of America have taken AARP's pledge to include older people on their staffs.