Putting the ‘human’ back in HR
Taco Bell has given the dreary corporate job fair a new and kinder spin, said Jenny Zhang. For many in today’s economy, looking for a job means “repeatedly firing one’s résumé into the abyss that is the machine-filtered application portal and hoping for the best.” Taco Bell’s alternative is the “hiring party.” After a successful pilot program in four of the chain’s Indianapolis restaurants last year, Taco Bell opened its doors to job seekers at 600 different locations last week. The party I attended, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, offered “baskets of pale tortilla chips and all-you-can-drink soda” at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday morning. But it was buzzing with store managers and corporate employees, as well as 20 job candidates armed with résumés. Taco Bell managers frequently say that “people” are the company’s selling point, and note that the chain’s slogan, “Start With Us, Stay With Us,” is underscored by the fact that 80 percent of its leadership roles are filled by promotions inside the company. Most of the candidates I spoke to just wanted to work somewhere, anywhere. But “when so much of work has been stripped of humanity, automated to death, designed to minimize the friction of having to interact with other people,” Taco Bell offers something else: a human connection.