Burger Giant ‘Kings’ Prospective Employees

Aiming to attract potential job applicants and engage current employees, Burger King, earlier this year, launched a nationwide recruitment campaign called “You’re King Material.”

In an industry marked by high worker turnover, “You’re King Material” provides a fresh take on the positive quality of work-life at Burger King. The company’s four culture pillars  (boldness, accountability, empowerment and fun) are extended visually through in-store materials and a viral video showcasing real-life Burger King employees as brand ambassadors.

The campaign streamlines Burger King’s recruitment and retention strategy by providing a consistent look and feel for the independent franchisees that own and operate 90% of the Burger King restaurants. Prior to the launch of the new campaign, individual owners sought job candidates on an ad hoc basis. Franchisees advertised in newspaper and online job boards, engaged in do-it-yourself desktop publishing or hired outside creative firms. Now, independent franchisees have access to cohesive components including as print ads, brochures, tray liners, signage and other collateral pieces.

“We have received a huge response from franchise owners. They have ordered the materials in high quantities for their restaurants,” said Jose Tomas, vice president of human resources for The Americas, Burger King, Miami. The program kicked off in February and the chain is considering extending it overseas.

The innovative recruitment initiative, introduced earlier this year, is based on the concept ‘Fun with a Future,’ and aligns with Burger King’s larger, consumer brand identity. “Leveraging the success of the strong, irreverent and distinguishing consumer brand embodied in the King, we wanted the new employer branding campaign to be very contemporary and relevant, and focus on edgy elements which are not present in the traditional, flat call to action, ‘Apply Today’ and “Now Hiring’ statements,” said Lesley DeCanio, regional vice president, Southeast region of TMP Worldwide Advertising & Communications, New York which created the effort.

In the coming months, Burger King will assess how to integrate “You’re King Material” into its internal employee referral program and the careers section of the Web site, among other outreach initiatives.

“Burger King has become a much stronger competitor than they were in the past,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a food service consultancy in Chicago. “This is just another food industry campaign that helps get them out there and that is probably a positive.”