How Chipotle’s Plan to Hire 4,000 Workers in One Day Is Sure to Backfire

by Evil HR Lady on August 27, 2015

First and foremost, I love burritos and I love Chipotle. So, when I hear that Chipotle is planning to hire 4,000 workers in one day, my heart simultaneously jumps (more burritos!) and sinks (stunt hiring is not productive). Here’s why hiring like this is bound to backfire.

Publicity is good, but…

Yes, this stunt will cause people who weren’t otherwise thinking of applying to Chipotle to show up and apply. This is a good thing–recruiting is often difficult and attracting people can be hard. However, just who is going to show up?

Well, that remains to be seen, of course, but a one-day hiring spree means that people who are already working will be less likely to apply. Why? Because instead of saying, “Chipotle plans to expand its workforce by 4,000 over the next three months,” they are promoting this as a one and done event, even though it’s unlikely to actually be like that. The result is, the publicity will make people who are currently employed less likely to apply if they are working on September 9. While I always advocate hiring the unemployed, it is true that employed people are great hires as well.

To keep reading, click here: How Chipotle’s Plan to Hire 4,000 Workers in One Day Is Sure to Backfire

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Horse Tense August 27, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I used to LOVE Chipotle, but I haven’t to one since moving 7 years ago. I was looking forward to going the next time I visited family, but now that I have learned of these plans I am thinking it may be in my best interest to skip it.

You were right on when you said: “It’s better to hire right the first time than to have to fire people.” The truth of this in particular frightens me.

Once Chipotle goes through with this idea, firing the people that need to be fired will be admitting defeat, and after making this kind of commitment I doubt they will want to do that.

I truly hope they read your article and have the wherewithal to ammend their plans.


Evil HR Lady August 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

I don’t like the pressure on each branch to hire ON THAT DAY whether they need to or not.


charles August 28, 2015 at 5:00 am

Truth be told I have never eaten at Chipotle, nor do I have any desire to. There ad campaigns come across as too much of a “Social Justice Warrior” mentality. e.g., “Hope that, in the future everyone eats free, no one must work, all just sit around feeling love for each other.” Yuck! That doesn’t exactly make me want to chow down on their food.

So, how about a couple of savvy journalists do a “where are they now” segment on the evening news 6 months later.

But, they would have to be honest and look at both the successes and the failures. It would be interesting.


Evil HR Lady August 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

They are a little SJWish, but their food is yummy.


Kara August 28, 2015 at 8:41 am

Eh, I’m not saying that this is a good idea, but to play devils advocate, Chipotle has over 1,800 stores in the US. What they’re doing that day is allowing each location to hold up to 60 open interviews. If you average the number of locations out to how many they play to hire, you get like 2.25 hires per location. It’s not like they’re planning on hiring 4,000 employees for one location, or even for one area, so saying that 4,000 people in one day is going to create a training problem is somewhat unlikely. Sure, some locations will hire more than the average – and some locations will probably not hire anyone. I doubt the company is forcing stores to make a hire that day, but in an industry that’s known for higher turnover than average (fast food isn’t anyone’s dream job, after all) I’d be willing to bet that most of the locations need another crew member or two anyway. They have, after all, promoted over 10,000 crew members in the last year, so there’s bound to be some vacancies for those entry-level positions. Sure, it’s a publicity stunt, but it really isn’t any different than retail locations hiring on-the-spot from a job fair or a grocery store spending one day a month holding open interviews. No one ever said that was the best way to hire – goodness knows, I’m against it, and I advise my clients not to hire that way – but for a crew member on a restaurant assembly line, I bet that they won’t fire any more of these new hires than they normally do.


Evil HR Lady August 28, 2015 at 11:33 am

Oh, maybe not, but it’s just about publicity and not about hiring the best. It’s the wrong approach.


Duncan from Vetter August 28, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Publicity is good. Nobody can deny that. However, you cannot turn something so sensitive like hiring into a PR campaign. It is good to point out that your business is doing great, but there are so many other means you can use. This is a risky approach, and as you said, it won’t be as great to hear that “Chipotle fires 3,000 of it’s new hires for incompetence.”


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