By Chen Xin in Beijing and Yang Yijun in Shanghai
McDonald's started its biggest ever recruitment plan in China on Sunday, hoping to meet its ambitious expansion goals in the company's third-largest market.
The US-based fast-food giant plans to open 225 to 250 new stores nationwide and hire 70,000 employees this year.
McDonald's has more than 1,400 restaurants in China, with more than 80,000 employees. It wants to increase the number of restaurants to 2,000 by 2013.
Liu Chao, a college student in Beijing who will graduate this June, went to a one-stop recruitment event on Sunday morning at a McDonald's outlet in Oriental Plaza.
Liu was led by an "employee brand ambassador" to see the work environment and learn about McDonald's culture, job descriptions and career path, before being interviewed by a manager.
Liu said he is satisfied with McDonald's pay of about 10 yuan (S$2) per hour, with 13 monthly salaries a year.
The company also pays for social insurance costs and gives performance bonuses.
"At a time when it's hard to find a job, working for McDonald's is not bad. I have not yet got any other job opportunity, so if McDonald's calls me within two days, I'll come to work here," said the 24-year-old.
The fast-food chain also attracted many part-time job seekers.
Part-time workers are included in McDonald's recruitment plan this year.
"I want to get a job at McDonald's because the work environment is fairly good and I could enjoy special offers of food for employees at weekends," said Wang Mengke, a 19-year-old college student in Beijing.
The store had received 10 applicants by midday and was expecting 20 more in the afternoon, according to Song Yang, a manager at the restaurant.
Zhang Jianwei, a manager with a McDonald's store on Wangfujing Dajie, was optimistic about the recruitment.
"We received seven applicants within an hour after the recruiting event started at 10 am. It's quite promising," he said.
"We offer employee training and we have a clear promotion path, through which an employee making coffee could be promoted to store manager or an even higher management post in the company."
Zhang added that they also provide jobs such as cleaning for people who have speech or hearing impairments, and they had two such applicants during the morning.
A Shanghai-based manager with McDonald's China's human resources division, who declined to be identified, told China Daily on Sunday that the company expects to interview 30,000 people during the recruitment event.
"We hope to demonstrate the advantages and culture of McDonald's, which offers a happy working environment and a familylike atmosphere, to interviewees as well as customers, who could be potential employees," he said.