In brief: Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant can perform a slew of functions. Now, they've received what is said to be a new ability: letting users apply for a job directly from a company.

McDonald's Corporation has announced that devices featuring Alexa and Google Assistant can now help with the first step of applying for a job at the fast-food giant. The voice-initiated process, which is called McDonald's Apply Thru, is part of the company's 'Made at McDonald's' global hiring campaign that aims to increase applications worldwide.

Those who want to begin the application process just need to say: "Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald's," or, if you're using a device with Google Assistant, "OK Google, talk to McDonald's Apply Thru."

The voice system doesn't consist of the entire application process. Users will have to answer a few basic questions such as name, job area of interest, and their location, at which point they'll receive a text message with a link that lets them complete the application. But making it so easy to take that first step could encourage more people to apply.

McDonald's says its campaign highlights all the opportunities a first job, part-time job or lifelong career at the firm can create. The company, which employees over 2 million people around the world, notes that 128,401 McDonald's crew members have gone on to become nurses, 489,302 have made a career teaching, and 2,403,460 have become entrepreneurs.

McDonald's Apply Thru is available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the U.K, with more countries expected to be added in the future. While Alexa and Google Assistant are on board, there was no mention of Apple's Siri.

This isn't the first instance of McDonald's embracing modern tech. The firm's recent acquisition of a voice-based AI company could eventually see drive-thru customers giving orders to an artificial intelligence rather than a human.