Recruiting owner-operators is an enticing strategy for many fleets. This is because the responsibility of the trucks falls on the drivers. Becoming an owner-operator is enticing to drivers that have an entrepreneurial spirit, but the career is riskier than being a company driver.
The risk deters many people from becoming O/Os making it difficult for carriers to recruit them. Follow these 4 tips and your company can begin recruiting owner-operators:
- Prioritize Facebook Advertising
- Establish Trust in the First Conversation
- Embrace the Entrepreneurship of O/Os
- Have Patience and be Consistent
Prioritize Facebook Advertising
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association states that the most common age for owner-operators is 36. Also, the OOIDA has found that on average owner-operators have been driving for 20 years.
This information tells you that you are recruiting seasoned truck drivers who are older in age.
69% of U.S. adults use Facebook. Knowing that owner-operators are typically older and Facebook is popular among U.S. adults, it is safe to say you can reach roughly 70% of all owner-operators through Facebook alone.
Facebook advertising has to be your top recruiting priority.
In addition to the majority of owner-operators being on the platform, Facebook’s targeting tools allows you to pinpoint the drivers you want.
Professional Facebook advertisers will be able to use your ad-spend to show your recruiting content to targeted audiences. Only the people you want to apply for your positions will see your ads.
Using Facebook enables your company to not waste a single cent on owner-operators that do not match your company’s demographic requirements.
Establish Trust in the First Conversation
Becoming an owner-operator is a risky endeavor that has great rewards. Due to the risk, owner-operators are extra cautious when taking on work from a new carrier.
Owner-operators do not want to lose money because they trusted the wrong company.
To overcome this, you need to establish your trustworthiness immediately.
Here is how to do it:
Above all else, owner-operators believe one another. You need to film your current O/Os talking about how much they enjoy working with your company.
If your company is just starting to recruit owner-operators and you do not have any working for you, film testimonials from current employees and company drivers. These testimonials are not as influential as O/O testimonials but they are still effective at establishing trust.
Owner-operators you recruit will trust you if your testimonials are strong.
Embrace the Entrepreneurship of Owner-Operators
Truck drivers that transition from being a company driver to an owner-operator are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit.
Owner-operators are motivated to take on higher levels of risk by the idea of being their own boss and potentially earning more money.
This means that treating owner-operators like you treat company drivers is a recipe for failure.
A company culture that lets owner-operators continue to be their own boss and offers growth opportunities is a necessary recruitment tool.
Have Patience and be Consistent
Recruiting owner-operators is a long term action. Rarely are O/Os ready to work for a new company at the drop of a hat.
Throughout the process of recruiting an owner-operator you need to be consistent in your messaging and patient. Give the driver the space they need to decide for themselves after consuming your recruitment content.
Getting impatient and changing your messaging to sound more “attractive” is only going to upset the driver.
Patience and consistency are the best route for recruiting owner-operators. Unfortunately, not all the drivers you speak to are going to be interested in your offer. However, remaining patient and consistent will ensure respect from all prospective owner-operators.
Many carriers find that working with owner-operators is more beneficial than hiring company drivers in certain situations. Working with owner-operators means the carrier has less risk to manage. However, to successfully recruit owner-operators you need to know it is a longer and more expensive process.