Building Trust Into the Truck Driver Recruitment Process

It is no secret that there is a growing disconnect between drivers and recruiters. The feeling that recruiters will say anything to get drivers into seats is growing amidst drivers. You need to work on building trust into the truck driver recruitment process. When asked about their skepticism of recruiters a driver said,

“Because recruiters are in sales… they’re selling their employer’s driving positions to you…”

So the question stands, how do recruiters establish trust with applicants?


Self Reflect, Where is the Miscommunication Coming From?

Cartoon between cat and dog depicts business miscommunication

Recruiters that we have spoken to about mistrust claim that they do not intentionally lie to drivers. They say that miscommunications occur when the carriers pass information intended for the applicants through the recruiters. Similar to the game telephone.

A recruiter I spoke with on the topic said,

“Most of the ‘lying’ is actually miscommunication. Trucking has a lot of moving parts in real time and things change constantly and instantly.”

In order to buck this trend you must analyze your current flow of information and identify points where miscommunication can occur. Identifying these points will enable you to attack them head on.

Deploy Radical Transparency Through the Entire Recruitment Process

Ray Dalio popularized the term ‘radical transparency’ in his book Principles. In layman’s terms, ‘radical transparency’ is being transparent in every step of the process. This will improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Throughout the recruitment process, you need to be radically transparent at each step. Inform the applicant about the possible areas of miscommunication. This may seem counterproductive; however, doing so will lay the foundation for trust that a mutually beneficial relationship can be built on.

By laying this foundation of trust, we can then begin to build the type of relationship that will make the driver want to stay with the company. While reflecting on all the times they had been recruited a driver said,

“The only recruiter that was truthful with me was the one for the company I’m with now.”

In the case of this driver, all it took for the recruiter to earn the driver’s loyalty was for the recruiter to deploy radical transparency.

Go out of Your way to Initiate Communication

As the recruiter, it is up to you to communicate with the applicant where you are at each step of the hiring process. Never assume that the applicant has no questions or concerns simply because they have not directly asked you. By repeatedly reaching out to the applicant and providing them with updates and asking if they have any questions you are establishing yourself (and vicariously your company) as a trustworthy source. Frequently initiating communication with the applicant will build a stronger relationship and ensure that all parties are on the same page.

Make the Every Element of the Process Personalized for the Driver

Even in an industry where turnover rate hovers around 100%, switching employers is a big decision for drivers. In the initial interview with the driver, it is up to the recruiter to find out what is motivating them to switch carriers. Is it money? Is it home time? Does the driver’s current company not value its drivers?

By figuring out the driving force behind the driver’s desire to switch companies you are able to accurately assess if the position you are filling is a good fit for the driver. If the position is a good fit then you are able to solve the applicant’s biggest employment pains by hiring them.

Use this to your advantage. Inform the applicant that your position will alleviate the problems they are experiencing. Solving the driver’s biggest employment pains will earn their trust for as long as you were honest with them throughout the recruitment process.

Trust is an essential element to truck driver recruiting. Unfortunately the level of trust drivers have in recruiters is deteriorating, so you must actively work to earn that trust. Building trust into the truck driver recruitment process will help you earn the loyalty of drivers hired. Analyze your hiring process to minimize miscommunications, deploy radical transparency, initiate communication, and personalize the process in order to build trust into the truck driver recruitment process.

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