6 Steps to Successfully Hiring Truck Drivers

Truck driver recruiting is a career that requires creativity, the ability to be a salesperson, and extreme dedication. Given the driver shortage and constantly changing industry, it is common for recruiters to feel like they have lost their “hiring touch”. If that sounds like you then follow this guide and you will reignite your hiring touch with the 6 Steps to Successfully Hiring Truck Drivers.

  1. Generate awareness with paid advertising
  2. Inform the driver with your website content
  3. Get the driver to apply for your company
  4. Call the driver ASAP after they apply
  5. Ensure the driver attends orientation
  6. Officially hire the driver

Two truck driver recruiters successfully hire a driver

Paid Advertising Generating Awareness

Launching a paid advertising campaign is the first step to hiring professional drivers. Paid advertising campaigns are the best way to generate awareness for your company within your desired driver demographic.

Paid advertising includes social media advertising, retargeting, geofencing, buying ads on Google, and much more. Each avenue of paid advertising works together to touch the driver during different use cases.

For example:

A driver may first come across one of your banner ads while they are surfing the web. This first touch doesn’t create much of an impact, but then while stopped at a truck stop a geotargeted ad pops up on the driver’s phone. They take more notice the second time but not enough to act.

Finally, while scrolling Facebook a driver testimonial comes across their feed. This interests the driver enough that they click on your Facebook page.

On your Facebook page, the driver consumes enough content they decide they want to learn even more about your company. So they go to visit your website.

It is important to note in this example that the driver never clicked directly on a paid advertisement to apply. Paid media rarely generates direct applications.

Instead, paid advertising is amazing at generating impressions for your company. In the example, the driver never would have known about the company if it were not for paid ads.

Website Content Informs Drivers

If your paid advertising campaign does what it is supposed to do, your website will be flooded with traffic. The majority of this traffic will be from drivers considering the idea of applying to drive for your company.

Think about the example above.

The driver in the example was exposed to enough paid advertisements that they took the next step and visited your website.

Now that they are on your website they still need to be convinced to apply to drive for your company. The reason they are on the site is to learn more.

Drivers are looking for content that tells them the logistics of the position (pay, route type, required certifications, etc.) and what it is like being an employee for your company.

The logistics of the position should all be covered in the job description. To show what it is like to be an employee for your company you need things like driver testimonials, write-ups on top-performing drivers, and messages from upper management on their views of the drivers.

Driver Submits an Application 

At this point, you have made the driver aware that you are hiring and informed them about your company’s driver experience.

Assuming the content did its job, the driver will click on your CTA and apply to drive for your company.

The most important thing with this step in the process is to make your application quick and easy to submit. A complicated application form can deter drivers from applying.

Job resume document out from laptop. Hands holding cv resume papers. Human resources management concept, searching professional staff, work. Found right resume.

Recruiter Calls the Driver ASAP

Just because the driver applies to your company does not mean they are completely sold on being employed by you. Plus, they are often applying to multiple companies at once.

If you take too long to call the driver, you are going to lose them to another company.

The odds of contacting a driver are 100 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying a driver are 21 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.

Use software like Zappier to notify you of the moment an application is submitted. The moment you receive the notification call the driver.

You are far more likely to get a hold of the driver, verify their credentials, and get them to commit to your company before another company does.

Recruiter gets the Driver Through Orientation 

Truck drivers are constantly being sent new job opportunities. They are in a position where their skills are in high demand.

It is very common for a driver to apply, accept a job offer, and then take a different job for another company before making it through orientation.

Truck driver recruiters can not lose contact with the driver once they get a commitment. It is up to the recruiter to do whatever it takes to get that driver through orientation and officially hired.

The Driver is Officially Hired

The final step in the recruiting process is officially sending the driver off on their first run for the company.

However,

The driver recruiter should never stop recruiting drivers hired.

Considering the driver shortage, there is no guarantee that a hired driver will last long with your company. Recruiters should take it on themselves to value the drivers and make them want to stay with the company over others.

Awareness, content consumption, application, direct contact, orientation, and officially hitting the road are the 6 steps to successfully hiring truck drivers. Keep in mind that it is rare for a driver to go through all 6 steps in order. Most people will go through steps 1-4 multiple times.

Top 6 Reasons Truck Drivers Leave

Truck drivers leaving their position for something different is one of the biggest headaches for carriers. If you know the main reasons your drivers are leaving, then you can counteract the causes and improve your retention rate. Here are the top 6 reasons truck drivers leave.

Top 6 Reasons Truck Drivers Leave

  1. Better Pay/Benefits

  2. Retirement

  3. Poor Company Culture

  4. Home Time

  5. Opportunity to Advance

  6. Health Issues

Truck drivers walking away after leaving their company

Pay Drives Trucker’s Decisions

According to study conducted by HireRight, 50% of truck drivers say that making more money is the reason they have left employers in the past.

Companies like Walmart are offering their drivers salaries that exceed $80k per year. If you are still offering your drivers a CPM that comes out to equalling $45k per year, then drivers will be eager to leave for a higher paying company.

Not every company can afford to pay their drivers $80k per year, however there are strategies to keep drivers staffed for lower pay. One of those strategies is offering guaranteed salary instead of CPM.

Truck drivers will feel more valued with a guaranteed pay. Also, one of the biggest points of friction for drivers is when they are paid CPM and get stuck at an unloading dock. Paying drivers a salary will ease this tension.

Retirement

The truck driver demographic is rapidly aging. NPR reported in 2018 that the average age of truck drivers is 55 years old.

55 years old is roughly 10 years older than the average age of other blue collar industries such as construction.

Trucks with the latest ADAS features can help you retain this aging population of drivers.

ADAS features retain older drivers because they make the position less fatiguing. New trucks use active steering and lane keep assist to keep the truck on the road through hazardous conditions. It is no longer 100% dependent on the driver’s abilities.

ADAS makes the driver position less taxing, enabling drivers to work longer.

Happy retired couple

Poor Company Culture

Whether you actively work on it or not, your company has a culture. Drivers prefer to work for a company that actively builds a strong culture of appreciation.

Quality truck drivers actively seek out companies that have great company cultures. The drivers you have will leave you for companies with strong employer brands.

Make celebrating your drivers a priority at your company. They are the reason your company is making money. Without them you have no company.

Not Enough Home Time 

As truck drivers start their careers they are younger and therefore have less responsibilities tying them down. This leads to them taking on positions that have them on the road for extended periods of time.

Truck drivers then start their families and grow into adults with lives rooted in specific towns. When this happens drivers will pursue careers that offer them more home time and home time that is reliable.

If you are actively surveying your drivers, you will be able to sense which of your drivers are looking for more home time. With this information you can offer these drivers a new, local role and keep them working for your company.

Opportunity to Advance 

Your company needs to be hiring drivers that take pride in their work and are career oriented. Avoid drivers that look at truck driving as a job and not a career.

Hiring career focused drivers means you will employ drivers eager to learn and improve. Hiring career motivated drivers also means that they are constantly looking for opportunities to advance in the industry.

If you are not offering opportunities for your drivers to grow, they will leave you for a company that does.

Encourage drivers to advance in their careers by offering to pay for them to earn different CDL certifications. Or make it known that it is possible for drivers to move into non-driving positions within your company.

Health Issues

It is no secret that being a truck driver is one of the least healthy careers in the country.

According to the CDC, over half of all OTR drivers have at least two of these health conditions: high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, limited physical activity, high cholesterol, or lack of sleep.

Living with these conditions is not a comfortable life and can force drivers out of their career. You need to be promoting healthy habits for your drivers.

Make it easy for your drivers to eat healthier meals by providing mini-fridges and toaster ovens in your trucks. Doing this will make it easier for drivers to bring home made, healthy meals on the road instead of settling for truck stop food.

Another way to promote a healthy lifestyle for your drivers is to outfit them with Fitbits or WHOOP bands that track driver activity. You can use these devices to run company competitions and the most active drivers win rewards.

Table covered with unhealthy food.

Your company’s success depends on your ability to retain quality drivers. If you are having to constantly hire new drivers because your retention rates are high, your company is not performing optimally. Counteract the top 6 reasons truck drivers leave in order to improve your retention.

6 Tips For a Successful Digital Driver Recruitment Campaign

Digital recruitment campaign graphic

57% of the world’s population are active internet users. The internet has changed nearly every aspect of our lives. Because of this, it makes sense that recruitment campaigns are becoming more web based. Companies are shifting from print media and career fairs to digital driver recruitment campaigns. Digital driver recruitment campaigns are more efficient than the old methods and they provide a higher ROI. Here are 6 tips for a successful digital driver recruitment campaign.

1) Create Relevant and Engaging Content

Prior to publishing any recruitment content you need to decide who your ideal candidates are. Are you hiring for diversity? Are you in need of a driver with specific endorsements? Do you want to hire team drivers? Use these answers to guide what type of content you create. For example, if you are wanting to hire team drivers you must use images of team drivers in your ads.

2) Be Active in Trucking Social Media Groups

Facebook and Linkedin have hundreds of groups dedicated to connecting drivers with recruiters. Being active and establishing a presence within these groups is an excellent way to find new drivers. However, it is important to note that there is a lot of competition in these groups. Drivers are bombarded with job opportunities from recruiters. Standing out from all the other job postings in these groups can be a challenge. It is important to be active in these groups but do not put all of your eggs in this basket.

3) Build Your Reputation as a Company That Prioritizes Drivers

Drivers talk with each other constantly about the companies they work for. Your company will be discussed online between drivers. If your company prioritizes its drivers, word will spread. On the flip side, drivers will know if your company does not prioritize its drivers. By building a reputation as a company that prioritizes drivers, applicants will keep an eye out for your job postings. Build a reputation as a company that prioritizes its drivers by incorporating trust into the hiring process and using effective retention strategies.

4) Use Tools That Screen Out Unqualified Applicants

Implementing a digital recruitment campaign allows you to use digital tools that streamline the process. Programs like Zapier or ZipRecruiter filters make it so that you never have to see any applicants that do not meet your requirements. Recruiters do not need to waste their time with unqualified driver applicants when digital recruitment campaigns are used.

5) Geo-Target Drivers in Your Hiring Region

Geo-targeting  enables you to send ads to drivers in specific regions. Do not waste your time sorting through applicants from outside your hiring region. Digital recruitment campaigns will only be seen by potential drivers within your hiring region. Another advantage to geo-targeting is that you can send ads to areas that you know drivers will be. You can target truck stops, driver conventions, CDL schools, etc.

6) Design a Landing Page That Encourages Drivers to Apply

A well designed landing page is essential for any digital recruitment campaign. Even well crafted and placed ads will not generate applicants if the ad is not linked to a landing page. Drivers do not want to click on an ad that takes them to the homepage of your company’s website. An ad should link to a landing page that sells the driver on working for your company and allows the driver to apply on the page. According to Kelly Anderson, shortening the recruiting cycle will lead to more quality drivers applying for your positions.

Digital driver recruitment campaigns can be a daunting task. If you do not know what you are doing then you will see poor results and feel as if you wasted time and money. However, follow these tips to start seeing positive results. Digital driver recruitment campaigns will become your go to recruitment strategy.