The Best Truck Driver Recruiting Strategy

As a small to midsize carrier you more than likely have grown accustomed to the fact that large carriers have their pick of the litter. Small to midsize carriers are forced to fight over the remaining drivers. What if I told you it did not have to be that way? In order to compete with the large carriers you need to implement the best truck driver recruiting strategies:

Guerilla Driver Recruitment

What is Guerilla Driver Recruitment?

No, guerilla driver recruitment is not the act of training great apes to get their CDL A license.

Guerilla recruiting stems from the term ‘guerilla marketing’ coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book Guerilla Marketing. Guerilla marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on surprise/unconventional interactions with potential customers to promote a company.

Traditionally, guerilla marketing campaigns have a smaller budget and focus on a smaller set of people than widespread media campaigns.

Building off this, guerilla recruiting is the truck driver recruiting strategy that involves your company surprising potential drivers with unconventional interactions that leave a positive impression.

Guerilla driver recruiting requires a smaller budget than traditional widespread recruitment efforts common amongst large carriers.

Guerilla Recruiting

Why is it Such an Effective Driver Recruitment Strategy?

Executed properly, guerilla driver recruiting efforts will spread via word of mouth which reaches a broader audience for free. Ideally, the truck drivers you interact with will be so pleasantly surprised that when they see their driver friends the first thing they will say is,

“You are never going to guess what happened to me today…”

Drivers are naturally hesitant to truck company advertising; however, they are far more receptive when learning about a company for the first time from one of their peers. Word of mouth will encourage drivers to search for your company and interact with your driver recruiting website.

In addition to word of mouth, guerilla driver recruiting campaigns have the possibility to go viral. A viral campaign will boost your company brand and have drivers talking about your company all over social media. Social media, particularly Facebook, is one of the best places to recruit truck drivers.

How to Execute a Guerilla Driver Recruiting Campaign

Guerilla driver recruitment campaigns require an immense amount of insight and creativity. Before you can catch truck drivers off guard with a surprise interaction, you need to understand how recruiters typically reach truck drivers. Ask yourself:

Where are drivers expecting to see recruiting campaigns?

The answer to that question will tell exactly where to NOT promote your company. For example, drivers are expecting to see your job ad in trucking Facebook groups, so posting within groups cannot be a part of your guerilla recruiting strategy.

However, are drivers expecting you to direct message them with a $20 Amazon gift card? Probably not.

If you google ‘guerilla marketing’ or ‘guerilla recruiting’ you will come across extravagant examples from companies going over the top. You do not need to do this. Extravagance makes execution much more difficult.

K-I-S-S. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Hand drawing a business concept about the process from vision through strategy and execution to success.

In order to execute a guerilla driver recruiting campaign you need to figure out a simple way to reach drivers in an unexpected way. Examples can include sending gift cards, providing food at truck stops, and much more. The possibilities are limitless.

Large carriers have recruiting budgets that allow them to reach any driver they want whenever they want. In order to compete with them small to midsize carriers need to be creative and use their smaller budgets to pleasantly surprise drivers. Guerilla driver recruitment is the best truck driver recruiting strategy because it enables smaller companies to compete with the big ones.

How Recruiters Can Solve The Driver Shortage

 

According to the American Trucking Association, the trucking industry was short 60,800 in 2018. This shortage has caused the average turnover rate to rise to nearly 90% for large carriers. Having empty trucks kills your company’s cash flow. Fortunately, recruiters can solve the driver shortage for your company.

Recruit Great Drivers

The most effective way that recruiters can solve the driver shortage for your company is by hiring great drivers. Great drivers will produce at high levels for a long period of time for your company.

Employ all great drivers and your company will not need to worry about the driver shortage. Your turnover rate will be low and your trucks will remain on the road.

However, this is not as simple as it sounds. Before your recruiters can hire great drivers your company needs to provide an offer that is one of the best out there. That means high pay, benefits, and a strong company culture.

Once your company is providing that elite offer, then your recruiters can hire great drivers. A skilled recruiter will know how to filter through bad, average, and great truck driver applications and focus on the great.

Skilled recruiters will also have the sales ability to sell great drivers that your company is the company they want to drive for.

Act as a Mediator Between Management and Drivers

Very few people within your company interact with the truck drivers as much as your truck driver recruiters do.

Obviously, the driver recruiters communicate frequently with CDL drivers they want to bring in to your company. Recruiters also maintain relationships with the drivers after they have been hired.

Recruiters also frequently interact with upper management.

Anytime the drivers grow frustrated with the company, they will approach the recruiter with their issues. Knowing the frustrations of drivers, the recruiters can then report to upper management what is going on.

This process works in reverse as well. Recruiters relay messages from upper management to the drivers.

The reason this mediation is so important is because if it is done properly it keeps everyone on the same page. Drivers will feel like they are listened to and management can smoothly implement new processes.

A company with upper management and drivers on the same page has high retention rates and is not concerned with the costs associated with empty trucks.

Spearhead Retention Efforts 

Truck driver retention efforts are mandatory for your trucking company. You need to make your drives feel valued so that they will stick around for a while.

Your truck driver recruiters are the perfect people to spearhead your company’s retention efforts.

As mentioned earlier, your recruiters already have a connection with your drivers. Retention efforts coming from your recruiters will come across as more authentic.

The key to effective retention efforts is authenticity.

Digital Recruiters Fill Your Applicant Pool

As a disclaimer, it is important to know that there needs to be a difference between traditional driver recruiters and digital driver recruiters. Traditional recruiters hire the drivers while digital recruiters get drivers to see your company online and apply.

Digital recruiters work full time to generate applications from the internet. They use a combination of paid media, social media marketing, content creation, and search engine optimization to get these applications.

Filling your applicant pool makes it much easier for your traditional recruiters to hire a driver when you need one. This significantly shortens your time to hire, saving you money.

Applicant pool filled with CDL driver applications

On a macro level, the driver shortage is not an issue that is going away any time soon. However at a micro level, your company can not have to deal with the driver shortage. Your truck driver recruiters are key pieces to solving the driver shortage for your company.

How to be a Successful Driver Recruiter

At Driveteks, we have been working hand and hand with recruiters nationwide for 5 years now. This has given us an insight into what separates the bad from the good, and the good from the great. Follow this guide to learn how to be a successful driver recruiter.

5 Tips to be a Successful Driver Recruiter 

Successful driver recruiter hires a new driver

1) Get on the Phone ASAP

The most important step in successful recruitment relies on technology that has existed since 1876, phoning. There is a direct correlation between the rate at which recruiters are able to contact driver applicants via phone and recruitment success.

A study on phoning found two major conclusions: The odds of contacting a lead are 100 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying a lead are 21 times higher if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes.

Drivers are applying to multiple companies at a time. This means that as soon as that driver hits “submit” on your application, you are in a race with everyone else.

Recruiters that develop a routine of calling driver applicants as soon as they apply will experience more success than the recruiter that is slow to call.

2) Stay in Contact

Once a successful recruiter makes contact with a driver applicant, they maintain that contact with the driver.

Recruiters that struggle with getting drivers through orientation often have a contact issue. Drivers are less likely to back out on a job offer, even if presented with a better option, if they have a relationship with the recruiter.

Whether you are contacting the driver applicant to inform them of a position update or checking in to see how the hiring process is going, there is always a reason to be in touch with applicants.

3) Interview for Culture, not Qualifications

Interviewing truck drivers needs to be less about the driver’s qualifications and more about the driver as a person. Successful recruiters learn everything they need to know about the driver’s qualifications from their application/resume.

In the interview, the successful recruiter focuses on if the applicant is a strong team fit. Focusing on the driver as a person, and hiring strong culture fits, will lead to a stronger retention rate.

Ask questions like these to get to know the applicant as a person:

  • What type of culture do you thrive in? (Does the response reflect your organizational culture?)
  • What’s your ideal workplace?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with/for an organization where you felt you were not a strong culture fit. Why was it a bad fit?

A team with strong culture fits

4) Build and Maintain Strong Relationships 

Recruiters that are successful are aware that their job is more than simply hiring truck drivers. Recruiters are key contributors to their company’s retention rate.

By building and maintaining a strong relationship with drivers you hire, you are encouraging the drivers you hire to continue working for your company. Drivers are more likely to stay with a company where they feel like they are a part of a community.

In addition to improving retention, maintaining relationships will help you hire more drivers. Drivers that left your company for “greener pastures” often realize the grass is not always greener. When this happens, the driver will often return to work for your company if they have a strong relationship with the recruiter.

Also, drivers that like you, the recruiter, will refer their friends to you. The truck driving community is tight-knit, drivers often tell their friends about how great it is to work for their company.

5) Influence your company to build its Employer Brand

Quality drivers are well aware of the best and worst employers. Your company’s employer brand is the way that drivers perceive what it is like to work for you.

Even skilled truck driver recruiters will struggle to recruit drivers for a company that has a weak employer brand. Drivers will not want to work for you if they hear from their friends that your company does not value their drivers.

As the recruiter, you may not be able to build an employer brand by yourself. However, you do have a strong say within the company. You need to be advocating for your company to boost their employer brand.

The quickest way to improve employer brand is by offering higher driver pay and by responding to feedback from current/former drivers.

Where Successful Recruiters Find Truck Drivers

None of the tips above are helpful if you do not know where to find drivers. Finding drivers to recruit is the core of what you do as a recruiter.

In the past, one of the best places to find potential drivers was in-person recruitment events. However, those are no longer a possibility.

The best places to find drivers to hire are through digital marketing channels, social media, and employee referral programs.

Successful driver recruiter searching for drivers

A career as a truck driver recruiter is not an easy career. However, becoming a successful recruiter is fulfilling and rewarding. Follow these tips and you can learn how to become a successful driver recruiter.

How to Throw Covidsafe Driver Celebrations

Over the past four months COVID-19 has shined a light on how crucial truck drivers are to the well-being of America. Drivers have been working their hearts out to keep the country afloat, and this is not an anomaly. Truck drivers need to be celebrated. Here is how to throw Covidsafe driver celebrations.

Celebrating Remotely is the Safest Option

Clearly, the easiest way to celebrate safely is to celebrate remotely. This is possible with platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. However, it is not enough just to hop on a video call and say you appreciate the drivers. You need to do more.

One thing that your company can do in addition to the video-chat celebration is sending each driver a personal, hand written note from the CEO. These notes cannot be the same message sent to all drivers, it has to be unique for each individual.

Personal development stipends are another way to celebrate remotely. At companies like 15five employees are giving a $500 stipend to spend on a learning opportunity unrelated to their job. Giving drivers money to pursue their passions will show your care and improve the lives of your drivers and makes them want to stay with your company.

Outdoor Celebrations are Necessary for In-Person Parties

If you are wanting to have an in-person celebration, the best place to do that is at an outdoor location. Hosting the celebration outside drastically reduces the risk of the spreading of COVID.

There are multiple factors that lower the risk of spread when outside. The first is that in the open air, Coronavirus particles disperse faster than they do when inside. Also, UV light from the sun does an excellent job of reducing the spread of the virus.

A study put on by Harvard, MIT, and other institutions found that average temperatures above 77 degrees reduce transmission. Each 1.8 degree temperature increase above 77 degrees is associated with a 3.1% decrease in the number of new infections generated.

People enjoying a Covidsafe celebration eating barbecue food.

Responsible Guest Lists Give You More Control

Your company driver celebration cannot be a massive party, it needs to be an intimate event. Keep the event closed to people only within the company.

Limiting the guest list to employees only lets you have more control over the situation. You can easily vet each guest and make sure no one is exhibiting COVID symptoms and may jeopardize the event.

Serving Food Fresh From the Grill

Considering that heat does a good job of killing the virus, plan on serving items fresh from the grill. Try to avoid letting food items sit for a long time before party goers start eating. Burgers and hotdogs are an excellent decision to be the main course.

Avoid serving any type of community finger food. That means no chips and dip, sliders, bowls filled with candy, etc. Every hand that reaches for a serving of finger food is an opportunity for viral transfer.

In order to be extra safe, give each party goer a stipend to purchase their own food and drink to consume that does not come off the grill. This includes any sides, appetizers, and desserts.

Socially Distanced Party Games

What is a party without party games? Party games that encourage a lot of physical interaction between people are not recommended however.

Instead play games that require people to stand far apart. Cornhole is an excellent example of a social distance friendly party game.

If possible, you could have the celebration at a pool. Swimming in a properly maintained pool will inactivate COVID.

Cornhole is a socially distanced party game.

Truck drivers are the backbone of America and without them our economy would crumble. They stepped up to the challenge presented by Corona virus in a major way and must be celebrated. Follow these tips and your company can throw Covidsafe celebrations for your drivers.

Guide to Content Creation for Driver Recruitment

Content is king. It is how trucking companies educate and build relationships with potential drivers. Today, 85% of job searches begin at a search engine, drivers research companies before making a decision. The right content will guide a driver from awareness, to consideration, to application. Here is the guide to content creation for driver recruitment.

Content That Generates Awareness

Content that generates awareness for your company is crucial because it creates the first impression with drivers. 

“Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.” – Cynthia Ozick

The content you create to generate awareness needs to focus more on painting your company in a positive light and less on the fine details of the position. Hook the drivers with engaging content. 

The three main areas you are going to want to focus on to generate awareness are social media, paid media, and company brand. 

Social Media 

Social media is the best place to show off your company. You control everything that is posted so you control how positive the company comes off as. 

On your company’s pages, post a lot of visual content. People do not want to read long paragraphs when they are scrolling through Facebook. 

Post photos of drivers happy to be on the job, digestible graphics that depict company growth, and short videos. The videos must have subtitles and cover things like driver testimonials, company wide celebrations, and what it is like to work for your company. 

Paid Media 

Paid media is a great way to generate awareness because you can pay to be in front of the eyes of your exact target demographic. 

However, drivers will know that what they are seeing is a paid advertisement and will move on from it quickly. 

Create eye catching images, and catchy slogans in big font for your paid media. Every millisecond you can get drivers to look at your advertisement is a win. 

Company Brand

Drivers often first hear of your company via word of mouth. Your company brand will dictate whether that word of mouth message is positive or negative. 

To build a strong brand image, create content that shows off all the positive things your company does. Show how you take care of drivers, interact in the community, and any other goodwill the company does. 

You will want to post this content on your website and social media. It is just as much for your current drivers as it is for prospective drivers. Current drivers that love the company they work for will tell their friends about your company.

Now the Driver is Hooked and in Consideration

After becoming aware of your company, if a driver likes your content they will then consider working for your company. 

In the consideration phase, drivers need more in depth information on the position and company. They are looking for things like employee-generated content, company mission, and company updates. 

Employee-Generated Content

First hand accounts from your drivers are authentic and resonate with candidates. 

Following a driver around with a camera to create a “day in the life of” video is an example of employee-generated content. 

Another example is interviewing your highest performing drivers and asking them what they enjoy about working for your company. 

The goal of employee-generated content is to create authentic material to sell candidates on your company. Potential drivers will get tired of hearing from the recruiter why the company is so great, but will enjoy hearing from another driver. 

Company Mission

If you want to see how powerful a company mission is, watch Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “Start With Why”.

Drivers that have core values that align with your company’s will be far more likely to apply and then stay with you long term. 

People are not motivated to act by what you do but why you do it.

Company Updates

Drivers will look to receive company updates if they are interested in working for you. They will sign up for your weekly newsletter or frequently check your company’s blog. 

If you do not have some form of frequent company updates, it is time to start one. 

Quality drivers want to work for a quality company. Weekly updates will show interested drivers the awesome things you do each and every week. 

Colorful blocks spell out the word "content" with blurry blocks in background

Getting That Application

Once drivers begin making moves to submit an application, they need more technical content. At this point they have already decided that they want to be a part of your company and now they need to know how to apply.

Drivers will need in-depth job descriptions, personalized landing pages, and an easy to follow online application.

Job Descriptions

Drivers more than likely skimmed through the job description during the consideration phase. Now that they are ready to apply, they will give it a longer look over. 

For drivers, pay is one of the most important elements of a position. They also care about things like home time, and any other benefits. 

Describe all of these things clearly, and do not oversell the position. Be honest and sure you can deliver on all promises made in the description.

Personalized Landing Pages

You need to make a personalized landing page for drivers that are applying for your company. Think of this as a chance for you to roll out the virtual red carpet for new drivers. 

On the landing page add photos of employees welcoming the new applicant and a video of upper management saying they are thrilled the driver is applying. 

Also, include writing that highlights the next steps and a call to action. The call to action needs to call for the driver to officially submit the application.

Easy to Follow Application

The final moment. Your content successfully generated awareness, got the driver to consider working for you, and has welcomed the driver that clicked on the new applicant landing page. 

Do not lose them because your application is too confusing/time consuming. 

Write clear and concise instructions. Use tools that make uploading documents easier and require as little writing as possible. 

Content is king when it comes to digital driver recruitment. The proper content will generate awareness, consideration, and applications. Each step requires different kinds of content. Follow this guide to make the right kind of content and generate more applications.

Top Tools For Digital Driver Recruitment

Digital driver recruitment campaigns have four main disciplines that need to be satisfied in order to have positive results. There is data analytics, paid media, interaction with drivers, and content creation. Here is a list of tools to help you in each category.

Data Analytics to Provide Key Insights

Capturing data and using a platform to visualize the data will help keep the campaign efficient. These tools will enable you to make the smartest decisions.

Google Analytics

Adding Google Analytics’ tracking code to your site will provide endless insites. You can see things like how people arrived at your site, what demographic visits your site the most, what people do once they get to your site, and much more. 

All of this data will show you what type of content you need to be producing, where you need to publish it, and what areas you need to ignore. For example, if Analytics shows that LinkedIn ads are driving little site traffic then it would be wise to stop paying for the ads. 

If you have never used Google Analytics before, read this article from Hubspot

MOZ 

Search engine optimization is one of the least understood forms of marketing. MOZ’ goal is to simplify SEO through their software, education, and community.

Without MOZ, or any tool like it, SEO would be nearly impossible. MOZ’ tools will provide data on how many times a keyphrase is looked up, who links back to you, and your competition’s SEO statistics.

Using MOZ will allow you to rank for highly searched keywords and develop organic traffic to your site. 

Paid Media For High Exposure 

Digital campaigns are not free. You are going to need to pay to get your advertisement in front of the eyes of potential drivers. Here are the best platforms to do so.                                                                                                       

Google Ads

Google Ads will place your site at the top of the page when people search specific phrases. You pay based on how many people click on the ad. 

Another great thing with Google Ads is that you can set a budget. Once the total cost nears the budget limit you set, Google will take down your ad to avoid over charging you.

Through Google Ads you will also be able to set up display remarketing campaigns. Any driver who visits your site will automatically see your display ads on other sites. 

Facebook Ads

Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform amongst drivers. You can reach the drivers by interacting in groups, but Facebook Ads exposes your company even more.

Paying for Facebook Ads will display your job advertisement on the driver’s screen when there is no other competition. 

Also, through Facebook Ads you can advertise on Instagram (a Facebook owned company). 

Job Store

Managing postings and job board purchases across multiple sites is a difficult task. That is where Job Store from Tenstreet comes into play. 

The Tenstreet Job Store aggregates all of their job board partners into one place for easy access. This makes it much easier to keep track of all your job board purchases and find which boards are the most effective. 

Using the Job Store is free!

Interact With Drivers and Sell Them on Your Company

Interacting with drivers online is a great way to share your company’s voice with potential hires. Show your personality through social media and direct messaging.

Job Board Scrubber

Tenstreet provides a virtual recruiter that nurtures every application when they are hot. Right after a driver submits an application they receive a personalized email.

After the driver receives the initial email, they will receive a series of timed messages over the next few days. The best part is that the messages are sent automatically. 

Drip Marketing

Drip Marketing is a great tool for email campaigns. You get to design your emails with your branding. 

This tool is different from the Job Board Scrubber because it sends emails to a list that you built, not just drivers who recently applied. With this tool you can stay in touch with drivers that showed interest a while ago, former drivers, and anyone else who gave their email. 

Hootsuite

Without a tool like Hootsuite, regularly posting on social media is challenging. Hootsuite allows you to plan posts out in advance, and then the app automatically posts for you. 

Take two hours of your day and you can have social media posts lined up for an entire campaign.

Drivers will look over your social media accounts when they consider working for you. It is important to post regularly to show off how great the company is. 

Professional Content Makes a Lasting Impression 

Canva

Creating content is time consuming and a challenge, especially if you are not a trained designer. Luckily, there is Canva.

Canva comes with thousands of templates to choose from. You can make anything from flyers, to business cards, to social media posts, etc. in minutes. They all look professional too!

In addition to making design easy, the site provides an abundance of learning resources. Use the site to take your design skills to the next level. 

Data analytics, paid media, driver interaction, and content creation are all necessary for a successful recruitment campaign. Without the right tools it is much harder to thrive in each of those areas. Use the tools above to succeed at digital driver recruitment.

Essential Elements of a Digital Driver Recruitment Campaign

Word visual of all elements involved with digital recruitment. Words are sprawled out over work desk.Thanks to COVID-19 a large portion of the globe is working from home. Traditional driver recruitment methods, like job fairs, have been cancelled. However, the need for quality drivers has never been higher. Digital driver recruitment is your best option. Here are the essential elements of a digital driver recruitment campaign. Implement these into your digital campaigns for maximum results.

Interacting and Building a Presence on Social Media

Truckers are very active on all social media platforms, especially Facebook. Facebook’s group features enable drivers from across the country to connect with each other. Groups also enable recruiters to connect with drivers. Meet customers (in this case potential drivers) where they are. Be active in these groups and sell potential drivers on working for your company.

Social media is used by drivers to research potential employers. Drivers will look up your company on all social media platforms if they are considering working with you. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase how great your company is. Post photos of your company picnic, positive driver testimonials, and content from regular day-to-day interactions. These posts will make potential drivers want to work for you.

Make Your Content Driver Friendly With Mobile First Design

Every piece of content released by your company must be easily accessed on a mobile device. Drivers are not in front of a computer often. They do their web surfing from their smartphones or tablets.

Content that must be designed for mobile devices include: company website, landing pages, any ads your company runs, and all emails sent to drivers.

Pay-Per-Click Advertisements to Generate Awareness

For a fee, platforms like Google, Facebook, and Indeed will place your job advertisements right in front of the people you want to see them. Your company is only charged the fee every time a driver clicks on your ad.

Paid search ads have a click through rate of roughly 3.75% and display ads are around 0.77%. PPC advertising will not generate huge numbers of applicants. But, it is an excellent tool for generating awareness for your company.

Search Engine Optimization Generates Applicants

PPC advertising may have a low click through rate, Search engine optimization is the opposite. Ranking number one for a Google search result has an average click through rate of 31.7%. If your company ranks high for common trucker searches then you will generate a large number of site visits. Site visits turn into applicants.

Focus on the SEO Three and you will increase your ranking over time. The SEO Three consists of: content, technical, and links. Your company needs to create engaging content, have a technically sound site, and find ways to get other sites to link back to your site.

Website Design is Your Company’s First Impression

Drivers are going to research your company if they are considering applying for one of your available positions. They will visit your site. A poor quality site will give the first impression that your company is not professional. Professional quality sites will create a first impression that sells drivers on working for your company.

Landing pages are a critical part of your website. The page that drivers land on when they click on one of your ads or emails is the landing page. A well designed landing page will excite the driver and have a strong call to action. A call to action is going to be what gets drivers to apply.

Technical Strategies Provide Key Insights and Hyper-Focus

Digital driver recruitment campaigns need a technical strategy. Tools like Google Analytics will show you where your site traffic is coming from. Use this data to gain key insights that guide your digital recruitment strategy.

In addition to providing data driven insights, there are technical marketing strategies you need to be using. These strategies enable your campaigns to hyper focus on your desired niche market. Geofencing, for example, will allow you to only show your job advertisements to drivers in a specific area. Retargeting is another technical strategy that will show your ads to anyone who has visited your website.

Email Lists Connect Your Company to Interested Drivers

Starting building an email list of every driver that is ever shown any interest in your job postings. Include former drivers that you would like to rejoin your company. Platforms like MailChimp will help you organize your email list, design emails, and send them out to everyone.

Emails need to be eye catching and informative. Do not overwhelm the reader with too much text. Some great things to include in an email campaign are: pictures of happy employees, testimonials, company achievements, profiles on high performing drivers, and messages from upper management.

For the near future, in-person driver recruitment is not possible. However, drivers are in higher demand because of the pandemic. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to begin digital driver recruitment, and make sure to use the essential elements.

7 Strategies to Improve Driver Recruiting

Driver recruiting to fill your trucks

A carrier’s most valuable assets are their drivers. Companies that successfully recruit quality drivers in high quantities outperform the competition. Utilize these 7 strategies and your company will improve its driver recruiting.

1) Remove Tasks That Keep Recruiters From Recruiting

Driver recruitment is a demanding job. Assigning recruiters tasks outside of recruiting will keep them from devoting the necessary time needed to recruit.

Time spent planning orientation, running digital marketing campaigns, qualifying applicants, etc. is time away from recruiting. In order to maximize efficiency, recruiters need to focus all of their energy in three areas:

  • Calling fresh, pre-qualified, leads
  • Referral programs
  • Rehire programs

Recruiters wearing too many hats will produce sub-par results. Remove distractions so recruiters will focus solely on recruiting

2) Hire a Trucking Digital Agency

Digital recruitment generates a constant stream of fresh leads for your recruiters to contact. However, it has to be done properly. Your recruiters do not know how to run effective digital campaigns.

Also, a digital ad agency unfamiliar with the trucking industry will not succeed. Hire a digital ad agency that specializes in truck company marketing and driver recruitment. Specialty agencies will speak your language, have your interests at heart, and will know how to navigate recruitment road bumps.

Digital campaigns are more effective than outdated methods. The first place drivers go to find a new job is the internet. Run a digital campaign and drivers will see your posting when they look for a new job.

Another benefit to digital campaigns is everything is tracked. Agencies will use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to see how each marketing platform (social media, ppc, remarketing,etc.) is performing. Tracking data also allows them to use A/B testing. They experiment with different images/messaging and see what variations produce the best results. Data driven decisions will generate campaigns focused on the most effective platforms using the most effective messaging.

Skilled agencies will be able to promote your job postings specifically to people who you want to see it. You will not waste a single cent on ads being placed in front of uninterested people. Digital campaigns are hyper focused.

3) Assign Primary Recruiting Responsibilities 

Assign your recruiters to recruit specific kinds of drivers. One recruiter needs to focus on drivers, one on owner operators, one on CDL students, etc.

Recruiters will take pride/ownership in the type of driver they are assigned.  Also, assigning drivers will assure your company has different drivers with diverse skill sets.

Instead of having a team of drivers with the same qualifications, your company will have a collection of different endorsements, O/Os, and rookie drivers.

In addition to assigning recruiters specific drivers to recruit, make sure recruiters are assigned specific channels. Driver applicants that slip through the cracks because a recruiter forgot to reach out to them is frustrating and costs the company money.

4) Train Recruiters to be Salespeople

Truck driver recruiting is a sales job. Recruiters are selling the idea of working for your company to driver applicants. If your recruiters are not properly trained in sales then they will struggle to recruit.

Recruiters need to be trained to utilize conversation techniques that discover why a driver would want to change jobs. After figuring out the “why” the recruiter can use that to sell the driver that working for your company will fix that why.

5) Shorten the Recruiting Cycle

The longer it takes from “hello” to contingent offer, the least qualified drivers you hire. Enable your recruiters to offer drivers a contingent offer on the first call. It is unnecessary for and inefficient to have a recruiter get clearance from a manager before making contingent offers.

Another way to shorten the recruiting cycle is to use a landing page that drivers can apply on. Drivers should click on your ads and be able to apply for the position without having to search through any tabs.

6) Inspire Drivers to Refer Your Company 

Getting drivers to refer your company to other drivers is a great way to bring on new talent. However, it can be difficult to get drivers to actually refer your company to their peers.

Oftentimes recruiters will implement an impersonal referral program. Recruiters will send out an email blast, or in a large meeting, ask all of the drivers at once to refer the company to their friends.

Ask drivers personally and privately for help. Doing so will lead the driver feeling like you are asking them for help, not asking the whole company at once. People are committed to people, not the company.

One strategy that produces results is pulling your top drivers into your office, asking them for help, and then giving the driver their own business cards. The driver will hand out their cards to people they meet on the road.

Do not forget to compensate drivers that refer qualified drivers.

7) Actively Recruit Potential Rehires

When a driver leaves your company for another, that does not mean they should never work for you again.

At the time the driver resigns have a company vote if they should be welcomed back. 30 days after the driver resignation, start sending them recruitment content. It is common for a driver to start a new position only to realize their former employer was a better situation.

Make sure to send out messaging to former drivers on December 1st. December 1st is the end of the busy season and drivers are starting to think about where they are going to work the following year.

Finally, announce company changes to former employees. Former drivers may have left because your company was not paying them enough, but they enjoyed everything else about your company. Letting former drivers know about the pay increase may motivate them to return to your company.

Improving the quality and quantity of drivers recruited will improve your company’s bottom line. Despite the driver shortage, your company should not settle for a lack of quality drivers. Follow these 7 strategies and bring in more qualified drivers.

This article based on Kelly Anderson’s webinar 10 Things to Improve Quality and Quantity of Drivers Recruited

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.

How to Use the Driver Shortage as an Advantage

The driver shortage is the largest issue facing the transportation industry today. According to the ATA in 2018 the trucking industry was short 60,800 drivers. If the current trends hold, the shortage may rise to over 160,000 by 2028. From a bird’s eye view, the driver shortage is a major issue that needs to be addressed. However on a local level, carriers can use the shortage as a tool to beat out competition. Implementing top notch recruiting strategies will enable your company to hire quality drivers instead of your competition.

Getting Ahead of the Competition

The best way to illustrate how a company can benefit from the driver shortage is through a hypothetical situation. In this hypothetical situation let’s say that there is a city with 3 trucking companies and 20 qualified drivers.

Each company has 10 trucks to fill, but obviously there are not enough drivers for each company to fill their trucks. Companies 1 & 3 have been around for decades and decide to use the same recruiting strategies that have always worked for them. They post help wanted ads around town, attend job fairs, and implement a referral program. These efforts produce some results and Companies 1 & 3 are able to successfully hire 5 drivers each. Company 2 on the other hand, is a relatively new company and they decide that old recruiting strategies were not effective enough. Company 2 decides to implement digital based recruiting strategies, offer a higher pay for drivers, and reorganizes the company structure to maximize efficiency. These changes in the recruiting process are highly effective and Company 2 successfully recruits the remaining 10 drivers.

Now that Company 2 has enough qualified drivers to fill all of their trucks, they are avoiding all the necessary costs that come along with idle trucks. Also, Company 2 is doubling the revenue that Companies 1 & 3 are earning. While Companies 1 & 3 are struggling, Company 2 is thriving which leads to them earning more business from local brokers. Eventually, if the trend continues, Company 2 will be able to buy out Companies 1 & 3.

Company 2 adapted to the times and used strategies that their competition were not using. The combination of effective recruiting and the driver shortage lead to Company 2 doubling in size and eliminating its hypothetical competition.

Becoming Company 2

It is safe to say that everyone wants to be Company 2 in the above hypothetical. That is a lot easier said than done. In order to be Company 2 you need to be better at recruiting and retention than your competition. Digital marketing recruitment strategies, such as geofencing, are far more effective than traditional recruiting strategies. If your company is not maximizing digital strategies then you need to bring in an agency that is highly skilled in this area. Dedicate one team to using digital strategies that fill your applicant pool and a separate team that focuses on recruiting.

The driver shortage is the number one threat facing the transportation industry as a whole. However, that is not the case on the local level. A company that recruits better than its competition will benefit from the shortage. That company will employ the majority of qualified drivers and outperform competing companies. Implementing digital strategies and reorganizing the recruiting structure will set your company up to use the Driver Shortage to your advantage.