The Most Important Factor of CDL Recruiting

“If your pipeline is dryer than the Sahara at one point will you look inward at yourself?”

There is an infinite number of influencing factors that go into CDL recruiting. Factors like the weather or traffic can have a big impact on a driver’s mood and determine whether or not that driver applies to work for you.


There is one factor that is by far the most important to any driver recruiting campaign.

The offer.

It does not matter if you have planned out the perfect driver recruiting campaign. A bad job offer will tarnish that campaign’s results. On the other hand, a great job offer can save a poorly planned recruitment campaign.

What is a Good Job Offer for Truck Drivers? 

A large portion of the industry thinks that the quality of a job offer comes down entirely to the pay of the position.

This is not entirely true.

Like in any profession, different drivers look for different qualities in a position. Drivers who have families may be willing to sacrifice a little pay if that means more home time. Younger drivers who are just starting may want to be on the road as much as possible.

Before launching your CDL recruiting campaign, it is important to have an idea of the type of driver you want to apply for your position. Knowing your ideal ‘Driver Persona’ will help you cater your offer to that driver.

In addition to catering your job offer to your determined ‘Driver Persona’, there are also many unique ways to bolster your job offer. Many of these unique strategies don’t cost you any extra money.

One example of a unique way to improve your offer is making it clear in the job description that driving with pets is encouraged. Not every driver wants or needs this in an offer; however, the drivers who are attached to their pet will be far more inclined to apply for your position.

Motivational words: JOB OFFER. piece of paper with the text: JOB OFFER. Business and finance concept

How to Assess Your CDL Job Offer 

A great job offer provides drivers with benefits that they value the most. These benefits will help you hire quality drivers and retain them.

Then when one of your drivers comes across a better offer, they will go to that company.

It is because of this, that you need to be constantly assessing your job offer and updating it. But how do you know if you have a competitive offer?

This is a fairly easy process. Because so many recruiters post their positions in trucking groups on Facebook, you can find hundreds of job ads from competitors in minutes.

Review these job ads and compare what they are offering to your offer.

Be honest and ask yourself which position provides the better benefits. If you find yourself routinely choosing the ads online then your job offer is a bad one. On the other hand, if you are offering more than the posts you found on Facebook, your offer is quality.

Finally, if no one is applying for your position that is a clear indicator that you are not offering enough.

assessment sticker. assessment square sign. assessment. peeler

CDL recruiting is the culmination of many variables. Carriers will often do everything “right” in their recruitment campaign and not see any results. This is because they neglect to address the most important variable, their job offer.

The first step to any successful truck driver recruiting campaign is to make sure you are offering drivers something better than their current situation. Combining a great offer along with comprehensive digital advertising is the best way to generate the number of applications your company needs to keep your trucks on the road.

The Basics of Social Media Marketing for Trucking Companies

Social media marketing has become more popular than television advertising for businesses. However, there are not many resources that teach transportation companies how to market their company on social media. Follow this guide to learn the basics of social media marketing for trucking companies.

Start With Facebook and Expand to Other Platforms 

Facebook is by far the most useful social media platform for trucking companies. The platform provides carriers with the ability to post multiple forms of content that share the company’s story.

Other platforms (Instagram, Twitter,etc.) all specialize in one area of content. Instagram is for visual content. Twitter is for short-form written content. If you start on a platform other than Facebook then you will limit the amount of content you can create.

Here is the real benefit to Facebook:

Facebook is a top-three cost-per-hire driver recruiting strategy.

By effectively marketing your company on Facebook, you will attract quality drivers to apply for your company. Considering that over 96% of professional drivers have a Facebook account, the pool of drivers using Facebook will never run dry.

Truck drivers that are interested in working for your company, no matter where they are exposed to your company, will search for your company on Facebook. They want to know what it is like to work for you before they apply.

Facebook is the most important platform when it comes to social media marketing for trucking companies. Starting on the platform will enable you to effectively tell your company’s story and recruit truck drivers.

Hand holding a smartphone with Facebook pulled up

Build Your Company Page

Now that you have decided to begin your social media marketing campaign on Facebook, you need to build your company page. This is the page that drivers will land on when they search for your company.

Visit this link to get started building your page:

Facebook does an excellent job of walking you through each step of the process. It will be clear what information is needed for the page and what content you need to publish.

However, certain strategies will further optimize your page.

To have an optimized Facebook page you need to keep things as simple as possible. Instead of describing your company in length with words, use pictures.

Keep your company description succinct and make sure that you link to your company website.

Join the Right Groups With Your Page

After you finish creating your company page you can join Facebook groups with your page. You do not need to join the groups with your personal account.

Go to the search feature on Facebook, type in “ trucking”, and filter to only see groups. You will quickly realize there are thousands of trucking-related groups across the country.

Go through all of the groups and join the ones that make sense for your company to join.

When you join a new group make sure to read the group rules so you can avoid being kicked out of any of the groups you join.

Creating Content for Social Media

For a more in-depth content creation guide check out this article:

Content creation is what will motivate drivers to learn more about your company and potentially apply to drive for you.

You need to create content that people can read, photos/infographics, and videos. Creating different forms of content allows drivers to engage with your company any way they wish.

Not all of the content you create should be sales content. You need to create content that your target market will find interesting. Your content will lure people to your page and/or website where they will then consume your sales content.

Three cartoon women creating content

Gathering Followers

The more followers you have the better. Your published content will reach more eyes for free as your following grows.

As you publish your content keep track of which people are interacting with it. These are the people that will be most likely to follow you. You should reach out to them and encourage them to follow your page.

Another great way to grow your following is by highlighting individuals that work for or with your company in an occasional post. The individuals you highlight will want to share the post about themselves and will expose you to all of their friends.

Finally, you should ask your current employees to follow your company.

Paid Advertising 

Doing everything above will help your company get started on social media; however, to experience success you need to implement paid advertising.

Each of the social media platforms makes large sums of money from ad-buying. Because of this, their algorithms are built so that companies have a limited reach with free posting. They have built a product that requires paying for a large amount of exposure.

Paid advertising on social media is a complicated process. If you do not do it properly, your company will waste their money on an inefficient campaign. Done the right way, a paid advertising campaign will boost your web presence which increases site traffic and drive applications.

It is recommended you hire a professional to handle the campaign due to the complications of paid advertising.

Web marketing managers with gadgets working on paid search and SEO strategies, closeup of hands. SMM spesialists planning brand promotion budget, raising company awareness in social media

Social media marketing is a necessary element of any business marketing strategy. Trucking companies need to take a different approach than other industries because of the nature of the industry. Follow this guide and you will cover all the basics of social media marketing for trucking companies.

The Value of Branded Leads

Before the internet, truck driver recruiters were able to place an ad in the newspaper or run a radio ad and the applicants would come pouring in. Then as things began turning digital carriers started purchasing multi carrier leads from online companies that generated trucking applications and sold them to all their clients. Branded, or direct leads, are now the hot trend.

hot lead icon. Man on fire

Multi-Carrier Leads are Wasteful

If your company is still purchasing multi-carrier leads from driver recruiting agencies, you are wasting your time and money. Your recruiters are forced to race against all of the recruiters from competing companies just to call the driver.

The drivers don’t even want to hear from the recruiters that are competing to call. Recruiters are rushing to be rejected immediately when you fill your ATS with multi-carrier leads.

Multi-carrier leads kill recruiter-morale.

Every time your company purchases a list of multi-carrier leads you are wasting your money on the list, wasting the recruiter’s time, and wasting salary spend on recruiters that are set up to fail.

Branded Leads Improve Everyone’s Performance

Branded leads are drivers applying directly to your company because they like your brand.

Loading your applicant tracking system with branded leads for your recruiters to call is going to improve everyone’s performance. Your recruiters will hire more drivers, the drivers hired will want to work for your company, and your company will become more profitable.

Place yourself in the driver’s shoes. Would you rather hear from tens of recruiters, even after starting a new position, that all got your number from the same multi-carrier list? Or would you rather speak with the one recruiter that works for the company you specifically chose to apply to?

In sales terms, multi-carrier leads are cold leads. Branded leads are hot leads. Fueling your company with hot leads is always going to lead to better results than cold leads.

Hand places a higher target to improve performance

How are Branded Leads Generated? 

Branded leads are not easy to obtain. They require a high level of expertise. Carriers can generate branded leads with a dedicated in-house team or by hiring a trucking company advertising agency.

Either way, your company must have a team solely dedicated to branded lead generation.

A dedicated team is going to focus on three areas: digital driver recruitment, referral programs, and rehires. Those three areas should be the three main contributors to your applicant tracking system.

Digital driver recruitment is going to focus on things such as social media marketing, job board management, and google advertising to spur driver applications and build your employer brand.

To a trucking company, their most valuable asset is their truck drivers. Because there is a driver shortage your company is likely experiencing some turnover. You can not fill empty seats with multi-carrier leads. The true value of branded leads is that their ability to turn into drivers solves the driver shortage for your company.

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Video Interviews

In person interviews have not been possible since March. This means that if you have hired any drivers in the past three months, you had to conduct a video chat interview. Whether you are using Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. you need to be prepared. Follow this guide to get the most out of your video interviews.

Man gets the most out of video interview

1. Set the Bar for the Meeting

As the interviewer, it is up to you to be an example of what it means to be a professional at your company. You need to set the bar for the interview.

One way that you can set the professional bar is by dressing professionally. Working from home it is tempting to remain in your comfortable clothes, but when you interview you are the face of your company.

Drivers are going to judge your company based on you. So dressing professionally will send the message that your company takes themselves seriously. Professional drivers want to work for professional companies.

The next thing you need to do is find a space that has quality lighting and is in a quiet space. Doing this will ensure that the driver will be able to see you clearly and there will not be any interruptions.

2. Understand Technical Difficulties

You need to remember that this world is new to the drivers as well. Many of them are going to struggle with interviewing remotely.

If a driver you are interviewing hops on the call late because they could not load the page, or if the call drops, you need to work with them.

Do not rule out hiring a potential driver because they could not figure out the video interview. Have patience, rushing to judgement will lead to you ruling out quality drivers.

3. Record and Review Later

There is no doubt that interviewing drivers in person is the best way to gauge a potential employee. However, video interviews have certain advantages.

The biggest advantage that video interviews have is that it is easier for you to record the interview and review it later.

You will become fatigued if you conduct multiple interviews in one day. This can lead to you overlooking a great driver.

Recording and reviewing the video interviews will help ensure you offer your positions to the most qualified driver.

4. Provide Clear Instructions

As mentioned earlier, drivers are likely to struggle technically with the video interview. The best way to avoid this is to provide clear, step-by-step, instructions prior to the interview.

The more you can do to eliminate technical barriers, the more you can focus on the driver. This way you can get a better idea of who the driver is as a person.

5. Ask Questions That Generate Articulation

Because you won’t get to have the human interaction like a typical interview, you need to ask questions that get drivers to explain themselves.

Here are some common video questions to ask drivers:

  • Why did you decide to apply with our company?
  • Why are you a truck driver?
  • Describe the best work environment you have been a part of
  • How did you manage driving your toughest routes?

Driver providing articulate answers on video interview

Video interviews will not allow you to test a driver’s capabilities so you must get drivers to describe their skills to you. You will have to make your hiring decisions based on how drivers are able to articulate their thoughts. Because of this, the questions you ask directly affect retention and overall company performance.

If you don’t know what you are doing with video interviews, it can lead to hiring the wrong person. Follow these 5 tips to get the most out of your video interviews.

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.

Building a High Performance Team of Drivers

The difference between success and failure is teamwork. The strongest teams will consistently outperform expectations and overcome adversity. Weak teams will trip over the smallest of hurdles and cost the company money. Recruiters are responsible for putting together a high performing team of drivers. Keep reading to learn how to build a high performance team.

Don’t Hire Good Drivers, Hire Great Drivers

High performance team celebrates together.The 2019 ATA Driver Shortage Report predicts that the shortage could reach 160,000 drivers by 2028. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that there is no shortage, but instead high turnover creates a perceived shortage. Either way, both studies pressure recruiters to hire any qualified driver that applies.

That is not what you should do to build a high performance team. Yes qualifications are important, but they are only part of hiring the right driver for your company. Ideal candidates will show a commitment to their career.

Hire applicants that stay with companies for long periods of time. Avoid applicants that have a history of changing companies like they change clothes. Drivers that have a track record of switching companies frequently will not hesitate to leave your team for a higher paying job elsewhere.

Hire drivers that fit well within your company’s culture. Ask the applicant how they deal with their current co-workers/managers. Avoid drivers that speak poorly on their current colleagues, they will do the same to your team.

One negative team member can ruin the entire team’s morale. Recruiters that take the time to hire drivers that are qualified, committed, culture fits, and have a positive attitude will have the right pieces in place to form a high performance team.

Unite the Team by Focusing on Goals

Gather the team together and brainstorm a list of goals that you want to achieve together. Involving the drivers in this process will develop a sense of ownership. Reaching the goals will become a point of pride for the drivers. Drivers that want to reach their goals will be inspired and motivated. Opposed to drivers that feel forced will perform reluctantly. A team that comes up with the goals together will work as a team to achieve the goals.

Offer Advancement Opportunities

Drivers may not perform at a high level if they believe they are in a dead-end job. Most drivers want to advance in their career and improve their craft. Sites like CDL Training Spot are dedicated to teaching drivers strategies that make them better drivers. If the drivers you hire can see a career path ahead of them, they will be more motivated team members. Obtaining more endorsements or moving up to management will motivate some drivers. Others may find it appealing to move laterally into a position where they do something different. Keep an eye on your team and provide the resources they need to make the career moves they desire.

Individual Motivation Strategies

A one-size-fits-all approach to motivation does not work. Some drivers want to be checked in on constantly and reminded of the goals. Others want more autonomy in their work and relent the idea of having their hand held by the boss. In times of stress, certain team members respond strongly to a kick in the pants while others will crumble from the pressure. Think of the best sports coaches throughout history, they do not treat every player on the team the same way. Effective team leaders are aware of how different team members respond to different motivators. As you lead your team of drivers, do your best to inspire each of them in a way they will respond positively to.

A high performance team of drivers is the best asset a trucking company can have. High performance teams will improve your company’s retention rate and help avoid having to deal with idle trucks. A recruiter that hires great drivers, unites through goals, offers advancements, and motivates individuals will succeed at building a high performance driving team.

The Importance of Mobile-First Recruitment

Truck driver recruitment is changing before our very eyes. In today’s trucking world drivers are checking job opportunities 24/7. Smartphone technology is the driving force behind this shift in trucking recruitment. This shift is causing recruiters to focus on the importance of mobile-first recruitment.

Mobile-first recruitment is the practice of combining mobile advertising and optimizing your website for mobile performance.

Mobile Devices are Taking Over Trucking

As a whole, the trucking industry is rapidly becoming more reliant on mobile devices. Both truckers and carriers believe mobile devices are a necessity in the industry.

In 2017, half of all drivers utilized their mobile device to communicate with dispatch. Gfk Public Communications conducted a study that found 61% of drivers would choose to own a smartphone if they were forced to pick between their phone and their computer. 92% of recruiters believe that a seamless mobile application process is mandatory.

It is evident that every aspect of the industry is shifting towards being reliant on mobile devices, but the question is why?

Carriers are deploying mobile devices in their trucks and having drivers download certain apps because of the real-time data they receive from these devices. In addition to drivers being easier to contact, the companies can track the drivers and measure their efficiency.

Also, training drivers to use mobile devices can save the company money. Mobile devices help drivers avoid driving through storms, traffic jams, etc.

Truck driver finds a new job on their mobile device

Mobile Devices Increase Efficiency for Carriers

Truckers are able to use mobile devices to help them professionally and personally.

OTR drivers are on the road, away from loved ones, for weeks at a time. Mobile devices make it possible for drivers to stay in touch with their friends and family when they are on the road.

In addition to being connected with the people they care about, truckers can download apps that help them with trip planning, finding truck stops, logbook functions, and much more.

Mobile devices keep truckers connected and make their jobs less stressful.

Recruiters rely on mobile devices because drivers are heavily using their mobile devices. Certain technologies (geofencing, social media, etc.) enable the recruiter to send recruitment ads to the mobile devices of specific demographics. Utilizing mobile first strategy allows recruiters to recruit the exact kind of driver they are looking for at a cost effective price.

Mobile First Strategies Improve Business

FleetOwner wrote a story on how U.S. Express improved its business simply by increasing the performance of their mobile site. Using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), U.S. Express optimized its recruitment site’s mobile performance.

AMP increased the load speed for U.S. Express’ site by five times and increased job applications by 62%.

By increasing their mobile site’s performance, U.S. Express expects to save $1 million annually. They can use that to improve other aspects of their business.

U.S. Express simply improved their site’s mobile performance, had they paired that with a mobile based campaign they would have seen even greater results.

In 2019, 67% of drivers used their smartphones to look for new employment opportunities. By combining a mobile campaign with a site optimized for mobile performance, your company will place itself in front of drivers seeking a new position. Then enable them to seamlessly apply for your position.

As time goes on each aspect of trucking becomes more reliant on mobile technology. Carriers becoming more reliant on mobile technology will force their drivers to use their mobile devices more frequently. Drivers being on their mobile devices more frequently will cause them to look for better employment opportunities more often. It is a positive feedback loop.

Now, recruiters must capitalize on this trend by running recruitment campaigns built for mobile devices and have recruitment sites that are optimized to be used by a mobile device. Using a mobile-first recruitment strategy will increase the amount of applicants your company receives and improve your business.

Want help executing a mobile focused recruitment strategy? Call Drive Trucking today at (801) 204-5499!

Seasonality of Truck Driver Recruitment

There are four distinct seasons to the trucking season. The seasons in order are: slow season, produce season, peak season, and finally the holiday season. Knowing the seasonality of trucking provides key insights to understanding the seasonality of truck driver recruitment.

Season 1 Peak Recruitment Season

It is of the utmost importance that recruiters are allocating the majority of their efforts to bring in as many new hires as possible between January 1st – March 31st.

As of 2017 the average time to hire (in work days) for the transportation industry was 24.9 days. Knowing that the produce and peak seasons are around the corner, recruiters need to put their company in the best position possible to capitalize on these busy seasons.

If a recruiter slows down their efforts because it is the “slow season” for drivers then they are positioning their company to scramble through produce and peak season.

During the busy seasons every trucking company in the country will scramble to fill all of their trucks. The companies that utilized their time during the slow season will be the ones to successfully fill their trucks.

Season 2 Season of Shifting Gears

By the time April hits you should have the majority of your fleet filled. Due to things like the high turnover rate and challenges associated with finding qualified drivers, it is more than likely that you still have some trucks to fill. That is okay.

If you treated season one as the peak recruitment season then your company will be well equipped to tackle produce season.

Filling the fleet needs to remain your top priority. However, during this time it is important for you to begin allocating some time to driver retention. Competing trucking companies will start to realize that they are short drivers for the upcoming seasons and ferociously recruit.

As the pool of qualified shrinks your competition will look to poach your drivers.

Studies have shown that 70% of the global workforce are passive candidates. You need to begin retention efforts during season 2. If you don’t a large portion of your drivers will leave your for another one.

I recommend starting off this season focusing on recruitment, but then as each week passes by focus more on retention. Do this until you reach the point where your top priority is retaining your drivers.

Gear shifter of a semi-truck symbolizes season of shifting gears

Season 3 Retain, Retain, Retain Season

August through October is the most stressful time of year for drivers. At times it is going to feel like there is more units that need to be delivered than you have the capacity for.

That is okay, at this point you have worked your hardest to fill your fleet with qualified drivers and now your main focus needs to be retaining your talent.

Trucking companies that failed to properly recruit earlier in the year will now be desperate for drivers and will be allocating large amounts of resources to recruitment. You need to be prepared for the fact that your drivers are going to be tempted to join other companies.

If you do nothing to entice them to stay with you then the drivers will leave for another company. Here are some tips for driver retention:

  • Instead of paying per mile offer an hourly wage so drivers are paid for everything they do, like loading and unloading.
  • Offer significant performance bonuses during the peak months.
  • Make the drivers feel valued by having a company wide “Driver Celebration” day
  • Show you care about the drivers’ families by offering additional time off during the holiday season based on performance during the peak season.

It is important to note that despite your best retention efforts there will be drivers that leave the company. Make sure that you are still allocating about 20% of your time for recruiting new drivers during the retention season.

Season 4 Sourcing Season

Once Thanksgiving passes the industry slows down as people begin to take time off to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones.

Drivers are going to be more focused on their time off than finding a new job. You will be spending less time calling, meeting and interviewing candidates.

This downtime is an excellent opportunity for you to source prospects and build up your hiring pipeline. Find new groups to join on social media, iron out the details for a new referral program, and build out your contact list as much as possible.

The better job you do sourcing during Season 4, the more success you will have during the following year’s Peak Recruitment season. As mentioned above, a successful Season 1 is critical to a successful year.