Top 5 Driver Recruiting Techniques for 2021

The trucking industry saw its typical driver recruiting techniques flipped on its head in 2020. Last year the industry had to rapidly adapt and implement web-based recruiting strategies.

These web-based driver recruiting strategies are not going anywhere, even as in-person events become normal again. Because of this, here are the top 5 driver recruiting techniques for 2021:

  1. Facebook Advertising
  2. Content Creation for Driver Recruiting
  3. Job Board Management 
  4. Streamline the Hiring Process
  5. Hiring Dedicated Specialists 

Turning the page from 2020 to 2021.

Facebook Advertising for Truck Driver Recruiting

Over 96% of today’s truck drivers are Facebook users. There is no other platform on the planet that can make such a claim.

Where else are you going to be able to reach this many drivers? This question is rhetorical of course.

Before 2020 Facebook was one of the top driver sources. However, thanks to restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 Facebook engagement skyrocketed last year. People had nowhere to go and nothing to do. So they hopped on Facebook.

Last year the overwhelming majority of truck drivers all increased their Facebook habit. These habits are not going away.

What does all of this mean?

Facebook has become the best place to recruit truck drivers.

Expert Facebook advertisers can promote your job positions to your desired demographic. No longer do you need to take a ‘spray and pray’ approach, hoping that some driver in your demographic will stumble upon your booth at a recruitment fair.

For a reasonable rate, your company can advertise to nearly the entirety of your driver demographic. Facebook advertising allows your company to reach the maximum amount of drivers without wasting a cent of ad spend.

Content Creation for Driver Recruiting

vector illustration of content creatin

Creating content for truck drivers to consume online is essential for recruiting in 2021. Content creation enables you to tell your story to truck drivers.

Quality truck drivers are going to research your company online before they ever apply. If you are not creating your own content truck drivers are going to read what other people are saying about you.

Control your own narrative. Create content.

There are three different types of content. Content that generates awareness, content that gets the driver to consider working for you, and content that gets the truck driver to apply.

If you want to learn how to create effective content check out this article:

Guide to Content Creation for Driver Recruitment

Job Board Management

Many truck driver recruiters will cringe at the idea of using job boards. Which is fair. We have all wasted money on boards that promise us results.

However, this does not change the fact that job boards are one of the best sources for driver applications.

Like the rest of us, one of the first places that truck drivers go to look for a new job is job board websites. Plus, the drivers on job boards are actively seeking a new position. It will take less time to get these drivers hired as opposed to passive job seekers.

The key to using job boards is to not rely entirely on one board.

You need to be posting on all of the job boards and closely monitoring the performance of each board. Each month, a different board will outperform the others.

You need to quickly identify which board is performing the best and then allocate the majority of your ad-spend to that job board.

Closely monitoring the job boards and allocating ad-spend frequently will flood your ATS with truck driver applicants.

Streamline the Hiring Process

The entire hiring process, from application through orientation, can be streamlined with the usage of technology.

Companies like Tenstreet and TruckRight offer software that enables truck drivers to only enter their information on one form and auto-populate all of the required documentation. Also, you can quickly verify previous employment and see any past safety violations of applicants.

Those same companies offer digital learning management software (LMS). Learning management software makes it possible for a truck driver to go through your company’s orientation anywhere in the country.

Streamlining the hiring process not only will improve your company’s efficiency but will also help you hire more drivers.

Truck drivers are more likely to be persuaded to come work for you if it takes little work for them to become employed.

Streamlining Word Road Improve Efficiency

Hiring Dedicated Specialists

Recruiting truck drivers is a full-time job. Driver recruiters need to spend their time calling applicants, interviewing them, convincing the drivers to accept the job, completing the necessary paperwork, conducting orientation, running retention programs, etc.

Digital driver lead generation is also a full-time job. Driver lead generation online takes constant job board management, staying up to date on the algorithms of different social media platforms, content creation, A/B testing, brand management, etc.

Your recruiters do not have enough time in a day to generate leads online. People who focus on lead generation do not have enough time to hire truck drivers.

Hire dedicated specialists.

Lead generation specialists will flood your ATS with driver applicants wanting to work for you now. Driver recruiting specialists will constantly be hiring new drivers, keeping your trucks on the road.

Just because 2020 is in the rearview mirror does not mean that the industry changes last year brought are also a thing of the past. 2021 will only further cement these online trends. Follow the top 5 driver recruiting techniques for 2021 to stay ahead of the curve and hire the drivers you need.

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.

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.