Truck driver referral programs are often praised as the most effective recruiting strategy for small to mid-sized carriers. Referral programs are impactful for carriers, however, they are not perfect.
Here is where driver referral programs fall short:
No Referrals When Expanding to a New Location
Has your company grown to a point that you want to start a new location in a new part of the country? That is excellent news.
A driver referral program will not help you find drivers in your new area.
Let’s say, for example, your original location is located in West Jordan, UT and you are expanding into Springfield, MO.
None of your drivers are going to know people who live in Springfield Missouri. So how can they possibly refer you to new drivers?
If you expand to a new location and plan on using referrals as your main source of applications you will struggle.
Your Drivers Have A Limited Network
Smaller carriers that employ 10 – 50 truck drivers have a limited network of potential drivers they can reach with a referral program.
Let’s say a company has 50 truck drivers and each driver knows 5 people looking for a new position. That is only 250 possible applications your program could generate. 250 applications is the best-case scenario.
I know you are probably thinking that once you start hiring some of those 250 applications the pool of potential drivers grows. However, the new drivers hired are going to have the same network as the person who referred them.
This is a simplified example and the network your company has access to will always be changing.
Yet, even though it is changing, your network is limited.
Beware of Referral Spamming
Truck drivers are smart people. If you are offering a significant bonus for every referral, some of your drivers are going to figure out how to game the system.
Your truck drivers will find a way to earn as many bonuses as possible.
Now, this is not a problem if your company is making quality hires from these referrals. However, the problem comes in when drivers begin referral spamming.
Referral spamming is when truck drivers are submitting as many referrals they can find, without caring about the quality of the referral.
Drivers will connect on social media, or at a truck stop, and refer a person that they barely just met, even if they know that person is a notorious job hopper.
Do not let these shortcomings scare you away from utilizing truck driver referral programs. There are far more positives than negatives with referral programs. The purpose of this article is to shine a light on things you need to be aware of when using this strategy.
The best way to avoid these shortcomings is by not relying entirely on referrals to make all of your hires. Generating leads from Facebook advertising and other digital media sources will allow your company to keep calling quality leads when the referrals dry up.