Start Encouraging Your Truck Drivers to Drive With Pets

For decades truck drivers have been sneaking their pets on board with them. They had to do this because their employer would not allow them to drive with a pet in the truck. However, in recent years carriers have loosened on the anti-pet policy. If your company has not done so yet, you should consider it. Here is why you need to start encouraging your truck drivers to drive with pets.

Dog sits in the passenger seat of semi truck

Healthier and Happier Drivers

The purpose of purchasing a pet is because you are looking for companionship. It is no wonder that drivers who have their fur-pal with them are healthier and happier.

Becoming a truck driver means long days filled with lonely hours. Without a partner to keep them company, drivers can become depressed. Dealing with loneliness and depression can cause drivers to become burnt out.

Research shows that spending 15 minutes with a dog improves people’s mood. In addition to improving moods, dogs require exercise. Because the dogs need exercise your truck drivers will become healthier people.

Increased Driver Retention Rate

Having a high turnover rate is one of the most expensive liabilities a carrier can have. According to Stay Metrics, a truck company with 100 drivers, 100% turnover rate, and average cost to hire of $8,000, spends $800,000 a year on hiring.

Encouraging drivers to bring a pet with them on the road can save your company thousands of dollars every year.

Drivers that have pets with them will be happier meaning they will be less likely to leave.

Also, drivers truly value working for a company that cares for them. Your company can send the message you care about your drivers health by encouraging them to have a pet. Drivers that feel cared for will stay with your company.

Finger increases retention rate from good to great.

Improved Driver Performance 

By simply encouraging drivers to bring pets with them on the road, their performance will improve.

Drivers will be healthier and happier, leading them to make smarter driving decisions. Plus, having another living creature in the truck that the driver cares about will make the driver more cautious.

Cautious drivers have far fewer accidents and are more reliable.

Better for Your Bottom Line

Your company will become more profitable once you encourage drivers to bring pets with them. Revenue will increase because your drivers perform better which allows you to deliver more shipments. Costs will be down as well.

The costs associated with turnover will decrease as drivers choose to stay with you.

Insurance for drivers will also become less expensive. Because the drivers will have to be more active with their pets, they will be in better health.

Employing healthier drivers will lead to less claims being made. The less claims your company makes, the more affordable company health insurance becomes.

There is a difference between tolerating drivers bringing pets with them and encouraging the drivers. Tolerating is good, but start encouraging your truck drivers to drive with pets in order to see maximum results. The drivers will live better lives and your company will see better profits.

7 Tips to Improve Your Employer Brand

Your company has an employer brand whether you actively work on it or not. Quality drivers are well aware of the best and worst employers. Here are 7 tips to improve your employer brand.

Benefits of a Strong Employer Brand and What it is

Employer branding is how potential drivers perceive your company. This is your reputation as an employer.

An employer branding campaign aims to improve your company’s attractiveness to the top drivers and increase retention rate.

Building your company’s employer brand will lead to lower recruitment costs. Drivers will know that your company is a great place to work and will actively seek out opportunities to work for you. Your company will not have to spend exuberant amounts on job postings.

The strongest employer brands attract the top quality of drivers. Truck drivers that are true professionals, and take pride in their craft, want to work for carriers that are the best of the best.

Lowering your recruitment costs and hiring the top talent is going to lead to improved company performance.

What's your brand written out on clipboard

How to Identify Your Employer Brand

Before you embark on building your employer brand, you need to assess where you are starting from.

Employer review sites, like Glassdoor, are the best place to begin identifying your employer brand. Glassdoor gives you quantitative ratings and how each rating stacks up against the competition.

Computer tab open to glassdoor

After reviewing your rankings on sites like Glassdoor, the next step is social listening. Social listening is done by searching your company on social media. You need to read your mentions and interactions. Reddit forums and trucking social groups are a great place for social listening.

If your employer turnover is high, that is a key indicator you have a weak employer brand.

7 Tips to Build Your Employer Brand

  1. Define What You Want the Culture to be

    If your company does not have a clearly defined culture then it is up to you to define it. Write out a clear vision and mission statement. 

    Once you have your vision and mission statement, establish 3 – 5 company values. These values are at the core of your company’s decision making process.

  2. Hire Culture Fits

    After defining what the company culture is, start hiring drivers that match your culture.

    You can do this by communicating the company values to potential drivers in the interview process. The drivers that you hire should strongly identify with at least two of the values.

    Potential hires that do not align with company values will not do well in your company and will hinder your employer brand.

  3. Treat Potential Drivers as Customers

    Quality truck drivers are the most valuable asset to your company. Companies that employ top notch professionals experience lower turnover rate and higher profits.

    During the hiring process, you need to treat the drivers as customers. It is up to you to ‘wow’ them. Sell the drivers on why working for your company will make their lives better.

    Treating potential drivers as customers will help you attract the top professionals.

  4. Use Storytelling

    You need to be frequently producing content that tells the story of your company. Tell stories about how much your current drivers love working for you.

    Potential drivers and passive candidates will interact with these stories and recognize your company as a great place to work. Positive stories build up employer brands.

    Hand writing Tell Your Story in expo marker

  5. Act on Feedback

    As you are going over your reviews on Glassdoor and conducting social listening, you will come across plenty of feedback. Assess whether this feedback is legitimate.

    If you come across positive feedback, double down on what you are doing well. Negative feedback that is brought up repeatedly needs to be fixed.

  6. Increase Driver Perks and Benefits

    The quickest way to get your drivers to brag about your company is by paying them more.

    However, solely paying your drivers more is not enough to build up your employer brand. You need to utilize all 7 tips.

  7. Be Authentic

    Drivers will see through you if you are not being authentic.

    To avoid this, come up with company values that your staff truly identifies with. Do not set values that you think potential drivers want to hear. That is inauthentic.

Whether you are aware of it or not, you have an employer brand. Drivers are taking note about which companies are best to work for. Follow these 7 tips to improve your employer brand, attract the best drivers, and increase company profitability.

How to Lead Your Truck Company in a Volatile Market

"Turmoil" runs across a stock ticker. All stocks are down.

The first quarter of 2020 has been filled with ups and downs. January started with the DJIA reaching all time highs, followed by a crash. The Coronavirus has hurt carriers that focus on transporting goods shipped in from China, but it has helped carriers that supply grocery stores. Russia and Saudi Arabia embarked on an oil war which will lower fuel prices for carriers but potentially harm the industry in the long run. Throw in an upcoming presidential election and the future will be filled with ups and downs. Here is how to successfully lead your truck company in a volatile market.

Plan for Contingencies by Playing ‘Kill the Company”

Volatile markets crush companies by following record highs with crippling lows. Companies that are not prepared for the lows crumble.

Start making a contingency plan by analyzing your company’s weak points. ‘Kill the Company’ is a great exercise that highlights your company’s weak points. Gather the leaders of your company and tell them to pretend to be the company’s number one competition for the next three minutes. Their goal is to come up with a plan to put your company out of business.

Knowing your weaknesses will shine a light on the factors that could be catastrophic. Build a plan that will get your company through the worst of times.

Build up Your Capital Reserves During the High Points

Capital reserves are like a savings account for your company. Use the upswings in a volatile market as an opportunity to build up your company’s capital reserves. Building up capital reserves will enable you to fund contingency plans or pay for essential costs, like salaries, when the company stumbles in a market crash.

Be Aggressive With Payment Collections

Volatile markets are not the time to be relaxed with payment collections. Money will be tight for everyone. Companies that owe you money will try to hold on to their cash during the downswings and wait for the upswings to pay you.

The best way to improve cash collections is to communicate with your clients frequently and to make it as easy as possible for them to pay. Starting five days before the bill is due you need to be on the phone with clients reminding them to pay you. Call them on the due date and then every day after that until they pay. An online system is the easiest way to accept payment. Enable clients to pay you from their computer by using tools such as Quickbooks

Setup Alternative Sources of Income

It is good business practice to set up as many revenue streams as possible. Doing so will mitigate risks. Having multiple sources of income will help the company survive while its main revenue source is struggling.

One common way for a trucking company to earn extra revenue is to sublease a portion of its warehouse. Subleasing to another company will generate a monthly income that helps cover your fixed costs.

Do Not Layoff Drivers to Save Money

Companies will turn to layoffs in order to save money in a struggling market. However, this leads to the quality of service you offer to suffer.

Building up your capital reserves and establishing multiple revenue streams will provide your company the money it needs to keep its staff. Ideally, it would also provide the funds to hire the top drivers that other companies laid off.

Keeping your staff intact will ensure you continue to provide great service through tough times. This will earn the loyalty of your current clients and help you gain even more business from companies that are disgruntled by their current carrier.

Take Advantage of Competition Slowdown and Continue to Market

According to the Small Business Administration,

“Savvy marketers can boost sales and market share, even if the industry in which they compete is in a slump.”

The competition that is not prepared for a volatile market will be forced to slash their marketing budget. Using your capital reserves, your company can fund marketing campaigns that capture more of the market.

Include Employees in Implementing Policy Changes 

Volatile markets will force your company to implement policy changes. You must involve your employees in these changes. Doing so will generate a sense of team and ownership in the changes.

Trying to force policy changes on employees will create a sense of rebellion. Turbulent times require your team to come together and overcome adversity. Employees turning on the company will magnify every issue the company faces.

Volatile markets separate the great companies from the not so great companies. If you do not know how to lead your truck company in a volatile market, your company will struggle mightily. However, choose your next steps wisely and you will come out of these difficult times on top.

How to Set Up Your Company for Recruitment Success

Today, drivers are more accessible than ever. You can reach drivers 24/7 because of the internet. So why is it that companies across the nation are struggling to recruit talent? The problem may be that companies are not setting up their recruitment team for success. In order to effectively find qualified drivers online your company needs to utilize digital marketing specialists. Either hire specialists in-house or work with an agency. Recruiters have enough to worry about, don’t put too much on their plate by expecting them to also become digital marketers. The more time recruiters spend online trying to implement digital marketing strategies, the less time they can spend recruiting. Here is how to set up your company for recruitment success.

Recruiters Need to Recruit!

Recruiters are intended to contact quality drivers, get them through orientation, and keep them in the company. Digital marketing should not be one of their responsibilities. Recruiter efficiency will be maximized in a system where they are provided a pool of warm leads. Then the recruiters can focus on phoning.

Kelly Anderson talks about distracted recruiters in his webinar, Latest Techniques for Finding & Recruiting Truck Drivers. Here he mentions that recruiters get distracted with finding drivers online and forget to call them. This leads to poor results.

If a recruiter is not on the phone trying to bring drivers into the door then they need to be focused on orientation, building trust with drivers, and retention. Articles by CDL Training Spot, and Tenstreet discuss what it takes to be a successful driver recruiter. Neither article mentions anything about learning digital marketing strategies that find qualified drivers online.

Every work related task that the recruiter does needs to be directly related to speaking with potential drivers, getting drivers through orientation, and retaining top talent. Anything else the recruiter does is not optimizing their time.

Team of digital marketers

Recruiters are NOT Digital Marketers

Recruiters should not have anything to do with implementing a driver focused digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing and driver recruiting are two fields that require an immense amount of time and attention to detail.

An effective digital campaign will involve technical strategies such as social media interaction, geofencing, mobile-first design, and building a recruitment landing page. Randall Reilly wrote an article on the Top Four Digital Trends for Recruiting Truck Drivers. According to the article the top trends are: mobile, social, video, and hot topics. Do you want your recruiters spending their days making videos and writing blog posts or contacting potential drivers?

Trying to recruit and market will lead to recruiters not doing either one particularly well. You do not want your recruiters to be a ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’. Set up an environment where recruiters can be master recruiters and another team can be master digital marketers.

Trucking companies need to setup an ecosystem where either an agency or an in-house team focus solely on digital marketing strategies that find qualified drivers. Then recruiters start smiling and dialing their way through that pool of drivers. Finally, the recruiters need to devote some time to orientation and retention. This system is how you set up your company for recruitment success.

Stepping up Your Driver Recruiting Game

Semi truck drives along road in the mountains. Driver recruiting filled the seat of the truck.

Truck Driver recruiting is one of the most critical pieces to a successful trucking operation. If not done effectively, it can cripple your business.  It is also one of the most difficult to master.

Figuring out how to meet the recruiting needs of your trucking operation can be tricky when you do not have the spending power that the mega trucking companies do. Here are strategies that will help you make educated decisions.

– COST OF DRIVER RECRUITING –

Knowing how to spend your money for recruiting may make or break factor for your company.

There are 2 ways to look at it: Spend the money on people or on process. According to Glassdoor.com, based on over 30,000 salary entries, the average pay for a driver recruiter is about $43k per year or about $3500/mo. If you dig a little deeper, you can see that the range goes from as low as $28k up to $72k.

At those salary ranges you could be hiring an inexperienced to moderately experienced employee that could manage your recruiting efforts. You could also look to an agency that will manage the process for you. There are pros and cons to both.

    1. The pro of hiring in house that you can keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening more. That person can have a first hand understanding of the operation and culture of your organization. The con is that you are limited to the skill set and ability of the person you hire. When hiring this person you are absorbing the cost of the employee in addition to the costs of advertising and marketing the positions you need to fill.
    2. The pro to hiring an agency is that with the right agency, you tap into recruiting abilities that you wont get with a single employee. Cons to hiring an agency – its scary. It is difficult to know whom you can trust and whether or not they can deliver what you need.

– TECHNOLOGY FOR DRIVER RECRUITING –

The process for looking for a job is so much different now then it was 10 years ago.

So what has changed?

People still have to find new employment, fill out an application, get a background check, and a million other things. So why is it that traditional forms of recruiting aren’t effective anymore? Technology is the answer.

With the Internet, potential drivers and employees are able to research you as a company, find out what you have to offer in compensation, hear what your employees say about you and generally assess whether they feel they would be a good fit for the job.

The best thing you can do as a carrier is to get ahead of the technological curve. Make sure your online presence is up to par. Also ensure your website portrays you in the best light possible and gives an honest impression of what it is like to work for your company. Focus on the competitive advantages you have to offer.

Another way to get ahead of the curve is to make sure that your company can be found. There are a lot of ways to do this: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), properly developed profiles on job boards and social media.

Make sure that your process for applying for the job is geared toward mobile users. Recent statistics show that more then half of all internet traffic is through mobile devices world wide, and that as much as 70-80% of truck driver applications are being submitted via a mobile device.

Knowing the direction that internet traffic is heading allows you to cater your application process to the mobile user.

Maximizing on these 2 things doesn’t solve the puzzle. However, it definitely positions you above most of the competition. As companies focus efforts on catering the recruiting experience to the driver and not to the company, the effectiveness of the recruiting effort increases.