In an industry like trucking, it can always be difficult to find new talent. This is especially true given the ongoing driver shortage. Truck driver recruiters need to constantly use a mix of old and new tactics to search for, select, hire, and then retain qualified drivers. Here are some of the best ways to recruit truck drivers using sound practices.
1. Try a New Spin on Old Methods
On the one hand, recruiting tools like job boards and referral programs bring tried and tested results. On the other hand, all your competitors are doing them as well. This means you’re losing the advantage of doing something special. Try a new spin on traditional methods to distinguish yourself from the competition. Most companies will offer a sign-on bonuses and a retention bonus for every year drivers stay on the job. Try offering a bonus for every six months instead. Posting job ads on a generic job board only goes so far.
To reach a specific audience, look for niche job boards that are industry-specific or demographic-specific.
Employee referrals are also a great way to connect to new drivers using your current drivers as resources. Why stop there? Use crowd-sourcing to find even more diverse talent. Internal referrals usually bring more of the same type of employee or talent. If you extend your finder’s fee to those outside the company, it will increase your chances of reaching a more diverse candidate pool. When using referrals, take care to structure the rewards properly. What will really incentivize your current employees to refer someone else? Maybe it should be a cash bonus, but maybe it could be a few extra days off or a chance to win season basketball tickets.
2. Harness Social Media
If you’re not using it already, advertising through social media is a great tool to reach drivers. Facebook even lets you advertise your jobs to specific people based on their region, demographics, or interests. The power of social media comes not just from the business side, but from the personal side as well. Encouraging your current employees to share job ads on their social media profiles will dramatically increase the number of people who view them. While you can’t force your employees what to post or not post on social media, you can incentivize it. Including social media recruiting outreach by employees in your referral program will help you reach more people than if you just posted on the business side of Facebook.
Some ads only reach those who have already expressed an interest in trucking jobs, but you can also use social media to reach passive job candidates who aren’t searching just yet.
There are many ways you can use digital marketing and recruiting to your benefit. Paid ads are just one of several options. When posting paid ads, try to write an exciting hook to catch the audience’s attention. Drivers are bombarded with ads from trucking companies which all look and sound the same. Anything you can write that differentiates you from the rest will be an advantage. Specifically, remember the power of multimedia: photos and videos make the content more engaging and will capture someone’s attention more than just text.
3. Look Beyond Your Core Demographic
You definitely need targeted advertising to those who are most likely to consider truck driving. But it would be a mistake to limit yourself to just that demographic.
It’s a good idea to balance reaching your current core demographic with making yourself appealing to future potential demographics.
Don’t just focus on those who currently apply to truck driver jobs. Women in truck driving is a growing demographic which would be crucial to tap into. This is essentially 50% of the job market which not all companies are reaching. Women with similar interests and backgrounds also consider working as drivers, but sometimes get discouraged by the industry. Make sure all your advertising is gender-neutral in language and can appeal to everyone. Take special care to reach women in trucking groups and tailor your recruiting message to them as well.
When interacting with different audiences, make sure you tailor your message to their perspective and address their needs and concerns.
Veterans are another demographic who often consider truck driving as a job. Go the extra mile by marketing to prospective drivers where they already exist, like veteran specific job boards or social media groups. Some of the best candidates for a new driving job may be someone who applied for a previous position which you already filled. Just because they weren’t suited for that job doesn’t mean they were a bad candidate in general. Keep in mind old leads and keep in touch with them in case something more suitable for them comes up.
4. Good Marketing is Good Recruiting
Don’t forget that a major part of recruiting is just plain old-fashioned marketing. Your company needs to be able to appeal to drivers before they will consider applying to work there.
In fact, you should be reminding the marketing department that they have two different audiences to market to: the customers and the employees.
To this extent, make sure there is a dedicated hiring page or careers page on the company’s website to shepherd those interested in working for you. In addition to your website, all your marketing channels should have engaging content which makes it attractive to work there. This will be particularly true on social media and other digital marketing channels.
Driver-centric content will show your prospective employees that the company cares about drivers needs and values.
People want to work in a culture and environment which supports and values them. It isn’t enough to foster a people-first environment where drivers will want to work; you need to market this as well. Highlighting driver experiences, testimonials from current employees, driver appreciation events, and a culture of professional development will go a long way toward making the right impression to your ideal job candidates.
Streamlining the recruitment process is a marketing tactic in itself. Make the application quick and easy for job applicants by making it mobile-friendly is a must. While conducting interviews, go out of your way to address concerns with some candidates will have. Contact your prospects soon, often, and on the phone so that they don’t get scooped up by competitors. These tips may sound like obvious ones, but you’ll be surprised by how many industry recruiters don’t engage in these practices. Make these practices routine, and you’ll impress drivers enough that they’ll want to sign on with your fleets.
Recruiting in an industry like truck driving can be particularly challenging. These are some of the best ways to recruit truck drivers which we recommend since they combine the old-fashioned with the latest methods. Using these methods will add strength to your recruiting methods and help you find the best drivers for your fleet.