On average, team drivers are more experienced drivers and seasoned negotiators than most solo drivers, so recruiting them to your organization may take a bit more than what you’re used to as a recruiter. If you’re a recruiter who’s recently been tasked with hiring team drivers, here are 4 tips that can help you along the way.
1. Up the Pay
Team drivers on average make more than their solo counterparts. If your carrier is serious about hiring qualified team drivers, you’ll most likely have to up their pay from what you’d give a solo driver. Do your research to see what other carriers in your area are offering team drivers in terms of compensation. That will give you a good gauge for what you should be offering.
2. Offer a Pet/Rider Policy
Many established team drivers are couples. This makes sense, since if you had to choose to live in a confined space with anyone for days, maybe weeks at a time, it would probably be your significant other.
Many couples who are interested in team driving hold off on doing so because they have a child or even a pet that they couldn’t leave alone for days at a time.
Your carrier can solve this problem by offering a Rider/Pet program. This is a program carriers offer which allows drivers to bring along an extra rider (usually a child) or their pet with them in the cab.
For a couple with ties at home to worry about, your carrier offering this type of program could be the thing that convinces them to sign with your carrier as opposed to another.
3. Appeal to Existing Teams
While there are drivers out there who are “willing to team”, any seasoned recruiter will tell you that it’s much easier to try and recruit existing teams.
The reason that it’s more difficult to hire drivers “willing to team” is simple. Many drivers say they’re willing to team, but when they actually think about the prospect of spending almost all of their time with someone who’s a complete stranger, they begin to bow out. This is a completely understandable attitude to have, which is why it’s much easier to hire existing teams, like a couple, siblings, or good friends, than it is to hire drivers who are “willing to team.”
4. Offer Fleet Amenities
We talked to CDL Driver, Angela who hauls with her husband Larry and she told us that the thing he likes the least about team driving is not being able to get a good night’s sleep while the truck is moving. This is a common complaint for a lot of team drivers. In fact, it’s not just issues sleeping, it’s an issue of comfort overall.
While teams are usually couples, siblings, or friends who know each other well and are fine with spending a lot of time together, it can still become frustrating sharing such a small space with another person after a certain point.
While you can’t completely eliminate this problem for team drivers, you can offer fleet amenities to make their lives on the road more comfortable. Soundproofing/Insultation, more comfortable seating, and a subscription to Spotify, Apple Music or Sirius XM can make a huge difference for team drivers who are considering which carrier to work for. Check out our blog on fleet amenities for a full list of what you can offer your drivers.
5. Use Testimonials
We’ve talked before about the power of driver testimonials in the trucking industry. While they’re great for recruiting solo drivers, they’re even better for hiring team drivers.
The only preface with this tip is that you need to have at least one team working for your carrier already. Once you do get that first team, wait a few months and then see if they’re interested in being featured in a testimonial. Odds are that if they’re happy in their position, they’ll say yes.
This testimonial doesn’t have to be anything fancy or overly produced. You could do a quick 2-3 minute video where the drivers explain what they like about team driving for your carrier. If the drivers aren’t comfortable with being on camera, you could gather quotes from them via email or text and then use those on your website or recruiting materials.
Overall, recruiting team drivers does present a bigger challenge than hiring solo drivers. There’s less of them, and they usually have more intensive requirements for the carriers they’ll work for. But, as long as you follow these tips, your carrier will start bringing on team drivers in no time.