recruit truck drivers

It seems that we can’t escape technology in our lives, especially in the workplace. As a recruiting professional in a challenging and fast-paced industry, you’ve probably read about how using the latest technology can help you recruit truck drivers. However, having a keen skeptical eye, you also know that using technology cannot solve all problems, and can’t replaced good old-fashioned recruiting methods. In reality, both these things are true. You must use technology for recruiting, but you can’t rely on it blindly either. The trick is learning how and when to use technology to best aid your recruiting efforts.

Enhance and complement with technology

It’s true that technology can play a part in all functions of your recruitment efforts. It can help allocate your budget, optimize marketing, capture and manage leads, and onboard new hires. However, if you use technology blindly, that may be worse than not using it at all! You could end up hurting tried-and-tested methods that have worked for ages.

The secret to how and when to use technology is to always have it complement your human efforts, instead of hamper them.

There will always be some disadvantages to using technology, but thankfully your human efforts will be strong in those areas. Similarly, there are areas where humans tend to make more mistakes. Here is where technology can aid or accelerate your process. This way you’re always using technology to enhance your already strong human recruitment efforts.

The strengths and weaknesses of technology

Knowing how and when to use technology depends on a good understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. You’ll soon recognize that these usually complement human strengths and weakness. For example, one of the weaknesses of human effort is a limited capacity. You only have a limited number of recruiters, limited budget, or limited time.

Thankfully, technology excels at using limited resources to scale up operations that lead to better results.

Similarly, using human effort leads to low accountability. Bill thought Joan was going to complete that task, while Joan thought Adam was accountable for it. Assigning tasks to technology means that the tasks are track-able and measurable. Human effort can sometimes lack consistency and accuracy. We understandably feel tired, bored, antsy, or unmotivated when tackling repetitive tasks. These are perfect tasks to outsource to technology. Unless it breaks down, it reliably completes the same task repeatedly until you instruct it to stop.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that there are no disadvantages to relying on technology. One of its weaknesses is that technology will be subject to bugs and glitches. This is when the human touch helps. When your automated systems suffer a technical error and don’t function as expected, you can ask recruiters to step in and cover the missing pieces.

Technology also needs constant monitoring and frequent technical support. Instead, people can be autonomous!

You don’t need to constantly monitor their actions or call in a repair crew when they make an error. If you empower your staff, they are capable of constantly self-adjusting. This is in contrast to technology, which is limited in its programming. If you instruct an algorithm to send a message to contact new leads, it will continue to attempt doing so until you tell it to stop. On the other hand, humans are adaptable. We can see when something isn’t working, and instead of making the same mistake repeatedly, we can flexibly adapt our behavior to fit the situation.

As you can see, humans and technology both have strengths and weaknesses. Usually the strengths and weaknesses complement each other. This is the secret to how and when to use technology.

Pair both human effort and technology toward their strengths to efficiently recruit truck drivers.

Only use technology to enhance human effort, and never to hinder it. Below are four examples.

1. Budgets

As we’ve written about before, you can use data to inform decisions about where to allocate your recruiting budgets. Technology can tell you which recruiting methods are successful for which jobs in which locations. At the end of the day though, recruiters have to use human judgment to make decisions about budget strategy and planning and sell this plan to supervisors to get their approval.

2. Finding drivers

Recruiters sift through the carrier’s jobs and decide which characteristics are important for each job. You need human effort to decide which candidate looks like an ideal match for a particular job. Technology can then help you target the right candidates and meet them where they already exist online. You can also use lead scoring, or matching services like Drive My Way to funnel the top matches into your recruiting pipeline.

3. Contacting and securing leads

Contacting leads quickly is crucial to converting them into hires. Technology can help you automate methods of contact and frequency of contact. Mobile-friendly applications and applicant tracking systems are tools you can use to gain contact information or other important data. But there is a danger in overusing technology here. Nothing can replace the human effect. Once you’ve identified top leads, contacting them with a personalized message adds the much-needed human touch.

4. Onboarding drivers

You can use technology to measure lead velocity and other metrics to help optimize your truck driver onboarding process. However, once you’ve already converted leads to hires, you don’t want to risk alienating them. Human skills here are essential. Listening to newly converted drivers and meeting their needs with your solutions will go a long way toward maximizing retention.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

Get the Ebook

Trucking recruiters are invaluable to their carriers. Recruiters find and interview leads, identify top talent, send them job offers, and shepherd drivers through training and orientation. Without strong recruiters, truck driving jobs would remain unfilled and trucks would be sitting idle. Recruiters are especially important for a tough industry like trucking which faces unique obstacles. Here are 4 challenges facing trucking recruiters.

1. Driver shortage

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way: the biggest challenge for anyone in this industry is the driver shortage. The truck driver shortage has increased, and the industry is lacking about 60,000 drivers. The driver shortage will continue and grow over the next few years, even taking into account a rise in autonomous trucks. While the driver shortage affects the entire industry and economy, it’s a major challenge for recruiters. Finding the best talent for your carriers is extremely difficult when the pool of candidates is narrow. Worse still, these candidates are courted by many carriers simultaneously, so it’s difficult to entice them with something the top carriers can’t match.

2. Unqualified leads

Even when you find drivers in the midst of the shortage, about 50% of your leads will not be viable. Recruiting is a matching game—you can’t just pick any driver for any kind of trucking job. While sorting through dozens of candidates you’ll find that over half are unqualified, uninterested, inexperienced, or otherwise inappropriate for the job. Meanwhile, you’ll have wasted time and precious recruiting budget on pursuing dead leads.

Instead of recruiting blindly, what you really need is a stronger matching or screening system.

3. High turnover

As if the driver shortage wasn’t enough, trucking recruiters also deal with high turnover. Once a carrier finally lands a top driver, it’s not as if they will always stick around for long. In fact, many fleets are losing more drivers than they recruit each year. Carriers can use incentives like signing bonuses, but those aren’t geared toward retention. Strong retention starts with strong recruiting, so it helps if you only hire drivers who are a good match. Survey your drivers to better meet their needs and match their values will also help reduce the chances they are enticed by job offers from rivals. Still, building a solid company culture which nurtures driver loyalty can be a long-term investment that is easier said than done.

4. Budget allocation

You only have so much money you can spend on recruiting. What and where to spend that money on are challenging questions facing all trucking recruiters. Today there are many more recruiting channels than ever before and carriers want to spread a wide net, reaching as many drivers as possible. At the same time, you may be wasting money if you allocate it toward recruiting methods that just aren’t effective. Measuring your recruiting effectiveness is an essential task that can help you allocate your budget efficiently, reach more drivers, and save money. Nevertheless, spending that kind of research is time-consuming in itself.

What recruiters really need are strong tools which help them recruit very efficiently through different channels suited for location and job type

 

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

Get the Ebook

CDL truck drivers have many things to consider when taking on a new trucking job. Routes, benefits, work-life balance, and certainly driver pay are key factors. And pay is usually at the top of that list. From Indeed.com:

The average CDL driver salary is $1,074 per week in the United States.

This is based on over 1.6 million self-reported salaries, for a driver with just under 1 year of tenure. Using this as a gauge for the average CDL driver salary: how do you stack up?

This average is derived from a range of salaries, from $200 per week at the low end, to almost $3,000 per week on the high end. It also includes rates reported from both owner-operators as well as company drivers. Likewise, salaries for drivers who have additional endorsements on their license are included as well. So it’s easy to see that here’s quite a range from the low to high end of the scale.

It’s worth noting that a CDL driver salary alone does not account for total compensation.

Total compensation includes salary PLUS things like medical benefits, bonuses, paid time off and 401K / retirement programs. All of these things should be looked at when considering a new trucking job. Truckers could get lured by big signing bonuses upfront, but over time, those become less important vs. pay rates and longer-term benefits. Total compensation is the more meaningful number to understand when working through financial planning.

Our Approach

In an effort to be competitive, many of carriers who partner with Drive My Way access driver wage data through The National Transportation Institute (NTI) to evaluate and update their compensation packages based on today’s market. Drive My Way offers consulting for how your organization and jobs are performing based on driver interest and decline feedback. In addition, we often refer those that are struggling to compete in particular markets to NTI for a competitive market data analysis of their pay and benefits offerings.

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Drive My Way matches drivers with companies based on professional qualifications and lifestyle choices.

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best-trucking-companies

Truck drivers are constantly bombarded with information by companies about why they are great to work for. They also hear about companies through their reputation with other drivers. Both seasoned drivers and rookies are interested in hearing about the best truck driving companies to work for. The top companies have some of the best salaries and compensation, benefits, and other perks. But more importantly, they also prioritize home time, have a strong company culture, and are known for respecting their drivers.

Ultimately, the best companies are the ones that suit the individual needs of drivers, including that of region, type of runs and hauls. Nevertheless, there are some companies that consistently rank high, regardless of preferences. Here are 6 of the best truck driving companies to work for in 2019, in no particular order.

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Billboard

High turnover and the enduring truck driver shortage make your fleet’s recruitment efforts of supreme importance. Advertising jobs to drivers is one of the first steps in strong recruitment. If drivers don’t see your ads, there is no chance of them applying to your jobs. Driver recruitment advertising is completely different than it was about 10 years ago. As always, advertising means you should meet drivers where they are and speak their language. If you’re not taking advantage of changing trends and best practices, you’re risking losing the best drivers to rival carriers. Here are 6 things wrong with your truck driver advertising you can improve on.

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3 Ideas for Improving Your Truck Driver Benefits Package

As a recruiter for truck drivers, you know that the driver shortage means that finding the best talent can be difficult. With turnover also being high, retaining drivers can be even more challenging. The best companies are offering great truck driver benefits in addition to good salaries and bonuses. While salary and cents per mile are important figures, drivers know they aren’t the whole package. The experienced driver recognizes that a strong benefits package can be more valuable than sign-on or referral bonuses.

Benefits also build a driver-centric company culture where drivers feel valued and respected. Word-of-mouth about benefits will soon spread to attract other drivers. While there are some industry standard benefits that you should definitely offer, you can also supplement them with your own unique additional benefits that reflect your company and brand. With so much on the line, here are three components to include to improve your truck driver benefits package.

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thank-you

One of the biggest complaints from truck drivers is not about salary or benefits, but rather that they don’t feel appreciated by their fleets. Drivers want to feel like an integral part of the team, not just another number or a cog in the machine. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September is a great time to set aside and show drivers your appreciation, but it doesn’t have to stop there.

Driver appreciation can and should be a year-round activity. After all, appreciation is a key component of driver retention. So whether you’re a recruiter, dispatcher, fleet manager, or executive, take some time to show your drivers how much you and your company value them. Here are seven truck driver appreciation ideas you can use anytime.

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truck-1

There are two main approaches to recruiting truck drivers in the industry. The first focuses on sheer numbers. Cast as wide a net as possible and you’ll have dozens of potential leads to consider for open jobs. The second focuses on lead quality over quantity. This can be a more time-consuming and tedious process, and you’ll have to narrow the search a bit. Then you focus your efforts on the high-quality applicants to convert them to drivers for your fleet.

There is much to be said about the quality approach, including the fact that it wastes less money and time in the long-run. While we aren’t going to solve the quality versus quantity debate, we do know that there are a few things you can do as a recruiter to increase the quality of your leads. Here are three strategies to focus on to improve truck driver lead quality.

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Working with owner operators in the trucking industry is much different than working with company drivers. If you’re hiring owner operators, the benefits include not having the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining the rigs. Owner operators are also often more experienced drivers and have better safety records. The drawbacks are that it is much more expensive to hire owner operators, with the average salary around $140,000 per year.

Owner operators have different values and personalities than most company drivers. They are more independent, entrepreneurial-minded, and adventurous than the average company driver. Therefore, recruiting owner operators to your company is a whole other ball game from recruiting company drivers. Here are three tips for recruiting owner operators to your fleet.

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4 CDL Truck Driver Retention Strategies

Recruiting great drivers is tough enough, but retaining top drivers is even tougher. While the driver shortage is the main obstacle to recruitment, turnover is the reason it is difficult to retain truck drivers. It’s no secret that the industry faces high turnover rates. According to some surveys, over 50% of newly hired drivers will leave their carriers within the first six months.

Apart from offering higher and higher salaries and compensation packages, the real answer to the turnover problem is driver engagement. Drivers who are engaged with the job and the company are better and safer drivers and are more likely to stick around for longer. Here are four CDL truck driver retention strategies to maximize driver engagement.

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