Regional Truck Driver
Hiring a regional truck driver is all about balance. These drivers are often looking to balance good pay with home time. Regional jobs attract drivers who want to be home more regularly. That said, they’re also willing to be away a few days each week to earn a higher paycheck. Every regional truck driver will have slightly different priorities and preferences, but here are a few tips to keep in mind for hiring your next regional truck driver. 

What Regional Drivers Are Really Looking For

1. Home Time & Pay

truck driver family timeThese are often two of the most important factors for regional drivers. Many regional drivers prioritize more home time and are willing to take a slight pay cut if they were at an OTR position. Regional jobs can be the perfect balance between OTR and local.

As an employer, if you offer good home time and at or above industry average pay, you will attract quality drivers. If you have a unique home time or compensation package, clearly share the details with prospective drivers and how your package benefits them.

2. Route & Schedule

Regional positions can include a significant variety in route. In your job description or in an early conversation, clarify whether drivers are primarily on surface roads or highways. Will they be driving largely in urban or rural areas? 

To optimize recruiting efforts, find out what background your prospective driver is coming from and what they liked or disliked. Then, tailor your conversation to their background and priorities. 

For example, if they were driving OTR, emphasize opportunities for independence. If they were a local driver and liked it, talk about the variety of locations they get to visit. Regional drivers often enjoy the balance between getting to know routes and going new places.

3. Equipment

truck driver cabWhile they don’t spend weeks on the road at a time, regional drivers still spend a lot of time in their cab. That means that equipment and cab amenities are still a high priority. Be specific about what you offer for equipment. Consider sharing whether your tractors are manual or automatic, the model, if they are speed governed, and if drivers should expect slip seating.

How to Better Communicate With Regional Drivers

4. Get To the Important Details Quickly

At the end of the day, drivers are going to join your company because of good pay, home time, and culture. Even if you have incredible perks, most drivers won’t be interested if these essentials don’t meet their expectations. So, don’t waste your time or theirs on the fluff. Get to the important information quickly.

One reason a regional truck driver is likely to make a job change is for a better schedule fit and more home time. Is your job home weekends? Share that!

Drivers want to know what their day will look like. If you offer CPM pay, when do drivers finish the day? Do you have specific hour expectations?  Should drivers expect day shifts or night shifts? What time will they start?

trucker

Regardless of the structure of your regional job, these are key details that help drivers make the decision to switch companies.

Talking about regional truck driver compensation also requires specificity. What is the average weekly pay for drivers in similar positions? How many miles do drivers run in a week? Are all miles paid? Even if pay is not the strongest part of your job package, be upfront with drivers. Then, share any perks or bonuses that you offer as additional incentives.

5. Focus on the Positives

When you are hiring your next regional truck driver, use language that focuses on the best aspects of the job. A key part of this is knowing your value proposition and being able to communicate it to drivers. Focusing on the positives doesn’t mean omitting the negatives. Transparency is key for driver trust and a strong company culture.

A key part of this is knowing your value proposition and being able to communicate it to drivers.

A few great ways to focus on the job highlights are to talk about days HOME instead of days OUT. Similarly, if you have a take home truck program, make sure drivers know about it. In compensation conversations, include information about benefits. Many regional drivers have families and value reliable health care, especially if benefits start immediately. A few simple language changes give recruiting conversations an honest, positive tone.

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3 Tips for Hiring a Local Truck Driver

A local truck driver is not the same as the type of person who prefers Regional or OTR routes. Even though both are part of the trucking industry, these are often completely different groups of people. For example, many local drivers highly value home time and family time while OTR drivers are drawn to the call of the open road. Knowing this, align your marketing and recruitment efforts with the priorities of a typical local truck driver in your fleet. If you’re hiring local drivers, here are three tips to help you fill your fleet with quality drivers.

1. Talk About What Local Drivers Care About

Home Time

One of the biggest reasons that some CDL drivers prefer local jobs is for the home time. Driver home time should be clearly stated in your job description, but don’t stop with a general statement.

family time for local truck driver

That’s not enough detail to recruit the quality drivers that you want to hire. Instead, be specific. Drivers want to know when they will be home. Whenever possible, give exact times as well as days of the week. Are they working a day shift or a night shift? Will they be home every weekend? Will they work occasional weekends? Including all of this information in the job description ensures that you’re not wasting time. 

Pay

Every driver wants to know about pay. To recruit the best drivers, companies should offer drivers compensation that is at or above the average for your location and type of haul. If you find yourself deciding between a hiring bonus and higher pay, know that most drivers prefer higher pay. CDL drivers are typically well aware that driving local routes earns less pay than driving OTR, but they want to know what they can expect. 

Share pay information clearly in your job description and in early conversations with prospective drivers. If your company pays hourly, include the average hours that drivers typically work weekly. If they receive overtime pay after 40 hours, share the rate. Similarly, if your company pays CPM, share the average miles drivers work per week. Then, drivers can decide whether the job is a good mutual fit.

2. Don’t Leave Out the Details

Schedule

Local drivers expect to be home every day. In addition to sharing the hours or miles that drivers can expect on the job, share specific schedule information in the job description.

Drivers want to know the specifics. Will they have weekends off? What time does the shift start? How long is the typical workday?

For example, what time do shifts typically start, and how long is the average workday? If you are looking for a local truck driver to be on a night route, make sure that’s clear. Also, communicate when drivers will have days off. Drivers want to know whether they will have weekends off, consecutive days midweek, or another combination of days off. When it comes to time off, consistency is key. Local drivers want to know when they can make plans for family gatherings, sports games, and other life events.

Route and Customer Service

local truck driver in Seattle, WAThere can be a lot of variation in route for a local truck driver. As a result, including more specific information can be a helpful recruiting tool. Will drivers be primarily on highways or surface roads? Will there be frequent stops on a typical route?

Another important element of the route is the level of customer service. Share with drivers whether your runs are dedicated and be clear in your expectations for customer engagement. If there is a customer service component, consider offering specific training to your drivers. 

Level of Touch

Regardless of the level of touch required for your local truck driver position, include details in your job description. Loading and unloading aren’t necessarily a dealbreaker for drivers but be upfront about it. As drivers are pushing to be healthier on the job, some local drivers will appreciate the opportunities for additional movement and exercise

3. Articulate Your Value

Value Proposition

Your company value proposition is what sets you apart from other similar companies. In short, why should drivers choose your job and company? It is critical that you are able to identify and articulate this value.

Why should drivers choose your company over one of your competitors? That’s your value proposition.

It’s what will help you attract drivers and prevent losing drivers to competitors. Your value proposition can include anything from a competitive pay rate to weekends off or a great company culture if these things set you apart. 

Company Culture & Other Benefits

When you are creating your value proposition, consider what a local truck driver in your fleet values. Many local drivers are very family-oriented, so offering immediate medical insurance might be particularly valuable.

Also, because local drivers see their supervisors and colleagues more regularly, a good work environment and company culture can be particularly strong assets. Once you’ve identified your strengths, be sure to include them in job postings and hiring conversations!

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Recruit and Hire Local Truck Drivers

We partner with driver recruiters and hiring managers nationwide to help them recruit and hire local truck drivers for open CDL positions.

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4 Tips for Recruiting and Hiring Student Truck Drivers

Truck driver recruiting can be a tough business, especially when it comes to targeting the most experienced drivers with the best driving records. Carriers can wind up counter-offering driver after driver, or losing them in a few months to another carrier making a sweeter offer to lure them away from you. There’s a reason those drivers are in such high demand. So maybe there’s a different hiring path to take into consideration. With a little bit of creativity and changes to your recruitment strategy, putting a focus on recruiting and hiring student truck drivers can be a great opportunity to plan and build your driver pool for the future. Here are 4 tips to help you find your next group of long-term and loyal drivers.

1. Expand Your Marketing

Look at your recruiting marketing collateral, especially the images and headlines. Do they feel inclusive to student truck drivers? Or are they clearly speaking to an audience of long-term road warriors? It’s easy to miss on this important step in the process if you don’t stop and take stock of what messages and images you’re using.

Your marketing materials, especially your website, can be the first impression you make on potential new hires. Be sure that the drivers you intend to recruit are seeing and hearing messages tailored to them in your marketing pieces.

Another marketing tip is to be sure the channels you’re using to recruit are reaching the right targets. Though print and referrals have a place in your strategy, are those the best channels to use when recruiting student truck drivers, who are likely younger than your average driver? Probably not, so make adjustments to your tactics based on your target. Social media and an easy online process will help when recruiting younger drivers.

2. Implement Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs can be attractive to student drivers. Inexperienced drivers need help learning the ropes and many times, a mentor can be a tremendous help. These drivers are not coming to you with years of experience and all the answers, they are looking for their first job to get them started in a new career. They’re excited to get started and need some extra help to get moving down the road.

Connecting student truck drivers with a mentor can be a mutually beneficial relationship between your drivers.

The student has a designated “go to” person to ask questions and bounce around ideas, and your seasoned driver has an opportunity to share what they know from years over the road. Each of them will benefit from a mentoring opportunity and will appreciate your team’s willingness to foster these relationships.

3. Sell the Entire Job

When seeking to recruit student drivers, you need to not only sell your open positions, but you also need to sell the career, the lifestyle, and everything that comes with the job. People looking to get into a career as a professional truck driver can be coming into the industry for a number of reasons. But one thing is clear, they’ve decided a truck driving gig is the right fit for them. So help them understand how you and your team can help them make their dreams a reality. Reinforce their decision at every point in the hiring process and be there for them every step of the way while they’re on your team.

Act as a great resource for new drivers, by being transparent on what the job entails and being ready to answer a lot of questions. Selling your candidates on the whole job will help your relationship with these drivers start off great!

4. Have a Driver-Centric Strategy

A driver-centric recruitment and retention strategy is a great way to build a strong driver team. Putting practices and processes in place to ensure you’re targeting the right candidates is very important. If your plan includes recruiting student truck drivers, be sure that you take into consideration the tips here.

You want to ensure that new drivers know that they’re welcome, wanted, and included in your company’s long-term future.

For more ideas on how to recruit and hire the best drivers, let us help! At Drive My Way we have the tools and expertise to match you with your next best-fit drivers.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

The 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.

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How to Use Recruitment Automation to Hire Drivers Faster
Hiring the best drivers is the goal for any truck driver recruiter. Finding them quickly and efficiently is also particularly important. So leveraging tools to improve this overall process needs to be a priority. For any Human Resources or Talent Acquisition department looking to improve their speed to hire new truck drivers, here are some tips for using recruitment automation to hire drivers faster.

1. Finding and Engaging Drivers

hiring

Your recruiting team only has so many hours in the day to dedicate to work, and sometimes those hours get allocated to tasks not directly related to hiring drivers. Using recruitment automation technology to find drivers is like having employees who can literally work 24/7.

Corporate Website and Career Page

Your company website is the front door that greets potential hires. It’s your virtual first impression for candidates and customers. Can a driver quickly find the information they need and answers to their questions? If not, it’s something you should consider updating to reduce the back-and-forth communication. In addition, keeping your career page updated with open positions and integrating application forms with your recruiting software will save you time in the long run.

Automated Job Distribution

When you post a new CDL driver job on your website, do you then manually share this opening across other channels? Save hours of your time by automating your job distribution efforts by partnering with channels that will automatically get your job in front of the right drivers.

Engaging and Nurturing Drivers

Once a driver applies to your job, what happens next? Is the driver contacted immediately or does it take your team a bit to reach out? Automate this process by introducing nurturing campaigns that instantly contact interested drivers with next steps, all while not sacrificing the personal touch. Consider platforms that have omni-channel capabilities including chatting, emailing, and texting.

2. Tracking Applicants and Interviewing

Once you have a steady flow of driver applicants for your open positions, what’s the next step?

Applicant Tracking System

Pushing your interested drivers to your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is another place to invest to improve the speed of your hiring process. You can also continue to nurture drivers once they are added to your ATS by setting up and monitoring campaigns that allow you automate periodic interaction.

Quick Guide to Behavioral InterviewingInterviewing

Once you’re ready to start interviewing drivers, automating the process around scheduling interviews and following up with candidates is key to save you time. Verifying a candidate meets all of your technical requirements on paper before interviewing and then training your team on behavioral interviewing techniques is key to success.

3. Verifying Employment and Background Screening

Screening is vital to making safe hires in the transportation industry, and using the right tools to automate your screening process is key to scalability.

Employment Verification

FMCSA requires every candidate to go through a comprehensive screening process before they’re fully hired. This includes the need for a verification of employment (VOE). If you’re still doing VOEs on paper forms and faxing documents to verify a driver’s work history, this entire process can be automated. Let technology help increase your efficiency.

CDL Employment Verification

Background Screening

In addition to verifying employment history, a full background screen is necessary to ensure quality hires. The following other information is typically collected in a background check:

  • Criminal records check
  • Drug and alcohol test
  • License check
  • Motor vehicle records check
  • Physical health exam
  • Sex offender status

4. Hiring and Onboarding

Using recruitment automation to find driver candidates is something that will help you find candidates more quickly. But what about after you find qualified candidates? Where can you continue to automate processes with your employees?

The onboarding process can benefit from adding automation. Using electronic forms instead of requiring candidates to come to the office for paperwork can prove to be mutually beneficial.

Past the recruiting process, look for ways to streamline processes with automation such as payroll and HRIS systems. You will recognize financial and time gains in the future this way.

If your team is looking for a better way to recruit drivers, give us a call. Here at Drive My Way we’re ready to help you put together a plan that best fits your needs, and help you recruit drivers that are the best fit for your open positions. Get in touch, we have a solution for you!

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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.

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How to Improve Remote Onboarding for Truck Drivers

Whether digital process enhancements have been underway at your company for years or are completely new in your fleet, Coronavirus changed everything. Many tried and true processes for hiring, onboarding, and training are simply not feasible right now. With the possibility of continued social distancing looking likely, establishing a protocol for remote onboarding is well worth the time. Here are a few best practices that have proven successful in the trucking industry.

Prioritize People

Driver safety has to be a high priority for all fleets during this time. Drivers have questions about everything from orientation to sanitation. It’s important to address these concerns quickly and compassionately.

As you hire new drivers, it may be tempting to increase efficiency by removing human contact in the onboarding process and relying solely on technology. In this case, removing the personal touch is a counterproductive strategy. 

With reduced face to face contact, reaching out to new employees becomes even more important. Each interaction becomes more meaningful because there are fewer touchpoints. Studies have demonstrated that most driver turnover happens within one year. With such limited time, it’s critical to start out on the right foot. What you do in response to the challenges of trucking during Coronavirus will leave a lasting impression. With that in mind, even with remote onboarding, make every effort to warmly welcome new drivers into your company. 

Get Organized

Transitioning to remote onboarding for the foreseeable future may require a significant shift in workflow. As you prepare to refine the rapidly implemented processes of this spring, consider what you will need to move more permanently to remote onboarding. 

Gather the requisite hiring documents and establish a secure system for sharing them with drivers. That might include driver contracts, tax documentation, and any other hiring forms you typically request. 

Throughout the entire process, allocate more time than you would usually consider necessary. Both management and employees are likely going through several “first-times.” A buffer allows everyone involved to work through challenges without the pressure of a tight deadline.

Digitize Your Material

Review the training files you would normally give to new drivers. If a digital copy doesn’t already exist, make one and decide how you will share that information. Fleets with greater financial flexibility may consider working with a learning management system designed for onboarding truck drivers. For companies on a tight budget, start with free tools like online repositories that let you share files and folders. Drivers should be able to access much of their training material remotely.

There are some training components that work well in person but fall flat online. Avoid trying to use materials designed for in-person orientation in exactly the same format online. Instead, use this time to consider how that information is best presented in a virtual format. Often, that means shorter “in-person” sessions, and more opportunities for drivers to learn at their own pace.

Communicate Clearly

As you move forward with changes to your remote onboarding process, don’t forget that drivers are also in uncharted territory. Many drivers may not immediately be comfortable with using technology for onboarding. For some drivers, this may be the first time they are using many of the online job training tools. 

Prior to the onboarding process, communicate with drivers about exactly what they can expect. 

If you are using specific technologies, share the details early. When possible, give drivers time to explore programs like video calls on their own to prepare. Any guidance you can offer on accessing information will also help smooth the process. 

Infuse Your Culture

Driver orientation and onboarding is about more than information sharing from your company. It’s also when drivers meet their peers and supervisors. It’s hard to replace this kind of natural networking in remote onboarding. Video calls, social networks, and personal phone calls or emails all help bridge the gap.

During orientation, consider arranging at least one video call for all new drivers. This is also the perfect opportunity to launch a mentoring program. Then, new drivers meet other members of the fleet and have at least one personal connection to regularly connect with as they start their new job.

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How to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Trucking Industry

The trucking industry overall is very dynamic, with plenty of changes over time. However, one thing that seems slow to change is the general perception of a typical trucker. Older, white, and male are the words that many people think of when picturing a truck driver. That stereotype exists because it has been true for a long time. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. So when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the trucking industry, what can be done to change the narrative?

In recent years, things are changing from the “old guy club” people sometimes describe. The data tells us that there is a “new face of trucking” starting to emerge. This new change should start to shift those old perceptions.

Per the US Census Bureau: Among younger truckers under age 35, more of them are women, Hispanic, and more educated than their older counterparts age 55 and older.

This means that for the younger people entering the trucking industry, they’re also more demographically diverse than the historically typical driver. This change is a welcomed one for those who have been looking to broaden the pool of candidates for their open jobs. If you’re looking to change things at the local hiring level, here are some ideas of how to promote diversity and inclusion in the trucking industry.

Change Your Demographics

One way to keep pace with the changes, is to have a hiring plan that helps you broaden your reach and mix of applicants.

Women

female truck drivers

As mentioned, trucking has historically been a male-dominated field. However, statistics also show that female trucker numbers are growing. You want to find ways to bring women into the industry, and as a hiring manager, you want to avoid making mistakes that keep women from wanting to work for your company.

Addressing female driver’s concerns up-front, will help appeal to more women applying for your open jobs.

Things like safety, equipment ergonomics and company culture are more important to many women drivers than male drivers. Putting a priority on these things can lead to more female candidates, and ultimately new hires.

Millennials

Truck driving can be a great career for younger people. It’s a terrific way to get paid to travel the country. Truck drivers can make great money, and bringing in younger drivers can establish company loyalty with these new drivers. Putting a strategy in place to recruit younger drivers is another great way to promote diversity and inclusion in the trucking industry.

Focusing on wellness and benefits is helpful when appealing to younger people.

Reaching younger people via through social media channels works well with this group. Making the application process fully electronic and user-friendly is a bonus for millennial recruiting as well.

Develop a Good Plan

Just like any good long-term strategy, you need a good plan. Set a clear vision and assemble a team to work towards your goals. From there, you need to develop and add details your plan to make it work. Think through multiple scenarios until you’re certain the plan is solid. Implement your plan and then evaluate to see what’s working and what’s not working.

If your company only has bandwidth to focus on one or two changes, start there. Once you see the positive changes you set out to make, continue working the plan. You can reevaluate as you go.

Be the face of change that you want to see. If the culture of your company is non-inclusive, you might find it difficult to start to make changes. We know referrals from current drivers are a reliable source of new leads. So, the more diverse your base of employees, the more likely you would have a more diverse set of referral leads to filter. Continuing to change your culture to a more inclusive one is a great start if you want to promote diversity and inclusion in the trucking industry.

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This free guide helps you create your employee value proposition and also effectively communicate it to drivers.

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How to Use Behavioral Interviewing to Hire Better Drivers

It takes more than a valid commercial driver’s license and a good safety record to be a top-performing professional truck driver. A driver may meet all the minimum technical requirements for the job. They may have previous tractor-trailer experience, a valid license type, and the required endorsements. Even so, that driver still may not fit your job or company well.

To reduce driver turnover and improve your company culture, prioritize the quality and fit of your drivers. Building a high performing team requires evaluating and rewarding drivers. That’s true for not only the work a driver does but also how they do their work. No one can predict how successful someone will be in their job. That said, behavioral interviewing will help you hire better drivers by evaluating their previous performance as a signal of their future performance.

What is Behavioral Interviewing and How is it Different?

Behavioral interviewing is based on the belief that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

Behavioral interviewing states that how a candidate has handled a situation in the past is the best way to understand and predict how they will behave in the future.

This style of interviewing uses historic evidence from a candidate to predict future behavior using behavioral competencies, not traits or skills.

Competencies as a benchmark for hiring were introduced by psychologists in the early 1970s. Studies were conducted that demonstrated that knowledge-based and intelligence tests did not accurately predict candidate success in a new role. In time, psychologists developed competencies based on empirical data gathered by job incumbents with exceptional performance in specific functional roles. Competency models have become the core of modern behavioral interviewing. One set that is widely used is the detailed list of 67 competencies known as the Lominger competencies.

Vocabulary to Know

As you prepare to use behavioral interviewing with your staff, there are a few phrases to clarify. Get to know the differences so you can differentiate between them during an interview.

 Traits 

Traits are characteristics that are deeply ingrained and typically don’t change a lot over time. Gregariousness is a good example of a trait.

Attributes/Skills

Attributes are skills in the context of a behavior. They typically develop because of experiences, and people often learn attributes over time. A few examples are motivation and loyalty. Look for evidence of these attributes such as a job promotion.

 Competencies

Competencies are a combination of skills and behaviors. An interviewer can easily identify and measure competencies. They are the way we practice certain behaviors. Problem-solving, priority setting, and conflict management are examples of competencies.

How It Works

behavioral interviewingTo successfully use behavioral interviewing, there are a few steps. First, review a competency chart. Then, identify the competencies that are most important to successfully doing the jobs you have open.  For all truck drivers, planning, problem-solving, and time management are likely to be high on your list.

For drivers who regularly work with customers, you may prioritize customer focus. On the other hand, it may be a secondary priority for OTR drivers who spend long hours solo on the road with less customer interaction. For an OTR position, problem-solving and technical skills may be key.

Once you know the required competencies, develop a list of behavioral-based interview questions. You will need one question for each competency to assess whether candidates have what you need. All behavioral interviewers should train in the STAR model before evaluating candidates. This teaches interviewers to ask questions that allow the candidate to describe his or her past experiences. Interviewers will listen closely for the Situation or Task the candidate encountered, the Actions they took, and the Result of their actions. Interviewers should assess each answer while citing behavioral indicators that verify how the candidate previously showed behaviors that led to success.

Benefits of Behavioral Interviewing

Everyone wants to sound their best during an interview, and it’s natural for humans to be selective in their storytelling. It’s all too easy for a candidate to embellish or stretch the truth when talking about themselves. Unfortunately, as an interviewer, this makes your job very difficult. Even a well-meaning enhancement of what a driver would do in a situation can create a biased interview. It’s much harder to completely make up a situation that has already happened. When in doubt, there are often other sources who can confirm what a driver has said.

Behavioral interviewing was developed to more accurately assess candidates based on behavior-based proof and to reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process. This type of hiring helps interviewers to look for competencies rather than traits. Then, you are more likely to hire based on the ability to successfully perform a job. It will also reduce hiring bias toward candidates who seem like a good fit primarily because they look, sound, or behave like you.

Quick Guide to Behavioral Interviewing

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How a candidate handled a past situation is the best way to understand and predict future behavior. Use this free guide to hire high-quality drivers and reduce your turnover rate.

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The most well informed recruitment plans have drivers at their core. In a finely tuned trucking recruitment plan, the needs and preferences of your drivers sit side by side with company logistics and priorities. First, listen closely to the questions, concerns, and priorities expressed by drivers. These are valuable insights that will help close leads. Similarly, marketing, budgeting, and technology are the infrastructure that supports the relationship between recruiters and drivers.

Start With Drivers

Developing trust with drivers requires a significant investment of time. Building a relationship with drivers takes multiple touchpoints, ideally on their schedule. That may mean making time during evenings or weekends to speak with drivers. In conversations with prospective drivers, be clear early on about pay, hours, home time, and other key details. Your total number of driver leads may decrease as a result, but it’s worth it. As a result, you will retain quality leads who are more likely to become hires.

Ask drivers what attracted them to your job post and, when relevant, why they are no longer interested. Then, use this data to refine your job descriptions. If there is one aspect of the job that is consistently cited as a problem, consider creative solutions. Is there an opportunity to increase driver pay? If not, what non-financial incentives can you offer that will attract drivers?

Connect Recruiting and Marketing

Once you have identified which job aspects most appeal to drivers, align marketing and recruiting efforts. Platforms targeted toward recruiting drivers like social media pages and your company website should present a cohesive story that highlights the most compelling parts of your company.

If you’re unsure how to refine your media presence, start with feedback loops. Create visible channels through which drivers can give feedback.

Thoughtfully review driver comments and reactions. Then, assess comments for actionable steps and implement any changes that make sense. Throughout this process, track driver lead attribution to identify which channels most effectively engage drivers. Identify marketing channels with a low cost per hire (CPH), and increase spend there. 

One of the most powerful lead generators is word of mouth. Consider implementing a referral program for current drivers to help recruit new employees. To start, designate specific time and resources for the internal marketing of referral initiatives. Similarly, include marketing efforts for retention as a key element of recruitment. Retaining drivers is one of the most cost-effective and time-efficient ways to keep a fleet running smoothly. 

Account for Large and Small Expenses

When creating a budget for a trucking recruitment plan, it’s easy to overlook variations in cost per hire. Often, these are recurring costs, and those numbers add up quicklyIncreasing budget precision in your trucking recruitment plan may increase your intended spend. 

When reporting up for budget approval, revenue is the bottom line.

Assess the revenue totals for an incomplete fleet. Next, compare that to the revenue that could be generated with a fleet at full capacity. A well-defined recruitment budget clearly demonstrates the increased revenue potential of a fleet operating at full capacity. Here are a few places to make sure you have accurately assessed your costs.

Turnover

Driver churn is a huge part of the recruitment process. Realistically, failing to account for the extra drivers you will need to hire to compensate for turnover will set your budget back substantially. 

If Company A has a 100 driver fleet and a 50% turnover rate, they will still need to recruit more than 50 new drivers annually. You have to account for turnover within your new hires. That’s an additional 25 drivers! Company A should plan a recruitment budget for a total of 75 new hires to maintain their fleet size.

Referrals & Rehires

Not all hires have the same cost. Referrals and rehires are typically a lower cost per hire than a cold lead because they already have a warm introduction to your company. As a result, these hires should be assigned a lower cost in a trucking recruitment plan. With that in mind, if rehires are not currently a part of your recruitment budget, add them! Allocating resources to retaining drivers will save capital in the long run if you can reduce turnover.

Hiring Across Divisions

Just as referrals and rehires have a different cost per hire than other leads, large fleets may also see a significant difference in CPH across divisions. For example, local no-touch freight jobs are likely to require less time and expense than an OTR livestock position. Analyze historical CPH data and use that information to create a more precise budget.

Use Technology as Infrastructure

Successful recruiting is personal, but the technical aspects cannot be ignored. Essentially, technology is the infrastructure that supports human relationships in recruiting. Everything from your company website to specific job applications must be mobile friendly to optimize driver engagement. 

Technology is the infrastructure that supports interpersonal relationships in recruiting.

Technology can remove inefficiencies in your recruitment process. First, conduct a systematic review to identify areas of lost, misallocated, or delayed information. Randall Reilly has compiled a list of common recruitment inefficiencies in the trucking industry. Then, evaluate your ATS and ensure that no leads are being lost or incorrectly attributed. Next, encourage recruiters to get qualifying information early. After, immediately eliminate any unqualified leads. Finally, carefully nurture your qualified leads

Calendars and standardized note taking practices can safeguard against lost leads. In addition, when leads are disqualified, track the reason. If a pattern emerges, you may be able to streamline your recruitment process. It pays to eliminate disqualified leads earlier in the pipeline because it saves time in the long run.

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

hiring truck drivers

Recruiting is all about building, maintaining, and nurturing personal relationships. In this uncertain time, there’s one counterintuitive rule to remember. Even if you’re not hiring truck drivers, keep recruiting. Doing so will help you smoothly transition back to hiring drivers when your fleet is back to normal. 

Maintaining your recruitment efforts may seem like the last thing you’d want to do when you’re downsizing. Don’t be lulled into complacency. If you only focus on your plans for the next few weeks, you will be too late. Continuing to nurture your pipeline is critical to your company’s long-term health, but your strategy may have to change as a result of the global health crisis. Uncertain times require improvising, adapting, and overcoming obstacles. When you’re not actively hiring truck drivers, focus on building relationships in your recruitment pipeline. Here are a few best practices.

1. Don’t Lose Interested Applicants

As HR professionals know all too well, recruiting isn’t a faucet that you can turn on and off. Leads that are not consistently nurtured will turn cold and disengage. Even when you’re not hiring truck drivers, it’s important to develop your relationships for future employment.

Consider that consumers typically take three to nine months to make a decision. In this case, your jobs are a product, and applicants are your consumers. Most people spend the majority of our waking hours at work, and making a job change is a really big decision.

It’s too early to predict when freight demands will increase and hiring will resume, but you need to be ready. Continue to build a relationship with interested drivers. Found out what is important to them and whether you are a good fit. Then, when the time comes to bring in drivers, you’ll be prepared to quickly fill your open positions.

2. Stay Visible

Dee Sova from Prime Trucking

Example Campaign from Drive My Way

It’s important to stay top of mind for drivers even if you’re not hiring right now. While more drivers are in the market for a new job now, the competition remains very high for experienced, high performing drivers with exceptional safety records. A lull in recruiting is a good time to promote marketing campaigns. Highlight your current drivers with tasteful video campaigns.

There is no better endorsement for being a great place to work than one from current drivers who are happy that they joined and chose to stay. You can also take advantage of social media trends like #thankatrucker. Provide resources for current and prospective drivers to increase brand awareness and strengthen ties to your company. 

As a recruiter, it’s important to keep your energy high even when working from home. Continue making calls to drivers. Cultivating relationships in a hiring slowdown will make you an obvious choice when drivers are changing jobs in the future. Drivers are not shy about sharing their experiences with others. Employers will be remembered for the actions they took and how they treated drivers during this difficult time. 

3. Fine-Tune Your Message

With uncertainty rippling through the trucking industry, clear, positive communication is more important than ever. As a fleet, the best strategy is to be transparent about your position.

If you are not hiring new drivers, be honest with applicants. Even if you are not able to offer jobs right now, be a resource to drivers.

In recruitment conversations and all other company messaging, strive to acknowledge the current hardships, be authentic, and offer valuable, curated information that drivers can use. This is also an opportunity to optimize your outreach with video campaigns and a mobile-friendly interface. Setting the appropriate tone helps drivers respect and relate to your brand and will foster relationships with potential hires. 

4. Seek Out Opportunities That May Be Available in a Few Months

A hiring lull is the perfect time to look toward the future. The strategic recruiting plan that you laid out in early 2020 may or may not be the right fit for your company going forward. As you approach hiring for Q3 and Q4 of 2020 and beyond, do you anticipate your hiring needs changing? What is different about the drivers you need to recruit and how will your company meet those demands? Use the Drive My Way Ultimate Guide for Truck Driver Recruiting to create a comprehensive recruitment plan for the months ahead.

It is more important than ever to understand what drivers prioritize in a job.

Previously, drivers may have been asking for local jobs or flexible rider policies. Now, their focus may be on PTO policies for sickness or your truck cleaning standards. Listen carefully to what drivers are looking for and shape your marketing and recruiting efforts accordingly. This recruitment slowdown is also a great time to offer operations experience to recruiters to help your whole team align with current drivers’ experiences. Pairing a recruiter with a dispatcher or terminal manager may give them a perspective on drivers’ needs.

5. Prepare for Continued Remote Processes

Slowly but surely, companies are re-opening and finding a new normal. The widespread shutdowns due to COVID-19 will continue to ease, but the effects of the pandemic are likely to linger for far longer. With millions of Americans becoming remote workers overnight, virtual recruiting and onboarding have become the norm for many companies. Even as restrictions on in-person work environments are relaxed, prepare to manage your candidate lifecycle virtually.

While the circumstances have caused us to adapt and be distant, that does not mean that we have to lose the personal connection. In recent years, several companies, including Luma Brighter Learning, have started offering online Learning Management Systems (LMS) for onboarding truck drivers. It’s a strategy that is effective for both companies and drivers. We spoke with Luma Brighter Learning CEO, Gina Anderson, and she shared her perspective on why synchronous online learning is a great option for trucking fleets.

“The carriers are saving time, they’re saving money, they’re becoming more efficient, and they’re making their drivers happy.” Gina continued, “There’s not one way to train people. That’s why it’s so valuable to be able to provide mixed methods of training [using platforms like Luma]. You don’t have to get rid of synchronous (same-time) training — you can do it online. Drivers can learn any time, any place.”

Gina Anderson went on to add that it’s no longer a question of whether or not to implement online learning systems for drivers. Drivers still value real-time connections with peers, mentors, and trainers, so companies should be asking themselves how to make virtual onboarding possible. Asking drivers to complete the basics in a synchronous online environment is a cost-effective strategy to streamline your onboarding process while still complying with social distancing restrictions and engaging your driver community.  

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

clearinghouse judgement gavel

The FMCSA Clearinghouse went into effect in January of this year. As with many industry-wide changes, there were some technical problems early on, but now, 90 days later, the majority of these have been resolved. 

The intent of the Clearinghouse was to identify drivers with positive DOT drug and alcohol tests. It is doing just that. Nearly 8,000 positive results have been identified. That may seem like a severe reduction in available drivers. However, it does increase the percentage of candidates who are eligible for employment. It also reduces the likelihood that a good carrier loses a driver to a less reputable company. The Clearinghouse ensures that companies are following the same hiring policies. 

Here’s how you can make the most of the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

1. Reduce Processing Delays

As with any new system implementation, it will take some time for the Clearinghouse to become a well oiled machine. In the meantime, one of the best ways to improve your user experience is by reducing the processing delays. In order for your request to be processed, drivers must have already completed their CDL information. To confirm whether a driver has registered, ask them login to their Clearinghouse account. If the driver has not fully registered, there will be a note on the account prompting them to do so. 

If you are confident that the driver has completed their CDL information but your query is still pending, it may be lacking driver consent. To authorize a query, a driver must login and give consent for employers to access their record. If the driver has logged in and cannot see the consent request, you can cancel the original request and resend an identical one to reset the process. 

2. Take Advantage of Bulk Uploads

If you have a large batch of queries to process simultaneously from the Clearinghouse, consider conducting a bulk upload. Use the FMCSA’s bulk upload template.  To do a bulk upload, create a tab-delimited file that can be uploaded to the Clearinghouse. The file should include the following fields:

  • LastName 
  • FirstName
  • Date of Birth. Format is MM/DD/YYYY
  • CDL – Commercial Driver’s License or Commercial Learner’s Permit Number
  • Country Code of CDL issuance. For Canada: CN; Mexico: MX, United States: US
  • State of CDL issuance. For the U.S. and Canada, use two letter State/Province codes. Use MX for Mexico
  • Query Type – Choose one of the following:
    1. Limited Query
    2. Full Query
    3. Pre-employment Query
    4. Limited Query with Automatic Consent Request

3. Be Proactive

Employers are now required to conduct a query on potential employees before they operate a CMV. So, it is in your interest to expedite the process if possible. Many drivers have already registered on the Clearinghouse if they are job searching. Unfortunately, there are also still many who haven’t. As you approach the point of hire with a new driver, be proactive and ask them whether they are registered. Going forward, make this a standard part of your interview or hiring process. You can help drivers register if they haven’t already. 

4. Manage Existing Employees

At the time of the creation of the Clearinghouse, all drivers were added to the system. That does not mean that all drivers are registered.

As an employer, you do not need to register drivers who are existing employees.

For drivers who are already with your company, you can use the Clearinghouse to conduct your annual review. It is only when drivers are at the point of changing jobs or being hired, that they must be registered. 

5. Understand the Nuances

All drivers who are hired for CDL-A positions going forward will need to pass the Clearinghouse query. That said, the query does not need to have been completed by the time of hire.

Drivers can be hired by a new employer, but are prohibited from operating a commercial motorized vehicle (CMV) until they pass the Clearinghouse.

Employers can now decide whether to incorporate the Clearinghouse query prior to the point of employment, or to complete the query following employment but prior to operation of a CMV.

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