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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team drivers

Is there a clear benefit to team truck driving? With regulations on the number of hours an individual driver can run, it sounds like it should be a simple answer. Two drivers in one truck can turn more miles in less time than one driver. And therefore, they can get more work done for you. But is it really that easy when it comes to team drivers? For a recruiter, here are 3 benefits of hiring team drivers.

1. Offer Above Average Pay

When deliveries need to go a long distance in the shortest amount of time, your buyers will pay a premium for that service. And those premiums can be distributed down to the team drivers that make it happen.

When hiring team drivers, you can let your drivers know that there’s a financial incentive for the jobs that you’re filling.

Each driver on the team usually will make a higher average salary than if they drove alone.  And if they’re willing to put in the work, you’re willing to compensate team drivers accordingly.

2. Driver Safety & Health

You want to hire drivers who do whatever it takes to get the job done, safely. Without someone keeping a driver in check, this could lead to driver(s) pushing past their physical limits or even considering taking shortcuts that might risk their safety.

When there’s another driver in the cab, there’s always a back-up ready to go when one driver gets too tired or isn’t feeling well.

Drivers know that they can count on their teammate. And that’s there’s safety in numbers. By using team drivers, you can potentially provide that built-in double check for your drivers.

3. Companionship

No matter how your individual internal teams are determined, compatibility is the key to success when it come to team drivers. With team drivers, they can provide each other the one thing that a solo driver can’t avoid: hours and hours of being alone on the road. When hiring for retention, hiring team drivers vs solo drivers is an important tactic. Employing drivers who are a part of team and can potentially do double-duty over the road is key to a successful team strategy over the road. Having the right partner is key.

Bonus: What to Evaluate When Assigning Partners

Here are key things to evaluate when assigning team partners.

 

For carriers that need long-haul runs, in very short amounts of time, hiring team drivers is a great opportunity to meet these needs. There’s a number of options for team drivers, and it’s worth looking into when optimizing your driver fleets. Having two drivers to do the work of one driver, could be a good solution when rounding out your team. Every carrier is looking to maximize the return of time and effort put into developing their drivers. Leveraging team drivers is a great way to do that.

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

employee value proposition

It’s time to go back to your roots. Every company needs to identify their business value proposition. An employee value proposition is exactly the same. Identify your employee value proposition, and consider it your north star. 

As you grow as a carrier, it’s easy for your core hiring offerings to get lost. Avoid the trap. A strong employee value proposition is about more than improved marketing. It should drive everything from your recruiting to your business model. Can you answer in 1-3 sentences:

1. Why is my company different (and better) than the competition?
2. What about my company is attractive to truck drivers?

This is your Employee Value Proposition. 

hours of service proposed ruleWhy is an Employee Value Proposition Critical?

The way we recruit employees has changed. Over the past decade, candidates have been steadily becoming more and more powerful in the job search. As a result, attracting the best talent has become harder than ever. As an employer, consistent and efficient communication of your employee value proposition has become extremely important.

Tips to Make Your Employee Value Proposition Stand Out

Now that you have identified your employee value proposition, make sure you package it in a way that is attractive to candidates. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Move Beyond the Pay Rate

Your future drivers need more than a paycheck to be happy. It’s true, pay is often one of the first things cited by drivers as either a huge benefit of or drawback of a company, but you need to go deeper.

Start by thinking about what you have to offer as other forms of compensation: benefits, bonuses programs, loyalty incentives, other perks. Then, go beyond the finances.

Do you excel at creating a positive work culture or work environment with fair treatment or great home/family time? How about a focus on career? Career development opportunities and strong training or orientation programs can be very attractive to drivers. Make sure you can clearly identify what makes your company a great place to work. Then, talk about it! 

2. Make it Compelling

truck driver job description templateAn Employee Value Proposition should provide the foundation for your recruiting and retention strategy. It must be unique, compelling, and relevant if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement, and retention. Be clear in what you offer, and make sure to cover all the core reasons that people are proud and motivated to work at your company. 

If you have a great company culture, try to capture your distinct company experience. Are your drivers offered good home time? Build on the emotional aspects of why your company considers that important. Those reasons will resonate with your drivers and tell them you care about their well being as an individual, both on and off the job. Make sure to incorporate your value proposition into your job descriptions.

Free Template: Truck Driver Job Description

Follow this template to make sure your job descriptions are converting.

 

3. Talk About it In the Interview

Crucial Conversations with Driver Candidates: 3 Ways to Prepare

When interviewing a truck driver, focus on why your company is better than the competition. You are considering these drivers as potential employees. But, they also need to be sold on your company. Why is your company so special? How are you different? Why do drivers want to join your company and stay with you? Don’t let a good candidate leave the interview without sharing your employee value proposition. They need to view your company as a strong personal and professional fit.

4. Focus on What Matters

An effective employee value proposition rests on the foundation of driver personas. When you know what kind of drivers you want, you can align your value proposition with their interests.

To Determine Your Driver Personas: 

  1. Define the most important characteristics of your ideal driver. Do you need someone who is:
    • Reliable/timely?
    • Confidence/perseverance?
    • Courteous/willing to help others?
    • A good mechanic?
    • Prioritizing healthy habits?
  2. Set your goals
    • How many drivers do you need?
    • What’s your typical recruiting conversion rate?
    • Based on that, how many leads do you need?
    • Do you currently have empty trucks?
    • How are you planning for future growth?  

Use your ideal driver persona and your company goals to steer your employee value proposition. When they are well aligned, you are more likely to attract the drivers you want to hire. 

5. Consider Your Candidates Against Your Employee Value Proposition

With a little training and practice, probably most people can manage to drive a tractor-trailer. However, professional truck driving is more than just getting a vehicle from Point A to Point B. 

Great truck drivers are much more than mere steering-wheel holders. Driving a heavy vehicle with its cargo of costly supplies and equipment and keeping to a demanding schedule isn’t a job for an ordinary driver.

Use your ideal driver persona to evaluate applicants. Then, consider whether those applicants are attracted by your Employee Value Proposition. If so, you’ve likely found a good fit. If not, you may want to consider what types of benefits would be most attractive to the types of drivers you want to recruit. Doing so will make it easier to recruit those drivers AND retain them for longer.

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CDL Employment Verification

To have an edge on your competition and hire the best drivers, a fast and efficient application and screening process is important. However, many teams struggle with various pieces of the hiring puzzle. Sometimes finding the perfect candidate is the hardest part. Other hiring teams find interviewing candidates is their biggest challenge. For others, working through the numerous verifications required by the Federal Motor Carries Safety Association (FMCSA) is the toughest task. For those teams struggling with the CDL employment verification process, here’s 3 ways to streamline your recruiting.

1. Know Exactly What You Need to Do

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). Additionally, each candidate needs their driving and safety history checked. In addition, there are also necessary checks for drug, substance abuse, and alcohol test records as well as refusals to test and other specific driving information. Check to be certain you know exactly what you need to do.

Once you’ve got the comprehensive list of required verifications needed, be sure to do it for EVERY hire.

As part of your CDL employment verification process, ensure that your team is clear on what needs to be done and by when. Also make sure that your team has access to the most current information, as periodic changes to the regulations take place.

2. Stop Using Manual Processes

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. If you keep doing things the same way that you always have, you will get those same old results.

There are so many tools available to help you do this process electronically. You can get verifications in a matter of minutes or hours, not days and weeks. If you do this, you’ll have less chance of drivers walking away from you to your competition because they can move faster.

3. Need an ATS to Help You?

For those carriers still struggling with CDL employment verification, we’ve got an opportunity for you.

As a partner with Drive My Way, we are extending a discount to our customers in need of an ATS.

DriverReach will help you get engaged quality candidates, streamline the employment verification process, and ensure compliance with the new Clearinghouse requirements, all while providing KPI metrics to improve your overall hiring process. If you’re not already using an ATS, or looking for a new one, take advantage of this offer!

Improve Your Recruiting with DriverReach

DriverReach provides a modern recruiting management system for truck drivers. As our partner, we are extending a discount on the DriverReach ATS when a company signs up for Drive My Way.

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What's the True Cost of Hiring a Truck Driver?

There are many ways to measure the success of your hiring process. Some things are more well defined. Other things are a little more subjective or hard to wrangle. But no matter how you decide to look at it, dollars spent to hire a great candidate is consistently at top of the list. So it’s important that you know what these costs are for your company. Let’s take a look at the true cost of hiring a truck driver.

How to calculate your cost per hire

This calculation may vary depending on who you ask. But for the record, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Institute standardized the equation in 2012. The calculation they set is as follows:

Divide all the money you spend on hiring-related items, both internally and externally, by the number of hires in a set period—a year, a quarter, or even the length of a concentrated campaign.

Turnover is your enemy

Now that you understand the calculation and have an idea of where to get started, there’s another piece of the hiring puzzle that needs to be factored as well. And that’s your turnover rate.

The trucking industry faces high turnover rates. According to some surveys, over 50% of newly hired drivers will leave their carriers within the first six months. In some cases, turnover can be closer to 90-100% over a year.

Looking at those stats, it’s easy to see why turnover is a problem. Don’t fall into the trap of hiring simply to fill an empty rig as quickly as possible. If you’re hiring quickly and not taking the time to ensure you’re a good match for each other, it’s not likely it’s going to be a relationship that will last. Every time you hire a new trucker, hire with the intention to retain that driver. This way, you’re doing things up-front to mitigate the impact of driver turnover.

So if you go through the hiring process from start to finish just to lose the driver to another company after a few months, it’s going to cost more over time. When you keep repeating the cycle, it’s going to cost your company exponentially more. And you’re still going to have empty seats to fill. The cost of turnover should be factored into your costs when hiring a trucker.

So what’s the real cost of hiring a truck driver?

Recruiting and hiring truck drivers have costs. Additionally, there’s costs to retain that driver once they’ve been hired. There are several ways to look at the hiring process and develop a budget for the pieces from start to finish.

The actual math is not the tough part here. It’s finding all of the costs you’d attribute to the cost of hiring. Not just the cost that got you the leads, but the costs that got you all the way to hiring a new driver.

Since you want to look at everything it took to get a new driver hired, you need to look at everything involved in the process. This is where things can get a little muddy when trying to find an industry number to compare. If you look around at industry websites, you’ll find a ballpark of about $5,000 to $10,000 per hire.

Your company’s cost per hire will be unique to the way you recruit and hire drivers. And it might take some time and refinement to ensure you’re looking at it correctly.

Measure consistently for best results

The best way to look at this cost calculation and cost is to always measure it consistently. This is the only way that you’re going to be able to compare things year-over-year and be able to tell if the changes you’re making are helping to reduce your true cost of hiring a truck driver. Overall, you want this number to be as low as possible to deliver you a quality driver who wants to stay with your company. Once you are tracking consistently, you should see some trends that help inform changes to your overall hiring strategies.

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

truck driver job description

Two things quickly rise to the surface as the most important features of a good truck driver job description: transparency and specificity. While your post may be engaging and well written, if it’s not transparent and specific, you will struggle to fill the position. Most drivers have been in the industry for years and have worked for multiple employers. They will quickly detect if there is information you are trying to hide or embellish. Once you’ve perfected the content, optimize the non-content aspects of your post and publish it. 

Based on our most successful companies and feedback from our drivers, here are the most important tips for writing a strong truck driver job description.

1. Be transparent

This is essential. When drivers look at your job description, they want to know exactly what you are offering. No surprises later on. As an employer, it can be intimidating to clearly note every critical part of your job offering, but transparency and specificity are key. Whether you’re a big or small company, know your strengths and talk about them. Do you offer great benefits? Above average pay? Are you particularly mindful of getting your drivers home on time? Talk about it. Don’t sugar coat hard truths or try to hide things (they’ll know), but do focus on the positive.

If you’re having a hard time retaining drivers, odds are high that a lack of transparency is contributing. Consider this: if your post does not perform well, you need to know that data more than ever. A transparent post allows you to properly A/B test to understand how to connect with drivers. Perhaps you need to increase pay to recruit drivers. Not an option? What other benefits can you offer to entice them? 

2. Be specific

Drivers want to know exactly what your job entails and offers. Being specific in your truck driver job description increases understanding of your job and trust in your company. If you’re more specific, drivers feel more confident that nothing is being intentionally hidden.

lead to hire process

Specificity goes beyond including the line items that are listed below. Drivers want to know not only that you pay $0.55/mile or $25 per hour, but also what that means for their average weekly pay or annual pay. In a competitive hiring landscape, simply listing an hourly rate or CPM isn’t enough to bring in new drivers—they want to know the total compensation details.

Similarly, if you offer some weekends home, consider sharing that drivers will work the first weekend of the month and be home for the rest. This may be more information than your company can realistically provide (again, stay transparent!), but companies who are more specific have the advantage. 

3. Putting it all Together

Every truck driver job description should include:

Compensation

– CPM or hourly rate, per diem, and overtime (if applicable)
– Average weekly miles (if applicable)
– Average weekly pay or average yearly pay
– Sign-on, referral, safety, or performance bonus

Tip: Pay, miles, and home time are typically the most important things to a driver. Leading with this information and providing as much detail as possible will make driver applicants happy.

Benefits Package

– Health, dental, and vision insurance details. Include start date for benefits
– Life and disability insurance
– Paid onboarding and/or paid training
-401(k) plan and employer contribution

Equipment: Type & Amenities

– Make, model, and year of the truck
– Manual or automatic
Features and/or amenities

Tip: Some drivers only prefer jobs with specific equipment, so the details here are important.

Schedule & Home Time

– Schedule (if applicable)
Home time: daily, 2 days per week, weekends, once a week, etc.
Take home truck program (if applicable)

Other Job Details

– Perks including fuel card, EZpass, Sirius XM Radio, lodging, showers, etc.
– Truck with pet/spouse

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements

– License type (and endorsements) needed with minimum years of experience
– Record needed to apply, including if you hire felons
– Hiring radius requirements

Tip: Reiterating some details like endorsements, location, etc. is helpful to attract the right drivers.


These are the criteria that are most likely to make a driver decide to join your team, so don’t hide anything. Add these details near the top of your posting and make sure they are very visible. Crowding this information in a long paragraph will cause drivers to skip your posting all together. 

truck driver job description template

FREE RESOURCE

Truck Driver Job Description Template

Your job description can either convert or lose applicants. Follow this template to make sure you’re on the right track.

Get the Template

truck driver applicant tracking system

Choosing an applicant tracking system is a little like hiring personnel. One good hire can move your company forward by leaps and bounds. A bad choice sets you back significantly. Look for an applicant tracking system that will fit your company well and leave you wondering how you ever lived without it. Here are a few tips for making sure you find the applicant tracking system that meets your needs.

1. Know your goals and bottlenecks 

Your applicant tracking system (ATS) should be able to help you efficiently identify candidates that are good leads and follow-up with them. If you’re looking into an ATS, it’s likely because your current process isn’t working well.

Carefully consider your goals for an applicant tracking system and use these as your north stars in the decision process.

Are you looking for better efficiency? Better lead source tracking? A more cohesive outreach or communication mechanism? While you may be looking for several different features, limit your goals to your one or two top priorities. Answering these questions and identifying your top priorities at the start will help you quickly find your top options. 

Similarly, determine what isn’t working or is too slow about your current process. Where does your process become cumbersome? What is the slowest part of the way you currently track applicants? Use these bottlenecks to clarify what features are essential as you peruse tracking systems. Then, make sure you choose a solution that can reduce or resolve your bottlenecks.

2. Evaluate whether the ATS meets your organizational needs.

While it may seem like there is a different applicant tracking system out there for every niche market, there are several features you should be able to expect from an ATS in the trucking industry. At a minimum, look for:

email campaign on whiteboard

      • – Searchable Document Tracking
      • – Email or Communication Templates
      • – The ability to create custom workflows

While these common features serve as a strong baseline, we know that your company is anything but common. Beyond these basic features, consider any unique needs for your company, and choose and ATS that meets those needs. A few other valuable features to consider are:

hand shake

  • – Driver referral infrastructure
  • – Lead Source Tracking
  • – DOT Compliance

Some of these features may simply be “nice to haves” while others may be critical “need to haves.” Know your company’s goals and make your decision accordingly. 

3. Don’t underestimate user interface

Once you’ve decided on the main goal of your applicant tracking system and the features you can’t live without, take a good hard look at the user interface. Consider every aspect of how you will interact with the system and how potential drivers will interact with your system. 

We spoke with our partner DriverReach about features to pay attention to when searching for an Applicant Tracking System for your organization.

“As you’re looking for a new ATS to help manage the applicant process, first you have to look at the applicant process from the drivers’ point of view,” explained Jeremy Reymer, Founder and CEO of DriverReach. “Today’s CDL drivers are constantly on their smartphones, and an ideal application experience should follow suit. Look for an ATS that is completely mobile-responsive and optimized for smartphones, as well as one that makes it easy for drivers to complete applications via their mobile devices with a clean, modern interface.”

 

For your drivers, a good applicant tracking system is absolutely vital. Establish whether the ATS you’re considering integrates with any driver facing platforms. Are they platforms you already work with or would consider implementing? Put yourself in a driver’s shoes and walk through their interactions with the ATS from start to finish. If adding the applicant tracking system will make their experience better or improve their opinion of your company, you’ve found the right one! If not (or if it makes the driver interaction worse!), consider other options.

As an employer, you’re responsible both for the infrastructure setup and frequent future interactions with your ATS. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you’ll spend with the applicant tracking system you choose! Select a system that is reliable and easy to work with. Otherwise, in a few short months you’re in danger of being in the same position and looking for a new ATS.

Bonus Tip:

Take advantage of a 30 day free trial whenever possible! You wouldn’t hire a driver without an interview, don’t choose an ATS without testing it first. Use what you’ve identified as your goals, bottlenecks, and need-to-have features to make the most of a trial and find the applicant tracking system for you!

Improve Your Recruiting with DriverReach

DriverReach provides a modern recruiting management system for truck drivers. As our partner, we are extending a discount on the DriverReach ATS when a company signs up for Drive My Way.

LEARN MORE

3 Trucking Trends to Watch in 2020

The truck driver shortage and how to improve recruiting continue to be hot topics in the trucking industry. Finding and retaining good drivers is still a struggle for many trucking companies. If your recruiting strategy from last year didn’t generate the expected results, maybe now is a good time to try something new for this year. Whether you need to start from scratch or just make a few changes, we’ve got some ideas to help. Here we’ll explore 3 trucking industry trends to watch in 2020.

1. Focus on the driver’s experience

When thinking about recruiting in today’s world, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Each candidate is a unique person, looking for the perfect fit job for them. You can’t take an approach of simply doing things the same way again this year. There are countless opportunities to engage with your future drivers. And each one of those opportunities can be won or lost based on their experience at each step. Think of things in terms of being driver-centric in all that you’re doing.

Can drivers easily find your website? Is your application process easy? Does it work well on a mobile phone? When they call your 800 number can they get to someone quickly to help them?

Take a step back and look at every interaction opportunity with potential drivers. Be on trend with putting the driver first in your recruiting process.

2. Video testimonials

Video assets are great to have as a tool in your recruiting toolbox. One great video opportunity is to leverage your current drivers to share their experiences. Keep it short. Make sure it’s authentic, conversational and not forced. This means don’t give someone a script to read and put a camera in their face. Let them speak naturally from their own experience and talk about what they like about working for you. You don’t need to be the next Martin Scorsese either. A decent smart phone and some basic editing software can get you a great result!

Here’s a quick example of a driver video testimonial

This gives you an opportunity to let your current drivers spread the word for you. And for your potential drivers hear from their peers about why it’s fulfilling to work for your company.

3. Social channels

Now that you’ve developed some great videos, it’s time to get them out into your social channels. Social media is one of the biggest trucking industry trends for 2020. And continues to prove to be one of the lowest cost tactics you can employ in your recruiting process.

Statistics from Social Hire show that:

  • 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates
  • 67% of recruiters expect competition for candidates to increase
  • 70% of hiring managers say they’ve successfully hired with social media
  • 91% of employers are using social media to hire talent, today

One note about social media, is that there’s several avenues to potentially leverage. If you’re just getting started, pick one or two, and start small. If you don’t have a good Facebook page setup, it’s probably not imperative to get your TikTok account going. It’s best to keep your social presence manageable when you’re getting started. The key thing with social is to keep a steady stream of fresh content coming to keep your followers engaged.

Working through some of these trends can get your recruiting year off to a great start. Mixing in some new tactics while still fully embracing things like responding to candidates quickly, and measuring your results, will help your recruitment plans flourish.

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 recruiter Skills to master

Deciding what grade of gas to add to your fuel tank? Easy. Finding quality tanker haulers to transport that gasoline? Much harder. As a trucking recruiter, you’re all too familiar with the challenges of hiring owner operators and company drivers: driver shortages, high turnover rates, and an ever changing recruitment landscape are just some of your daily obstacles. Since you are the first face of your company to interact with drivers, it’s critical to be prepared with the skills that will turn your list of leads into great hires. Here are the top 5 skills that every trucking recruiter should master. 

1. Be strategically proactive

It’s a driver’s market. If you want to be a trucking recruiter who successfully reaches quality drivers, it’s on you to be proactive. That said, being proactive should be a strategic plan and not just aggressive outreach. Consider the times and channels that are most likely to be productive for the drivers you seek. Recruiting local or regional routes? Try calling in the evening to avoid busy loading and unloading schedules. Seeking OTR drivers? Make sure there’s a mobile-friendly website for drivers who are looking for jobs while on a driving break. Once you’ve optimized your strategy, continually reach out through multiple channels to engage new leads and reconnect with old leads.

2. Know your audience

This might seem obvious, especially to an experienced trucking recruiter, but it couldn’t be more important. The Commercial Carrier Journal found that the overwhelming majority of surveyed drivers cited inadequate pay as a reason fleets are struggling to find drivers. That’s likely not a surprise. Perhaps more striking is that lack of respect and lack of home time are responses two and three for the same question.

If you want to increase the number of quality drivers you hire, you need to know their priorities and address their concerns.

Identify the benefits that are most important to your candidates, and offer those perks whenever possible. Be straightforward about what drivers can expect on the job. Many will find your honesty refreshing and a compelling reason to join your company.

3. Take advantage of technology

Gone are the days where a clean, mobile-friendly user interface was a nice, extra touch used by only the most tech savvy trucking recruiters. According to the 2019 Overdrive Connectivity report produced by Randall-Reilly, 74% of owner operators use a smartphone to access the internet. Over half of those same drivers use a phone more than any other device to access the internet. As for company drivers, 77% use smartphones to access the internet. 65% of company drivers use their smartphone to access the internet more than any other device. With this in mind, don’t just make your recruiting mobile-friendly. Optimize your process with the assumption that most drivers will be recruited first, and possibly exclusively, on a smartphone.

4. Prioritize your workload

Coming into a new year or quarter, it is tempting to take on a heavy load, but don’t get caught in the frenzy.

Your hours are limited. Take the time to prioritize your leads based on urgency and fit early on to increase your overall productivity.

Evaluate which candidates are most likely to fit your positions. Are they qualified? Which drivers are really a good match for you? Is your company really a good match for them? Speak with each driver and understand their priorities. Then, be candid if they’re not a good fit. Remember, hiring a bad match increases turnover and leaves a bad impression on drivers. Since time is critical, engage your strongest leads first. You’ll be glad you took time to slow down at the beginning so that you can efficiently recruit the drivers best suited for your fleet.

5. Build relationships, not just a sales funnel

Even when time is of the essence, you can’t afford not to get to know your potential drivers.

As a trucking recruiter, you may feel like there isn’t time to build relationships, but it’s time well spent. 

Taking the time to build relationships and treat drivers like people, not leads might reveal key information that will improve position fit. Unsurprisingly, better fit ultimately leads to improved driver retention. Most recruiters know that drivers need to be qualified for particular jobs, but it goes beyond just having the right certifications. As you know, experienced drivers have the opportunity to choose jobs that meet their lifestyle and goals. Identify what those are and find ways to meet them. Drivers who are satisfied with their time at home, model of truck, and who feel they can meet their goals with your company will perform better and stay longer. If you want to improve your sales funnel, taking the time to build relationships with potential drivers is time you can’t afford to not spend.

 

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trucker job postings
When was the last time you applied to your own trucker job posting? Yes, that sounds strange, but there are reasons why trucking recruiters should try applying to their own postings. Since job postings are the first type of engagement that leads directly to a driver being considered for a job, it’s crucial to get them right. Recruiters can test their own job postings by making sure they are simple, user-friendly, and check off all the right boxes. With hundreds of other carriers out there, truckers have very little time to read every job posting, which makes getting it right all the more important. Here’s a helpful checklist for your ideal trucker job postings.

1. Optimize for search engines

The content of your trucker job posting is irrelevant if no one sees it online. Even if you have the best written job description and images, it won’t matter if it doesn’t show up on online searches or the right advertising channels.

If you’re sharing job postings on digital channels, it becomes crucial to reach your target audience. You can optimize your job posting with keywords and phrases that truckers are searching for. Use Google Keyword Planner or similar tools to keep a pulse on which terms drivers search, and the match those in your job descriptions.

2. Mobile-friendly

mobile-friendly application

More and more job seekers are searching for jobs on their mobile devices. Even if they end up not applying through mobile, they’ll browse and shortlist the jobs while on-the-go.

Creating job postings which are mobile-friendly will ensure they are easy to read and view on small devices. Ideally, your entire application process is mobile-optimized, including a single-sign on functionality and save-application features.

But this starts with the job postings themselves.

  • Is the text easy to read and understand on mobile?
  • Or is the font size not optimal for mobile?
  • Are images clear and detailed?
  • Or over-sized and blurry?

View and apply to your own job posting on mobile to make sure it works as planned.

3. Call to actions

Every piece of text in your trucker job description should be designed to lead to the APPLY NOW button. That’s your call to action. After you’ve successfully persuaded a driver to consider working at your carrier, you don’t want to be searching aimlessly for how to proceed next.

Make sure your call to action buttons are front and center, and easy to identify.

You may want to include it two or three times, depending on the length of the job posting. Including a call to action at the very top and the very bottom of the post is essential, with another one in the middle being optional.

4. Contact information

Where should drivers turn if they have questions about this job? Your trucker job posting should have easily identified contact information. Have you posted a phone number, email address, or other contact info? If truckers don’t see contact information, they won’t wait around to investigate. They’ll simply move on to the next job posting that sounds good.

If the job is posted on your own website or other digital channels, you can even integrate chat functionality for more optimal communication. This way drivers can write to recruiters in real-time with their questions. If recruiters are away at the moment, a chat bot can be programmed to deliver automated responses and record driver queries until you are able to get back to them!

5. Text description

truck driver job postingFinally, we are getting to content. Did you notice that we didn’t cover it yet? This isn’t because the content of your trucker job postings isn’t important! Rather, it’s because you can get the content just right, but still not have a strong posting if you miss out on other things on the checklist. With the job posting description itself, it’s all about striking a balance.

You want it to be long enough to hook drivers and give them the important details. But if it’s too long, it may more drivers with unnecessary details which they’ll just ask about later anyway.

Rather than a simple bulleted list of responsibilities and qualifications, you’ll want to paint a picture of the experience and the company.

Use a varied hierarchy of text to mix how the information is presented. Important details can be highlighted by using bolding, underlines, or different font sizes. Anything you can do to visually catch the eye of the reader will make that information stand out.

6. Images

In addition to the text description, make sure your job postings contain images. In fact, the richer multimedia content you can include, the better. Depending on the channel of the posting, you may be able to include more graphics, or even a video featuring testimonials from your own drivers.

It’s very important to show images that represent the experience truck drivers will have. For many drivers, seeing a picture of the type of truck they’ll be driving is essential before they consider working for that carrier. Make sure images have good resolution, that they are the proper size, and that they are placed in the right position on the page.

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