As the freight market continues its strong outlook, hiring is again top of my mind for many carriers. Recruiting for retention should always be at the core of an effective recruiting strategy. It’s faster and more cost-effective to retain current drivers than to recruit new drivers. If you are a large trucking company that needs to quickly hire drivers, use these five tips to efficiently fill your fleet with quality drivers.

1. Capitalize on Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is one of the most powerful recruiting techniques because it optimizes for efficiency. Ultimately, the goal of inbound marketing is to have driver candidates proactively reaching out as a result of your marketing efforts. This subverts the traditional model of contacting each driver lead directly and is frequently a more efficient way to speak one to many. 

There are many inbound marketing strategies that are valuable when recruiting for a large trucking company. Referrals and Word of Mouth advertising have strong persuasive power because they are built on trust. Drivers want to know what working for your company is really like from other drivers. These two recruiting strategies are powerful because they hear about your company from a trusted sourceyour current drivers. 

Social media and online advertising are inbound marketing strategies with a high reach potential. The goal of these campaigns is to generate driver interest and provide a signpost for ways in which serious candidates can engage more deeply with your company. If managing a digital marketing strategy exceeds your current staffing capacity, or you want to amplify your impact even further, consider partnering with a company like Drive My Way to extend your company reach.

2. Know When To Use Outbound Marketing

While inbound marketing strategies should dominate your recruitment efforts, outbound marketing can be tactically applied to selectively increase your reach. For example, outbound marketing may be necessary for high-impact geographies that are not naturally driver hotspots. Many top drivers are still re-entering the workforce after recent layoffs and focused, outbound marketing can help attract these top drivers.

Phone communication tends to be a particularly effective outbound recruiting strategy for truck drivers. That includes both calling and texting. 

According to our Drive My Way Driver Happiness and Retention survey, 64% of drivers report talking by phone as their preferred means of contact with a recruiter. 

Text communications follow closely behind in third place. Allocating additional resources to underperforming positions through outbound marketing is an effective way to boost driver engagement where it is most needed.

With any communication medium, the most effective strategies keep driver preferences at their core. Reach out to drivers on their own terms. This may mean adjusting recruitment hours to include evenings and weekends. Similarly, choose the right communication medium. For a first point of contact, a call is often more personal. After, switching to text messages allows for quick communication that won’t get cumbersome for recruiters or drivers. Each touchpoint in an outbound marketing campaign should continue building a positive relationship with the driver.

3. Prioritize Based On Company Resources

If you are a large trucking company, you likely have resources that are unavailable to smaller companies, but keen prioritization is still essential. It’s important to know your strengths as a company and as a department. Then, rank your top priorities and note any gaps between your strengths and the resources needed as you finalize your recruiting strategy

For some companies, outsourcing resources can be a valuable strategic decision. Consider how in-house talent versus outsourced resources fit into your short and long term roadmap. If you outsource some of your recruiting efforts to a company like Drive My Way, this will extend the capabilities and capacity of your internal team.

Outsourcing specific aspects of your recruiting should amplify your existing efforts while giving you more time to focus on the things you do best. For example, Drive My Way pre-screens interested drivers using your screening questions and forwards or schedules screened drivers for interviews with your designated hiring manager. An outsourced company should seamlessly fit with your workflow.

4. Make the Digital Transition

Trucking is typically not the first industry to explore cutting-edge workplace technology, but a digital transformation is undeniably underway. Recent years have relentlessly shifted nearly every industry to rely more heavily on online communication, and trucking is no exception.

Digital advertising and communication should be a foundational part of your hiring strategy.

Digital advertising and communication isn’t the only area to add technological integrations. As you return to in-person driver orientations, consider successes from remote onboarding. Where did you save time? What aspects of remote onboarding increased efficiency or improved the accountability of training records? Blend these digital efficiencies into your larger hiring process. In addition, make sure your ATS seamlessly integrates with your recruiting process for a streamlined experience for drivers and employers.

5. Strive for Low Turnover

At the end of the day, retention must play a key role in a strong recruitment strategy. The best way to hire quickly as a large trucking company is to keep satisfied drivers behind the wheel and reduce turnover. According to Avatarfleet, hiring a new driver can add recruitment costs of $5,000$10,000 per driver. Retaining quality drivers is typically far less expensive.

High turnover leads to increased recruitment time and costs. When you hire new drivers, use behavioral interviewing to ensure that they will be a good fit for your fleet. Then, clearly communicate your employee value proposition to potential drivers in the interview to make sure they are excited by what you have to offer. To boost retention among your current employees, consider ways to increase driver satisfaction. Financial incentives are always valued, but there are many other ways to show appreciation as well. Public or private recognition for a job well done, flexible home time, and making visible changes based on driver engagement surveys are all ways to boost retention with what you already have.

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hiring dump truck drivers

It’s tempting to use a universal recruitment strategy across all of your unfilled driving positions. Avoid the trap! That’s not the most effective strategy if your goal is to recruit for retention. While dump truck drivers may have a lot in common with other truckers, there are also key differences. Honing in on those unique needs and preferences will help set your recruiting strategy apart. When you are hiring dump truck drivers, there are a few specific job components that are essential to mention to candidates. 

1. Home Time

Home time is always a top concern for drivers. Dump truck drivers are no exception. Not only that, but some dump truck drivers may have sacrificed higher pay for increased home time. With that in mind, make sure that drivers get the details they need. There are two key questions to answer. The first is, “How often can drivers expect to be home?” The second is, “Is the schedule consistent?” Drivers may have additional questions, but these two questions should be addressed upfront. 

How To Talk About It

Chances are, dump truck drivers are looking for regional or local jobs for a reason. If drivers share that they have a family or other specific motivations for staying close to home, incorporate that into the conversation. Talking to a driver with a family with young kids? Highlight time for attending their little league game or birthday parties. When possible, make it personal.

2. Compensation

Compensation is central to every hiring conversation. At a minimum, drivers want to know how much they can expect in pay and how that pay is determined. For dump truck drivers, clarify whether their pay is hourly, load-based, or determined based on other criteria. If you offer opportunities for drivers to increase their salaries based on performance or longevity, make sure to mention it. Similarly, include bonuses and incentive programs as part of the total compensation. That said, all the bonuses in the world won’t make up for low pay. To attract drivers, the total compensation should be at or above the industry average for your region.

How To Talk About It

Talk about the highlights, and make sure to present this as a total compensation package, not just salary when hiring dump truck drivers. There’s no solution for a lousy salary, but you can create a more holistic picture of your job offering if the pay doesn’t tell the whole story. After you’ve spoken, give drivers plenty of opportunities for questions.

3. Route & Level of Touch

Since dump truck drivers can be residential or commercial, it’s important to clarify the expected route when hiring dump truck drivers. This should also be in the job description, so this information won’t be new for drivers. That said, it’s always helpful to make sure that drivers are crystal clear on the position expectations.  This is not an easy job, and drivers should be prepared. Drivers also need to know the type of work environment they will be in. For example, if drivers will be working on a construction site, drivers should know that before they start. 

Drivers should be crystal clear on position expectations. That includes work environment, route, and level of touch among other job elements.

Similarly, make sure to include the level of touch in all hiring conversations. Driving a dump truck can be a very physical job, and that needs to be communicated to drivers. That said, don’t assume that a high level of touch is necessarily a bad thing for all drivers. 

How To Talk About It

Emphasize whether the job is typically the same routes or if drivers are frequently going new places. Some drivers prefer consistency while others find it monotonous. When talking about the level of touch, try not to make too many assumptions. Keep a positive tone and state the level of touch as a fact. Anticipating concerns could create problems where there otherwise would not have been any. By focusing on clarity upfront, you’ll find a driver who is a good fit for your job.

4. Schedule

As with home time, schedule is often very important for dump truck drivers. For some drivers, a better and more consistent schedule could be their reason for job searching. In the recruitment or hiring conversation be prepared to share specific details. For example, are there typical start and times? Do drivers have consistent days off? Will drivers work weekends or holidays? Are there other key scheduling details that might not be obvious to drivers? Include those details early in your conversation.

How To Talk About It

Workplace happiness is often about meeting expectations. With that in mind, try to set clear expectations about the schedule from the start. It might be counterintuitive, but that is especially important for any details that drivers might not like. When talking with a candidate, give as much detail as possible without over-promising. Then, drivers know what you are looking for, but they won’t have the overinflated expectations that can lead to high turnover.

5. Equipment

Operating a dump truck often requires manual labor from the driver. Unsurprisingly, that makes good equipment a top priority. Many drivers know what they’re getting into, and they are invested in having the right equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently. When you talk with drivers, make sure to communicate if you use roll off trucks, hooklift trucks, or something else. If you have specific expectations around skills drivers need to have, let them know. Similarly, if you are willing to train drivers on the job, share that too. 

How to Talk About It

Because equipment is so important in this role, make sure the details are shared in the job description as well as in recruitment conversations. Drivers will want to know the make, model, and year, so be prepared with details. They may also have questions about the number of miles on the vehicle or its current condition. Use this time to highlight safety practices and how your company cares for drivers through equipment.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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 a team.

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 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 teams, 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 a team 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