Considering a Truck Driver Sign-On Bonus Program?

Most carriers in the United States now offer some form of a truck driver sign-on bonus. In 2010, that number was zero. There has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of sign-on bonuses, and at this point, sign-on bonuses are almost an expectation from truck drivers. However, if most companies offer sign-on bonuses, competition to recruit quality drivers becomes that much tougher. Here’s what you need to know to stand out to the right drivers and fill your fleet.

Why Are You Offering A Sign-On Bonus?

The bottom line is that a truck driver sign-on bonus can make your job more attractive. Sign-on bonuses aren’t the total compensation package, but if a driver is between your job and another similarly competitive position, a sign-on bonus might be enough to tip them to your side. However, a sign-on bonus that doesn’t also improve driver retention is not taking full advantage of the program’s strength! 

riverside transportWe spoke with Riverside Transport, a top Dry Van carrier in the Midwest, and they shared this about the impact of a sign-on bonus on their driver recruitment and retention. 

“Drivers love getting the extra pay for sign-on-bonuses. It definitely helps with their cash flow, thus drivers tend to stick it out with us to ensure they get their bonus payouts. It becomes a win-win when the drivers stay, earn more, and then statistically get past the 90-day mark. That driver could theoretically be a part of the RTI family for the long stretch. That is the ultimate hope with our efforts.” 

At the end of the day, the goal is not just to get drivers in the door, but to keep them with your fleet, reduce turnover, and save recruiting costs. Use variables such as the dollar amount and distribution period to fine-tune your sign-on bonus efficacy.

How Much Should You Offer?

The question of dollar amount is an important one for sign-on bonuses. If you don’t offer enough money, drivers might find the offer stingy or simply not attractive enough to change jobs. On the other hand, if you put a number that’s too high, drivers might be skeptical. Some drivers may see an uncommonly high truck driver sign-on bonus as a sign that your company is compensating for negative job elements. 

When asked about determining the right bonus amount for your drivers, Riverside Transport shared: 

“Be flexible with your sign-on bonuses based on market needs, make them attainable and realistic and not so over the top to scare away drivers. Many drivers can be leery of sign-on bonuses.”

Riverside continued, “Realistic sign-on bonuses with payouts that are are reachable [help] get the driver past the 90-day mark in terms of payout. This benefits both recruitment and retention, and is nice for our drivers.”

Unfortunately, there’s no uniform amount for every situation! One driver’s “too low” might be close to another driver’s “too high.” Ultimately, there is no set dollar number.

Since there is no standard dollar amount for sign-on bonuses, decide an amount based on your recruitment budget and the drivers you need to attract. Some companies offer all drivers a flat rate truck driver sign-on bonus. This simplifies job descriptions and ensures that there are no concerns about fairness between drivers. Other companies favor a variable sign-on bonus rate. Drivers may be paid more with more experience, endorsements, or other specific qualifications. Variable rates can be particularly attractive to experienced drivers who would earn the larger sign-on bonus.

When Should You Give the Bonus?

woman truck driverThe best sign-on bonus program is the one that’s engaging for drivers and sustainable. It’s as simple as that. With that in mind, keep your incentive program as straightforward as possible. First, identify what behavior you are trying to incentivize. 

For a sign-on bonus, set your sights on recruitment AND retention. Are you having a hard time getting in the door, but retention is strong? Is recruitment strong, but turnover is high? Are both areas a challenge? 

To encourage retention, consider a phased approach with multiple distribution phases. Some employers offer a truck driver sign-on bonus that is paid out over the course of 6 months or a year. For example, Drive My Way client Armellini Express Lines pays their sign-on bonus to drivers over a one-year period to boost retention. 

Extending the pay-out period encourages drivers to stay with the company until they receive their full bonus. The first few months after a new hire have one of the highest turnover rates. An extended bonus period can hold drivers through the adjustment curve and boost retention in the long term.

What Should I Communicate To Drivers?

A truck driver sign-on bonus program is just one part of a total compensation package. Advertise the sign-on bonus with the job description, and make sure the rest of the compensation package is a strong offer. Many drivers have been burned before, so be prepared to answer skeptical questions about the offer. 

Be clear about how much drivers will receive and when they will get the money. Make sure to be transparent about the bonus from the beginning. There shouldn’t be any surprises for the drivers later on otherwise you risk building resentment. If there are any additional stipulations on the money, make sure drivers understand. If they feel jilted, they’ll talk about it, and it will kill your reputation. The best way to create a positive program is with thoughtful program structure and transparency for drivers.

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

Get the Ebook

recruiter for driver applicantsWhen recruiting truck drivers, understanding the difference between active and passive driver applicants can be the difference between a consistent candidate pipeline and struggling to fill your fleet. Active driver applicants are ready to make a job change immediately. In contrast, passive driver applicants should be nurtured over time. An effective recruitment strategy should connect appropriately with active and passive driver applicants to allow you to nimbly shift recruitment strategies as company and drivers’ needs change.

Active vs. Passive Candidates

The difference between active and passive driver applicants comes down to the driver’s connection with the job search. Both types of candidates are necessary for a healthy recruitment pipeline, and it’s important to use the right type of strategy for each candidate.

type of driver applicants

Active Driver Applicants

Active candidates are currently looking for new jobs. They likely have applied to several places and want to make a job change soon. These candidates are often easier to recruit because they are ready to change jobs now. For active driver applicants, recruiters must act quickly because drivers want to move quickly to a new position and won’t stay on the market for long. 

Passive Driver Applicants

Passive driver applicants make up the vast majority of the job market, but may be overlooked in the recruitment process. These candidates include drivers that you have in your hiring database from any previous interaction, including re-hires. These drivers are not actively looking for a new position, so they may take a little more time and effort to recruit. Before reaching out to passive candidates, make sure to scrub your database and clean old driver information that is no longer relevant. 

Drive My Way CEO, Beth Potratz, shared her expertise:

“Recruiting is not a transaction, it’s a continuous effort that you should never stop. Active and passive job seekers are all consumers in the employment relationship whose needs will change throughout their career. Similar to consumers, they often have both articulated and unarticulated needs and you should explore both. If you build and nurture relationships with drivers, they are more likely to consider a job at your company when they are looking to make a change. It’s really all about relationships.”

Beth continued, “Start recruiting how you would like to be recruited and you will be surprised at the results. Listen for what is important to people and no matter what, always acknowledge their interest and get back to them with feedback and next steps. One thing is for sure, they will always remember how they were treated by you during the process.”

How to Reach Active Driver Applicants

1. Go Where the Drivers Are

The first step to reaching active driver applicants is to go where the drivers are. You know these drivers are already looking for a job change, so make sure they see what you have to offer! Now, a big part of being visible is a prominent online presence. While some drivers may still use old-school methods of finding a job, many drivers will likely start their job searching the internet. When they do, use digital marketing to make sure your brand is appealing and your job is visible to the drivers you want to attract. 

2. Send the Right Message

Once a driver sees your job posting or recruitment advertising, you have one chance to make a good first impression. Clearly share your employee value proposition (EVP) with drivers in the job posting. They need to know how your company is different and why they should come work for you! Active candidates are looking for a job change so they may be more eager to hear what you have to offer. That said, they are also much more likely to have multiple companies vying for their attention. A clear and well-written EVP as part of your job description is essential for recruiting top drivers.

3. Be Ready to Move Quickly

Active driver applicants are ready to move quickly. That means recruiters must be too! Active applicants are often not on the job market for very long. Hiring top candidates can come down to a simple decision of timing. If your company and another make similarly competitive job offers to the same driver, and the other company is more responsive, you will likely lose that driver. The better the driver is, the more competition you will have from other companies that want to recruit that driver. In order to attract top talent, you have to be faster than the competition.

How to Reach Passive Driver Applicants

1. Go Slow To Go Fast

An effective strategy for recruiting passive applicants is entirely different than recruiting active applicants. For passive applicants, start by building your driver lead pipeline. It will take time to nurture a productive driver candidate pipeline, but the payoff is significant. You are playing a long game. There are many ways to add drivers to your passive candidate pipeline. One of the most powerful ways to connect is via a referral from other drivers. These referred drivers may not be looking for a new job immediately, but if you nurture the lead, your name will be top of mind down the road when they are ready for a change. At its core, building a passive driver pipeline is all about relationship building. 

2. Maintain Regular Touchpoints

It can be tempting to focus recruiting efforts on active driver candidates because they will be ready to move quickly. Don’t fall into the trap! Just because applicants are passive does not mean you shouldn’t have regular touchpoints with these drivers! Regular touchpoints through driver-centric content or other outreach efforts build your relationship with passive applicants. Regular touchpoints also allow you to more quickly respond if a driver starts to look for jobs actively. 

3. Track the Data

laptop to track hiring data

Passive driver applicants are nurtured with a series of small touchpoints over time. As a result, tracking interactions over the lifespan of each driver lead is essential. Document each communication or touchpoint with the driver meticulously. Ideally, this information should be stored in a centralized repository or ATS that is shared among all employees who might contact drivers. It’s a good idea to also include anonymous passive interactions, like website traffic, in your data. These are potential ways to add drivers to your recruitment funnel, and you can optimize your efforts by amplifying areas that are successfully generating interest. 

4. Be Prepared to Court Drivers

For a successful recruitment campaign, both active and passive driver candidates need to know what you bring to the table. However, to hire passive driver applicants, be prepared to show your best! Remember, passive driver candidates weren’t looking for a new job. It’s your job to convince them why YOU are a good fit for THEM!  This is the time to review your data on past conversations and what content this driver consumes to understand what matters to this particular driver. Then, use this data to recruit based on their interests and needs. To convert passive applicants to hires you must be able to clearly state the advantages of your company and open positions and why it will be a good switch for them.

Building a Comprehensive Strategy

A strong recruitment strategy should account for both active and passive candidates because recruiting demands can change quickly. Having active and passive candidates in the pipeline helps ensure that recruiters aren’t left without any candidates when driver demand is high. There may be times that require recruiters to focus more on either active or passive driver applicants, but don’t neglect either side completely.

Drivers are not static as active or passive candidates. An active applicant may become passive once they find a new job. A passive candidate may decide they are ready for a job change and start actively looking for new positions.

A recruitment strategy that effectively connects with active and passive driver applicants allows you to nimbly shift recruitment tactics as drivers’ needs change.

Mockup-1-1

Top 7 Reasons Drivers Decline CDL Jobs

Unlock the top reasons why truck drivers decline your CDL jobs by downloading our free ebook. The book shares insight to what drivers really want.

Download the Ebook

text recruitment

Text messaging is here to stay as a powerful recruitment tool. With the digital transformation in hiring that is underway, text recruitment isn’t a miracle solution, but it is something you can incorporate into your driver recruitment strategy to improve your recruitment funnel. Text messages are fundamental in recruiting and it is one of the best ways to attract drivers from untapped demographics to your fleet.

1. Make It Personal

Text recruitment does not mean turning drivers into faceless numbers. As with any effective recruiting strategy, text messages work well when they are personal. Avoid bulk texting and build a relationship with the driver before doing so. An overused bulk text is a good way to end up on a blocked list. Each conversation should start with a message that addresses the driver by name. Crafting personal messages can be very time-consuming, so standardize messages where you can. Consider drafting templates that can be customized with driver names and positions, but make sure to keep confidential information out of text messages. Templates also convey consistency and professionalism regardless of who sends the message. 

As with any effective recruiting strategy, text messages work well when they are personal.

At each stage in your recruitment efforts, think of how the driver is experiencing the process. First impressions are very important, so allow drivers to opt-in as a sign of respect for their time and preferences. Unfortunately, text recruitment can be easily abused, so always give the driver the option to opt-out of messages. Then, make sure you have a solution in place to ensure that the driver won’t get texted again until they opt back in. At each stage, ask yourself, “How would the driver describe this experience to another driver or friend?”

2. Get the Timing Right

One of the reasons texting is so effective is that it can be done at any time. That means that drivers can take a moment when they’re waiting at the shipper or starting their break to read or send a quick text. That does mean that the responsibility is on companies to be available when drivers are ready to talk. Text recruitment is most successful when you’re quicker than competing companies. Recruiters must be very responsive and have a quick turnaround time to be effective. 

Another trick to getting a positive response? Keep the message short. It’s tempting to tell drivers everything they need in one message, but that’s not an effective strategy. Text recruitment is about efficiently building the top of your funnel so that you can engage with drivers more deeply going forward.

3. The Follow-Up

Once you’ve made the initial contact with driver candidates, follow-up at regular intervals. If you haven’t heard from drivers after a few days, reach out again with a second touch. Similarly, be ready to pick up the phone. Many drivers still like to hear from recruiters by phone, and a call is a great follow-up to your text recruitment strategy. That said, stay away from using a personal phone number. All communication should go through phones that are strictly for professional use. If you don’t hear from drivers after several points of contact, it’s appropriate to send a final text message to close the loop. Here are a few sample templates:

After Driver Expresses Interest: 

Hi [Driver Name], it’s [Your Name] from [Company]. We saw your interest in [Job Title]. We offer [Pay, Home Time, or Benefits] and are excited to get in touch. Text or call me at [Phone Number] or finish your application at [Website]. Thanks!
YES if interested  
NO if not
END opt out all msgs

Qualifying Candidates: 

Hi [Driver Name], we saw your application for [Job Title]. I’d like to talk a little more by phone or text message. When is a good time?
—[Your Name], Recruiter at [Company]

Closing the Loop: 

Hi [Driver Name], are you still interested in driving with [Company]? If so, I’d love to hear from you. You can also find open jobs at [Website].
—[Your Name], Recruiter at [Company]

4. Maintain a Unified Tracking System

In a strong text recruitment campaign, clear organization is essential. You will likely have multiple people managing the text campaign, and there will be countless drivers to keep track of. Use a digital tracking system to document your text messages and what stage of the recruitment pipeline each driver is in. A unified tracking system will also ensure that you don’t send duplicate messages to the same driver. You will know exactly what information has been shared with each driver. 

A unified tracking system should also track other forms of communication with each driver. Texting can be an effective recruitment tool, but it shouldn’t be the only or even necessarily the primary tool. Integrate texting with other forms of communication. A blended approach that includes calls, emails, and texts is an effective strategy.

5. Work Toward In-Person Communication

Text recruitment campaigns are an excellent way to expand your driver candidate pool, but don’t lose sight of the end goal. Ultimately, the goal is to increase interviews that lead to driver hires.

Texting is an efficient way to handle the logistics leading up to an interview, but it shouldn’t feel impersonal.

Each text message helps set a foundation for future conversations. Building meaningful relationships with potential driver candidates is at the core of an effective text recruitment strategy.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

Get the Ebook

hiring 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.

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

hazmat driverRecruiting drivers to fill your fleet is often a never-ending task. Recruiting a Hazmat driver can help focus your efforts, but it also narrows the candidate pool. Before you launch your next recruitment campaign, make sure you know exactly which drivers you’re trying to reach. Then, implement some fresh recruiting tactics along with your tried and true strategies to attract drivers and retain them as valuable additions to your fleet.

1. Know What Makes Hazmat Drivers Different

When recruiting a Hazmat driver, it’s important to identify characteristics that differentiate these drivers from other drivers. This is part of building a driver persona. One obvious distinction of Hazmat drivers? These drivers were willing to put in the extra effort for their endorsement. There are many reasons why a driver might have decided that the endorsement was worth the time and money, and not all drivers will have the same reason. However, as an employer, you can confidently say that these drivers were willing to work hard for a goal and that they accomplished that goal. When you have a clear understanding of the driver personas you are recruiting, use your value proposition to tailor a recruitment message to their priorities. 

When you have a clear understanding of the driver personas you are recruiting, use your value proposition to write an appealing job description.

In addition to their endorsement, Hazmat drivers typically have several years of prior driving experience. This can be a tremendous asset when you hire because you can be more confident in their skills. It also means you can rely on behavioral interviewing and past experiences to select the best driver. That said, for many drivers, with more experience comes the expectation of higher pay. Drivers who have some experience typically expect respect and a quality position from their employer. To get quality drivers, jobs should be advertised at or above industry average pay for that type of position. Experienced drivers are also looking for comprehensive benefits and career growth opportunities. At the end of the day, a good job offer helps attract top drivers. 

2. Refresh Your Recruiting Techniques

Identifying your Hazmat driver personas is an important first step, but getting those drivers in the door is often much more challenging. Driver referrals are a good place to start. Hazmat drivers on your team are likely to know other candidates who are qualified and would be a good fit for your job. By relying on the networks that drivers naturally develop, employers can incentivize referrals for candidates who come with a good peer recommendation. 

truck driver

To help encourage drivers who are undecided about a job change, make sure your job is compelling. Good benefits, regular home time, newer equipment, and competitive pay are essential.

Recruit from a wide demographic base in your recruitment efforts. This allows you to tap into untapped markets and strengthen your fleet. Especially for endorsement-based positions like Hazmat, quality is more important than quantity. Work to establish a sustainable long term strategy for keeping turnover low and driver satisfaction high.

3. Implement a Retention as Recruitment Strategy

Once drivers are successfully onboarding, retention is one of the most time-saving and cost-efficient ways to keep your fleet full. While retention is not the same as recruitment, these aspects work in parallel to keep your trucks full. Financially, most drivers reported in the Drive My Way Driver Happiness Survey that they would rather earn incrementally higher pay and a smaller sign-on bonus than have a larger sign-on bonus but lower pay. Incentives like a performance bonus or small pay increase may feel costly, but over time, they may be comparable or less expensive than regularly recruiting and training new drivers.

Retention is not the same as recruitment, but they work in parallel to keep your trucks full and your drivers happy.

Ultimately, driver satisfaction is key to a successful “retention as recruitment” strategy. Driver satisfaction starts with a clear, appealing job and position description. That includes competitive pay, reliable home time, full benefits, and clear route expectations at a minimum. Once these essentials are met, focus on building a strong company culture. Each of these aspects of hiring plays a key role in successfully recruiting your next Hazmat driver. 

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

Get the Ebook

CDL Class B Driver

When it comes to recruiting a CDL Class B driver, knowing what and how to communicate regarding job details is key. As an employer, you have the natural advantage of being able to hire CDL A or CDL B licensed drivers for your position. That said, there are still some distinct differences when you are recruiting a Class B driver. 

Drivers with a CDL B chose different training and may have different expectations than CDL A drivers. If you’re having trouble recruiting a Class B driver, consider soliciting feedback on why drivers are declining your job or working with us to boost your recruiting efforts. Here are a few key components to include in your job description and how to tailor your recruiting to a Class B driver. 

1. Nature of the Job

Class B drivers know they will typically be driving a straight truck, box truck, large passenger bus, or dump truck. That said, there is a tremendous amount of variation within those jobs. A good job description is specific about the type of job available. In recruiting conversations, be clear, and state exactly what you are looking for. 

It’s better to be candid from the start than to have high turnover because of unmet expectations.

Another way to communicate job details is with a more personal approach. Consider sharing a “Day in the Life” of a typical driver at your company. When possible, connect serious candidates with current drivers at your company for a first-hand perspective. It shows prospective drivers that you value the perspective of your drivers and that the company has nothing to hide. If you are concerned about failing to bring candidates in if you are too open, bear in mind that turnover and empty trucks come at a high cost. It’s better to be candid and hire the drivers who will stay.

2. Home Time and Job Flexibility

Many CDL B drivers expect to stay closer to home. Geography can be a big factor in why drivers chose a CDL B over an A. With that in mind, make clarity in your home time policy a company priority. Prospective drivers should know exactly what they can count on. An unambiguous home time policy and succinct communication of that policy eliminates any accusations of favoritism and helps drivers plan ahead. 

3. Schedule, Hours, and Route

Hiring a Class B driver often means hiring a driver for city routes. The faster-paced environment isn’t for everyone, but a lot of drivers will thrive in a busier atmosphere. The best way to find out if a driver is a good fit is to ask about their past experience. Use behavioral interviewing and ask what they have done in similar situations in the past. How they talk about their past experience is one of the best barometers to gauge how they will handle the same kind of situation in the future.

truck driver checking his routeA Class B driver joining your company will want to know the details of their route. Tell drivers whether they frequently drive the same route or if they go to a lot of new places. Include any customer service expectations or delivery components. For some drivers, customer interaction will be a huge perk! If drivers like to meet new people and engage with others throughout the day, deliveries will make the job more interesting.

Family time is also a big part of the schedule. Many CDL B drivers expect to be home regularly. Share the schedule and let them decide if the hours are a good fit for their lifestyle.

4. Pay

When you are recruiting, keep in mind that a Class B driver may have different priorities than drivers who went straight to a CDL A. Many Class B drivers chose a CDL B license because it’s more affordable and much faster to earn. It’s true, local jobs tend to earn less than regional or OTR jobs, but the upfront cost for a Class B driver is also much lower. With that in mind, it’s safe to conclude that pay is very important to CDL B drivers. Be upfront about what compensation you can offer. Then, explore ways to incentivize strong driver performance with bonuses or other perks.

5. Company Culture

A Class B driver typically won’t be out on the roads solo for long periods of time like an OTR driver. This makes company culture even more important.

Identify your values as a company and think about how you can create a good work environment for yourself and others.

Because drivers and other employees interact regularly throughout the week, building a company culture of respect and camaraderie could not be more essential. Identify your values as a company and think about what type of setting you prefer to work in. Then, strive to create a team environment that reflects your values and keeps employees happy and engaged.

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

5 Tips to Focus Your Driver Recruitment Efforts

Trucking recruiters are remarkably busy people. There is always a lot to do, many competing priorities, and a million moving pieces to keep track of in the hiring process. Add into that mix, a global pandemic that’s causing chaos throughout the U.S. economy, and you’ve got a recipe for trouble maintaining focus on what’s important. So, what can help a busy driver recruiter add focus to their recruitment efforts? Here are 5 tips to get you started.

1. Know What Driver Recruitment Efforts Are Working

It’s always a good idea to take time and review your recruiting strategy. How are things going? How is your budget looking? What is your ROI on your efforts? These are all important to know and track. And tracking and measuring your results are the only way to determine if your efforts are working. When you get a good picture of what’s working well and what’s not, it makes it easy to decide which tasks to continue and which ones to stop.

2. Plan for Future Needs

It’s easy to get caught only focusing your efforts on your immediate hiring needs, but a great hiring strategy helps you plan for now and plan for the future. Ensure your current driver recruitment plans will dovetail into your future driver needs as well.

Are you planning to add new regional locations? Are you researching getting into new industries? Those plans on the horizon indicate needing more drivers to support it. Plan accordingly! One of the best ways to do this is to look at your carrier’s long-term strategy overall, and it will help you know where you’re headed. Once you have a clear vision of where you’re headed, you can plan your driver needs for now and for the future.

3. Use What the Survey Says

You probably already have something in place to poll your drivers to help you gauge your driver community’s overall workplace satisfaction, and that certainly is an important thing to know. But are you conducting any pre-recruitment surveys of your drivers, Especially drivers who have turned you down? This is a fantastic way to understand and help you focus on where your efforts might have fallen short or cease those tactics that didn’t help you find or land the truckers for your open positions. There are several survey options available, many of them free. A quick online search should help you find one that meets your budget and specific needs.

4. Narrow Down Your Sources

We already talked about measuring your efforts. Here’s a tip to take action after you look at your metrics. Take a look at the sources you’re using for driver recruitment and determine which ones are working best. Select the ones that are providing high quality candidates vs simply a high quantity of candidates. Then narrow down the list of sources and focus on the ones that are working best. Using less sources should enable you to improve your recruiting efficiency with less budget.

5. Let Drive My Way Help

Here at Drive My Way, we’re here to help you with your recruiting plans and execution. We have a variety of options available to help you find the drivers that will best fit your company and trucking needs. And don’t just take our word for it. We can show you how we’ve helped carriers like yours succeed.

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

 

4 Tips for Recruiting and Hiring Student Truck Drivers

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

1. Expand Your Marketing

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

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

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

2. Implement Mentoring Programs

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

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

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

3. Sell the Entire Job

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

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

4. Have a Driver-Centric Strategy

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

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

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

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

The Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

Get the Ebook

Man look at LinkedIn Posts

LinkedIn is one of the most popular and powerful social media sites for B2B marketing. While it might seem out of place for the freight industry, LinkedIn can be a great place to generate interest and connect with current and potential new customers. Like all social media, LinkedIn uses proprietary algorithms to determine what content to feature. Each year, digital advertising trends change, and rules get updated, so it’s important to stay up to date! If your LinkedIn posts aren’t generating audience engagement, you may be missing one of these fundamental rules. 

1. Original Content Is King

Many companies try to boost engagement with a steady stream of sharing content. Unfortunately, if that content isn’t original, it will be very difficult to get prioritized by the LinkedIn algorithm. Even if you are sharing original articles or job listings from your own website regularly, this will be a low priority if it’s not originally published on LinkedIn.

To boost visibility, focus on quality, original content that connects with your audience

First, decide whether you want to create an article or a post. Articles are ranked in Google’s SEO, but they are a lower priority for the LinkedIn feed. In contrast, posts are internal and exclusive to LinkedIn. Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn posts are prioritized, though you are making small sacrifices on SEO. 

Best Practice:

Share an image or a video directly within LinkedIn as part of a post. Then, link to your job or article in a comment section rather than in the main post.

2. Instant Engagement Is A Must

LinkedIn wants to see that you can generate interest immediately. In brief, if your content isn’t interesting or engaging, LinkedIn won’t keep it visible. The first hour after you post content is the most important time to push post engagement. That hour determines what happens next with your content. Will it be pushed to the top of your audience’s news feeds? Or will it disappear into social media obsoletion? 

Man engaging with Linkedin posts

Instant engagement may feel like a big ask, especially if you run a small marketing operation. Luckily, this side of digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. LinkedIn post engagement can include adding a reaction, commenting (three words or more!), or sharing.

Each of these actions is weighted a little differently in the content scoring phase. For example, liking a post may only give one point. A thoughtful comment earns two points. Sharing demonstrates that the post is popular, so three points. Every engagement helps position your post for increased visibility going forward. 

Best Practice:

Alert your team when you or your company page shares a post and encourage genuine company-wide engagement. If you share from a company page, engage with the post from your personal profile and vice versa.

3. The Right Hashtags Make All the Difference

On social media, hashtags serve two primary purposes. The first is to bring all of the posts on a single topic to one place. This can be used at a large scale for general topics such as #trucking. These hashtags are helpful to follow to stay in touch with current events in your industry. Post consolidation via hashtags is also a common tactic for event marketing. In short, the intent is to generate interest by bringing together the people talking about the same event. 

Linkedin HashtagsInclude 3-5 of the top hashtags for your industry in each post.

The second purpose of hashtags is to increase audience engagement organically. If your goal is to increase post reach and expand your audience, start by doing some research. Identify the top-performing hashtags in your industry. Pay attention to spelling and stay professional in your language. In general, you should avoid punctuation and symbols in your hashtag. If you are using a multi-word tag, don’t include spaces, but do capitalize the first letter of each word. It won’t impact your post’s ability to be found, but it does make it a little easier to read.

Best Practice:

Choose hashtags that are relevant to the topic of your post and are also top performers in your industry. Include 3-5 of these top hashtags in each post to maximize impressions.

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

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

1. Finding and Engaging Drivers

hiring

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

Corporate Website and Career Page

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

Automated Job Distribution

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

Engaging and Nurturing Drivers

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

2. Tracking Applicants and Interviewing

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

Applicant Tracking System

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

Quick Guide to Behavioral InterviewingInterviewing

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

3. Verifying Employment and Background Screening

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

Employment Verification

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

CDL Employment Verification

Background Screening

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

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

4. Hiring and Onboarding

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

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

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

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

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