The hiring process is a stressful one. From both sides of the table (or telephone). Recruiters have to do a great deal of work to find and vet the best driver candidates. Filtering and sorting through piles of resumes, data files, and reading a constantly increasing number of emails. Driver candidates looking for new opportunities have all sorts of information being tossed at them from many directions too. They’re getting calls, emails and text messages from resume screeners, and finding information while doing their own research. The process can take a long time and require tough talks along the road to get on the same page. As a truck driver recruiter, here are 3 ways to prepare for those crucial conversations with driver candidates.
1. Be Honest with Driver Candidates
When working through the steps to bring a driver on-board, you’re going to talk through a lot with your candidates. If your company has a less than stellar reputation, you might get asked questions about what drivers might have heard about what it’s like working for you. These things might be true, or might not be true. But in the cases where they’re asking about something that’s actually the case, you need to be honest with your candidates.
Employers who are transparent in nature with pay, benefits, job role, home time, etc. often see better, more sustainable driver retention than those who exaggerate in a job description to get drivers in the door.
If you know you can’t compete on salary or benefits, be clear and up-front about it. And then also let the candidates know where you’re company can be a great fit with them. Starting out anywhere other than with honesty and transparency will most likely not lead to a long-term employee.
2. Know Your Facts
When being asked questions about pay and benefits, be prepared to provide accurate numbers. Being vague is never a good way to gain trust from your truckers. If questions come up about what their future career path might look like, be clear on what could potentially happen. But also provide the driver with what needs to be accomplished to gain promotions in the future. On the flip side, you may need to discuss negative findings after a background check or a drug screening. Be sure that your information is 100% correct when having these discussions with your truck driver candidates. Accusing someone of something that’s not true, or preventing them from being further considered, could have lasting consequences.
3. Be Empathetic
When going into a tough conversation, put yourself in the other person’s boots for a minute. If it’s a conversation to deliver bad news, or to discuss a potentially sensitive topic, think about what your driver candidates might be thinking or feeling. And most importantly, ask yourself how this conversation is going to affect them moving forward with your company. Empathy can really help choose words to keep tempers controlled, as well as keep the tone of the conversation civil and not accusatory.
A great resource for helping with these conversations, is a book called “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High”. Written by Kerry Patterson, Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny and Ron McMillan, this book is a highly acclaimed reference for both personal and professional use. It’s a must read for any HR or recruiting professionals.