There are two main approaches to recruiting truck drivers in the industry. The first focuses on sheer numbers. Cast as wide a net as possible and you’ll have dozens of potential leads to consider for open jobs. The second focuses on lead quality over quantity. This can be a more time-consuming and tedious process, and you’ll have to narrow the search a bit. Then you focus your efforts on the high-quality applicants to convert them to drivers for your fleet.
There is much to be said about the quality approach, including the fact that it wastes less money and time in the long-run. While we aren’t going to solve the quality versus quantity debate, we do know that there are a few things you can do as a recruiter to increase the quality of your leads. Here are three strategies to focus on to improve truck driver lead quality.
1. Narrow the candidate pool
Focusing on quality means that not every job applicant should receive the same amount of time-investment on your part. Once you narrow down the pool of candidates, you can focus more on the high-quality leads rather than lose time and energy on candidates who are not a good fit for you.
Finding the right fit can be made easier by using qualifying questions in the job application and initial contact.
There are many questions you can ask to decide whether candidates are a good fit for your organization and for the jobs you have available. Consider asking about years of experience, type of experience, driving record, region of operation, and preferences about home time. After learning this information, you can easily sort out the candidates who don’t fit the profile your fleet is looking for. Narrowing the pool as early in the game as possible will save you more time, energy, and money on not pursuing leads who don’t meet your criteria. You can and should save these leads for future reference as you may want to contact them in the future.
2. Lead scoring
Now that you’ve narrowed the down the pool, you can focus on the leads who are strong prospects for the job. Eliminating them using qualifying questions is just the first step though. The leads who are remaining aren’t all equally suited for the job.
You have limited time and resources to spend on pursuing a lead, so use lead scoring to help prioritize who to talk to first.
You can assign lead scores based on some of the same criteria which are attributes of the jobs you are trying to fill or based on the attributes of the drivers themselves. Which of your prospects has experience with ice road trucking? Which of them drives local only? Which ones prefer over-the-road or team driving? Match these with the jobs you are looking to fill. Assigning each prospect a score will help you keep track of how much time and energy you should invest in pursuing them. Follow the highest scoring leads first and soonest, at the expense of the lower scored ones if needed.
3. Contact them quickly
Okay so you’ve eliminated the leads who aren’t suited for your fleet, and you’ve prioritized the rest based on your lead scoring system. Now you need a method to contact them fast. The longer you take to contact your prospects, the more likely it is they will be driving for a different fleet. We’ve written earlier about how the top reason drivers decline jobs is because they recently accepted another position which was offered to them first. This is another reason to implement lead scoring and prioritization.
Losing your leads to the competition is bad enough but losing the best scorers at the top of the pack is even worse. If you wait too long, you’re more likely to lose the best candidates first and be stuck with the prospects toward the middle of bottom of the pool. Use your lead scoring system to prioritize which leads to contact first and improve your contact rate. Lead with an initial contact to get the conversation started and then follow up with more details and questions at a convenient time for them. Keep moving each lead through the recruitment pipeline, but start from the top of the list, and focus your energies there.
Focusing on truck driver lead quality over quantity has many benefits. Although the approach requires having a much more methodical recruitment system and some start-up cost, it can end up saving you time, money, and energy in the long-run.
You want to make sure you are not wasting time by pursuing the drivers who are wrong for your fleet. Regardless of which approach you take, there are strategies you can use to improve the quality of your leads. By narrowing the pool, prioritizing prospects using lead scoring, and contacting them quickly, you maximize the chances of your fleet landing the top quality drivers it is looking for.