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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.

Get the Ebook

Recruiters work hard to bring in valuable driver leads. Are you making the most of them? From the first point of engagement to the job offer, your drivers offer valuable insight. Use this data to inform your recruitment process and optimization areas. The recruitment funnel should be realistic and efficient. Focus on hiring rather than strictly lead generation. Use these tips to optimize your recruitment strategy and ensure you’re making the most of your valuable driver leads.

1. Lead Attribution

There are two main models of lead attribution—single-touch models and multi-touch models. Single-touch models clarify pain points at particular stages in the recruitment process. Multi-touch models provide a holistic view of your recruitment process. Single and multi-touch models are also divided into smaller subsets. Each of the models has benefits and drawbacks. You may implement different models at different times as you continuously analyze your lead to hire process. Randall Reilly’s comprehensive video covers each lead attribution model in detail. Here are the highlights.

Single-Touch Lead Attribution

First Touch Model: As the name implies, this type of lead attribution is analyzed based on the point where a consumer makes first contact with your company. Drivers still have a long journey through your sales or recruitment pipeline. This model is most helpful in determining how drivers are being introduced to your company, particularly within a single campaign. 

Last Touch Model: This model similarly analyzes a single point of contact for a driver, but this time at the end of the recruiting funnel. The last touch model rests on the idea that it is most helpful to understand the point where the sales/recruiting effort is successfully closed. As a result, credit is given to the final point of contact in the recruiting pipeline. This model is a good fit for companies who are bringing in leads and want to analyze the success of a single closing campaign or compare results between campaigns. 

Multi-Touch Lead Attribution

Linear Attribution Model: The linear attribution model is the simplest way to track leads at multiple stages or across multiple campaigns in your recruitment pipeline. Each stage is weighted equally in importance. While multi-touch models are inherently more complex than single-touch models, linear attribution is a good place to start a broad analysis of your recruitment funnel. 

Time Decay Model: This model also examines leads at each point of contact or across campaigns, but it weights the stages of your funnel differently. The first points of contact are weighted less heavily, and more significance is given to points of contact that are closest to the point of conversion. This model can be particularly helpful with long recruitment funnels with time between each of the touch-points.

Position-Based Model: Like the Time Decay model, the Position-Based model unevenly weights lead attribution. Credit is more heavily attributed to the first and last points in your funnel that a driver encountered. This model implies that the first and last points of contact are the most important to successful recruiting. This model may be a good fit for companies that rely on long-tail lead nurturing because it weights your most important interactions more heavily. 

2. Allocating Paid Marketing

Once the research is done and you have a better understanding of your lead-to-hire process, paid marketing can amplify your impact. Assess your lead attribution model and determine which channels are driving your success. 

As you decide which marketing campaigns and platforms to elevate, keep the number of quality hires, and not the number of leads, as your north star. 

Ultimately, regardless of how many valuable driver leads you acquire, success is a hire. It’s important to understand your cost per lead (CPL), but the cost per hire should be the final decision-maker. In the end, a channel that has a low CPL but high cost per hire is less valuable than a channel with a lower cost per hire. Allocate your paid marketing to the channels with the lowest cost per hire.

3. Know Your Target Driver

The leads you are generating are more than potential hires. They are also reflections of your recruiting message. Make a point to understand the basic profile of your applicants. Then, examine which drivers are moving furthest through your recruitment funnel. Do they fit the persona of a driver who is a good fit for your company? If so, that’s confirmation that your messaging is resonating with the right people. If not, it may be a good opportunity to refine your content. 

Lead tracking is another valuable tool to understand the people behind your leads. Determine where your strongest applicants are coming from. That data, combined with carefully targeted messaging, can help you align your recruitment strategy to be attractive to the drivers you really want. A clear understanding of the people who make up your valuable driver leads will help you create an employee value proposition and write successful job descriptions

Free Template: Truck Driver Job Description

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

4. Create a Realistic and Efficient Recruitment Funnel

To make the most of your valuable driver leads, set appropriate hiring targets. If possible, use historic data from the past 1-2 years on the hiring trends for your company.

Like many industries, trucking has seasonal peaks and troughs. These may correspond to your type of freight. Also consider that drivers who change jobs at different points of the year may be attracted by slightly different messages. Aligning your marketing strategy with natural seasonal flux will help you maximize your budget and your recruiting efforts. 

5. Improve the Quality of Your Leads

Inbound marketing is the gold standard because it brings valuable driver leads to you. Optimize your inbound digital marketing efforts with a few quick updates to your intake process. Review your site for appropriate and mobile-friendly calls to action as you share company information with drivers. Then, consider how drivers are sharing their information with you. Collecting qualifying information early on is key. Even though it may deter some drivers, it will ensure that the drivers you do get are qualified for your position.  

For example, when recruiting HazMat drivers with 2+ years of experience, ask for that information on an intake form. Then, sort your leads by that information and only pursue candidates who meet your criteria.

Similarly, cultivate your brand image and company reputation so they can be used as assets. In-person or virtual Word of Mouth and Referrals are some of the most effective marketing channels. When drivers learn about your company and turn to Glassdoor, Facebook, or Google for insight from other drivers, what will they see? Develop an online presence that will make drivers excited to learn more about your company and available positions.

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

brand awareness: how it attracts great drivers

Your company’s brand is one of your biggest assets in attracting and recruiting great drivers. Or, if your brand is weak, it’s one of your biggest liabilities. Sometimes trucking recruiters are so focused on providing better benefits than the competition, that they forget that their own unique brand is something others can’t compete with. Each trucking carrier can position its brand to offer something valuable and attractive to the best drivers. Having a brand isn’t enough – you need to build brand awareness otherwise it will weaken, and other carriers will be more attractive. Here are some things you need to know about strengthening your brand awareness.

Remember the Driver Lead Funnel

When considering how to build you brand awareness, don’t forget the driver lead funnel. This tool helps you understand the different levels at which driver leads engage with your carrier.

The driver lead funnel starts with awareness, then leads to consideration, and finally to conversion.

Sometimes we forget that there are phases in the funnel before actual conversion! If recruiters focus entirely on conversion, they won’t pay enough attention to the previous steps in the funnel which actually lead to conversion. The risk is that leads aren’t properly cultivated and groomed toward conversion. Thus, they don’t engage with your company’s brand before they send an application for a job. Your company will just be one of several dozen which the lead is applying to. Don’t forget the top of the funnel- and that starts with awareness! If recruiters focus more on building brand awareness as the first step, then drivers will be more likely to consider, and then convert, to that carrier over others.

Create Brand Encounters

Okay, so building brand awareness is an important prelude to driver consideration and conversion. But what’s the best way to do that?! Consider that the average worker has at least 8 touch points of contact with a company before they take an actionable step toward conversion. Those are 8 opportunities for you to connect with drivers and have them engage with your brand.

The best way to build brand awareness is to create opportunities for “encounters” with your brand.

In fact, you need to make sure that you’re creating more frequent or more memorable encounters than your competition. These encounters can be created by strategic and engaging content through your channels. Maybe the average driver encounters a Facebook post by you, then reads a blog post from you. A month later, perhaps this driver follows you on Instagram and starts liking your content. The following month, this driver visits Glassdoor and researchers your company, clicks on a driver testimonial video, or asks your company a question on Facebook. Sooner or later, this driver will be looking for a new job. It’s only after all these encounters that this driver will be more likely to have your carrier at the top of their mind and convert to your fleet. You can use many channels to build brand encounters.

Ask yourself, “how many content touch points are we providing potential drivers today?”

Follow the Data and Trends

While the strategy of brand awareness is perennial, the tactics may change with time. The tactics really depend on the data that you have available on your company’s performance, and the trends which are popular at the moment. If you’re maintaining a strong marketing and recruiting operation, you’ll have data on key performance indicators like cost per hire, conversion rate, etc. While those two are metrics regarding conversion, don’t forget metrics for awareness and consideration! Key performance indicators for those phases include how many impressions or clicks you received, the click-through-rate, session time, bounce rate, etc. These data can help you answer questions like which social media channels to use for brand awareness, what types of content is more popular, and what time of day you should post.

Don’t forget some trends that can also inform your brand awareness. For example, 85% of social media traffic is mobile. Additionally, 72% of drivers say that they use a mobile device to fill out a full job application. This tells you that you really need to optimize your mobile interface to make it more user friendly! If not, you’ll see higher rates of application abandonment. Similarly, the data and trends tell us that video is still content king.

If your carrier releases video content for engagement purposes, it will be more successful that photos or text.

Another popular option is user-generated content. This will draw more traffic since truck drivers are incredibly interested to read or see what other truck drivers have to say. Use these insights from data and trends to strengthen your brand awareness!

The Quick Guide to Employee Value Proposition

FREE QUICK GUIDE

Employee Value Proposition

This free guide helps you create your employee value proposition and also effectively communicate it to drivers.

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Crucial Conversations with Driver Candidates: 3 Ways to Prepare

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.

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