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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.

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truck driver mental health

Promoting healthy habits among your fleet is about more than physical health. More and more trucking companies are prioritizing mental health and considering its impact on overall employee well-being. Especially with increased tension due to COVID 19, creating strong connections and policies that support the mental health of truck drivers is critical. Here are a few ways to incorporate healthy structured and unstructured practices in your company.

1. Allow Person and Pet Ride-along Programs

Long hours of solitude on the road can take a toll on drivers. Even for drivers who love the open road, solo driving can make it hard to build and maintain close relationships.

Recruiter Bryce Kjellander at Stevens Trucking shared this about why they offer a pet and rider policy:

“Our pet and rider policies have definitely assisted with driver retention.  In the recruiting office, we hear how certain drivers wouldn’t even entertain driving for a company who didn’t offer both. A majority of our drivers love having the option to have a loved one or pet in the truck with them. In stressful times, both help improve a driver’s mental health, and we are pleased to offer both.”

Offering a partner or pet ride-along program is a great way to support driver mental health. Having a co-pilot can help prevent loneliness, alleviate driver stress, and boost spirits on the road. 

2. Support Regular Food and Exercise Routines

Trucking has been called one of America’s most unhealthy professions. Unfortunately, it’s for good reasons. In a study from the CDC conducted with more than 1,600 long haul truck drivers, 88% of drivers reported having at least one risk factor for chronic disease. Poor physical health can also take a toll on mental health. 

healthy truckerTo support strong mental health in your fleet, support good dietary and exercise habits. Regular, moderately intense exercise can reduce stress and anxiety while also improving sleep. Similarly, a healthy, well-balanced diet and proper hydration are great ways to improve overall driver health. As a company, consider how you can support healthy habits in your fleet. Health coaching, dietary resources, and regular health screenings are all ways to create a culture of physical and mental health in your fleet.

3. Encourage Good Sleep Habits

Whether your fleet is OTR, regional, or local, sleep is a critical part of road safety. Whenever possible, keep driver schedules as consistent as possible. In addition, fleets should consider offering sleep apnea testing as part of health care benefits. According to an FMCSA study, an astounding 28% of commercial drivers suffer from sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult for drivers to focus and react quickly on the road.

To put the impact of sleep in perspective, Smart Trucking notes that the impact of driving with less than 8 hours of sleep each night is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.10. 

For OTR drivers, good sleep can be particularly hard to come by. Help your drivers improve their sleep by encouraging them to use blackout curtains in the truck and bring some of the comforts of home in the cab. Some photos or small decorations can go a long way to keeping drivers in a positive mindset.

4. Promote Strong Relationships

Having strong, healthy relationships is closely linked with positive mental health. That extends far beyond the walls of the home. Build a company culture of connection, especially during this time when health concerns are keeping many people apart. Internally, encourage meaningful relationships in structured ways, such as mentor programs. Encourage drivers to be particularly proactive in taking time to connect with loved ones while on the road. Employers can help facilitate strong home relationships by clearly communicating home time to drivers.

Technology can also help play a role in strong relationship building. As a company, take advantage of software that optimizes drivers’ time on the road. Work with your sights set on improving quality of life rather than exclusively raising your bottom line. Drivers will reward you with loyalty and retention.

5. Have Available Resources

One of the best ways to support the mental health of your truck drivers is to be prepared with resources before they are urgently needed. Make sure that counseling and other mental health supports are included in the health insurance plan you offer. Similarly, share information such as national hotlines as part of your driver orientation. Doing so sets a tone that mental health is a priority and helps destigmatize conversations when drivers need them most.

Warning Signs of a Mental Health Crisis

If you start noticing strong behavioral changes in your drivers, it may be a sign of deeper problems. Watch for these common red flags among your drivers:

  1. Quick and strong emotional reactions
  2. Extra tired
  3. Trouble focusing  
  4. Inability to handle daily problems and stress 
  5. Withdrawal from social circles personally and professionally

Especially in times of uncertainty, it’s important to connect with drivers proactively. Even if drivers are initially uncertain or skeptical about taking mental health seriously, provide them with support resources, and encourage drivers to peruse at their own pace. 

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.

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connect drivers

Crafting messages that connect drivers during the time of Coronavirus is a balance of content and delivery. Each time you communicate with your fleet, look for ways to emphasize the value your employees bring. Then, choose the channel that is best suited for the message you are sending. Here are 8 best practices for effectively communicating messages that connect drivers.  

Craft the Message

1. Keep It Positive

Everyone is experiencing the pandemic a little differently, but it’s not easy for anyone. In a June 2020 survey of nearly 250 million American adults, the Household Pulse found a dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, and worry directly correlated to COVID19.  As an employer, you can be confident that at least some of your drivers are among those numbers.

More than ever, this is a time to keep your messaging positive. Recognize quality performance and create opportunities to build c  omradery among your team.

Keep content upbeat and treat drivers with respect. Share company highlights and successes, especially if you can attribute it to the work of your team. Small gestures quickly add up and can make a big impact on drivers.

2. Put People First

National job uncertainty has been a hallmark of 2020. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to show drivers that you care. Making people a priority is more than a feel-good gesture. In times of economic uncertainty, high driver turnover rates are more costly than ever. Make it a priority to keep drivers that you have and to recruit with retention in mind. To be successful, launch or renew efforts to get driver feedback on what they need. Then, be proactive in implementing changes for their health and wellbeing. 

3. Prioritize Transparency

With information changing so quickly, communicating with transparency requires a delicate balance. The good news is, drivers also know this. Be as accurate as possible, but also honest about the uncertainties you are navigating. Prioritize sharing information with drivers that will affect their jobs or lives. In your communication, be realistic and honest about what your company is and is not able to accommodate. When drivers have questions, listen to understand rather than to respond. Focus on setting appropriate expectations and de-escalating frustration or tension.

4. Be Clear and Consistent

In addition to transparency, consistency is critical during uncertain times. It’s so important that in 2019, Harvard Business Review found that consistency is one of the three key elements of building trust.

In the trucking industry right now, transparency is a way of giving drivers something stable to rely on. Have policies in place for personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizing resources, and sick days. Unfortunately, no one can control the outcome of this disease or how different economic sectors will respond. That said, veteran and new drivers should know what they can expect from you. Be proactive in communicating measures for their health and safety before it’s an emergency.

Fine Tune Your Message Delivery

5. Give Praise in Public and Private Ways

To connect drivers during Coronavirus, the message delivery is almost as important as the content. To recognize drivers, take a two-fold approach. Be public with praise on social media in addition to internal kudos. Highlight drivers who are doing quality work during this time, and call attention to their hard work! Hero campaigns are a great way to do this. 

Public recognition is most meaningful as a way to connect drivers when it is paired with private or internal recognition as well. Drivers will quickly see through any companies that praise in public and don’t value drivers in private. In addition to external marketing campaigns, take time to reach out to drivers individually. Share your appreciation directly with drivers who are doing good work. Listen for signs of stress and other challenges that drivers are facing. Support drivers in any way you can. Good employees are your most valuable company resource.

6. Sending to One or Many?

There is a lot of information to communicate right now. Within that flood of content, identify dissemination best practices. In short, not every message is for every driver. Some information is best shared with your entire fleet as a bulk message. Other instructions or resources might only be relevant for a subset of individuals or even a single person. Consider carefully who needs to hear which pieces of information before sending anything. 

7. Contact Drivers on Their Terms

Choosing to use the platforms drivers prefer is a form of respect, and it’s good business. Our Drive My Way Driver Happiness and Retention Survey found that 64% of drivers prefer to speak with recruiters by phone with email being the next closest option. Now, other platforms using video calling or other technology may also play a role in training or fleet communication.

64% of drivers prefer to speak with recruiters by phone. Email is the next most popular communication channel.

Choosing to communicate based on drivers’ preferences is a small way to accommodate your drivers and increase job satisfaction. Similarly, reach out to drivers at times that work for them. Attending to details like communication channel and timing turns the driver – manager relationship from a one-way chain of command to a conversation. 

8. Air on the Side of Over-Communicating

hiring truck drivers

Communicating with the mobile, widespread workforce that is truck drivers is no small job. Add to that challenge the flood of information and misinformation that is swirling around Coronavirus. The bottom line? It’s hard to overcommunicate with your fleet right now.

Drivers’ viewpoints are shaped primarily on their day to day experience on the road or hear from other drivers. That may not be the whole picture. Because drivers have often not earned the respect they deserve, some may think they are being singled out unfairly. Take the time to listen to their concerns and empathetically explain any increased regulations and reassure drivers that they are valued as part of your team.

driver happiness and retention survey

FREE SURVEY REPORT

Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey

We surveyed over 400 CDL truck drivers nationwide to discover what makes them happy in their career and life. Access the survey report to see the results.

Get the Results

home time

Home time is a very important job benefit to many drivers. Communicating policies clearly sets drivers’ expectations from the start. As with all driver communication, strive for clarity, consistency, and empathy. Set your policies early, but prepare a few flexible solutions for the times when unexpected emergencies arise. Implement these best practices for communicating home time with drivers, and get to know the most frequently asked questions.

1. Give the Details Early

Home time is cited as a top priority for many drivers. In our Drive My Way Driver Happiness Survey, time at home was ranked more important than Bonuses and Benefits, Equipment, and Route/Location among other factors. Only pay and company culture ranked higher when drivers answered what was attractive to them in a job. With that in mind, make sure to list home time in job descriptions.

Allowing drivers to decide right away whether the job is a good fit for them ensures you’ll only interview drivers who are a good fit. 

Home time policies should also come up in a job interview. If drivers don’t ask, be clear in stating your policy, especially if there are any unique elements to it. This is another opportunity to ensure that your recruitment policies prepare you for strong driver retention. Communicating policies early and often helps set a tone of transparency for new drivers.

2. Strive for Consistency

Clear home time policies go a long way with drivers. When possible, follow a clear pattern for days off. For some companies, this will be easy. For others, a consistent schedule simply isn’t practical.

Whether you offer 2 weeks on the road 2 days off or 7 days on 1 day off, be as consistent as possible within your scheduled routes.

Drivers want to know what they can expect and may be planning family events around their time off. Stay as close to their anticipated schedule as you’re able to, and share changes with advance notice. 

3. Put it in Writing

Home time should be clearly stated in the hiring contract. While it may seem unnecessary, putting home time in writing is good protection for both the company and drivers. If your policy is in writing, it ensures consistency among drivers. If you do have different policies for seniority or other factors, make sure that is clearly outlined so there is no favoritism at play. 

Having expectations set in writing also manages company optics. There should be no question about why drivers have different home time policies. Visible policies are good for clarity upfront and protect you if disputes occur later.

4. Be Understanding

Inevitably, drivers will request time off that is different from their standard home time policy. When extenuating circumstances arise, be flexible when you’re able to. Understandably, it’s not always possible to get drivers home immediately. Strong communication is your best asset. In difficult situations, be sympathetic, and use neutral language as you explain the situation. Empathize with the driver and work to identify a solution that works for both parties.

5. Be Prepared for Driver Questions

Home time is very important to most drivers.  Drivers who are willing to be out for weeks may still have obligations at home. They speak highly of companies that recognize this and try hard to get them home when they need it. Because home time is so important, questions are a guarantee.

Here are some of the most common questions that we get at Drive My Way.

  1. Is home time truly guaranteed?
  2. Do I have a say in when I take my time?
  3. Will I work weekends or be off?
  4. Will I be home for my reset? 
  5. Are the home time and mileage really what is listed in the job description or communicated in the interview?

TruckingTruth also shares a few common driver FAQ.

  1. What happens in case of an emergency?
  2. How are loads assigned?
  3. What hours will I work each day?

6. Identify Areas for Flexibility

If drivers stay with your fleet for long enough, they will likely request time at home outside their typical policy at some point. Additionally, new drivers might ask about for more time at home in a hiring interview. Before those conversations arise, consider how you can offer flexibility in a way that works with you.

One option is to offer a take your truck home program. If drivers don’t have to add the extra miles to and from a terminal, that means more time with their loved ones. Another option is to offer an emergency policy. Drivers might be granted a minimal, set number of days to use in case of personal emergencies. Partner or pet ride-along programs also offer drivers similar benefits while keeping them on the road.

driver happiness and retention survey

FREE SURVEY REPORT

Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey

We surveyed over 400 CDL truck drivers nationwide to discover what makes them happy in their career and life. Access the survey report to see the results.

Get the Results

driver care

Let’s call a spade a spade. 2020 has been a year full of surprises and challenges. As an employer in the trucking industry, you may have a front-row seat to the hardships of Coronavirus. As you’re navigating these uncharted waters, be proactive in reaching out to your entire staff. This is not business as usual, and silence will be noticed. Take this opportunity to firmly demonstrate that your company cares about drivers. Focus on driver care, and you will build positive, lasting relationships for years to come. Here are just a few ways to show employees that you value them as people as well as for their work. 

1. Clear Communication

Be transparent and proactive with driver communication. It is one of the best ways to demonstrate driver care during COVID-19. Good communication is increasingly important because face-to-face interactions are scarce and can be hard to facilitate.

As you navigate the many transitions of this year, integrate driver check-ins as a regular priority. Ask drivers what form of communication works best for them.

While you may prefer emails, your drivers may feel more connected through phone calls, video calls, or texts. Show them you care by reaching out in the way they prefer, even if it’s not your most natural communication channel. 

2. Truck Sanitation

mask

As essential workers, truck drivers are keeping our country moving. As a fleet manager, you know that keeping drivers safe and healthy needs to be top of mind. Even as other industries slowly reopen and stay at home orders are lifted, the danger is not gone. Make a plan for sanitizing fleet equipment. 

If you haven’t already, consider sending drivers out with the resources they need for their day to day work. Masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes go a long way toward making drivers more comfortable. Regardless of what you decide, clearly communicate with drivers what you are doing and your expectations for them. If you ask drivers to bring their own supplies, consider reimbursing their purchases. 

3. Mental Health

A life on the road has its fair share of loneliness for anyone, but COVID-19 adds unique stress. Often, drivers are working increased hours or are completing more runs. The pressure for on-time deliveries is high. In addition, many drivers are deeply concerned with the well-being of their loved ones.

The same home time that is often a relief may be equally or more stressful than being on the road.

As a result, even when they come home after a few days or weeks on the road, family time may be very different. Some drivers intentionally quarantine themselves when home to reduce the risk of spread. As you check-in with drivers, provide them with resources to help connect with spouses, children, and friends. 

4. Company Culture

Perhaps ironically, challenging times often provide the clearest moments for demonstrating strong company culture. Focusing on driver care helps build relationships throughout your organization. It’s also an effort that will leave a lasting impression on your drivers. Treat them well, and you will reap the benefits for years. 

Drive My Way feature of Driver Dee from Prime Inc.

There are both public and private ways to prioritize driver care. In the public eye, use this opportunity to visibly thank and showcase drivers. If you maintain social media accounts or share a regular newsletter, use your platform to elevate drivers. Trucking is often a thankless job. Even though many Americans are now publicly thanking drivers, company recognition goes a long way. Consider launching a driver showcase series where you spotlight one stand-out driver each week. Then, you’re boosting morale and offering other drivers a model of what a top employee looks like. 

Private appreciation of drivers can take many forms. In addition to your regular driver check-ins, consider writing short, personalized notes. Alternately, pack lunch bags or coolers for drivers. It’s no secret that a healthy life on the road is harder than ever right now.

Sending drivers with a cooler shows that you care and you understand their challenges. If you’re not sure where to start, ask for feedback. Most drivers are all too happy to share their suggestions for improvement. Are drivers happy with how communication and health concerns are handled? Thoughtfully consider the suggestions that are offered. Then, choose a few to implement as soon as possible. Being responsive to driver questions and concerns is a form of driver appreciation.

The Long and the Short Of It

As we move into the second half of 2020, experts forecast that companies should prepare for the continued effects of  COVID-19. Now, you have time on your side. A focus on driver care necessitates both short and long term planning. In addition to your ongoing efforts to support drivers now, start developing a relief plan for the future. Consider, what would you have done differently this spring if you had been given 4 months warning? Take advantage of your experience this spring and develop a plan to sustain your company and support drivers in the event of a second wave.

quick-guide-to-remote-onboarding-truck-drivers

FREE QUICK GUIDE

Remote Onboarding for Truck Drivers

Is remote onboarding the new normal in trucking? This quick guide is packed with tips to get you started or help you optimize your current remote onboarding process.

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truck driver loyalty

When turnover is nearly 95% in the trucking industry, it’s tough to keep drivers over the long run. Add that to the shrinking pool of drivers available, and you have strong competition between carriers to keep drivers. Hiring and retention doesn’t need to be an arms race between carriers. Building truck driver loyalty from the beginning helps both drivers and carriers meet their goals. Recruiters can keep the best drivers with their carriers for longer if they build a sense of loyalty. Here are 4 ways to increase truck driver loyalty.

1. Driver feedback

Drivers will always have an opinion about the job and their carriers. Whether it’s complaints about the routes or satisfaction with the strong benefits, carriers should welcome all sorts of driver feedback. Don’t let feedback become one of those taboo matters which drivers just gossip about among themselves. If drivers know their feedback is welcome, they’ll be more likely to share it with the carrier instead of their peers. Make it easy to submit feedback whether it’s online or in-person.

Welcoming feedback isn’t enough. Carriers need to make sure they can do what they can to address drivers’ concerns. If a driver is unsatisfied with the home time she’s getting, it’s only a matter of time until she looks elsewhere for another job. Even if you can’t address all driver concerns and move heaven and earth for them, it matters enough that you tried. Drivers will notice and appreciate that you listened to them and made an effort on their behalf.

One of the biggest complaints drivers have is that they don’t feel respected and valued by their carriers.

If you can show drivers that you value their feedback and try to improve things for them, they’ll be more likely to remain loyal to the carrier.

2. Strong communication

One-on-one communication with all your drivers is essential to building truck driver loyalty. In this era of smartphones and email, it’s easy to think that you can communicate through technology and reap all the benefits. Don’t just communicate with drivers to discuss transactional matters—communicate to build a relationship! If building relationships is the goal, then you need to talk with your drivers one-on-one and in-person. Even the occasional friendly chat or check-in about their work and family life will be appreciated by drivers. If you’re running low on time, even a phone call makes a difference. Drivers shouldn’t go too long without having a personal and friendly interaction with management which will foster a sense of loyalty.

3. Look beyond benefits

It’s important to remember which factors truck drivers consider before accepting a job. Carriers can position themselves to make certain that they are meeting the needs of drivers. It also helps to keep in mind the reasons why drivers declined jobs, because they didn’t offer certain benefits. If you sift through these data, you’ll find some surprising insights about what drivers value. Often, it’s not just the pay and health benefits that drivers are considering. Some of the most important factors drivers take into account are things like home time, the equipment used, a take-truck-home program, or no touch freight.

Building the right factors into the job helps build truck driver loyalty.

Home time, PTO, and vacation days are something almost all truck drivers will value so they can get some much-needed rest between runs. Some drivers will look for a spouse program or a pet program so they can get some companionship while on the road as well. Finally, carriers can offer professional development opportunities to drivers who are thinking ahead towards their whole career path. Taking simple steps to include these programs to meet driver needs will go a long way toward building truck driver loyalty.

4. Build driver-centric culture

Finally, it’s important to remember the bigger picture about why carriers should take all these measures. The end goal is to create a strong company culture which drivers can identify with. Building a driver-centric culture shows truckers that they are valued and respected. Driver appreciation ideas and engagement surveys are all means to this end. People look for jobs which satisfy a whole range of needs, including psychological and social needs. Don’t forget Maslow’s pyramid of needs and what it means for the workplace.

Drivers will look for jobs where they find personal fulfillment and a sense of belonging, not just simple job satisfaction.

Soliciting and acting on driver feedback, along with offering the right benefits, all signal to drivers that they can call this carrier their home.

The industry’s turnover and driver shortage problem aren’t leaving anytime soon. However, there’s still plenty that carriers can do to retain driver over the long-term by building truck driver loyalty. The truth is that drivers and carriers both benefit from long-term retention with the same carrier. Drivers won’t have to move from job to job in search of the perfect position which satisfies their needs. Carriers won’t have to engage in an arms race to compete over a smaller and smaller pool of rotating drivers. Use these ways to increase truck driver loyalty and keep your strongest drivers for years.
truckers.

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

truck driver advertising

High turnover and the enduring truck driver shortage make your fleet’s recruitment efforts of supreme importance. Advertising jobs to drivers is one of the first steps in strong recruitment. If drivers don’t see your ads, there is no chance of them applying to your jobs. Driver recruitment advertising is completely different than it was about 10 years ago. As always, advertising means you should meet drivers where they are and speak their language. If you’re not taking advantage of changing trends and best practices, you’re risking losing the best drivers to rival carriers. Here are 6 things wrong with your truck driver advertising you can improve on.

1. Not Including Driver Testimonials

You’ve boasted about your carrier’s benefits and perks in every possible advertising channel, but still aren’t getting many leads. Meanwhile, a competitor spends less on advertising but has stronger recruiting. What’s going on here? Most likely, your company’s reputation among driver peers is the explanation.

Think about it from a driver’s perspective. Who are they more likely to believe: other drivers or the company itself?

Peer recommendation is one of the strongest factors that can influence human behavior. That’s why your truck driver advertising should consistently include driver testimonials. These could be as simple as gathering quotes about driver experience by your current drivers. Or it can be as ambitious as compiling a short video of your drivers speaking freely on what they enjoy about the job. Peer recommendation can build more trust for your company, so it should be an important component of your truck driver advertising.

2. Using Only Print Media for Advertising

It’s no breaking news that print media is on the decline. While ads in newspapers and magazines may have been the primary advertising channel a decade or two ago, the readership has gone down significantly. Your advertising strategy should reflect this: print shouldn’t be your only form of recruitment. While print media isn’t entirely dead, digital is definitely king now. Adjust your advertising budget and resources accordingly, and don’t put all your eggs in the print media basket. Advertising diversification is important, so make sure you’re exploring all other avenues of advertising potential.

3. Heavy Information Dumping

You’ve seen these ads everywhere: a long, bulleted list of all the job details and driver benefits clogging up the same ad space. You may have been guilty of it yourself. The more information available for prospective hires, the better, right? Think again. No one enjoys having to sift through detailed information, especially if they’re running short on time.

Advertising is about attention: if you capture a driver’s attention, they’ll visit your website or contact you to find more job details.

Additionally, people have become somewhat immune to advertising given the sheer number of ads we see on a daily basis. To have a stronger impact on your audience, take the opposite approach: keep the information light and simple. Lead the advertisement with the top three reasons why a driver should choose you and leave aside the details. Or know what makes you different from the competitors and promote that.

4. Creating Identical Digital Advertising and Print Advertising

So, we talked about the decline in print media, which means you should transplant those same ads to the digital world, right? Try again. Digital and social media are significantly different in type from print media, and your advertising should reflect that. You wouldn’t run the same ad on print and radio, would you? If you’re not capturing the unique advantages of the digital sphere, you run the risk of wasting advertising money on inefficient ads. Make sure your ads are tailored to the digital channel being used, whether its newsletters, banner ads, or social media. Social media channels are vastly different from each other. Use Instagram for memes and cool images, not long videos. Use YouTube for longer videos with driver testimonials, or in-depth explorations of trucking life on the road. Remember that drivers primarily use Facebook, so that should be your main job posting channel.

5. Not Taking Advantage of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a whole different ballgame than previous forms of advertising.

Ideally, you’re using the best and latest forms of digital marketing to enhance your truck driver advertising.

Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising method that directs online traffic to your recruitment website. Through pay-per-click you can guide your specific target audience to your recruitment site so that it doesn’t get lost in the depths of the Internet. Look into using Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Yahoo Advertising for your PPC campaigns. Remarketing is another tool you can use to bring traffic back to your site even after they’ve already left. It allows you to communicate your message to drivers who may have visited your website once, but not filled an application. Remarketing serves as a nudge to drivers, reinforcing impressions that have been made, so that are reminded to return and consider applying to your jobs.

6. Not Focusing on Driver-Centric Content

Any truck driver advertising campaign needs to focus on the basics- including highlights of job requirements, description, and benefits. But often advertising makes these the focus instead of thinking of the complete driver experience. Drivers know what to expect about job details or can look them up later. What they are interested in is finding a job where they’ll be appreciated, and which aligns with their values.

Consider launching an ad campaign which focuses entirely on company culture.

What’s the pet policy or passenger policy like? How comfortable and new is the equipment? How much does the company invest in safety and maintenance? What do current drivers like about the company? Are there opportunities for professional growth? There are endless possibilities of what kind of content to include in these ads. The important part is that it is focusing on the driver’s values and priorities and indicates that the carrier will be a good match given those values.

Truck driver advertising has evolved rapidly over the last few decades. While print and radio advertising are still important, digital and social media are now paramount. Keeping these trends in mind is important but having strong driver-centric content is even more important. Avoid these six things wrong with your truck driver advertising, and your recruitment and retention efforts will be more successful.

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As a recruiter, you get barraged with job applications. The ratio of job applications for each open position can be overwhelming for recruiters to deal with. Sifting through dozens of applications and remembering each and every candidate can be exhausting, not to mention time-consuming.

Yet, it can be extremely helpful to contact truck drivers faster and speed up the hiring process. It goes without saying that if you don’t contact job candidates fast enough, you’ll lose them to someone else. There are also many other reasons to contact truck drivers faster during the hiring process and maintain open lines of communication and dialogue.

1. You Won’t Lose the Top Candidates

The most important reason to contact truck drivers faster is that this way you’re less likely to lose the top candidates to your competitors. In fact, according to data by drivers matched through Drive My Way, the top reason candidates declined job offers is because they just accepted an offer by someone else.

Being scooped by rivals is especially risky for your top candidates. One recommended solution is to assign a “decide-by date” for candidates. This way you can focus your immediate time and attention first to the top-tier prospects, then to the second-tier prospects, and so on.

Categorize your prospects into tiers, type of jobs, or other characteristics. Otherwise, you risk drowning in an overwhelming number of candidates whose details you won’t remember. It may seem intuitive that a slow hiring process improves the quality of those you hire because you have more time to gather information and feedback before deciding. However, there is a trade-off as well. Slow hiring can also have the opposite effect because the longer you take, the lower the quality of new hires will be.

If you take too long to hire, you may have to pay new hires more because they will be bid on.

So, if your company is the first to approach and hire them before other companies have a chance to offer them something, they will most likely accept your initial salary offer. Contacting truck drivers sooner lowers the chances that they will be scooped up by rivals, or that rivals will drive up the salary negotiation process.

2. A Window to Communication on the Job

A big reason to contact truck drivers faster and often during the hiring process is that it is a strong indicator of workplace communication habits within the company. This is a reason often missed by recruiters because it has more to do with marketing than with HR. This goes to the heart of the dual function recruiters play in organizations.

In addition to facilitating the hiring process from point of contact through placement, recruiters also play a role in persuading top talent to join their fleets. The speed and flexibility of the hiring process can indicate to job candidates that the organization communicates with its employees well and makes decisions quickly.

A candidate might impress you by arriving early and proactively sending a thank-you note. Similarly, your company can impress candidates by contacting them quickly and offering as much information as possible.

According to a survey by the platform 15Five, only 15% of employees are “very satisfied” with the quality of communication within their companies. This leaves plenty of room for improvement, and any way to signal that your company values communication will be noticed by truck drivers.

3. Give Feedback on Resumes or Interviews

The traditional method is that a candidate applies, you review their materials, and schedule an interview. Some companies may touch base once or twice, or at times, the candidate only hears back once you’ve made a decision. But most candidates want to hear how they did, whether good or bad. In a LinkedIn survey, 94% of respondents said they want to receive feedback on their interviews.

Employers are afraid of upsetting candidates or gaining a bad reputation such that they avoid giving feedback entirely. However, if done right, you can give candidates extremely beneficial feedback. Talk about both positives and negatives, and you can maintain or even improve your company’s reputation.

Let them know that you were impressed by their materials and experiences. Then, lead with strengths before weaknesses. Inform them about what you liked or which skill or experience made them particularly strong. When addressing weaknesses, take care to phrase it delicately. “I would have loved to have heard more about….”, or “I didn’t get the chance to learn about…..” usually works best, regardless of whether the message is over phone or email.

Candidates might surprise you. Many people will thank you for the feedback, even if they aren’t the best match for the positions. This can boost your company’s reputation among truck drivers, and the good karma may come back to help you with a prospect highly suited for your fleet. Contact your prospects faster to give them feedback on how they did.

4. Start Talking Numbers Early

One final reason to contact truck drivers faster is to start talking about salary and compensation. Usually recruiters may mention numbers only with an offer and expect candidates to accept or negotiate for a higher salary.

If you start mentioning numbers mid-way through the recruiting process it actually has several advantages.

Bringing up the numbers early on signals your interest to your prospects. This makes it less likely that they will accept another offer by someone else. Second, the nature of salary and compensation becomes more transparent. Your prospects have very little idea if your offer is in line with their skills, what salary is typical at the company, and other factors that go into deciding the compensation package.

Most companies think it is in their interest to keep their prospects in the dark. In reality, it may be more beneficial to be transparent. Most candidates aren’t just looking for more money, but they want to know that they are being paid fairly. If your package is the best the company can afford to pay them, your prospects will want to know that.

A PayScale survey found that 82% of employees who were payed lower than industry average but whose employer was open about their salary were satisfied with their jobs.

It even helps to show your math: how did the company reach that figure? Contact truck drivers faster and be open and transparent about pay and benefits early in the game. Doing so will help you gain trust and build a stronger reputation for your company.

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communication with driversWhether you’re recruiting a new batch of drivers for your company or interacting with those who have been with you for years, communication with drivers is important. Successful communication with employees is crucial for any profession but comes with unique challenges in the trucking industry.

The nature of the work is that drivers will be on the road most of the time and communication rarely takes place in-person. To complicate matters, there is often a difference in culture between managers and drivers. Dispatchers need to communicate effectively with current drivers to make sure orders reach their destinations on time. Recruiters need to communicate well to make the best case for their company and sign new drivers. Keep these handy guidelines in mind for strong communication with drivers.

1. Be Curious and Understanding

The most important part of strong communication with drivers is good listening. This means you actually take time and effort to hear drivers’ concerns and then address them. Good listening isn’t just reactive. Don’t just wait for drivers to come to you with their concerns. Be curious enough to politely inquire about their needs and questions.

If you’re recruiting a new driver, you know which factors they are likely considering, so address them proactively.

If you’re getting feedback from veteran drivers, be curious about their preferences about type of haul, type of run, work schedule etc. Good listening doesn’t just end with curiosity. Once you’ve listened, try to understand things from their perspective.

You can’t walk a mile in their shoes, metaphorically speaking, but you can try to imagine the world from their eyes. Being understanding requires empathy for someone’s situation, which may not match your own. Drivers have stressful jobs and lives, and the more you can empathize with and understand their situation, they better you’ll listen and communicate with them.

2. Know When to Call or Video Conference…

Sometimes, the medium is the message. Choosing the proper communication method can make the difference between having successful communication or being left frustrated. Some issues are too long or complicated to discuss over text or email. Calling drivers’ cell phones is the most popular way to communicate with drivers for a good reason.

Most drivers will carry their phones with them 24-7, so if you need to deliver some quick but important and time-sensitive information, this is the way to go.

You can be brief and to the point, while also delivering the personal touch. Same thing holds for job prospects you’re trying to recruit—you can quickly touch base about some details and leave a strong impression in their minds.

Speaking of the personal touch, consider requesting video conferences for added face-time. It’s tough to get an in-person meeting with drivers or job candidates if they are on the road. Using video-conferencing is the next best thing. It will also preserve important non-verbal cues like eye contact and body language. Video interviews are also becoming a popular alternative to phone interviews. Save this for important and longer conversations that could use the added human touch of face-to-face interaction.

3. ..And Know When to Text or Email Instead

Knowing is half the battle. Sometimes, text or email is a better platform for communication. You don’t want to send a lengthy message over text. It’s best for short and sweet messages which are time-sensitive. Messages over text won’t require much elaboration or the personal touch to smooth things over.

Texting is a great way to communicate with drivers about quick updates or changes to the plan.

It is usually best when it’s a follow up to an ongoing conversation rather than springing up something unexpected. Don’t text as the first method of contact to job candidates—it’s just too impersonal! Your job prospects will want to feel like you’re making the effort and that they are worth a phone call. On the other hand, you can text to set up a phone call or ask someone to call back to discuss further details. Texting also gets around network coverage issues or background noise, because the message will go through eventually.

Reserve email for the most important and lengthy messages. Usually, email is best for sharing critical documents like job applications, contracts, insurance policies etc. Sometimes email can also be better than a phone call if you want to keep record of what was agreed upon. Human memory is fragile, and two people may remember different things from the same phone call. Having the written documentation available makes things less ambiguous.

4. Treat Drivers with Respect and Build Trust

This one cannot be overstated. None of your communication strategies and methods are going to work if drivers don’t feel that you’re treating you with respect.

It sounds like a no-brainer, yet this is one of the biggest complaints which drivers have—management doesn’t treat them with respect.

If you’re a recruiter making a first impression, this is even more important. Be careful not to speak too hurriedly, or if you’ve been stressed or anxious just before the interaction. Friendly and respectful communication is more engaging and will make a better impression.

Even if you’re interacting with drivers who have been with your fleet for ages, you should always speak to them as if it’s that very first time.

Drivers want to work for companies where they feel valued, respected, and part of the team. You don’t want someone to feel slighted because you implicitly suggested that management is more important than the drivers. Not only is that very far from the truth, but it will have drastic consequences.

Building trust is a consequence of all of these strong communication strategies and methods. Trust requires time and consistency. A relationship with your drivers is just like a relationship with anyone else- you build more trust if you keep interactions positive over a long period of time. Always being respectful, curious, and understanding, will lead to both parties developing trust and loyalty to each other. Loyal workers are less likely to be subject to turnover and more likely to refer other strong candidates to your company.

Don’t lose your companies strongest marketing asset! Treat drivers with respect and build trust over the years through good communication with drivers, and the payoffs will be enormous.

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