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social mediaLike most everyone, truck drivers are all over social media. It’s where they connect with other drivers, share tips for being on the road, and discuss current happenings. It’s also where they look for jobs and research carriers.  

As a recruiting team, how can you use that to your advantage? You want to make sure that drivers looking at your company come away with a positive impression, but that’s easier said than done. Here are 3 ways to strengthen your trucking company’s social media presence.  

Be on the Right Channels  

The first step is to make sure you’re in the right places to find drivers. While there isn’t much new data on what social media platforms truckers are on the most, you can find a lot of drivers using Instagram, Facebook, and now TikTok. 

The newest social platform, TikTok can be difficult for carriers to get on, as the majority of content is user-generated videos, and creating that on a regular basis takes a lot of resources. Facebook and Instagram on the other hand are easier social channels to manage and post on. You probably already have a Facebook, and maybe an Instagram account, but whether you’re leveraging them for their recruiting value is a different question.  

We were able to talk with April Smith, Driver Recruiter with Drive My Way client, Lansing Building Products. April told us about what Lansing posts on their social channels and how that helps attract drivers. 

April Smith,
Driver Recruiter,
Lansing Building Products

What kind of content does your company post on social media?

“We post company news and events, job postings, associate highlights and achievements, product, and customer accomplishments.”

What social media platforms is your company present on?

“We’re currently active on Indeed, LinkedIn, and Twitter.”

How does the content you post support your company’s recruiting efforts?

“Our social media presence promotes our company culture, engages job seekers, and helps attract top talent.”

Lansing BP’s recent Instagram post, celebrating Mother’s Day

Is there a certain kind of content that does particularly well?

“Photos and videos of our people do very well. A great example of this was our recent Mother’s Day post that shared pics of Lansing Mom’s and their kids.”  

What is the overall goal for your company’s social media presence?

“We want to build brand awareness and boost brand engagement through social media. We want people to have a genuine feel for our people, our culture and what makes Lansing Building Products a great place to work.”

3 Ways to Engage with Truck Drivers Using Social Media 

Driver Testimonials

Maybe the most powerful tool when it comes to social media recruiting, driver testimonials are great at showing potential candidates why your company is a great place to work. What makes this content so powerful is that it comes from a source that drivers trust.  

Many drivers have been misled in the past by recruiters. So, when a recruiter tells them all the great things about driving for a company, there’s a good (and reasonable) chance that they’ll be skeptical. They’ll be more receptive of that same message if it comes from a fellow driver. 

There’s a few different ways to driver testimonials. The most common is to ask drivers to send in a short video about why they enjoy working for your carrier. The other is to film drivers on site. Both are great, but asking drivers to send in a short video is usually more cost-effective, as you won’t have to pay for or rent video equipment. These videos also have an amateur feel that comes across as more authentic.

Mission Statement Video

One minute to show what your company is, what they do, and why they do it. That’s what a mission statement video is. These videos are used to give visitors to your social media pages (including prospective driver candidates) a bird’s eye view of your company. 

Mission statement videos should be short and to the point. B-roll footage of company trucks, drivers, and your building over a narration of your mission statement is a great way to go. If you’re unable to do video, you can do the same thing with still images. 

Consider pinning this video to the top of your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page. Many visitors to your page may want to get a quick overview of your business, and this is a great way to do it. 

Company Culture Posts

It’s always better to show than it is to tell. Sure, you can tell a driver that your carrier has a great company culture, but that probably won’t stick in their head. Using social media to show your company culture is a great way to send a message that will resonate with them throughout the recruiting process. 

Do you have any after work events? Parties during workdays? Do you celebrate work anniversaries for drivers? Documenting these events on social media is a great way to get engagement and showcase to drivers what it’s like to work for your company.  

The best thing about social media is that there’s very little (if any) cost to it. You can experiment with different post types to see what gets the best engagement with drivers and go from there.

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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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American Central Transport

Josh Mecca is the Director of Recruiting with Drive My Way client, American Central Transport. Josh has been in the trucking industry for over 16 years and was recently invited to the White House to hear about the current administration’s Trucking Action Plan. We had the chance to talk with Josh about his trip to the White House, why ACT is recognized as a Best Fleet to Drive For, his advice for recruiters, and more.

What did your experience in the industry look like before coming to American Central Transport?

I started my journey at a trucking company in the southeast. From there, I moved to Nashville, TN and worked at a transportation management company. That’s where I learned the ins and outs of the industry, including long haul, regional, day cab, and virtually every mode of truckload transportation. I really started to understand the trucking industry from a logistics standpoint during my time there.

Wanting to get back to working directly with assets, I moved to a Midwest carrier for a couple of years, specifically working with Owner Operators. Then just over six years ago, I moved back home to Kansas City to take this role with American Central Transport as their Director of Recruiting.

ACT has been named a Best Fleet to Drive For for 5 consecutive years now. How have you been able to do that?

Honestly, it’s become something that’s ingrained in our culture. Every time we think about a new program, whether that’s changes to compensation, home time, benefits, or anything that impacts our drivers on a daily basis, we ask ourselves “How does this fit into being a best fleet? Does it make the lives of our drivers better?” 

At the end of each year, we always do an internal debrief based on feedback from the Best Fleets to Drive For program.  We compare what we did well, what we can improve on, and what we’re missing. We do this because we want American Central Transport to be at the forefront of providing the best work-life balance that drivers deserve.

Historically, our industry hasn’t really taken those wants from drivers into consideration, but being part of the Best Fleets really challenges us at our core to do everything we can to make not only our company a better place for drivers, but to attract and retain more talent to the industry as a whole.  

The market for truck drivers has been extremely competitive for a while now. Do you feel this is because of a true shortage of drivers, or something else?

American Central TransportI’ve always been very skeptical of the notion that there’s a literal shortage of drivers who want to get into trucking. The reason I’m skeptical is because of the number of leads, applications, and people we see out there looking for jobs.

Drivers are realizing that, for a lack of a better term, they’re in the driver’s seat right now. They control where they go and who will employ them for their services, and rightfully so. They’ve got a hard job and they sacrifice a lot to do it. We as carriers really need to understand that if our job isn’t attractive for drivers, we’re going to fall short.

We’ve recently started a driver finishing program with two CDL schools here in Kansas City. We were noticing that a lot of times in our industry, a driver would finish their CDL training and immediately be thrown to the wolves before they had a real chance to get their feet under them. This led to a lot of careers in trucking being thrown away before they began because these new drivers would have such bad experiences.

Companies didn’t want to invest in the training that these new drivers needed beyond the bare minimum, so we decided to take a different approach. Once they’ve finished CDL school, we help our new drivers by giving them the support and knowledge they need from an experienced trainer while increasing their pay every 90 days for that first year they’re with us.

Recently, you were invited to the White House. Tell us about the experience and what you took away from it.

Josh at the White House

It was a great event to be a part of. It focused on this administration’s Trucking Action Plan to help our industry become more attractive. The plan focuses on a few pillars, one of those being more trucking apprenticeships to attract new drivers, especially women and minorities into the industry. 

The biggest takeaway from the White House event was that we need to support transportation as an industry and support the people who want to be in trucking. When I got my start all those years ago, I had a coworker with over 40 years of experience take me under his wing and give me guidance. We still stay in touch to this day and talk about what’s going on in my career and his retirement. It’s that type of support that all new drivers should have when they come into this industry.

To be invited to that event was validating on a career note. Sitting there on the White House lawn made me really feel that American Central Transport’s doing something right and positively impacting the industry.

When it comes to automation in trucking, what do you think the future looks like?

I truly don’t think the trucking industry will ever be fully autonomous. I think there are going to be segments where we see platooning or some other moves towards automation, but as a whole, I don’t think our industry will ever be there.

I do think trucking jobs are going to look different in 15-20 years, but I believe that behind every steering wheel there’s still going to be a driver piloting it.

What advice do you have to give to other recruiters in the trucking industry?

In trucking right now, drivers and recruiters absolutely need each other. But it’s extremely important that recruiters are painting an accurate picture of who the company is that they’re recruiting for.

The worst thing you can have is an orientation surprise. In the 8 years I’ve been in recruiting, an orientation surprise is never positive. You never want a driver to say, “Well I didn’t know about this”, or “I wasn’t told about that”. As a recruiter, you need to make sure that you’re upfront about everything with drivers, even if it’s something they don’t ask about, but you feel is important to the position.  

If you’re doing your job as a recruiter, you’ll start to realize when a driver is going to be a great fit for your company but also when a driver isn’t. If you say something like, “Hey, you sound like a great driver. I think we’d work well together down the line, but right now, I feel it isn’t the best fit. Let’s touch base in six months”, you’ll be surprised at how much drivers will appreciate that honesty. And once you do connect down the road, you already have that foundation of honesty built. 

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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covid recruitingWhile the COVID-19 pandemic seems to mostly be in the rearview mirror, it brought a lot of changes to the trucking industry. While some of these changes seem to be going by the wayside, some look like they’re here to stay. Here are 5 ways that COVID has impacted driver recruiting. 

1. Remote Interviewing and Onboarding Process

One of the biggest changes that COVID brought to the workforce was remote interviewing and onboarding. While most carriers implemented remote interviewing and onboarding when that was the only option, some have begun to move towards it as full time.  

Why? One reason is that it can lead to carriers finding and interviewing better driver candidates. In a labor market this competitive, something as simple as offering a driver the ability to do the interview and onboarding process from wherever they’d like could be the thing that sets your carrier apart.  

Another reason is that speed has been shown to be a top metric in getting candidates to come on board with your carrier. Having a remote process speeds everything up, giving candidates less time to find and accept another job offer.

2. Vaccine/Booster Requirements

Even before the COVID vaccines were made available, there was a hot debate on whether or not companies should require employees to be vaccinated. This debate got even hotter when a federal mandate was announced that would require some truck drivers to get the vaccine.  

While nothing ever came of that mandate, with the Supreme Court striking it down as unconstitutional, companies still have their own discretion on whether or not they require drivers to get vaccinated. 

3. Driver Pay Increasing

Pay has been a pain point for drivers for decades. Though there are a number of issues that have contributed to it, most agree that the deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1980’s was the biggest reason that drivers began to earn less.  

But the COVID pandemic has led to a surge in driver pay. With increased freight demand and competition for drivers, carriers are increasing payroll budgets to ensure they have drivers in seats. Wal-Mart just recently announced that the average pay for their truck drivers would be increased to between $95,000 and $110,000 annually.  

While the majority of carriers may not be able to match what mega fleets like Wal-Mart can provide, offering drivers overtime and detention pay are two ways that carriers can show they’re committed to offering fair compensation.   

Another thing carriers are noticing is that it’s much easier to fill home daily positions than it is to fill traditional OTR positions, even if the money is better. A lot of drivers are fine with taking less in pay, if that means being home with their family each night.  

4. Truck Shortage

The truck driver shortage has been a well-documented and much talked about issue for years, even before COVID. Another issue that’s been becoming more prevalent is a shortage on trucks as well.  

Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting with Drive My Way client, Custom Commodities Transport has been dealing with this issue since last year. 

“My bosses were almost ready to tell us to stop advertising our driver jobs because they were afraid we weren’t going to have enough trucks. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. It’s an interesting time for the operations people, the salespeople, and definitely the recruiting team to have a goal to get to x hires but not have trucks to put them in.” 

Just like with consumer cars and trucks, the shortage of semi-trucks is caused by a shortage in computers chips that are used in these vehicles. These issues were originally brought on by COVID supply chain problems, but are now being exacerbated by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as lockdowns in China.  

Carriers should prepare for this truck shortage to be the norm as it’s expected to go on for a while longer, with some predictions that it’ll last until 2024.  

5. Increased Driver Shortage

When the pandemic first started, many drivers were laid off due to an almost complete halt in demand for moving freight. Once things started to open up again in 2021, the opposite seemed to happen. Trucking companies found it more and more difficult to find drivers to help them meet the huge increase in demand they were experiencing.  

Just how difficult is it for trucking companies to find drivers? A study by Coyote and Emsi found that it takes 9 times the amount of job postings to hire a truck driver than it does any other blue-collar profession.  

This is why it’s more important than ever for trucking companies to focus their time and resources where it matters.

Drive My Way works with carriers to get their job postings in front of the right drivers at the right time. We’ve helped our clients find the right candidates to fill their CDL job openings and we’re able to help you too. 

Comprehensive CDL Recruitment Solutions

Ready to start recruiting the right drivers? Our solutions experts are happy to answer any questions and show you how Drive My Way uniquely approaches CDL driver recruitment.

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American Bulk Commodities

In a time when demand is much higher than supply, it can be difficult for driver recruiters to be selective when bringing drivers into their organization. But, for Bradley Bates, safety is the one thing that you can never be too selective about. Bradley is the Safety Manager for American Bulk Commodities, parent company of Drive My Way clients, R&J Trucking and Southern Haulers. Bradley talked with us about how this background in safety has helped American Bulk’s recruiting efforts.

What was your original position with American Bulk Commodities?

I was brought in as Safety Manager after American Bulk had some safety concerns in one of their terminals. I started out solely in OSHA compliance and would travel to all our different terminals, running our training programs. I would give presentations and work to make sure mechanics were doing their yearly trainings and anything else OSHA-related. 

How did that role turn into what you do now?

As I got more comfortable in that safety role, I began to take on more, including managing our job advertising. At the time, we were still putting money into paper advertisements, which has showing less and less return. I stepped up and got our job campaigns posted online. 

I’m also the point person on the risk management side, including worker’s comp claims. Day-to-day, I’m talking with drivers about getting required paperwork, organizing return to works, and just doing what I can to get drivers back in a safe, but timely fashion. 

Then somebody left the company, and I started managing driver applications as well, running the MVR, PSP, and everything else. It was a big learning experience, finding out what we can move forward with from an application and what’s a total hard stop. I also learned to see trends in applicants as well, specifically what to look for to find a quality candidate.  

What are some of those trends that you look for?

Ideally, they’ve worked at the same place for the last 10 years and have nothing on their MVR or PSP. While this isn’t always realistic, we try to get as close to it as possible. It’s more important for us to bring in a driver whose work history shows they’re reliable and safe than bring in the first driver who checks all the minimum boxes.  

Also, asking questions related to how they’ve interacted with customers in the past, how they handle disputes and things like that is very important. Those questions are great at showing how the driver is on the customer service side of the job.  

Do you feel that being more involved in the recruiting process has improved American Bulk’s driver retention and safety scores?

We’ve definitely seen a decrease in terms of accidents and violations since I took over recruiting efforts. I can’t take all the credit though, as we’ve started to implement more safety features onto the vehicles as well. The biggest one being the Bendix Fusion system that helps collision and rollover mitigation.  

The system does a number of things, including braking automatically if there’s something in front of the truck that’s either not moving or moving much slower than the truck. I think the combination of the new safety features on our trucks and focusing on recruiting and retaining drivers with little to no accident history have been the main factors in improving our scores.  

R&J Trucking and Southern Haulers Partner with Drive My Way for Success

R&J Trucking and Southern Haulers are two of the nation’s leaders in the bulk commodities hauling industry. Find out how they found success by partnering with Drive My Way to hire CDL A Local Drivers.

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You’ve probably heard the phrase “driver-centric” a lot over the past few years. It’s become a popular term in the transportation industry, especially when carriers describe their culture to truck drivers. But what does it mean? Simply put, being driver-centric means putting your drivers at the heart of every decision your company makes. A lot of trucking companies may say they have this kind of culture, but what does it really take to be driver-centric?  

We talked to two Drive My Way clients, Kam-Way Transportation and Danieli Inc. about their driver-centric approach to company culture. They shared insight on how they’ve been able to achieve this culture and how other trucking companies can do the same.   

1. Implement Driver Programs

Driver programs like these have become the norm for a lot of carriers, and it’s easy to see why. These programs lead to healthy competition among drivers, increased happiness, and most importantly, higher retention rates. This last part is especially true in relation to referral programs, as drivers who come from referrals will on average, stay longer than drivers who come from other sources.  

Danieli“We’ve implemented many programs such as V.I.P. bonus programs, driver of the quarter awards, anniversary gifts, and a very generous referral program,” shared the Danieli Recruiting Team.

In addition to performance and recruitment programs, showing appreciation to all your drivers is a great way to show your driver-centric culture. Small gifts for holidays and work anniversaries, free lunches, and giveaways are just some of the ways you can communicate to drivers that your carrier puts them first. 

2. Communicate and Listen to Feedback

This tip may seem like common sense, but there are many carriers who struggle with it. The crux is not just making small talk with drivers and checking in with them once every six months or a year. It’s implementing a plan like Danieli has to constantly communicate and gather feedback from drivers. Keeping an ear to the ground of what’s going on with your drivers, what they’re enjoying, and what they’re not can help you adapt things accordingly and keep them happy.  

“We have a ‘Staying in Touch’ policy where we regularly call every driver on the phone, even just to say ‘Hey, how’s your week going?’ or ‘Any concerns we can address?’. Being personable with our drivers, or ‘business partners’ as we call them is our top priority. Also, hear your drivers out! Some of our best ideas come from drivers on the road. Whether it’s the way you conduct orientation, the bonuses you offer, or the way you approach issues, find out what your drivers are saying and use that to your company’s advantage,” shared the Danieli Recruiting Team. 

There are many ways to communicate with your drivers. You can frequently call like Danieli does, set up an anonymous suggestion box (online or on site), use employee engagement surveys, or just stay in touch via text.  

Also, while it’s never good to hear a driver is leaving, make sure you take that opportunity to perform an exit interview. It’s a great way to get candid insight on how your company is running and what you can do better in the future to avoid doing any more exit interviews.   

3. Show Drivers Respect

Respect goes a very long way in the trucking world. What are some of the ways a carrier can show respect to their drivers? The first is to be upfront and honest about everything relating to the job when talking to candidates. Don’t hide important details just because they’re not the most attractive aspects of it. This will just lead to unhappy drivers after they sign on and may lead to a bad reputation in the industry. Making sure it’s a good fit for both sides is more important for long-term retention than simply getting drivers in seats. It’s also another big part of cultivating a driver-centric company culture.  

“We really take pride in making sure that our drivers don’t feel like they’re just a number. We really focus on solving any issues that might arise quickly to build a fantastic working relationship alongside our driving team. We believe in treating our driving team with respect, which means offering great pay, generous home-time, a great bonus structure, and more,” shared the Kam-Way Recruiting Team.

In the current job marketplace, drivers have more leverage than ever, so lowballing them in terms of pay won’t do your company any favors in the long run. Drivers understand that every company may not be able to offer the absolute best pay package in the world, but your pay should be competitive with industry averages. The same goes for benefits, bonuses, and raises.  

4. Have a Knowledge and Passion for Trucking

When drivers talk to recruiters or other people inside an organization who have little knowledge of the day-to-day responsibilities and lifestyle of a trucker, it doesn’t do much to establish trust. This isn’t to say that everyone in your organization has to be an expert on trucking, just that there should be an enthusiasm and general knowledge about the work drivers do when talking to them.  

This is also why bringing in driver recruiters with CDL experience can be a huge boost for your company’s recruiting efforts. These recruiters have a knack for building relationships with drivers and turning candidates into hires, which is invaluable for any recruiting department.    

“It’s important for us to share our company culture either by conversation or through social media in order to allow potential drivers to see the value in our company. Transportation has a special place in many of our hearts, and our hope is that drivers seeking employment with us feel that fondness towards the industry. Many of our office team members have been in the transportation business for many years. Allowing that expertise to shine through is just one of the many ways our company culture can positively impact anyone looking to join our team,” shared the Kam-Way Recruiting Team. 

5. Broadcast Your Culture

Just like the population at large, most truck drivers, are active on at least one social media platform. These social channels like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok could very well be the first place where drivers learn about your company. This is why it’s important to broadcast your company culture on these platforms. Aside from having quality pay and benefits, drivers want to work somewhere where they know they’ll be valued and the right messaging can do just that.  

“We believe that sharing the industry with both non-driving individuals along with drivers is so valuable. It shines a light on the transportation industry and allows everyone to see how vital it is to our economy and more. Creating a sense of transparency builds trust, which in turn, provides a strong company culture. We also really love featuring our hard-working men and women on our social media platforms so that they can be recognized by everyone,” shared the Kam-Way Recruiting Team. 

But, as we know, drivers are understandably skeptical of what comes from a company’s recruiting or marketing team. Showcasing the drivers themselves in testimonials is the best way to build trust with potential candidates and show your driver-centric company culture through social media. 

A driver-centric company culture is much more than a popular buzz word. It’s truly putting the needs and priorities of truck drivers at the front of your business. It can seem like a big task, but making small changes and implementing the tips above will make your company a place where drivers will be happy to come aboard.    

Quick Guide to Truck Driver Appreciation

FREE RESOURCE

Quick Guide to Truck Driver Appreciation

Truck driver recognition is a great way to show your drivers they are appreciated. This quick guide helps employers learn about truck driver appreciation and how to make drivers feel valued.

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recruit gen z
Gen Z is described as the generation born between 1997 and 2012. This means that the oldest members of Gen Z are in their mid-twenties right now, the same age when most drivers start their career in trucking. While Gen Z is only 24% of the workforce right now, that number is only going to go up since Gen Z has eclipsed millennials as the largest generation globally. 

While it’s difficult to define a group of people this large, there are some common characteristics most share. These include being independent, communicative, and digital (specifically mobile) focused.  

So, what does this mean for driver recruiters who want to recruit these young Gen Z drivers? Here are five tips to help you when recruiting Gen Z drivers. 

1. Training Opportunities

While experience is one of the biggest things that recruiters look for, these younger drivers coming into trucking right now are the future of the industry. Carriers are seeing the benefits of offering training opportunities to their Gen Z drivers.  

It’s not just Gen Z drivers who are looking for training opportunities, it’s the workforce as a whole. A LinkedIn study found that 94% of employees said they would stay at a company that invested in their career development. 

If your company isn’t already, consider offering and advertising CDL training. Many young people may want to get their CDL but are put off by the high prices of driving schools. Carriers offering a way to do that affordably while guaranteeing them a job once they graduate is one of the biggest ways to recruit Gen Z drivers to your organization.  

2. Set Up Career Paths

Gen Z drivers will no doubt be looking to work somewhere they can advance themselves rather than staying in the same position for years. This could mean anything from going from local driving to regional or OTR work, or it could even mean moving to a different position throughout your company. The important thing is that you have career path options set up for these young drivers. 

Make sure that it’s communicated to them early on in the recruiting process that your company offers these career paths and advancement opportunities. This shows that you have a commitment to not only help the company grow, but help your drivers grow as well.  

3. Use Texting to Communicate

If your recruiting team has only contacted candidates via phone and email, you may be missing out on a number of qualified young drivers. A study done by Yello Recruiting found that “86% of Gen Z and Millennials like SMS text as part of the interview process”. A separate study by LinkedIn found that, “67% of potential candidates respond within minutes to SMS text messages”. 

If you aren’t doing this already, start making mobile communication a priority in your recruitment process. Just make sure that you have their consent to reach out to them via text before you do, as not overstepping boundaries and safeguarding personal information is very important to them.   

4. Mobile-First Presentation

Have you ever gone to a company’s website where you had to pinch and zoom over and over again to find what you needed? That’s because it wasn’t optimized for mobile devices. Odds are, you probably didn’t have a great experience and didn’t go back to that site. The bad news is, if your company site’s not mobile optimized, young candidates could be deciding the same thing about it. 

This is especially when you consider that more people globally use their smartphones to access the internet than computers, laptops, or tablets. While your job postings may be through Indeed and other job sites that are already optimized for mobile, if a candidate needs to return to your company’s site for any reason, including to just do some research on your company, you’ll want to make sure they have a quick and seamless experience. For more information on how your company can make their site mobile-first, check out this blog.

5. Quality Company Culture

Having a quality company culture can’t be overstated when recruiting any drivers into your organization, but especially Gen Z drivers. But, to have a culture that appeals to them, you need to know what they value. 

As a generation, Gen Z is known for questioning everything, especially in the workplace. They don’t take much at face value, and will be quick to let people know (think about online reviews) if they feel a company is doing something wrong.  

Having an internal system for gathering and answering driver comments and complaints will go a long way. This system could be anything from having an anonymous suggestion or comment box (digital may be the better option than on-site) to texting or calling drivers once every week or few weeks to check in on how they’re doing and if they have any concerns. It’s a small thing to do, but can make a big difference in recruiting and supporting Gen Z drivers. 

 

While there are some differences when recruiting Gen Z drivers as opposed to Millennials or Gen X’ers, the core principles remain the same. Have a strong and communicative company culture, make driver training and advancement a priority, and you’ll have no problem recruiting Gen Z driver into your organization. 

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

FoodlinerTrust is one of the most important parts of being a successful driver recruiter. Drivers want to know that the person they’re working with is looking out for their interests as well as those of the company they work for. But, for many recruiters, building that kind of trust is easier said than done.  

Driver My Way’s President and CEO, Beth Potratz, spoke with Tim Yochum, Director of Recruiting with the McCoy Group, parent company of Drive My Way’s client, Foodliner. Tim has close to 40 years of experience in the trucking industry and now uses that to bring qualified drivers into his company. He spoke about how he’s able to build trust with candidates by sharing his work experience with them, how he trains and motivates recruiters, and the KPIs that Foodliner uses to measure recruiting success. 

What led you to working with Foodliner?

Tim Yochum

Tim Yochum, Director of Recruiting, McCoy Group

I grew up on a farm in southern Iowa. I had to leave college my junior year to help my dad on the farm, who was having some health issues. I didn’t end up going back to school, but got a call from a friend who asked me if I’d like to work the Christmas season with UPS. I didn’t know anything about UPS but could use the extra money, so I said yes. I worked that whole Christmas season, which turned into a driving job. A few years later, I got into a management position and finished my career with UPS as an Operations Manager in Denver, Colorado.  

In 2007, I left UPS and came to the McCoy Group to be the General Manager of our Hazmat Tanker Division. I ran that for a few years, and that turned into my current role with recruiting.  

How has your background in transportation helped you recruit drivers?

I’ve had a lot of different jobs over my 38+ years in transportation, whether that be driving, doing sales and marketing, or managing special projects. I think having that knowledge on different aspects of the industry has helped me connect with drivers.  

I talk to a lot of drivers throughout the week. Every now and then, I’ll get one who says, “Oh, you’re just a recruiter.” And I say, “I am, but let me give you a little background on what I’ve done.” Once I give them some quick bullets on my experience, that attitude softens up a little bit. They feel comfortable that I’m going to be honest with them 

To that point, you have to be 100% up front and honest with drivers about every aspect of the job, even the unattractive parts. Discussing things like difficult schedules or challenging customers is important because you need to make sure it’s a good fit. We can’t keep our turnover at 40% or below by choosing a poor fit. 

I was talking with an applicant the other night who was asking questions about what the job is like day-to-day. I told him if he really wanted to know, I could get him in contact with one of our current drivers. I connected the two, and they had a long conversation about the position. It turned out that it wasn’t the right fit for the applicant, but that’s why I’m glad we did it. It’s all about getting the perfect fit on both sides. 

How do you prepare your driver recruiters who don’t have experience in the transportation industry?

Just being in the same area as my recruiters and taking calls from drivers in front of them really helps. Letting them hear the way I answer the phone, respond, and talk to drivers sets an example for them that they can follow.  

Another thing we’ve done is create spreadsheets that list almost every detail of all our terminals. This includes who’s the terminal manager, where it’s located, who are the key customers, average length of haul, any weekend work, and a lot more. New recruiters can pull that up and have about 80% of what they need to talk about. The other 20% comes in time from experience. 

What are some of the things you do to incentivize and motivate your recruiting team?

We don’t have an incentive such as “if we get x hires you get x dollars or if the driver shows up to orientation, you get a $50 bonus”. What keeps the Foodliner team motivated more than anything is that we pay them very fairly and our benefits are great as well.  

Another thing we do is let our recruiters know what the score is. For example, “This is how many applications we have in the process, this is how many are pre-qualified, or we’re over our target numbers by X drivers so far.” Just keeping these metrics communicated says to the recruiters that we’re part of a team working towards a common goal. 

What are some of the KPIs and metrics that you use to measure your team’s productivity?

A critical piece is the amount of days a driver’s application is in process. Ten years ago, you didn’t have the PSP or Clearinghouse report to worry about. Those and other items make applications much longer to process now.  

Also, it used to be normal for applicants to only have two prior employers in the past ten years. Current driver candidates have around eight jobs in the last ten years. That’s eight former employers we need to reach out to instead of two. That takes a lot of time, especially since these prior employers aren’t that quick at returning reference checks. Legally, they have 30 days to respond, but if you wait that long to pre-qualify a candidate, they’ve already got a job in another carrier’s truck.  

This is why we’ve loosened up a little bit here at Foodliner to where we’ll pre-qualify a candidate before we get all those boxes checked, just so we can give them a conditional offer. This gives them the peace of mind that they have a job with us, while we continue to cross our t’s and dot our i’s so that we’re staying legal. 

We’ve also become a little more aggressive when helping drivers get through their portion of the process. We’ll send them emails or text them about clearinghouse if we don’t see that back in a few days just to make sure the process is moving along. If need be, we have a couple people on staff who will call the driver and walk them through the Clearinghouse process just so we can get it done quicker. This is very helpful for drivers who aren’t very computer savvy and have never done that before. 

What’s one program or initiative that’s really helped Foodliner’s recruiting efforts?

Foodliner’s driver referral program has been very successful. If an employee refers a driver to us, we’ll pay that employee $8,000 if the driver stays with us for one year. We even have some drivers with multiple referrals in the system right now. These referrals make it through the application process at a higher rate than applicants from other sources and tend to stay with us longer.  

We’ve also expanded the program over the years so that anyone at Foodliner who isn’t salaried and doesn’t work in recruiting or HR can qualify for the referral bonus. Administrative assistants, technicians, and mechanics are all eligible. We just had a diesel technician refer a driver to us. We hired the driver, and the technician is now entitled to that $8,000. 

FoodlinerFoodliner Partners with Drive My Way for Success

Foodliner is the largest Bulk Food Grade carrier in the country and a Transport Topic Top 100 carrier. Find out how they partnered with Drive My Way to hire CDL A Regional and Local Liquid and Dry Bulk Drivers.

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exit interviewAt this point, the trucking shortage has become the normal state of things. It’s widely understood that the demand for truck drivers is much higher than the supply of drivers looking for jobs. Because of this, trucking companies are doing whatever they can to keep current drivers happy and bring new ones onboard. This includes pay increases, newer trucks and equipment, increased home time, and more. 

As great as these advances have been, drivers are still leaving jobs at a high rate. This can be frustrating for carriers, especially when they don’t know why drivers are leaving their company. It’s also why exit interviews can be a very useful tool when recruiting and retaining drivers.  

What is an Exit Interview?

An exit interview is an interview with an employee who is planning on leaving your company. The exit interview is usually done on the employee’s last day or last week but can also happen shortly after the driver leaves the company. 

Why Exit Interviews are Important

Exit interviews are used to understand the reasons that drivers are leaving your company. These reasons may be related to compensation, benefits, home time, schedule, equipment, route, type of haul, company culture, or leadership.  

Exit interviews are also one of the best ways to uncover problems that are going unnoticed in your company. While many times, a driver is simply leaving for better pay, it could be for reasons related to how your company runs or even a problem with a specific co-worker.  

For instance, your drivers could be having issues with a certain dispatcher or supervisor that management or HR isn’t aware of. It’s possible for things to get so bad that drivers start looking for other opportunities because of it. For a company that conducts exit interviews, this problem could be solved after an exit interview with the first driver who left. For a company who doesn’t, they may lose 4 or 5 drivers before they get wind of the real reason they’re leaving.  

How to Conduct an Exit Interview

There are a few different ways companies can conduct exit interviews, some do it on site while the driver is still with their company. Others can be done at a public place shortly after they’ve left, but this is less common.  

As for who should conduct an exit interview, it’s a good idea for it to be someone in HR or another neutral party. Drivers may be more honest with them as opposed to interviewing with someone they directly reported to or higher management. 

Be sure to affirm with the driver that anything they say will remain anonymous. While some drivers may not care whether it is or not, some might, so it’s a good practice to let them know that before the interview starts.  

Also, make sure to keep track of what drivers say in exit interviews. This way, you can start to look for trends across departments and your company as a whole.  

It’s also possible for a driver to say no to doing an exit interview in the first place. But, unless they’re leaving on very bad terms, most times they’ll agree.  

What Next?

After the exit interview is arguably the most important part of the process. Now, you must act on what you’ve learned. Look through your findings to pin down possible trends in why drivers are leaving, especially if you’ve recently had a mass exodus. 

While it’s not always possible to immediately fix every issue mentioned in these interviews, it’s important to do what you can quickly to avoid losing any other drivers. Plan to meet with key decision makers in your company to present what you’ve learned and plan from there. 

While it’s never good news to hear that you’ve has lost a driver, conducting exit interviews is a vital part of the process. It gives your company the valuable information you need so that you won’t have to do as many in the future.  

10 Questions to Ask Drivers During an Exit Interview

Exit interviews can be a very useful tool when recruiting and retaining drivers. Download this free template to learn what questions you should be asking during your next one.

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cdl age requirementFrom shipping delays to empty shelves and rising prices in supermarkets, the effects of the truck driver shortage can be felt all across the country. Carriers and advocates have tried a number of ways to get more drivers into the industry. From raising pay to letting pets ride in the cab, a lot of different perks have been offered to get people interested in a career in trucking. 

Probably the most controversial response to the driver shortage has been to lower the age requirement to cross state lines in a CMV to 18. As of right now, drivers can get their CDL at 18, but can’t go interstate until they turn 21. This leaves most CDL trucking driving jobs to drivers 21 or older. 

Advocates say opening up this new age demographic to trucking will help alleviate effects of the driver shortage and get the industry moving in the right direction again. Opponents say that the safety risks associated with lowering the interstate CDL age requirement aren’t worth the potential benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about the age requirement debate for interstate truckers. 

What’s the Latest News?

Back in September of 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a program that would allow 18–20-year old’s to operate a CMV across state lines. Nothing happened at the time, but the program was eventually picked up as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that was passed in November of 2021.  

This program is officially called the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program (SDAP). The program will be in place for 3 years, almost as a test run. After that, the FMCSA will publish their findings and let congress know whether they endorse it becoming law. As of right now, there’s no information on when carriers can start applying to be a part of the SDAP, but the FMCSA said they’ll post an announcement on their website when that happens. 

Cons to Lowering the Interstate CDL Age

The biggest and most obvious criticism of lowering the CDL age are the safety concerns associated with letting teenagers get behind the wheel of a 15-ton semi-truck. Teenagers are 3 times more likely to get into a crash than drivers over the age of 20. When you combine that statistic with the increased difficulty of driving a CMV, it’s easy to see why some are skeptical of lowering the CDL age. Also, some feel that lowering the CDL age requirement is just a way to avoid the bigger problems facing the trucking industry right now, such as low driver pay. 

Another issue that’s not considered a lot of the time with lowering the interstate CDL age is insurance. We spoke with Jeff Ice, Retired Managing Director with Risk Strategies Transportation about what this change will mean for the insurance industry and carrier’s policies.

“I don’t see the insurance industry modifying the underwriting requirement of a 21 year old minimum age for CDL or even non-CDL drivers. Actually, most insurance carriers have a 23-25 year old requirement and I don’t see them backing off that. So yes it’s a conundrum. Driver shortage vs. insurance experience/requirements. With the expanding use of real time fleet telematics, maybe this change will make a positive impact on the industry years down the road, but in the near term, I just don’t see the insurance industry backing down,” shared Jeff. 

Also, some drivers fear that if the CDL age gets lowered, so will their wages. 18–20-year-old drivers earn much less on average than older workers and are more likely to take lower offers from trucking companies. This will put older drivers who have made considerable gains in pay over the last few years in a tough spot. 

Pros to Lowering the Interstate CDL Age?

When we think of lowering the CDL age, we might think of freshly 18 year old drivers who have never been in a truck before, hopping on the highway. In the majority of instances, this won’t be the case. To address safety concerns, the pilot program institutes a mandatory 400 probationary period where any driver 18-20 must have an experienced driver in the passenger seat at all times. An experienced driver is defined as any driver who is 26 or over, has at least 5 years of CMV driving experience, been driving for the last two years, and has had no preventable accidents or pointed moving violations. 

Lindsey Trent, President and Co-Founder of the Next Generation in Trucking Association had this to say on the topic of training young drivers and the associated insurance issues.

“It’s going to be a process. There are companies that will allow a carrier to insure an 18-20 year old driver, but they’ll obviously have to pay more for that policy. If we can train a young person to be an exceptional driver and put them through a longer training process, we’ll eventually get those statistics in with the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program. We’ll get answers to questions like, “Are these 18-20 year old drivers just as safe as a 26 year old who has their CDL,” shared Lindsey. 

Also, there’s already a number of young drivers out there who are already driving CMVs. In all 50 states, any person 18 or over can get their CDL A or B; they just can’t travel across state lines. Couple that with the SDAP only allowing 3,000 apprentices in the program at one time and you can see that many of the safety concerns have been addressed. 

18-20 is a very important age range, when many people choose the careers that they’ll be in for the rest of their lives. This is one benefit to lowering the interstate CDL age. The industry will be reaching young people at that critical time in their lives. For an industry that needs to get younger, lowering the CDL age seems like a no brainer. 

Whether you’re for or against lowering the CDL age requirement, as of right now, it’s happening. Even if it’s just on a small-scale test basis, we’ll soon see 18-year old’s out on the highway delivering freight. Only time will tell whether or not the concerns will outweigh the positive effect this change may have on the industry. 

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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driver recruiter
When building a driver recruiter team, experience can’t be overstated. But this doesn’t just mean experience in the recruiting world. Some carriers are finding value in bringing recruiters who have CDL experience into their organization. These recruiters have a knack for building relationships with drivers and turning candidates into hires, which is invaluable for any recruiting department.  

driver recruiter

Connie Garner, PWD Transportation Recruiter

We spoke with Connie Garner, Recruiter for Drive My Way client, PWD Transportation Inc. and CDL A holder. Connie shared with us how her experience as a CDL driver helps her to be a better driver recruiter. 

“I believe the fact that I have my CDL A and was a truck driver is how I’ve been able to recruit and retain a number of drivers. I know the life they live and the struggles they go through on a daily basis,” shared Connie.

Here’s why bringing on recruiters with CDL experience may take your recruiting and retention efforts to the next level. 

1. Drivers Trust Recruiters with CDL Experience

This isn’t to say that drivers don’t like or don’t trust recruiters who don’t have CDL experience. Drivers can have great relationships with recruiters of any background. It’s just that drivers will naturally gravitate towards recruiters who have experience as a CDL driver. Trucking is a close-knit community, where you’re more likely to trust people who are in that community than those who aren’t.  

Drive My Way’s President and CEO, Beth Potratz, shared her perspective on the value of recruiters who have CDL experience. 

Beth Potratz

Beth Potratz, CEO of Drive My Way

“At the end of the day, drivers have had so many bad experiences and broken promises that they’re almost at a point where they don’t trust. This leads to them to start looking for actual testimonials from other drivers who have actually lives it, to confirm whether or not this is something they want to move forward with,” shared Beth.

2. Trucking Industry Knowledge Goes a Long Way

There’s a common misconception among drivers that recruiters lie on purpose just to get drivers in seats. While it’s true that sometimes drivers aren’t given the correct information, it’s most likely because the recruiter doesn’t have the right information themselves, not because they’re trying to intentionally mislead drivers.  

The issue is that there’s a lot of vernacular, slang, and just general knowledge in the trucking industry that isn’t easy to learn right off the bat. This can lead to communication issues when a recruiter is trying to talk to drivers about a job opportunity that ultimately results in unhappy drivers and frustrated recruiters.  

For recruiters who have CDL experience, all that industry talk and specific information relating to runs, equipment, and hauls is already second nature to them. Drivers will appreciate speaking with someone knowledgeable of the industry and likely be more comfortable moving forward in the hiring process with your carrier.  

3. Building Long-Term Relationships

As any good recruiter knows, relationship building is key. Aside from just being in contact with a driver during the hiring process and then handing them off, CDL recruiters have that unique sense of camaraderie with hired drivers. These relationships can last well after the initial hire and could even be a factor in retaining talented drivers. 

“I don’t promise them anything I can’t give them. In the beginning, I didn’t want to be a recruiter, because I had only bad experiences with the ones I worked with. But as a driver turned recruiter, you really have a leg up. Drivers will come into conversations with you much more comfortable and open since they’re with ‘one of their own'”, shared Connie. 

Aside from that, recruiters who have CDL experience, will tend to know more people in the industry overall. This can lead to introductions with many great drivers your company wouldn’t have been able to get in front of otherwise. 

Having great recruiters in your organization is step one. Step two is finding the solutions that help your recruiters make the right hires. Drive My Way’s patented matching technology will identify top candidates based on your specific job requirements and match them with you.  

PWD Partners with Drive My Way for Success

PWD is a third–generation trucking company, delivering the best quality working environment to employees and first–class service to customers.

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