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What's the True Cost of Hiring a Truck Driver?

There are many metrics that a carrier can use to measure its hiring success. Some metrics are more well defined and simple like time to hire, while others are more subjective and harder to wrangle, like driver happiness.  

But no matter what metrics you look at, the dollars spent to hire a candidate is traditionally thought of as the most important. That’s why carriers need to know what these costs are and how to measure them effectively. Let’s take a look at the true cost of hiring a truck driver. 

How to Calculate Your Cost Per Hire

Before you can reduce your CPH, you need to know how to calculate it. Luckily, calculating CPH is pretty simple math.   

You add up your total costs for recruiting new drivers, and then divide that by the number of drivers ultimately hired. This gives you the cost per hire for all your recruiting efforts. (Note that this factors in actual hires, not just leads.) You can use this formula to measure CPH over any time period you’d like, including month, quarter, or year. 

So, What’s the Real Cost of Hiring a Truck Driver?

When nailing down the cost of hiring a driver, the actual math is not the tough part. It’s finding all the factors that go into the cost of hiring. This means all the costs, not just the ones associated with finding driver candidates, like job advertising and using recruiting services.  

Your company’s cost per hire will be unique to the way you recruit and hire drivers. And it might take some time and refinement to ensure you’re calculating it correctly. Here’s a list of the most common costs associated with hiring a truck driver. 

Turnover Is Your Enemy

Now that you understand the calculation for cost per hire, there’s another piece of the hiring puzzle that needs to be factored in as well; your turnover rate. 

It’s widely known that the trucking industry faces very high turnover rates. According to some surveys, over 50% of newly hired drivers will leave their carriers within the first six months. In some cases, turnover can be closer to 90-100% over a year. 

Looking at those stats, it’s easy to see that turnover is a huge problem for many carriers. To avoid high turnover, don’t fall into the trap of hiring drivers to fill an empty rig as quickly as possible.  

If you’re hiring quickly and not taking the time to ensure you’re a good match for each other, it’s not likely it’s going to be a relationship that will last and will raise that hiring cost. If you keep repeating that cycle, it’s going to cost your company exponentially more and you’re still going to have empty seats to fill.  

Every time you hire a new trucker, do it with the intention to retain that driver for a long time. The best way to do this is by really taking the time to get to know your candidates during the interview process so you can see if them coming onboard with your carrier is truly a fit for both sides. Doing this is the number one way to lower driver turnover, and in turn, lower the cost of hiring. 

Measure Consistently for Best Results

Once you’ve found all your costs, the most important thing to do is to measure consistently. This is the only way that you’re going to be able to compare things year-over-year or month-over-month to see if the changes you’re making are truly helping to reduce your true cost of hiring a truck driver.  

Don’t add in costs for one timeframe, then remove those costs the next time you calculate. If you do this, then you’re comparing apples and oranges and won’t have an accurate picture of your recruiting process.  

Once you are tracking consistently, you should see some trends that help inform changes to your overall hiring strategies. Overall, you want this number to be as low as possible to deliver you a quality driver who wants to stay with your company. 

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

cost per hire

For driver recruiters, there are few metrics more important than cost per hire (CPH). For many recruiting and HR departments, it’s what defines their success to decision makers in the organization. Because of this, driver recruiters are always looking for ways to lower their CPH without having the candidate experience suffer. Here are 3 ways that recruiters can lower their cost per hire. 

What is Cost Per Hire?

Before you can reduce your CPH, you need to know how to calculate it. Luckily, calculating CPH is pretty simple math.  

cost per hire

You add up your total costs for recruiting new drivers, and then divide that by the number of drivers ultimately hired. This gives you the cost per hire for all your recruiting efforts. (Note that this factors in actual hires, not just leads.) You can use this formula to measure CPH over any time period you’d like, including month, quarter, or year.  

You should keep this number handy and have yearly goals set to manage it as needed or as budgets change. Once you have determined your cost per hire, you can then make more informed decisions on where to spend your recruiting dollars.  

What Costs are Part of Cost Per Hire?

While the formula for calculating cost per hire is pretty simple, knowing what goes into that top “cost section” isn’t as easy.  

The first thing to know is that there are both internal and external recruiting costs which need to be factored in. Here are some common costs that should be included in your CPH.  

Internal Costs 

  • Salaries for HR and Recruiters – Includes managers and freelance recruiters (if applicable) 
  • Referral or Sign on Bonuses for Drivers – Do you give drivers bonuses when they get hired on? Do you give current drivers a bonus when they refer someone who eventually gets hired? 
  • Interview costs – How many hours are recruiters/HR spending interviewing driver candidates? 

External Costs 

  • Recruiting Software – Do you utilize recruiting software or a service to help you find drivers? 
  • Job Fair/Events – Does your carrier participate in any trucking job fairs or career day events? 
  • Advertising – What are your advertising costs? This includes both digital and print. It could also include costs associated with an advertising agency, if you work with one.  

These are just some examples of possible recruiting costs your carrier could be incurring. Every carrier will have different costs that go into their CPH, so take some time to find what yours are.  

3 Ways to Lower Your Cost Per Hire

1. Leverage Past Leads

Every time you need to hire for a new opening, you don’t need a fresh list of candidates to contact. Check in on your existing pool of names and filter or scan for matches to your current job openings.  

Reaching out to these passive candidates, who may not have been a good fit in the past, is often a better bet than reaching out to candidates who you’ve never had an interaction with before.  

The dollars spent to generate and capture these leads are already spent, and no additional budget is needed to go back to those lists. 

You know that they’ve already been partially vetted if they matched up with prior openings, they might just need to be checked-in for these new opportunities. If you put a little bit of effort into keeping these older leads engaged between new job postings, you might have the perfect person sitting in your database already.

2. Reallocate Ineffective Spending

One of the best things about CPH is that once you have it, you can use it to dig deeper into the different costs you’re using to hire. You can find the CPH for specific costs like recruiting software, sign on/referral bonuses, interview costs, or any other cost you may have.  

Use the same formula above, just replace the total recruiting cost with the amount for that specific cost. Drilling down further like this helps you find extremely useful information about whether your recruiting dollars are being spent as efficiently as possible.  

For example, you could find that 25% of your carrier’s recruiting costs go towards job fairs and events, but you’ve only hired two drivers from them. 

With this information, you can start to make decisions to reallocate funds from higher CPH channels to lower CPH channels to increase efficiency. This should result in faster hires, at a lower cost.

3. Try Something New

If you’re struggling to attract and retain the best drivers, that’s probably a good indication to switch things up. Keep your eyes and ears open for new recruiting ideas, and as your budget allows, give something new a try. You might find something that brings in new drivers faster and saves on your CPH over time. 

Knowing you’ve got a finite budget for recruiting new drivers to your open jobs, it’s important that you have a handle on what you’re spending to hire each new driver. And of that spend, what tactic(s) are producing actual hires most efficiently. Effectively managing cost per hire, and other key recruitment metrics, will lead to the ultimate success of your hiring process. 

These tactics can certainly help decrease your cost per hire and improve your bottom line. However, working to reduce your overall driver retention rate is a huge time and money saver over the long run. If you’re ready to start recruiting and hiring for retention, schedule a demo of our platform today. 

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.

Request a Demo

For the better part of ten years, the trucking industry has been faced with what’s commonly been called a “truck driver shortage”. The thought is that there’s simply not enough drivers to fill the open positions that trucking companies have.  

Only recently have people started to challenge that narrative and ask themselves, “Is the issue a true shortage of truck drivers, or is it an issue of retaining truck drivers?” 

How did the “truck driver shortage” start?

There are differing accounts of when this issue started, but most agree that the deregulation of the trucking industry in the 1980’s kickstarted what we know as the “truck driver shortage”. Among many other things, less government involvement in the industry meant that carriers could pay drivers less and afford them less benefits.  

This helped to create the conditions that the industry finds itself in today. Fast forward to today, and due to a variety of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a huge demand for moving freight and subsequently a huge demand for truck drivers.  

Couple that with fewer drivers on the road due to tight insurance requirements and suspensions from the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, and the drivers who are left have the upper hand in which company they’ll drive for. Many carriers have already found out that truck drivers aren’t in a position where they have to accept poor working conditions, low pay, and subpar benefits anymore.  

This tight labor market isn’t just an issue known by people in the transportation industry anymore. It’s been making headlines for the better part of two years. Time Magazine, CBS News, the NY Times and more have covered the issue. Late night host, John Oliver even did a 24-minute segment on the “truck driver shortage” in early 2022.


Do truck drivers not want to work anymore?

A common misconception is that truck drivers, like a lot of other workers in our country, don’t want to work anymore and are exiting the industry. The fact is that there are many drivers who do want to work. They just have more options for where they can work and won’t hesitate to make a move if they find a carrier that’s offering better pay, a better work environment, and better home time

This leads to the metric we hear about all the time; driver turnover. Many people talk about it, but there’s a common misconception as to what it actually measures. The American Trucking Association, (ATA) who calculates the metric, clarified the issue in a recent blog post. 

“Turnover is not an indicator of people exiting the industry (we know, because ATA created and tabulated the metric). Rather, it more accurately measures drivers moving between carriers. It captures churn within the industry—not attrition from the industry. While retirements and exits account for a small percentage of turnover, by-in-large that is not what this figure is counting.”

In the trucking industry, turnover (as calculated by the ATA) measures drivers leaving one carrier for another, not drivers leaving the industry all together. 

This means that while there are drivers exiting the industry, it’s not happening at the rate that we’re led to believe. Instead, drivers are switching from one carrier to another for better pay, benefits, and routes. It’s not that there’s a shortage of truck drivers, it’s that drivers are in control of where they can sell their labor to.  

How will the “truck driver shortage” be resolved?

Since the problem isn’t a shortage of drivers, but a problem of retaining drivers, the solution is simple; make working conditions better for truck drivers. If you look at any data around truck driver happiness, you’ll see that there’s a laundry list of issues that frustrate drivers.  

Long wait times at shippers/receivers, lack of parking, little home time, and no input on company/driver policies are just a few of the issues that are causing drivers to look elsewhere for employment opportunities. 

It’s not surprising that the carriers that have an answer to these problems are also the ones with the highest driver retention rates.  

What can recruiters do?

Recruiters should focus on what they can control. This includes knowing your positions inside and out, making sure the driver’s first impression of your carrier is a positive one, and being communicative with candidates from start to finish. 

Another great practice for recruiters and HR professionals is to conduct exit or stay interviews with your drivers. This will give you extremely useful information as to why drivers are leaving your carrier, or why they’re choosing to stay.

While recruiters and HR professionals aren’t usually the ultimate decision-makers for things like pay, benefits, and work perks, that doesn’t mean they can’t influence those decision-makers.  

Do some research on what competitors in the area offer drivers in terms of pay, benefits, and home time. If your carrier doesn’t match up to them, make it a point to try and talk to management about making some changes.

The Bottom Line

Referring to the problem that the trucking industry is facing as a shortage of truck drivers shifts the blame off of carriers and onto truck drivers. Instead of focusing on improving the conditions that drivers are faced with, (low pay, sparse home time, demanding deadlines) calling it a shortage simply writes off the issue as “truck drivers are too picky and don’t want to work.” 

As more and more carriers begin to see that investing in their drivers’ happiness is the way to increase retention, the industry should begin to see those turnover numbers drop.  

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.

Request a Demo

3 Tips for Hiring a Local Truck Driver

As a truck driver recruiter, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that all driver candidates have the same needs and wants. But, just like candidates in any industry, truck drivers are individually unique in what they want out of a job, what motivates them, and how they like to be communicated with.  

While it’s impossible to have a truly unique approach for every driver candidate you’ll encounter, you should be tailoring your recruitment experience based on whether the driver is looking for local work or OTR/Regional work.  

If you’re hiring for local positions, here are three tips to help you fill your fleet with quality drivers.

1. Talk About What Local Drivers Care About

local truck driver

Home Time

While many OTR drivers are drawn to the call of the open road, local truck drivers highly value home time. In fact, it’s one of, if not the biggest reason these drivers prefer to drive local.  

When hiring local drivers, clearly state up front and early in the job description the amount of home time that this position will afford. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing quality drivers, just because it wasn’t obvious enough that your job is for local drivers.  

Pay

Every driver wants to know about pay, local truck drivers included. As a baseline, your carrier should be offering compensation near or above the average for your area. If you’re not sure what that average is, look at some of your competitor’s job postings and go from there.  

Just like home time, share pay information clearly in your job description and in early conversations with prospective drivers. If your company pays hourly, include the average hours that drivers typically work weekly. If they receive overtime pay after 40 hours, share the rate.  

Similarly, if your company pays CPM, share the average miles drivers work per week. Then, drivers can decide whether the job is a good mutual fit before either side invests any more time.

CDL drivers are aware that driving local routes generally means less pay than driving OTR, but they still want to know what they can expect.  

2. Don’t Leave Out the Details

Schedule

Local truck drivers expect to be home every day. That’s the bare minimum. But it’s a good idea to include additional information about their schedule in the job description as well. 

Will they have weekends off? What time does the shift start? How long is the typical workday? Will the days off be consecutive? All these questions should be answered by your job description or during the first point of contact with the driver.  

Route

There can be a lot of variation in job type and responsibilities for a local truck driver. As a result, including more specific information can be a helpful recruiting tool. Will drivers be primarily on highways or surface roads? Will there be frequent stops on a typical route? Is there one dedicated customer or is it always changing? 

Customer Service

Another important thing to discuss with local drivers is the level of customer service. If there is a customer service component to the job, don’t just assume that the driver will be ok with that. While a lot of drivers may be, some chose this profession to avoid customer service, so it could be a deal breaker. 

Have a conversation about it early on in the recruitment process and consider offering specific customer service training to your drivers if you feel it’s necessary.  

Level of Touch

Regardless of the level of touch required for your local truck driver position, include details about it in your job description. Loading and unloading isn’t usually a dealbreaker for local drivers, but be upfront about it just in case it is.

3. Articulate Your Value

Employee Value Proposition

Your value proposition is what sets you apart from other similar companies. In short, why should drivers choose to work for your company over competitors? It is critical that you are able to identify and stick to this value.  

It’s what will help you attract new drivers and prevent losing current ones to competitors. Your value proposition can be anything from an above average pay rate, to weekends off, or a great company culture. It’s whatever makes your carrier different from carrier B, C and D.  

Health Benefits

Many local drivers are very family-oriented, so offering immediate medical insurance might be particularly valuable. Having a full benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and prescription is a huge incentive in getting these drivers to come onboard.  

Company Culture

Since local truck drivers see their supervisors and colleagues more regularly, a good work environment and company culture can be particularly strong assets. 

Comprehensive CDL Recruitment Solutions

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

slip seating

The philosophy in the trucking industry for regional and OTR was always “one driver, one truck.” As with many things in the industry, recent regulatory and economic changes have made that norm less practical for many companies.  

Equipment efficiencies and financial incentives are pushing some companies to implement slip seating. There is, understandably, some driver resistance to this new way of doing things. This is why it’s important to understand the pros and cons so you can evaluate whether it’s right for your company.  

What Is Slip Seating?

Slip seating is when multiple drivers share a truck. Drivers don’t have a single cab that they are solely responsible for or that is reserved for their use. 

In the trucking industry, slip seating has not historically been the norm, especially for regional and OTR drivers. While there are good financial reasons for employers to use it, slip seating often comes at the expense of employee satisfaction.  

Pros

Better Equipment Utilization 

As a recruiter or fleet manager, you have a responsibility for the overall financial health of your company. From that perspective, slip seating often makes good economic sense.  

First and foremost, it allows for greater equipment utilization because you can drastically reduce the amount of time that a truck will sit empty in the yard while its designated driver is not on shift. Slip seating allows a company to make more runs in the same amount of time without buying more equipment.  

Tax Incentives 

In addition to time efficiencies, there are tax incentives to using slip seating as well. You can take advantage of these incentives if you account for the depreciation of trucks as an asset. According to Duff Swain, president of the consulting firm Trincon Group LLC in a FleetOwner article, trucks can be depreciated over a 3 year period.

The best way to maximize profits while minimizing expenses and taxes is to drive at least 700,000 miles per truck in three years. Realistically, 700,000 miles over three years is not feasible for a single driver. So, to reach optimal mileage, slip seating is a must. 

Cons

Driver Dissatisfaction 

Perhaps the biggest downside is that many drivers don’t like it. It might be easy to dismiss driver concerns under the pretense that they will soon adapt to new policies. However, think twice before making your decision. 

Driver complaints are legitimate and could affect not only company morale and reputation, but also, the company’s bottom line. Driver happiness is a huge driver of retention. 

Why are drivers so against it? Drivers who are a part of a company that utilizes slip seating cite messy cabs, the inefficient use of time required to move belongings to and from different cabs, and less well-maintained equipment as their top concerns. In these cases, since no driver views the truck as their own, they may be less likely to treat it with the care and cleanliness they would if a truck was their own.

Maintenance & Health 

In addition to driver concerns, employers should consider that slip seating increases the number of miles driven on each truck. As a result, routine maintenance or repairs may come up more frequently.  

Health concerns should also be a top consideration, especially in light of Covid-19. Multiple drivers using the same enclosed space in rapid succession means that disinfecting and other health safety protocols should be a high priority before each driver change.  

The Bottom Line

There are clear benefits and drawbacks to implementing slip seating in your fleet. Ultimately, it’s a company decision. Also keep in mind that this decision doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Some companies may find it advantageous to use slip seating for some trucks, but not for their entire fleet.  

Just keep in mind that it’s very likely that if you implement slip seating, any increased financial gains will be offset by increased driver dissatisfaction. If you still find it viable to go with slip seating, the next question you should ask is “Where can I make that satisfaction up?” 

Providing monetary bonuses, implementing recognition/incentive programs, and providing career-building opportunities are just a few ways that companies who use slip seating are still able to have high driver satisfaction. Ultimately, most people are willing to put up with working arrangements that aren’t ideal if they like their job and the people they work for. 

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.

Request a Demo

Lansing building productsApril Smith is the Recruiting Manager with Drive My Way client, Lansing Building Products. During her 7 plus years with Lansing, April and her team have helped the company grow their fleet while increasing retention rates. We were able to speak with April and fellow Lansing recruiter, Kelsie Rudd about the biggest changes they’ve seen during their time recruiting, how Lansing uses driver feedback to inform their decisions, and how they’re able to screen for drivers who will be a cultural fit for Lansing.

How are you able to properly screen candidates so that you only hire drivers who will fit Lansing’s culture?

We ask some specific questions during the interview process to see how the driver will align with our culture. For example, we ask, “What does respect, service, and excellence mean to you?” This question comes directly from our mission statement.

We also have noticed that drivers sometimes tend to get boxed in by recruiters as simply drivers, and we assume that’s all they’ll want to do for the rest of their career.

During the interview process, we always talk to the drivers about where they see themselves down the road and what their long-term career goals are. We ask these kinds of questions because Lansing offers a number of opportunities for advancement, and we love to bring drivers in who will take advantage of them.

What are some of the things that Lansing does to promote driver retention?

There are a couple different things we do to promote retention. One is the safety program that we’ve implemented. If a driver doesn’t get in an accident for an entire year, their name goes into an end of the year raffle, with the winner getting a free YETI cooler.

Aside from that, we participate yearly in the Great Place to Work survey. Once we collect the data from the survey, we don’t just sit on it. It gives us some really great insights into how our drivers feel about working for us and what we could be doing better for them.

We’ve actually started a few different programs directly because of the data we’ve gotten from the Great Place to Work survey. One is our CDL Reimbursement Program. Through this program, we financially assist any current Lansing employee who wants to either get their CDL A or upgrade their CDL B to an A. It’s just one of the ways we want to show our drivers that we’re committed to their professional growth.

What’s been the biggest change in the driver recruiting space since your first started?

I think what’s changed the most has been the technology we use. There’s much more automation involved in the hiring process now than ever before. It all starts with our Applicant Tracking System (ATS), then from there, we figure out who the partners are that will work within that ATS to help us fill our hiring needs.

That’s how Drive My Way became one of our most valuable partners. We were able to easily integrate their platform with our ATS of choice, Lever. Because of this, we were able to get more quality applicants for our jobs faster.

April and Kelsie finished with these thoughts,

As a recruiting team, it’s important to not only fill the jobs, but to make sure we’re communicating with all the other teams and individuals involved in the hiring process as well. Having a high level of communication with candidates, hiring managers, and our vendors every step of the way has increased our ability to be more productive and to have the right people on our teams.

Lansing Building Products Partners with Drive My Way for Success

Lansing Building Products partnered with Drive My Way to hire CDL A and B straight truck drivers for a number of locations nationwide. See the results below.

View the Case Study

truck driver interview questions

Good truck driver interview questions do two things. They help you find drivers who are going to be a good fit for your carrier while helping you build a relationship with them at the same time. The best recruiters use a conversational style to learn more about drivers’ experiences and skills as well as their goals for a new job. 

Informative and approachable truck driver interview questions are the foundation of a strong recruitment for retention strategy. Here are 5 tips to help you get to know the drivers you’re interviewing and find one who fits well with your fleet. 

1. Start With the Basics

Chelsee Patton and Truck

Chelsee Patton, Director of Recruiting at RTI

The purpose of an interview is to find a driver who has the skills and qualifications to do a specific job. Inevitably, it is crucial to have a clear picture of their experience, endorsements, and total compensation needs. The challenge is to get that information in an approachable way.  

Drivers should feel like the interview is building a relationship rather than simply an effort to fill another seat with an anonymous face. Strong interviewers learn about drivers’ skills and experience through conversation.  

We spoke with Chelsee Patton, Director of Recruiting at RTI and CDL holder, about effective interviewing as part of recruitment. She shared these thoughts,  

“For carriers trying to improve their interview process, I would tell them to take a look at how they’re talking to drivers at the beginning of the interview. Are you automatically jumping into, “How much experience do you have? How many tickets? How many accidents?” If so, I would recommend conversationally talking through all of that instead of reading questions one after the other off a sheet.”

As you build relationships with drivers, keep a detailed record of their professional profile. Clearly denote the driver’s experience and endorsements. This information helps automatically filter out unqualified applicants. Drivers’ requested total compensation should also be clearly noted. If they express specific demands around home time, base pay, or benefits, make sure to include that information.  

Similarly, if drivers respond negatively to the total compensation you are offering, note that as a possible red flag. Delving into basic information such as skills and endorsements is an opportunity to learn key information while setting a positive tone for future interactions. 

2. Find Out What Drivers Are Looking for

Not all drivers are a good fit for every job, and that’s ok. Time is a precious commodity in the recruiting world, so find out early what drivers are looking for. Some drivers may talk about career plans and advancement opportunities. Understanding each driver’s underlying motivation helps frame the conversation and contextualizes that driver’s priorities. Use that information to focus on the job aspects that are most important.  

In some cases, a driver’s goals may not be compatible with the available position. That’s also valuable knowledge. In these cases, learning that quickly can help you end the conversation and encourage the driver toward other positions to save time.  

If you still want to attract the driver, make sure to be as transparent as possible about the open job. Unfulfilled or misled expectations will only lead to high turnover and a bad company reputation. Instead, put your efforts toward quickly identifying drivers who are a good fit and may stay in the job for many years to come.  

3. Ask Role Specific Questions

ChelseeInPink

Chelsee takes the wheel

Once you have a baseline of information about the driver’s qualifications and future goals, hone in on the specific job. Discuss features of the job that are atypical or have raised concerns from drivers in the past.  

For example, if drivers need mechanical knowledge, ask “What experience do you have fixing mechanical problems with your truck?” Similarly, if the position includes slip seating, ask drivers about their preferences and habits when sharing a cab. All of these truck driver interview questions shift the focus to recruiting for retention.  

4. Use Behavioral Interviewing

If you have a strong driver candidate based on their qualifications, the next step is to use behavioral interviewing to assess their on-the-job competencies.  

These questions look at how a candidate has handled past situations in an attempt to predict how they’d behave in the future. Behavioral interviewing questions look at a candidate’s problem-solving, priority setting, and conflict management abilities. 

To ask effective behavioral interviewing questions, use the STAR technique. Situation, Task, Actions, and Result. To start, ask candidates to describe their past experiences. Then, listen closely and evaluate based on the Situation or Task they encountered, the Actions they took, and the Result of their actions.  

Think about situations that current drivers for your carrier deal with and ask candidates how they would react if faced with them. This will give you a good indication of if they’ll be a good fit for your carrier. 

5. Share the Mic

Truck drivers want to know that their carrier will respect and value their contributions. One way to demonstrate your commitment to drivers from the start is by sharing the mic.  

Allow time for drivers to ask questions during the interview or at the end. Doing so signals to drivers that you care about their input and whether the job is a good fit for them. It’s also another valuable opportunity to understand what they prioritize. If they’re a strong candidate but undecided about the position, that insight may help you win the driver to your team.  

As a recruiter, it’s hard to predict exactly what drivers may ask, but prepare answers for common questions. This will likely include questions about home time, pay, benefits, and equipment among other things. Before you end the conversation, make sure the driver is clear about the job offer. Transparency upfront supports long-term retention.  

Good truck driver interview questions give you the opportunity to get to know potential drivers so you can focus on boosting retention. When drivers and carriers connect transparently over a job that is a mutually good fit, the interview time is well worth the investment. 

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

CDL Training
Paid CDL training is a program offered by carriers where they pay for a driver’s CDL training in exchange for the driver working for the carrier for a designated amount of time after they finish the program. This can be anywhere from a few months to a few years. These programs are very popular with carriers who need a large workforce of drivers. 

What Do Trucking Companies Include in CDL Training?

A traditional training will usually be anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. It offers students behind the wheel experience along with classroom instruction as well. Some companies also offer payment to students while they’re enrolled in the program.  

While very large carriers may be able to hire a training department and fund a CDL training program themselves onsite, this may not be a reality for every carrier. That’s why some carriers choose to partner with already-established public trucking schools. The carrier will pay the driver’s way through the offsite CDL school and then work for the carrier after they’re finished. 

We spoke with the Recruiting Team for Drive My Way client, Sysco Asian Foods. They told us about the paid CDL training program they have in place and how it has positively impacted their recruiting efforts. 

“We started offering paid CDL training to create a career path for employees to become long-term CDL A delivery drives with us. New hires will work with us for 30-60 days to learn the unloading/delivery skills, the products, equipment, etc. If they prove to be successful, we will send them to school to get their CDL. There is a 1-year commitment on their end after completing the program. We feel that offering this type of program for our employees gives our benefits package a competitive edge compared to other carriers,” shared Sysco’s Recruiting Team.

What Drivers Does Paid CDL Training Attract?

In general, it will attract newcomers to the trucking industry, and specifically your company. While they don’t have experience, these drivers are eager to start their career in trucking. Private trucking schools can be expensive, so having the option of getting their CDL for free is a great investment that many new drivers won’t be able to pass up.  

Aside from new drivers, it can also attract former drivers who have been away from the industry for a while. These drivers will need to get their CDL again, and many will find it advantageous to attend another training before they take the test. Instead of paying a private institute like they might have done the first time; they may want to go to companies proving CDL training. 

What are the Benefits to Offering Paid CDL Training?

Drivers in seats is the biggest benefit to offering paid CDL training. If you’re a driver recruiter working with a large carrier, you understand the effects of high turnover and how important it is to have trucks filled at all times. Offering to jumpstart someone’s career with next to no financial putdown is a great tradeoff for new drivers, especially when you consider the high price of public trucking schools.  

Retention is another obvious benefit when considering paid CDL training. Aside from the driver staying with your carrier for the agreed upon time after training, studies show that employees in all industries tend to stay at companies where training and education are priorities. A LinkedIn study found that 94% of employees said they would stay at a company that invested in their career development. 

While every recruiter loves experienced drivers, they can sometimes come with bad habits from previous carriers. In most circumstances, this won’t matter much, but if it’s a bad habit related to safety and compliance, it could end up costing your carrier big down the road. With paid CDL training, you’re not only training new drivers on the basics to get their CDL, but on your carrier’s specific rules and guidelines as well.  

Offering paid CDL training is a win for both the carrier and the driver. They’re getting a jumpstart on their career without student loans hanging over their heads while the carrier is getting a reliable driver to join their ranks. 

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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truck driver recruiter career path
A truck driver recruiter is someone who works for a trucking company to find the right drivers to meet the company’s needs. These recruiters work directly with prospective drivers, having conversations about things like pay, equipment, benefits, and anything else relevant to the job.  

The role of truck driver recruiter has become more and more important over the past few years. As the demand for drivers continues to grow, companies are seeing the need to bring in the best recruiters they can.  

Hiring the best drivers starts with having the best recruiters.

Ruben Moreno, NFI Industries

The trucking industry is special. It’s hard for any recruiter to walk in and have success right off the jump. That’s why more and more companies are finding it important to have a truck driver recruiter career path within the organization.

We spoke with Ruben Moreno and Lakeisha Reed, driver recruiters for Drive My Way’s client, NFI Industries. Both Ruben and Lakeisha had experience in the trucking industry before becoming driver recruiters.  

Q: What was your original position with NFI? What is your current?

Ruben: I was hired in as a Transportation Manager back in 2010. Now I’m a Recruiting Program Manager. 

Lakeisha: Back in 2006 I started off as a material handler for Trader Joes in Bolingbrook, IL. My current position with NFI is as a Driver Recruiter. 

Promote from Within

Across all industries, the benefits of hiring from within are proven, and the same goes for trucking. This is because industry experience can’t be overstated for truck driver recruiters. It can be difficult for a recruiter with no experience in trucking to come in and be able to have in-depth conversations with drivers about the finer points of a job. 

The last thing a company wants is for a driver to become uninterested in a position because a recruiter doesn’t know the industry or the position. That’s why hiring former drivers, dispatchers, and others in the trucking industry has become popular. They have the knowledge and skills needed to connect with prospective drivers on their level.  

Q: How has your experience in previous roles helped you in your current one?

Ruben: I understand the challenges drivers face today. Most professional drivers are looking for stability, a consistent schedule, and opportunities to grow within the organization. When given the opportunity to speak to a new applicant, I’m able to speak with full confidence knowing that NFI supports our drivers 100%. 

Lakeisha: My previous roles have helped me to understand the trucking business from beginning to end. They’ve also helped me understand the drivers’ needs and wants. 

Hire with Advancement in Mind

Start with the initial hire and bring in candidates who can be with the company long-term. Talk with employees about overall career goals and gauge interest in moving to a different position eventually. 

When it comes time to expanding the driver recruiting team, start conversations with employees first. Even if they’re not interested in moving into recruiting at the moment, they’ll appreciate knowing the option is there for the future. 

Q: When you first started with NFI, did you think you would be in the position you are today?

Ruben: I had no idea that this would be my current role, but I know that this is what I was called to do. As a driver recruiter, you have an opportunity to truly impact someone’s life for the better and make a difference. 

Lakeisha: I didn’t know the exact position I would be in, but I knew my first position wouldn’t be my last. I’m very happy to be in the recruiting space and making a difference for both NFI and drivers. 

Train Driver Recruiters for Success

truck driver recruiter career path

Like with any employee entering a new role, the key to success is to be prepared. When a driver, dispatcher, or another employee makes the move into recruiting, walking him or her through the full details of the position is key. Even if the new driver recruiter has industry knowledge, proper training is still essential for success. 

An even better practice is providing shadowing opportunities. If possible, give interested employees the ability to observe a current driver recruiter. Letting him or her see the day-to-day of the position before starting the new role is much better than finding out the position isn’t a fit during the onboarding process.  

Q: What advice do you have for other truck driver recruiters when planning their career in trucking?

Ruben: Never forget who the customer isthe driver! Speak with complete transparency and confidence. Make yourself available to them, especially those who are just starting out. And always be encouraging! 

Lakeisha: The advice I would give to a truck driver recruiter is to never give up! This role can be challenging, but remember the reason you started. Know that your beginning is not your end. Give yourself time and it will all come together. 

As the importance of finding quality drivers grows, so does the need for quality driver recruiters. A solid truck driver recruiter career path is the best way to make sure you have the best recruiters in place to grow your fleet.   

truck driver incentive program checklist

FREE RESOURCE

Truck Driver Incentive Program Checklist

The best incentive program is the one that’s effective, sustainable, and engaging for drivers. Use this checklist to align your target behavior with rewards that motivate your drivers and create a program with lasting impact.

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Drive My Way announced that Lance Pshigoda joined its team as the Vice President of Sales. Drive My Way matches CDL truck drivers and owner operators with jobs based on their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. 

Lance brings over two decades of experience designing risk mitigation, hiring, onboarding, and safety strategies for the Transportation Industry with previous roles at both of the top background screening and SaaS solutions available in the market today. 

Lance PshigodaI started observing the industry waves Drive My Way was making a couple years ago. The Transportation sector has always been in dire need of automation and streamlined solutions around driver hiring cycles, and it’s been years since I’ve seen an organization that I thought would make an impact the way Tenstreet did when they emerged into the market. That was a very exciting time, and I greatly enjoyed the process efficiencies we provided to our clients.

Drive My Way handles an entirely different type of problem employers face. After seeing the client experience firsthand and realizing the entirely new technology-based solution of matching drivers to employers and the matchmaker services that Drive My Way offers, I feel extremely excited to be joining an organization who will be the next industry disrupter and change the Transportation landscape to help employers reach their goals,” shared Lance.

Starting at DAC Services in 2003, Lance has been involved in every aspect of driver recruiting, retention, qualification, and safety protocol development. He has worked with industry specific leaders like Hireright, Tenstreet, and now Drive My Way. 

Lance is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and currently resides in Skiatook, OK with his wife and two children.  

We are thrilled to have Lance join our team at Drive My Way. He is an industry expert who brings a refreshing passion for driver recruiting and helps companies solve their challenges in new innovative ways,” said Beth Potratz, CEO of Drive My Way

About Drive My Way

Drive My Way is disrupting truck driver recruiting by treating the driver as a consumer in the employment relationship. Drive My Way is a next-generation recruiting marketplace powered by a patented and proprietary platform that matches CDL truck drivers and owner operators with jobs based on their qualifications and personal preferences.

Drive My Way’s driver-centric technology lets both the driver and hiring manager know how well they match to each job before entering the hiring process. Drive My Way is making truck driver recruiting personal again by creating meaningful connections for employers to turn into lasting relationships. Employers partner with Drive My Way to start recruiting for retention.

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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