Text messaging is here to stay as a powerful recruitment tool. With the digital transformation in hiring that is underway, text recruitment isn’t a miracle solution, but it is something you can incorporate into your driver recruitment strategy to improve your recruitment funnel. Text messages are fundamental in recruiting and it is one of the best ways to attract drivers from untapped demographics to your fleet.
1. Make It Personal
Text recruitment does not mean turning drivers into faceless numbers. As with any effective recruiting strategy, text messages work well when they are personal. Avoid bulk texting and build a relationship with the driver before doing so. An overused bulk text is a good way to end up on a blocked list. Each conversation should start with a message that addresses the driver by name. Crafting personal messages can be very time-consuming, so standardize messages where you can. Consider drafting templates that can be customized with driver names and positions, but make sure to keep confidential information out of text messages. Templates also convey consistency and professionalism regardless of who sends the message.
As with any effective recruiting strategy, text messages work well when they are personal.
At each stage in your recruitment efforts, think of how the driver is experiencing the process. First impressions are very important, so allow drivers to opt-in as a sign of respect for their time and preferences. Unfortunately, text recruitment can be easily abused, so always give the driver the option to opt-out of messages. Then, make sure you have a solution in place to ensure that the driver won’t get texted again until they opt back in. At each stage, ask yourself, “How would the driver describe this experience to another driver or friend?”
2. Get the Timing Right
One of the reasons texting is so effective is that it can be done at any time. That means that drivers can take a moment when they’re waiting at the shipper or starting their break to read or send a quick text. That does mean that the responsibility is on companies to be available when drivers are ready to talk. Text recruitment is most successful when you’re quicker than competing companies. Recruiters must be very responsive and have a quick turnaround time to be effective.
Another trick to getting a positive response? Keep the message short. It’s tempting to tell drivers everything they need in one message, but that’s not an effective strategy. Text recruitment is about efficiently building the top of your funnel so that you can engage with drivers more deeply going forward.
3. The Follow-Up
Once you’ve made the initial contact with driver candidates, follow-up at regular intervals. If you haven’t heard from drivers after a few days, reach out again with a second touch. Similarly, be ready to pick up the phone. Many drivers still like to hear from recruiters by phone, and a call is a great follow-up to your text recruitment strategy. That said, stay away from using a personal phone number. All communication should go through phones that are strictly for professional use. If you don’t hear from drivers after several points of contact, it’s appropriate to send a final text message to close the loop. Here are a few sample templates:
After Driver Expresses Interest:
Hi [Driver Name], it’s [Your Name] from [Company]. We saw your interest in [Job Title]. We offer [Pay, Home Time, or Benefits] and are excited to get in touch. Text or call me at [Phone Number] or finish your application at [Website]. Thanks!
YES if interested
NO if not
END opt out all msgs
Hi [Driver Name], we saw your application for [Job Title]. I’d like to talk a little more by phone or text message. When is a good time?
—[Your Name], Recruiter at [Company]
Closing the Loop:
Hi [Driver Name], are you still interested in driving with [Company]? If so, I’d love to hear from you. You can also find open jobs at [Website].
—[Your Name], Recruiter at [Company]
4. Maintain a Unified Tracking System
In a strong text recruitment campaign, clear organization is essential. You will likely have multiple people managing the text campaign, and there will be countless drivers to keep track of. Use a digital tracking system to document your text messages and what stage of the recruitment pipeline each driver is in. A unified tracking system will also ensure that you don’t send duplicate messages to the same driver. You will know exactly what information has been shared with each driver.
A unified tracking system should also track other forms of communication with each driver. Texting can be an effective recruitment tool, but it shouldn’t be the only or even necessarily the primary tool. Integrate texting with other forms of communication. A blended approach that includes calls, emails, and texts is an effective strategy.
5. Work Toward In-Person Communication
Text recruitment campaigns are an excellent way to expand your driver candidate pool, but don’t lose sight of the end goal. Ultimately, the goal is to increase interviews that lead to driver hires.
Texting is an efficient way to handle the logistics leading up to an interview, but it shouldn’t feel impersonal.
Each text message helps set a foundation for future conversations. Building meaningful relationships with potential driver candidates is at the core of an effective text recruitment strategy.