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ThompsonGas

We had the chance to talk with Aphrodite Reifsnyder, Driver Recruiter with Drive My Way client, ThompsonGas. She shared what she’s learned from her time in recruiting, how a centralized recruiting process can benefit hiring efforts, and how she stays motivated as a recruiter.  

How did you get started in the trucking industry? 

I actually never pictured myself working in trucking. After 5 years of working at a bank, I was displaced during a merger. Because of my financial background, a trucking company offered me a position as an inventory coordinator.  

In 2011, after a year of digging my heels in and making waves, another department director recognized my skill set and took me under his wing as a driver recruiter. I was in this role until 2014, when I took a pricing analyst position for a few months. I soon found that I missed interacting with the drivers and serving as a bridge between drivers and empty trucks. Apparently, I had found my niche. I decided to move back into recruiting, and I’ve been loving it ever since. 

When you arrived at ThompsonGas, what were your main goals for the recruiting department? 

As the first dedicated driver recruiter for the company, I wanted to establish the basics and build from there. I first had to meet with area directors to see what they wanted from prospective drivers. Next, I had to evaluate the individual 140+ markets we operate in, to see what advertising would make the biggest impact.  

From there, my top 3 goals were to bring in new vendor relationships, integrate a new ATS known as Tenstreet, and focus on military recruiting efforts. 

What are the benefits to a centralized recruiting process? 

Having our recruiting centralized allows for us to focus on big picture concepts. You have a budget, which can help us to negotiate better contracts when covering multiple areas. You seek connections and business relationships that are productive on a big scale but can also provide that local feel to connect with the drivers.  

Most importantly, you have a much better opportunity to share ideas that work in some areas and mirror them in areas that are struggling to fill roles. Being able to have a go-to point of contact for sharing tips on what works in different areas really helps the organization as a whole to collaborate and work together.  

There is no cookie-cutter way to recruiter drivers. Just because you have a centralized focus or department shouldn’t mean that it has to produce a generic blanket of ads. Just like the diversity of people is important in the workplace, so is the “diversity” of an advertising and marketing strategy for driver recruitment.  

What have you learned from working with hiring managers across the country? 

slip seating

Not only is local insight crucial, but keeping up to date with a market and industry in a state of constant flux is vital. You have to be flexible in transportation and willing to take risks. Bottom line, when I’ve collaborated with local hiring managers, I’ve found that I don’t have to re-invent the wheel. 

Taking the time to talk with the hiring managers  gives me the unique opportunity to find out what has and hasn’t worked in the past. If a hiring manager tells me, for example, that they’ve tried a certain advertising campaign in the past that didn’t produced results, why would I run the same ad and waste valuable time and money? It is far more beneficial to start with something they know has worked and integrate my ideas later.  

As a driver recruiter, what are some of the ways you keep yourself motivated? 

It’s very easy to get bogged down with the constant demand that operations and managers place on recruiters. It is often a thankless job in good times, and the first to blame in bad times.  

That being said, I believe it takes a strong individual to do this job and stay refreshed and motivated.  Things that have helped me are finding my work-life balance, flexibility in my daily routine, and recognizing when it’s time to make a change to avoid burnout.  

I have been very selective with the types of driver recruiting opportunities and the companies I’ve chosen to work with. It’s crucial to not just find a job for a paycheck but one where you can grow.  

What has made you successful as a driver recruiter? 

I think success comes from the team a recruiter works with as much as it does the individual. I’ve learned a lot over the past decade. I attribute that to the leaders, coworkers, and drivers I’ve worked with. I think any successful driver recruiter needs to be well-rounded in communication, creativity, innovation and perseverance. You can’t give up when the going gets tough. You have to keep rolling on. 

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

truck driver referrals
Drivers are more likely to believe what a fellow driver says about a company than what the company itself says. That’s why truck driver referrals are so important when it comes to your company’s recruiting efforts.  

It’s been shown that across all industries, hires that come from referrals lead to greater job satisfaction and longer employee retention. And specifically in the trucking industry, referrals are shown to be even more important.  

According to Randall-Reilly’s Trucker News Connectivity Report, 26% of drivers rely on word-of-mouth when looking for a new job. While it doesn’t beat out the internet, that’s still a huge segment of drivers your company may be missing out on.  

 

Foodliner

We spoke with Tim Yochum, Director of Recruiting of Drive My Way’s client, Foodliner. He spoke to us about the importance of referrals and how Foodliner secures them.  

Why are referrals a key part of your driver recruiting efforts?

Referrals are usually more experienced drivers who enjoy having a connection with someone at the company. Many times, they’re passive candidates who aren’t actively searching for a new job. They become interested when a current driver speaks positively about their Foodliner experience. The length of employment for referrals is much longer than a non-referred driver. Our people know the job expectations and they look for referrals that will be a good match.  

What are the top reasons your current drivers refer other drivers to your company?

Pay, Benefits, Home Time, Quality of Equipment, and Equipment Maintenance. 

Do you have a referral bonus or a referral incentive that encourages referrals?

We offer an $8,000 Referral Bonus paid out in 3 installments during the first year. 

Out of all the drivers you recruit on a yearly basis, what is the estimated percentage of drivers who find your company based on a referral?

Close to 20% of our new driver hires are referrals.  

 

So, how does your company get these all-important referrals just like Foodliner has? 

1. Create a Structured Referral Program

Creating a structured program is the first and most important step in bringing referrals in on a consistent basis. A referral program is where you offer current employees a monetary bonus or gift, in exchange for bringing in qualified new hires to the company.  

Consider a scaled system, where the more hires a driver brings in, the more money they receive each time. Giving half the bonus at the time of hire and the rest when the new driver has completed x number of days is another tactic companies have used that helps with retention.  

2. Advertise

A referral program doesn’t do much if drivers aren’t aware it exists. Making the program well-known throughout the company is almost as important as the program itself. When it comes to advertising, the more mediums you use, the better. One company-wide email probably won’t yield the kind of results you’re looking for.  

Hanging flyers in the office, terminal, and break room, is a good start, but the best way to get the word out is to make sure that the program is consistently communicated from managers to drivers in multiple formats. This includes face-to-face conversations, email, text, phone calls, etc. Once the program has been ongoing for a while, try highlighting drivers who have already taken advantage of it. Showing that drivers in the company have had success with the program may urge others to do the same. 

3. Offer Benefits that Drivers Want

truck driver referralsNo matter how great your referral program is, drivers won’t participate if they don’t believe what they’re selling. Talk to your current drivers about what they enjoy most about your company, and what would make it better. More PTO, home time, and performance-based bonuses are common answers. Showing that the company is making an active effort to improve the quality of driver’s work life will improve morale and make drivers more likely to refer your company. 

4. Provide Training and Education Resources

More and more drivers are looking to join companies where they’ll be able to grow and move into other roles, possibly non-driving positions and even management. This is why Training and advancement programs are another great way to increase referrals. Once a driver moves into a new role within your organization, their referral would go a long way in bringing drivers on board who are looking for the same opportunities. Even if some drivers aren’t interested, just giving them the option shows them that their employer is committed to their growth. 

5. Be Honest with Job Seekers

After a driver has been referred and begins the interview process, be upfront about aspects of the job that aren’t a selling point, like when benefits start, possible night and weekend work. You may think that communicating these parts of the job might make the job less desirable, but many times it’s not. Drivers understand that not every position is going to meet all their wants. Drivers appreciate this honestly and will let that be known to other drivers when it’s time for them to refer someone else. 

When it comes to driver recruiting, consistent and quality referrals can be the thing that sets your company apart. The good news is that there’s no secret or hidden trick to bringing them in. Creating a structured referral program, sticking to it and listening to your current drivers is all you need to bring in those all-important truck driver referrals.  

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.

Get the Checklist

advertising jobsWith thousands of carriers advertising jobs for truck drivers right now, how do you make sure yours resonates? If you’re recruiting for a smaller carrier, this can be even harder, since you may still be developing brand recognition. That’s not to say that creating a great job advertisement is an impossible task. It can seem daunting, but there are a few simple tips you can use to make sure your ads are getting noticed by the drivers you’re looking for.   

1. Don’t Oversell or Exaggerate

Truck drivers have a keen eye and low tolerance for job postings they find vague or suspicious. That’s why it’s extremely important to give drivers all the important and accurate information upfront when advertising jobs. When describing your compensation and benefits, avoid general terms like “competitive” or “fantastic” and instead, provide the details. While competitive means at or above market rate, the word has become so saturated over the last few years that it equates to “low” in the minds of many drivers. Drivers want to see hard numbers or odds are, they’ll quickly scroll away.  

2. Be Thorough

You never want a driver coming away from your ad, asking themselves “What’s the home time? Pay? Is it full or part-time?” Here is a list of the things that should always be included in any truck driver job ad. 

  • Employee Value Proposition: This is where you’ll answer two very important questions. Why is my company different (and better) than the competition? What about my company is attractive to truck drivers? (Visit our blog on the topic to learn more about the best way to answer these questions.) 
  • Job Title: Include what CDL class is needed type of haul, and type of run
  • Compensation: Include CPM or hourly, weekly, or yearly pay. Also include any sign-on bonuses or referral bonuses 
  • Benefits & Perks: What is covered under insurance, (health, vision, dental, etc.), PTO, 401K, etc. 
  • Home Time, Route, & Schedule: How often will the driver be home? What is the route and level of touch? 
  • Equipment: Truck specifics including technology and years of company trucks. 
  • Qualifications: Besides CDL class, are there other qualifications needed? Clean MVR? Minimum years of experience? Minimum age? 

job description3. Make It Easy to Read

You could have the best job posting, with all the information a driver could ever want about the position and your company. But that won’t matter if it’s organized in a way that’s difficult to read. After you’ve gathered all the information you’ll need for a job ad, start organizing by what would be the most important information to a driver reading it. Start with pay, haul, type of run, and move down until you get to smaller details like the model year of trucks to be used and pet-rider policy. 

Another best practice is to avoid using large blocks of text in your job ad. Instead, opt for bullets. This will make your job ad much more digestible for drivers, giving them an easy way to find information without scanning through chunks of text.  

4. Partner with a Job Distributor

Where the ad is placed is just as important as how it’s written. With hundreds of job boards and social media channels out there, it can be a pain to know where your time and resources are best spent to reach the drivers you’re looking for.  

Partnering with a recruiting platform like Drive My Way is the perfect way to get your jobs in front of qualified driver candidates.  We create customized advertising campaigns that reach drivers in the right place and the right time. Just like we did with Button Transportation, a family-owned and operated trucking company in California, that hired 10 new drivers within the span of just two months.   

 

Your job ad is likely the first impression a driver will have with your company, so making sure it’s a good one is key. The good news is that advertising jobs for your trucking position isn’t rocket science. Just put yourself in the shoes of the driver. If you were looking for a job, what information would you like to see and where would you like to see it? 

 

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.

Get the Checklist

Stan Smith

Just a few years ago, Stan Smith was a company driver looking to branch out on his own by becoming an owner operator. Fast forward to today, and Stan is the owner of KimChris Xpress Transport, his own trucking company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. KimChris Xpress Transport is a dedicated Amazon partner and is committed to exceeding customer expectations while keeping drivers first. 

We spoke to Stan about his time in the trucking industry, what it’s like to partner with Amazon, and his plans for the future of KimChris Xpress Transport.  

Q: How did you get started in the trucking industry?

I was working at a factory and saw an advertisement for Great Lakes Driving School. I wanted to make more money and see the country, so it seemed like the perfect fit. After I completed training, I was hired the very next week with a logistics company in Northeast Ohio.  

My first check with this company was great. it was over $1,000, and I was excited about driving for them going forward. But, when it came time for my second check, I realized that the first one was inflated by a one-time bonus, and my checks after wouldn’t come close to that amount. I was also on the road for 3-4 months at a time with one weekend home in-between. Overall, I was disappointed with my experience at this company and began looking for something else. 

Q: What made you decide to start KimChris Xpress?

Once I left the first logistics company I was working with, I found a job with a smaller carrier. My experience there was much better. I learned from the more experienced drivers there and saw the advantages of being an Owner Operator. It didn’t take me long to decide that’s what I wanted to do. Shortly after, I financed my own truck and started KimChris.  

Q: Your company name is very unique. Where did it come from?

Originally in 2016, our name was KimLove Xpress Transport. We were named after my older sister who passed. The following year, my older brother passed as well and I decided to change our name to KimChris Xpress Transport as a way of honoring them both.  

The name is a way to always keep me motivated, and it helps their memory live on as well. My Mom loves to call me whenever she sees one of our trucks on the road.  

Q: When did KimChris Xpress Transport become an Amazon partner?

When you own your own trucking company, you have two options for how you get business. You can work through an intermediary broker, or you can deal directly with the shipper. After a while of going the broker route, I decided to get involved directly with one of the biggest shippers there is; Amazon.  

The results of this partnership have been great so far. As a company, they’re very accepting of smaller fleets working with them, which is perfect for KimChris. Obviously, they’re a huge company, so the work we get from them is very consistent as well.  

Q: What does the holiday season look like for KimChris?

We’re always looking for drivers around this time to help with the extra workload. Like with all trucking companies, this is definitely our busiest time, especially with Amazon. What’s nice about working with them is that they don’t rush drivers when they don’t feel safe or something goes wrong out on the road. Safety is the number one concern for them. This is especially reassuring for our drivers when the winter weather hits.  

Q: What does the future look like for KimChris Xpress?

My five-year-plan is for KimChris Xpress to become a medium-sized fleet. My ultimate goal is for us to become a mega fleet, but that’s down the road. For the immediate future, I want to keep working with Amazon and get more drivers and trucks. Trucks are the easy part; it’s finding the drivers first that’s the challenge. All in all, the future is looking bright for KimChris.  

Q: What makes KimChris Xpress different from other trucking companies?

We aren’t a huge carrier, but I feel like that’s a strength for us right now. During the hiring process, a driver will talk to me and maybe one other person. It’s not like some larger carriers where it’s very corporate, and you go through five rounds of interviews.  
I know my drivers by name and have a relationship with all of them. They’re not just a number here. I strive to give them the best home life balance possible by making their schedule a week out. They really appreciate this, since they’re able to plan their week and family time around it. My goal when starting KimChris was to build a company that treats drivers the way I would have liked to be treated at my first company, and I believe I’ve accomplished that. 

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

truck driver ghosting
Have you ever been talking with a driver, where everything seems to be going well? You’re emailing back and forth, going over the details of the position, and then seemingly out of nowhere, they stop responding. You send a follow up email, thinking your previous one slipped through the cracks, but once again, you get nothing back. It looks like this is a classic case of Truck Driver Ghosting.  

What is Truck Driver Ghosting

Ghosting is when a person stops responding and disappears altogether, like a ghost. The term is most often used in the dating world, but the same thing happens in recruiting daily.  

Truck Driver Ghosting has been on the rise over the past few years across the U.S. But, in the trucking industry where demand for drivers is at an all-time high, it’s even worse. We spoke with Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting for Drive My Way’s client Custom Commodities Transport, and he shared his perspective on driver ghosting. 

Jason Kent Crowell

Jason Kent Crowell Custom Commodities Transport

“A Truck Driver is likely talking to 4 or 5 driver recruiters at once in their job search, saying yes to one of them, and leaving the other recruiters hanging.  We call it “ghosting” and it’s on the rise, contributing to the recruiter’s stress,” shared Jason. 

Why Do Drivers Ghost Recruiters?

There are two big reasons that drivers are ghosting recruiters more than ever. The first is that it’s much easier to do so than it was in the past. Social media and digital communication in general have laxed our sense of professional courtesy when it comes to replying. It’s much easier to simply not respond to someone than it is for a driver to spend a few minutes writing out an email explaining that he or she is no longer interested in the position.  

The second reason is that drivers can be much more selective about their jobs than they could in the past. A qualified and experienced driver looking for a job is likely talking to multiple recruiters at the same time. When the driver finally select the job that’s right for them, they’ll simply stop responding to the other recruiters.  

How to Stop Being Ghosted?

So, as a recruiter how do you avoid being ghosted? 

Focus on the Right Drivers

truck driver ghosting

The first step here is to be able to discern active and passive drivers. The simple explanation is that active drivers are ready and looking for employment right now. Passive drivers may be looking at opportunities but aren’t ready to make the jump into a new role.  

Asking a few simple questions during your first contact with a driver will usually help you discern whether they’re active or passive. While it’s important to nurture passive leads, knowing the difference and pursuing active drivers will often be the difference between getting ghosted or not.  

Move Quickly

In the current state of driver recruiting, speed is everything. You can bet that any driver looking for a job right now is talking to more than one recruiter. The best way to keep yourself from getting ghosted is to be quick when you reach out initially and be quick when you respond. Aside from not missing out on top drivers, moving quickly through the recruitment process has also been shown to decrease costs for businesses.  

Being timely is not only beneficial during the recruitment process. It’s the perfect way to set the tone of professionalism from your organization right off the bat. Just like drivers can impress by showing up to interviews early and sending a proactive “thank you” email, you can do the same with prompt responses. 

Avoid the Back and Forth

Avoiding needless back and forth emails is another way to avoid ghosting. If you and a driver have been sending emails for a week and a half about small details of the position, that can lead to frustration on their end and eventually ghosting. Try and set up one or two calls where you and the driver go over all the info either of you need regarding the position.  

Talk to Your Current Drivers

Your current drivers are definitely your biggest resource in avoiding ghosting. As people who have gone through your recruiting process and joined your company, they have a unique perspective. They can tell you what they enjoyed about the experience, what would have made it better, and what they disliked about other recruiting processes where they didn’t take the job.  

Truck Driver Ghosting is a symptom of the much larger problem of driver shortages across the country. While there’s nothing you can individually do about that, following these tips gives your company the best chance to bring on qualified and experienced drivers and avoid being ghosted.   

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

Get the Ebook

company pitch

The company pitch is extremely important when recruiting drivers. You only have a few minutes to talk to a driver and tell them why working for your carrier is the right choice for their career. So, how do you make sure you’re making the most of your time? 

What is a Trucking Company Pitch?

A trucking company pitch is where you introduce your company to a driver and explain why they would want to drive for you. Trucking pitches are used during the first point of contact with a driver.  

The most important thing to remember is that these pitches aren’t one size fits all. They should change based on the role you’re hiring for and any information you have on the driver and what they find important. Here’s an example of an effective Trucking Pitch. 

“Hello. Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. I work with ABC Trucking and we’re looking for Regional Dry Van Drivers in the Midwest. We’re offering qualified drivers $1,400 guaranteed weekly, full health, vision, and dental benefits, weekly home time, and a $2,000 sign-on bonus. Does that line up with what you’re looking for right now?” 

How to Perfect Your Pitch

We spoke to Michelle Habart, Business Development Coordinator for Drive My Way’s client, CLE Transportation, about how she structures her trucking pitch to drivers. 

Michelle Habart

Michelle Habart CLE Transportation

“First, I introduce myself and the company. I start with who we are, where we’re located and then ask questions to find out what their needs are. For example, if it’s home time, I am only going to offer them what I have that fits the needs they are trying to fill. I want to make it clear that we have options. If it’s equipment, then we will go over that in detail. If it’s pay then we go over the packages and benefits we offer, like bonuses, 401K, and profit sharing. I make sure they understand that health insurance is paid by the company because that will save them money. 

Next, I jump into the basic questions like experience, history and driving record. I will then send them the link to fill out the application and make it known that I am available to answer any questions that they have.” shared Michelle.  

Keep it Short, Specific and Avoid the Jargon

As you probably know, any driver you’re speaking with is probably speaking with at least one other recruiter as well. Keeping your trucking pitch quick and to the point is the best way to keep their attention and further the conversation. Avoid vague statements like “we offer competitive pay and new equipment.” Drivers looking for work read that dozens of times a day. This won’t do anything to help differentiate you in their mind. 

In general, drivers don’t like to beat around the bush. Avoid using buzzwords and jargon where it’s not necessary. The best practice here is to write down your pitch then read it out loud to yourself. Does it sound forced or unnatural? Chances are if it does to you, it will to the driver as well.  

Make it a Conversation

The next part to perfecting your pitch is to make it a conversation. Many recruiters make a habit of rattling off ten different things and then asking, “how does that sound?” The driver probably forgot the first three things you said by this point and will reply with a half-hearted, “Sounds good.” That’s not a conversation, it’s an information dump. 

Instead, ask questions throughout the pitch and try to make it a two-way street. After you give the important info, ask questions like, “Does that line up with what you’re looking for?” The most important part here is to make sure the job is a mutual fit on both sides. There’s no point in trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  

Don’t Oversell/Misinform

Overselling is a common issue in driver recruiting. It’s understandable that recruiters want to do everything they can to bring drivers in the door, but the last thing you want to do is promise something that you can’t deliver on. This leads to unhappy drivers that will probably be looking to exit as quickly as they came.  

“Here at CLE Transportation, we don’t sugar coat anything. Getting a driver isn’t about filling a seat. It’s about doing the best we can to make sure that the driver and our company will be a good fit for each other. We are not trying to waste our time or theirs. We don’t treat them as just another driver looking for a job, we treat them as professionals, because that’s what they are. It’s not just an interview process, it’s about hearing them.   

They need to know that we’re here for them during the entire process, from the initial “hello” all the way to them leaving to deliver that first load. Even then they can call me for questions they have. After I set up an orientation date, I will send them a picture of the truck that they will be in.” shared Michelle. 

Be Prepared for Common Objections

Drivers will almost certainly have things that they consider non-negotiable. This can be anything from home time, specific compensation, type of equipment, etc. Instead of thinking it’s a dead end if a driver pushes back on one of these, try and talk through it.  

The best way to do this is by asking questions like, “what is it about x that you dislike?”, or “What would make you consider x?” More often than not, this can lead to a compromise where both sides are happy.  

The trucking company pitch is something that takes time to perfect. The most important thing isn’t to sell the position at all costs. It’s to present the most important information related to the job while making sure it’s a good fit for both sides.  

The Quick Guide to Employee Value Proposition

FREE QUICK GUIDE

Employee Value Proposition

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

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5 Tips for Recruiting Non-CDL Drivers
With the huge changes in the U.S. economy over the past two years, almost every major and local retailer is offering some sort of delivery service. This has made the market for non CDL drivers grow at a considerable rate.

Need It Now DeliversWe spoke to Christian Rivera, a National Recruiter for Drive My Way’s client, Need It Now Delivers. He shared his perspective about the recruiting process and the qualities he looks for in non CDL drivers.

“Our hiring approach for non CDL Drivers does not change too much. We’re in communication throughout the process and disclose all parts of the job, just like we would for CDL Drivers. In the ideal non CDL driver, I would say we look for four things; a clean driving record, stable previous employment (preferably staying one year or more), good safety habits, and a customer first attitude,” shared Christian.

1. Nature of the Job

Like it is when recruiting CDL drivers, the number one thing that will help you is to be honest and knowledgeable about the position. Some drivers may be fine with just knowing the pay, schedule, and benefits. Others may want to know details on route, breaks, and day-to-day operations. Being ready to answer these questions is the best way to make sure it’s a fit both the driver and your company.

Make sure to disclose any customer service-related aspects of the job as well. Drivers want to know if they’re expected to just drop off deliveries or drop and have someone sign. In addition, they will need to know if the job requires full White Glove service, where they’ll be entering homes and businesses to install equipment or appliances.

It’s also important to understand that many non CDL drivers may not be in the trucking industry for advancement opportunities or to eventually earn their CDL. While some are, other non CDL drivers are simply looking for a job instead of a long-term career in trucking.

2. Home Time and Flexibility

Just like with CDL A or B local drivers, non CDL drivers will value home time more than almost anything else. While this shouldn’t be a problem with local routes, make sure to communicate what their home time will look like. Many times, drivers are expected to stay late to help with extra deliveries. While this is part of the business, drivers should be told upfront to avoid any surprises.

3. Schedule, Hours and Routes

One thing that non CDL drivers are most likely looking for is part-time possibilities. Opposed to CDL work, non CDL drivers may only have night, weekend or certain weekday availabilities.

That’s why it’s important to work with drivers to make sure their availability is respected. Scheduling employees outside of their agreed upon availability can not only lead to bad company culture, but it could also leave you and your customers high and dry if the employee decides not to show up on a particularly busy day.

4. Pay

Just like the costs for a CDL B license are lower than a CDL A, a non CDL driver incurs low costs before hitting the road. Because of this, pay across the board for non CDL drivers is understandably lower. At the same time, there is a ton of competition on the employer end for these drivers. Keeping an above average pay scale while providing performance-based bonuses is the best way to get the attention of experienced and talented non CDL drivers.

5. Company Culture

Since non CDL Drivers will likely be interacting with other co-workers and management on a daily basis, building a culture of communication and camaraderie is essential to keep morale high and drivers motivated. This can be done through daily team meetings before drivers head out on their routes, where important information is conveyed, and any questions or grievances drivers have can be talked about.

 

Just like with CDL drivers, non CDL drivers have their own unique characteristics and reasons they chose their line of work. Understanding this and what they find important is the key to bringing qualified, experienced drivers on board.

truck driver incentive program checklist

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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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Why You Need Workforce Planning in Trucking

Workforce Planning is the process of analyzing your current workforce against the business needs of the future to make sure you have the right people in place to meet those needs. This is a high-level recruiting and retention strategy used by companies across the globe to make sure their workforce will actively help the company achieve its long-term goals.  

While Workforce Planning is valuable for all companies, it is becoming increasingly important for companies in the trucking industry, where issues related to recruiting and retention are becoming more apparent 

5 Steps for Workforce Planning Success 

1. Determine Business Goals

The first step in Workforce Planning is to determine the overall business needs of your company. This is usually the biggest step, as it involves working with key decision makers in your organization to nail down both the short- and long-term goals.  

These goals could be anything from an X% increase in growth, providing a better customer experience, or maintaining key people in management positions. Workforce Planning can help achieve them all.  

2. Evaluate Your Current Workforce

The next step is to take an in-depth look at your current talent to predict what issues you may run into in the future. What are the strengths of your team? What are the weaknesses? 

A problem many trucking companies are facing right now is the age of their drivers. If the majority of drivers are reaching retirement age, that’s a sign that you should begin planning to avoid staffing issues in the future. 

Leah Shaver

Leah Shaver, President of National Transportation Institute

On a recent episode of the Recruit & Retain: Trucking Edition podcast, Leah Shaver, President of The National Transportation Institute, shared her perspective on the subject. 

“When we do a pay study with a company, we do ask for demographic information. We look at age, we look at gender and turnover by location. Why? Because you want to monitor threats. Sometimes we’ve helped a company identify that they’re not diversified enough in their recruiting and retention process,” shared Leah. 

Another aspect of your workforce to analyze is diversity. Over the past decade, the trucking industry has seen an explosion in this area. In the past 5 years alone, the number of minority individuals in the trucking industry jumped from 26.6% to 40.4%. The increase in diversity in the trucking industry is almost as big as the positive impact diversity has on businesses that make it a priority. 

3. Plan

After analyzing your current workforce and identifying your goals, it’s time to make the two work together. This step involves identifying how exactly to get the ideal workforce that will help reach those business goals.  

Beth Potratz

Beth Potratz, CEO of Drive My Way

On that same episode of Recruit & Retain: Trucking Edition, Drive My Way’s CEO, Beth Potratz, shared about Workforce Planning. 

“This is planning out not only the goals of the business, but really looking at your fleet from a number of different perspectives to see how it can help accomplish those goals. What’s the age of your fleet? Will people be aging out in the next few years? What’s your turnover rate? Are there specific demographic segments we’re not looking at during recruitment? Overall, what are you seeing in your workforce and what can you glean from that data?” shared Beth. 

Maybe you recruit for a local delivery servicer that uses sprinter vans but are planning to add straight trucks to their fleet. Evaluating how this change will be executed from a workforce perspective is key. Will you spend all of your resources training your current drivers to get their CDL B certification? Or will you begin recruiting current CDL B drivers to drive the straight trucks while keeping your current workforce in the sprinter vans? These are all questions that will be answered in the planning stage. 

4. Implement

After completing the planning and research, it’s finally time to put your plan into action. This step is more of an ongoing process that could take weeks, months, or even years depending on the plan. While recruiting and retention efforts will be the brunt of the work here, marketing and training are also extremely valuable resources when it comes to Workforce Planning. 

5. Analyze the Results

Now that Workforce Planning has been implemented, the last thing to do is to see if it worked. This involves receiving feedback from recruiters and managers on how successful the plan has been. Were those business goals that were laid out in step one achieved? If they were, how did Workforce Planning play into it? This information needs to be quantified in order to show results to key decision makers. 

 

When it comes to Workforce Planning, the best practice is to view it as a cyclical process, as opposed to something you stop and start again and again. This way, instead of reacting to workforce shortages and issues as they occur, you’ll be working to avoid them entirely.  

In an industry with a turnover rate much higher than the national average, Workforce Planning is essential to make sure trucking companies are hiring drivers who will not only stay with companies long-term, but help meet their overall business goals as well. 

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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Trucking Truth with Alessandra Szul

Starting a trucking business isn’t easy. However, this didn’t stop Alessandra Szul, who saw an opportunity in the industry and started her own trucking company, Flatbush Freight Express, while still in her early twenties.

Started in 2018, Flatbush Freight Express is a female-owned and operated trucking company based in North Carolina.  Drive My Way’s CEO, Beth Potratz spoke with Alessandra about what she’s learned in her time in the trucking industry, how she tackles driver recruiting, and her advice for others looking to make the jump into starting their own trucking business. 

Q: What’s your background and how did you end up in the trucking industry?

I come from a very strong entrepreneurial background. 30 years ago, my mother and grandmother started the largest cosmetic company in the country of Venezuela. I saw the freedom you could have by owning your own business and kept that with me growing up. I ended up going to school for applied computer science and business, because I saw pursuing those fields as a good way to build a foundation that would help me transition into starting my own business.  

After earning my degree, I worked at a few different places in the technology industry. Last year my current partner at Flatbush introduced me to a friend who owned his own trucking company in North Carolina. He was kind enough to show us his books and my first thought was, “This is what I’ve been looking for. Why can’t I do this too?” 

Q: How was your first year in operation and what was your biggest lesson?

It’s been exciting and informative to say the least. Not coming from a background in trucking, there was a lot to learn, and I’m very grateful I have my partner to help me with everything.  

One big lesson I’ve learned is to make sure all my drivers have front-facing dashboard cameras. One of my drivers was involved in an accident earlier this past year. The towing company that arrived on the scene insisted that the truck needed to be towed away to their yard, but my very experienced driver felt that was unnecessary. The whole incident ended up costing us over $10,000 all-in-all before the towing company would release the truck back to us. That’s not to mention that the trailer was fully stocked at the time of the accident, so there was a delay in delivery as well. If we had just invested in a dash cam upfront, the whole issue could have been avoided.  

On a positive note, Flatbush has been able to grow from 2 to 4 trucks over the past year. Our goal for this next year is to make it to 10 trucks and go from there. We’re also looking to hire our own mechanic. Because as we learned, it’s not just the repairs themselves that cost money. It’s the loss of money from not having one of our trucks on the road that makes the biggest difference.  

Q: How does Flatbush Freight Express handle recruiting?

Having a strong recruiting pipeline is extremely important to us. Even if we’re not hiring, we make sure to be very active on Drive My Way. As a young company, having a constant online presence and making sure drivers know about us is vital to our growth. 

Aside from that, we focus on hiring the right driver, not just the first person. I made that mistake early on and it ended up costing us. That’s why we love hiring through Drive My Way. I was lucky enough to find a driver through Drive My Way who had a background in safety and compliance work for Ryder Logistics. It was the perfect match on both ends since our number one core value at Flatbush is safety.

Q: Not being able to have face-to-face time with your drivers must be difficult. How are you still able to build a relationship with them?

Aside from safety, building a strong relationship with our drivers is the most important thing for us. This has been more difficult with Covid, but, something I still actively try to do. For a lot of good reasons, many drivers are skeptical of company owners. That’s why I like to spend time talking with my drivers, building that trust between owner and employee. It’s taken some time, but I’ve gotten to the point where my drivers will reach out with comments and concerns or just to chat and send me something they find funny. It’s a great feeling and definitely contributes to the kind of culture we’re building at Flatbush.   

Q: What advice would you have for someone considering starting a trucking company?

Be honest with yourself if it’s something they can afford to do or not. It’s very easy to be put in a bad financial spot or even be out of business due to unforeseen circumstances. I would also recommend getting your CDL before anything else. Then saving up to buy one truck, and go from there. It’s much easier to find financing if you hold your CDL, even if you don’t plan on driving. And once you start earning money, a bank or financial institution will be much more likely to help you finance the second or third truck, so you don’t have to bootstrap it all alone.

Alessandra finished with these thoughts:

While everyone at Flatbush Freight Express has their role to play, without the drivers, there’s no business. That’s why I do everything possible to take care of my drivers and make them feel appreciated. They give up such a huge portion of their lives for this job, that it’s the least I can do. For anyone looking to get into this industry, make a point to treat your drivers like family. Do that and the rest will fall into place.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

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Jason Crowell Custom Commodities Transport

The impact of 2020 is not finished. All of the repercussions are flowing through the supply chain, and it’s impacting manufacturing, the food system, and the labor shortage everywhere. Even though we are on the down swing of the virus itself, everyone is looking for a Truck Driver right now. Therefore, the job market is competitive, making it extremely hard on Driver Recruiters. Drive My Way’s CEO, Beth Potratz, spoke with Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting at Custom Commodities Transport, and Jason shared his advice for staying motivated and recruiting for retention.

Q: What keeps you motivated as a Driver Recruiter?

A: Being a Truck Driver Recruiter can be a burn out job.  Each week, we Recruiters have the highest of hopes and often, we also have big letdowns in this unprecedented market. A Truck Driver is likely talking to 4 or 5 Recruiters at once in their job search, saying yes to one of them, and leaving the other recruiters hanging.  We call it “ghosting” and it’s on the rise, contributing to the Recruiter’s stress. The toughest part for today’s trucking company is finding and retaining qualified Drivers, putting incredible pressure on the Driver Recruiter because the success of the business often hinges on the Recruiter’s work. The recruiting office is getting more visits from the CEO than ever before. 

To keep myself motivated, I focus the positives. We know that what is happening in the market is cyclical. We are riding the best of economic times with more business than we can handle, and the gating factor is having the Drivers to do the work. With the executive team tuned in to the gravity of the recruiting need, it’s a great time introduce new and improved employer brand strategies, cutting edge recruitment advertising technology, and cool retention initiatives.

Q: Why is recruiting for retention so important now and always?

A:  The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse came online and eliminated tens of thousands of Drivers in the American workforce. Older Drivers are retiring at a faster rate since COVID-19, younger Drivers are not going into the trucking profession, and the Truck Driver schools were closed for a year. We recruit to retain because the nation-wide Driver shortage is only getting worse! America needs Truck Drivers. Retaining our brightest and best Drivers will make or break trucking companies over this next year.

Q: How do you combat pressure on Recruiters and how do you motivate them to rise to the challenge?

A: The state of the market has allowed Recruiting to have a seat at the Leadership table. Driver recruiting is no longer considered an admin function. We’re just as important as operations, safety, and sales.

To motivate our Recruiters, I like to share the bigger picture with our team. When our Recruiters know they serve a greater purpose and understand the vision of the organization, they can also communicate this to Drivers. All of a sudden, their job becomes more than just making calls and filling trucks. Recruiters are part of fulfilling a greater purpose.

Q: How do you incentivize Driver Recruiters?

A: Of course financial incentives are important, but we like to celebrate small wins and show appreciation for the work of Recruiters.  We’re trying to cultivate a culture of appreciation. If we meet our Recruiting KPIs for the week, that’s to be celebrated, not just with the recruiting team but also with the executive team. It’s important to have fun while we are working, so we share KPIs and headcount goals and get other departments involved.

Good Recruiters stay positive in nearly impossible situations, they find solutions, and they are tenacious and scrappy. It takes a unique personality to love the work, but for those of us who do, these are wild times. I’m having a blast!

Q: How much should a recruiter be selling the position vs listening to Drivers about their needs?

We never want a Recruiter to oversell the job to bring a Driver in under false pretenses. As a matter of fact, we share our “realistic job preview” to tell Driver candidates about the goods, the bads, and the uglies of the job.  Every candidate can’t fit into our jobs, and it’s the Recruiters’ job to help with that all-important selection. The Recruiter should really be listening to what the Driver wants and needs to identify if there is a mutual fit.

We’re working to provide our Recruiters with a library of Driver stories about every aspect of the job.  Recruiters can use these stories to demonstrate to the candidate how the company operates without reading bullet points from a script. We find that these stories are what stand out for the Driver in our recruiting process and that the stories are often what distinguishes our recruiter from some another company’s recruiter who may just be listing features and benefits.

Jason finished with these thoughts:

I must commend our executive team here at Custom Commodities Transport for being so open to new ideas.  We measure everything and use data to assure good decision-making, but this results-oriented team has shown that they value Drivers, understand the recruiting & retention challenge, and are willing to make big, bold moves to make Custom Commodities the benchmark that customers and competitors use to measure themselves.

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