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recruiting owner operators

Recruiting owner operators to your carrier is a much different experience than recruiting company drivers. Owner operators have different values and personality traits than set them apart from most company drivers. They’re more independent, entrepreneurial-minded, and adventurous. Therefore, recruiting owner operators to your company is a whole different ball game from recruiting company drivers.

So, why do carriers hire owner operators? the benefits include not having the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining the trucks. With the average price of semi trucks still very high, this benefit can’t be overlooked. Owner operators are also often more experienced drivers with better safety records.

The one big drawback of recruiting owner operators is that they’re much more expensive to hire, with the average salary around $140,000 per year. That being said, hiring owner operators is still the best option for some carriers, depending on their situation. Here are three tips for recruiting owner operators to your fleet.

1. Reach Them Where They Are

To recruit the best drivers, you have to reach them where they are. This applies when recruiting owner operators as well. Just because you’ve been finding success reaching company drivers through certain mediums, doesn’t mean that will translate when hiring owner operators.

According to the Overdrive 2020 Connectivity Study, owner operators lean more towards consuming printed magazines while company drivers prefer email newsletters. Shifting your advertising towards printed media outlets will likely help you reach more owner operators.

There are of course other ways to reach owner operators as well. Truck drivers by large are all over social media. That same study showed that owner operators use Facebook just as much as company drivers do. Complement print ads with a mix of social media ads and platforms such as job boards, e-newsletters, and online forums, including trucking groups on Facebook.

Aside from ads, having a strong referral program is another great way to bring in owner operators. It’s no secret that drivers are more likely to trust what they hear about a company if it comes from other truck drivers as opposed to recruiters and human resources people. This is true as well for owner operators, which is why having a referral program in place can help spread the word about your company to owner operators looking for a new company to sign on with.

2. Be Patient and Ready to Negotiate

Once you’ve found them, the recruitment process for owner operators will be slightly trickier than it is for company drivers. Don’t be surprised if it takes a bit longer as well.

For owner operators, the recruitment process isn’t a job offer between employer and employee. It’s a business transaction between partners. 

While it is usually good to recruit sooner rather than later, you’ll want to take your time a bit more with owner operators. Get to know what job factors will be important to them. If there’s a certain sticking point, like home time, pay, or discounts, let them know that you can work on it and get back to them. There may be more negotiation and compromise required on the company’s part when working with owner operators.

If it doesn’t work out, make sure you part on good terms with the driver so that it doesn’t affect company reputation adversely. Plus, it’s always good to build relationships with drivers even when it’s not a great fit at the time. This way, you still have the option to connect later down the road.

3. Be Honest, Consistent and Predictable

Being honest and straightforward during the recruitment process is important for all candidates, but especially for owner operators. These entrepreneurs are making a big decision to work with your company and need to be confident about that choice.

There are few things that will irk owner operators more than a recruiter changing their messaging during the process. There shouldn’t be one message from the company during the initial advertising, something different during a recruitment call, and something else entirely during the meeting. If they sense they’re not getting all the facts or missing something, they’ll quickly move on to the next opportunity.

In addition to building distrust with the owner operator, it can also create a negative reputation which will find its way to other drivers as well.

While it’s acceptable to improve or negotiate the terms during the recruitment process, it shouldn’t be acceptable for recruiters to go back on something that was previously promised.

Once drivers are onboarded, predictability will also be valued on the job. Owner operators are more independent minded than the average company driver and will be less adaptable to changing work conditions from the company. They want to have the freedom of working when they want and being able to choose the loads they prefer, which is why they became owner operators in the first place.

Owner operators can be an attractive option for trucking companies to pursue. When it comes to recruiting them for your company, knowing what they have in common and where they differ from company drivers is the best way to bring them on board. Keep in mind these three tips and you’ll be bringing owner operators into your company in no time.

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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stay interviewWhile the trucking industry has been dealing with retention issues for years, the greater workforce is now feeling the sting of it as well. In what’s been dubbed the “Great Resignation”, employees in a number of industries are leaving their jobs in record numbers for greener pastures.

One way that companies in these industries are combating this wave of resignations is by conducting “Stay Interviews” with their current employees. Luckily for the transportation industry, these stay interviews aren’t only useful for accounting firms and software companies. They can be used by trucking carriers as well. Here’s everything to know about them.

What is a Stay Interview?

A stay interview is an interview or conversation with a driver who’s been with your carrier for a while and is happy in their current role. Think of it as the opposite of an exit interview. The conversation will center around the driver’s thoughts on their current role and the carrier as a whole.

In exit interviews, you’ll be getting mostly critical feedback, since the driver is on their way out. In a stay interview, you’ll likely get more positive feedback since the driver is content with their current situation.

These interviews can help you learn what specific programs and perks drivers are enjoying and which ones they could do with it. This kind of feedback can help your carrier develop the most driver-centric package possible so that you can attract and retain more drivers.

What Questions Should be Asked in a Stay Interview?

While the questions you ask should pertain to your unique challenges as a carrier, here are a few common questions that are asked in most stay interviews.

  • What do you enjoy about working here?
  • What are some perks of the job that you enjoy the most?
  • If you ran the company for a day, what’s the first thing you would do?
  • You’ve been with us a long time, what has made you stay so long?
  • How do you feel about management?
  • What are your biggest frustrations when you’re out on the road?
  • Have you recommended our carrier to other drivers?

Keep in mind that a stay interview is meant to be an informal conversation. While it’s good to have some talking points prepared, don’t feel the need to run through a list of questions one by one. This comes across as overly formal and may spook the driver off from giving honest feedback.

The best thing to do is have a few topics you want to hit on and let the conversation flow from there.

What are Some Tips for Conducting Stay Interviews?

1. Stay interviews are a relatively new phenomenon, so make a point of explaining to the driver the reason for the interview and what it’s going to be. Don’t just call or email a driver about scheduling a “Meeting with HR” with no other explanation. That’s a surefire way to put a driver (or anyone really) on edge.

2. Just because a driver is staying with your carrier, doesn’t mean they have don’t have any critiques. It’s important to ask questions around how your carrier could improve so you’re getting all the feedback you can, good and bad.

3. Take notes during the interview. This way you won’t forget anything that was discussed and can go over them later.

What’s Next?

After you’ve conducted a stay interview with a driver, start looking at the notes you’ve taken. If you’ve done multiple interviews, you can begin to look for patterns. Was there something that all the drivers enjoyed about working with your carrier? Maybe it was your detention pay, 401K plan, or flexible home time options. If you can find something like that, there’s a good chance you can use it to attract other drivers to your carrier if you aren’t already.

If you received any negative feedback, the process is just like it would be for an exit interview. Meet with key decision makers in your company to present what you’ve learned and plan from there.

Truck drivers are the backbone of any carrier, which is why listening to them is so important. Conducting stay interviews improves your carrier’s reputation and offerings so that you can recruit and retain top drivers.

Custom Commodities Transport Partners with Drive My Way for Success

Custom Commodities Transport is the nation’s largest transporter of Activated Carbon. See how they worked with Drive My Way to meet their driver needs.

View the Case Study

lease purchase trucking company

Recruiters work hard to find the best candidates for their open jobs. Using all available resources, they need to need to differentiate their job postings from others that might be very similar. So it’s important to find out what your potential drivers are looking for in a new job and what can help your company stand out from the others.

In some cases, it takes more than just switching up your recruiting tactics. Sometimes it means adding a new lane to your business strategy. This new lane could be becoming a lease purchase company.

The Basics

trucking endorsementsMany CDL drivers are looking to advance their careers by owning their own trucks. However, this is a big step and requires a significant financial investment up-front. While some drivers are fine with buying their truck the traditional way, others may be looking for a more financially-friendly way to purchase a truck. This is where lease purchase agreements come in.

A lease purchase agreement is a legal arrangement between a driver and a carrier, where the driver leases a truck from the carrier for a set amount of time while driving for the carrier and making payments on the truck. Once the payments are made, the agreement is met and the driver fully owns the truck.

Lease purchase agreements can be a great solution for both drivers who are looking for a cheaper way to own their own truck and carriers looking to bring quality drivers on board. Drivers interested in lease purchase options are usually more experienced and serious about trucking as a long-term career. Two things that every recruiter loves to see in a driver.

If your carrier owns a number of trucks and is willing to get into the business of selling them through lease payments to drivers, this model might work for you. And if so, this is where you start setting up your strategy to enter this new aspect of your business.

This type of arrangement can bring in new leads for your recruiting efforts, as many drivers are interested in becoming an owner operator someday. But it also adds a level of complexity to your business. It’s essentially having a small business within a business, as the drivers are seeking to become their own company with their own vehicle.

Rules and Regulations

Becoming a lease purchase company requires a carrier to follow a set of federal guidelines that spell out all of the considerations of leasing. These rules inform all aspects of the leasing agreements. When drawing up all the various policies, paperwork, and contracts needed to lease trucks to your drivers, it’s important to understand the regulations that come with these transactions.

Transparency

As mentioned earlier, becoming a lease purchase carrier a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition. And unfortunately, it’s also an opportunity for carriers to put out deceptive marketing messages—ones that might make it seem like it’s an easy way for a driver to own their own truck with little work on their end.

The federal truth in leasing regulations have been put in place to stop that and protect both drivers and carriers entering into a lease agreement. These laws ensure transparency on all aspects of the lease.

Be sure to be clear and forthcoming about every aspect of the lease purchase agreement with drivers. That includes the terms, the payment schedules and all of the specific details of the lease. This will help you avoid any confusion later, or worse, lawsuits.

Risk

Like with anything, there is a level of risk associated with becoming a lease purchase trucking company. There’s always the hope that everything goes right, but sometimes they won’t.

All of the terms of the agreement can be as specific as possible, and everyone can enter into the agreement hoping things run smoothly. But, that’s unfortunately not always the case.

The driver might not be able to keep up with the payments, and then the carrier is put in a position of needing to reclaim the truck. Additionally, the driver might unfortunately have an accident with the truck while it’s still under lease and not fully owned.

This has legal implications on the lease company as well, if the driver can’t cover the costs to repair. Additionally, the carrier will need to ensure that the proper insurance and maintenance is being done on the truck throughout the lease period.

Do Your Homework

Knowing what your potential drivers are looking for, helps you develop the best set of tools to recruit the best candidates. As your company grows and expands your recruitment efforts, consider looking into becoming a lease purchase trucking company.

While not right for all carriers out there, this model can bring new leads to your hiring office, and new revenue streams to benefit your bottom line. But it’s also a complex business, with a decent amount of risk involved. As with most things, it’s good to do your homework to make sure you make the right decision.

lease purchase driver job description

Lease Purchase Driver Job Description Template

Is your job description written for the lease purchase driver? Making sure to lead with information that lease purchase drivers are specifically looking for is extremely important.

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time to hireYou’re a truck driver on the lookout for a new job and want to start earning money as quickly as possible. You’ve narrowed down your choices between Carrier A and Carrier B. Both are similar in pay and home time. The only difference is that Carrier A wants to bring you in for one interview and a road test within the next week, while Carrier B wants to schedule multiple interviews two weeks apart and has their next orientation scheduled five weeks from now.

Which carrier would you sign with? This is why time to hire is such an important metric when recruiting truck drivers.

Simply put, time to hire is how long it takes a company to hire a candidate, from their first contact with them all the way to the candidate accepting the offer of employment.

Among other things, time to hire is indicative of both the efficiency of your recruiting team and the candidate’s experience. That’s why HR and recruiting professionals put such an emphasis on it. 

Everyone knows that having a quick time to hire is good, but how do you achieve that? Here are 5 ways to speed up your hiring process.  

1. Structure Your Hiring Process

Structing your hiring process is the first step in improving your time to hire. Having a disorganized approach to hiring means that things will fall through the cracks, including quality driver candidates.  

As a team, come up with a strict procedure for how to process applications, contact candidates, interview them, keep track of documentation, and eventually onboard drivers.  

Consider utilizing an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) that keeps track of everything related to your job postings and candidates in the hiring funnel. An ATS can also automate certain tasks like posting jobs, texting candidates and scheduling interviews.  

2. Avoid Redundant or Lengthy Applications

Have you ever filled out an application on a job board only to find out that you now needed to go to the company’s website and do it all over again? If so, you probably weren’t too happy. Maybe it stopped you from applying to the job altogether. Truck drivers feel the same way. 

According to data gathered by CareerBuilder,  

“Employees say an application that is difficult or confusing to complete (42%), or one that takes too long to complete (31%), would cause them to give up before submitting.”

If you’re noticing a lot of drivers are abandoning your applications, think about cutting out some of the more in-depth questions so that the application is just the need-to-know information.  

On the flip side, having an application that doesn’t collect enough information from drivers isn’t good either. In that scenario, you’ll keep having to reach out to drivers asking them for information that could have just been in the application. Having multiple touchpoints like these will increase your time to hire and give drivers the impression that your carrier is disorganized.  

3. Have a Better Job Posting

A driver who’s looking for a job sees hundreds of job postings every day. What makes yours special enough for them to stop scrolling and click on it?  

Just like with your applications, job postings should be concise and to the point. You never want a driver to look at your job posting and not find an answer to critical questions like pay, home time, or type of run. Don’t use flowery language or unnecessary jargon to beef up the word count either. That’s a great way to lose a driver’s attention quickly.  

Here’s an example of a free job description template that many Drive My Way clients have found success with. Remember, keep only the necessary, but all of the necessary.  

4. Avoid Excessive Contact with Drivers

Just like with the application process, having excessive interviews is a sure-fire way to lose top driver candidates. It’s probably not necessary for a driver to interview with three people in three separate departments for a traditional OTR position. Instead, have candidates only interview with decision makers in the hiring process, and try to schedule interviews within a week of talking with a driver. 

If you’ve got a candidate with a great attitude and good safety record, it’s best to try and get them into orientation as quickly as possible. Otherwise, another company is sure to do it first.

5. Look at the Right Candidates

There’s nothing that slows down the hiring process more than sifting through hundreds of applications that don’t come close to meeting the minimum criteria for the position. It’s a waste of time that could be better spent interviewing and hiring the right candidates.

Drive My Way’s patented and proprietary software matches drivers to your job based on their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. This means that you’re only spending time talking to drivers who are both qualified and interested in your jobs.

While it may seem like there’s a lot that goes into improving your time to hire, it all comes down to two important things; organizing your process and cutting anything unnecessary out of it. Do this, and you’ll see an improvement in your time to hire in no time.

Custom Commodities Transport Partners with Drive My Way for Success

Custom Commodities Transport is the nation’s largest transporter of Activated Carbon. See how they worked with Drive My Way to meet their driver needs.

View the Case Study

American Central Transport

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josh at the White House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

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

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

1. Remote Interviewing and Onboarding Process

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

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

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

2. Vaccine/Booster Requirements

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

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

3. Driver Pay Increasing

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

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

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

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

4. Truck Shortage

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

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

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

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

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

5. Increased Driver Shortage

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

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

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

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

Comprehensive CDL Recruitment Solutions

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

Request a Demo

recruitment videos

As a driver recruiter, we know that it’s essential to write a compelling job description for open CDL jobs. However, it’s now becoming essential to bring that job description to life using video. Incorporating video into your driver recruiting strategy allows candidates to hear from your drivers, see the day-to-day of the position, and virtually meet your company. Here are 4 recruitment videos to consider.

1. Driver Testimonial Video

Drivers trust other drivers more than they trust a hiring manager or driver recruiter. When a candidate has the opportunity to hear authentic feedback from another driver about why he or she likes the position, this automatically builds trust with the candidate. Driver testimonial recruitment videos are a great way to help convert more applicants for your open positions.

Drive My Way client, NFI created testimonial videos that share the driver’s favorite components of the position. In this video, a longtime NFI driver talks about how the company supports veterans. Before creating the video, NFI had received questions on this topic. Now the recruiter can share this video when asked questions about it in the future.


If the video seems scripted or vague, the viewer will feel that. However, if the driver testimonial is transparent and addresses common pain points such as home time, pay, or equipment, it will likely help increase driver applicants.

Pro Tip: When creating driver testimonial videos, ask drivers open-ended questions instead of close-ended questions to have the conversation flow organically.

2. Day in the Life Video

It’s one thing to write a great job description to depict the “day in the life” of a position. It’s another thing for a driver to see what he or she would be doing.

Drive My Way client, Kam-Way Transportation created videos that feature drivers on the job. This video shows the driver during an average work day instead of speaking into the camera like the testimonial video. Therefore, the video allows applicants to picture themselves in the role.

These videos are often more effective than a general company video that talks about what makes the organization great. Candidates want to first visualize their role within the company. Then, if there is a mutual fit, the driver recruiter can share a company culture video to dive deeper.

3. Career Projection Video

A career projection video won’t apply to all companies, but is effective to use for roles that allow for growth. If a candidate asks a driver recruiter the growth opportunity for a specific role, having a video to visually answer that question is helpful.

Drive My Way client, Button Transportation created a video that shares an overview of how the company started as well as how a driver advances in the organization. This type of video is helpful for candidates who are looking for a company to grow with and may especially apply to young drivers or drivers who are new to the industry.




Some companies will also incorporate testimonials or information about the culture in a career projection video, although it’s not necessary to produce success.

4. Company Culture Videos

A company culture video is oftentimes used later in the recruiting process. It’s best to lead with driver testimonial or day in the life videos first, because candidates will often relate to these the most. However, also having a more general video that features information about the company, culture, and differentiators will help candidates continue to evaluate if there is a mutual fit.

Drive My Way client, Bender Transportation created a video that explains and depicts their company culture. This video is meant to be more of a general depiction of what differentiates Bender from other companies and why employees enjoy working there.


Having multiple types of recruitment videos to use at different stages in the driver recruiting process is key. This not only keeps candidates engaged, but more importantly, allows them to visualize the position and the company. This will lead to hiring drivers who are better fits for your open CDL positions and increased retention rates for your carrier.

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

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

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

1. Training Opportunities

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

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

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

2. Set Up Career Paths

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

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

3. Use Texting to Communicate

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

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

4. Mobile-First Presentation

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

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

5. Quality Company Culture

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

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

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

 

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

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.
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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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cdl age requirementFrom shipping delays to empty shelves and rising prices in supermarkets, the effects of the truck driver shortage can be felt all across the country. Carriers and advocates have tried a number of ways to get more drivers into the industry. From raising pay to letting pets ride in the cab, a lot of different perks have been offered to get people interested in a career in trucking. 

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

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

What’s the Latest News?

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

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

Cons to Lowering the Interstate CDL Age

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

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

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

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

Pros to Lowering the Interstate CDL Age?

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

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

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

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

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

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

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

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

Get the Ebook