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connect drivers

Crafting messages that connect drivers during the time of Coronavirus is a balance of content and delivery. Each time you communicate with your fleet, look for ways to emphasize the value your employees bring. Then, choose the channel that is best suited for the message you are sending. Here are 8 best practices for effectively communicating messages that connect drivers.  

Craft the Message

1. Keep It Positive

Everyone is experiencing the pandemic a little differently, but it’s not easy for anyone. In a June 2020 survey of nearly 250 million American adults, the Household Pulse found a dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, and worry directly correlated to COVID19.  As an employer, you can be confident that at least some of your drivers are among those numbers.

More than ever, this is a time to keep your messaging positive. Recognize quality performance and create opportunities to build c  omradery among your team.

Keep content upbeat and treat drivers with respect. Share company highlights and successes, especially if you can attribute it to the work of your team. Small gestures quickly add up and can make a big impact on drivers.

2. Put People First

National job uncertainty has been a hallmark of 2020. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to show drivers that you care. Making people a priority is more than a feel-good gesture. In times of economic uncertainty, high driver turnover rates are more costly than ever. Make it a priority to keep drivers that you have and to recruit with retention in mind. To be successful, launch or renew efforts to get driver feedback on what they need. Then, be proactive in implementing changes for their health and wellbeing. 

3. Prioritize Transparency

With information changing so quickly, communicating with transparency requires a delicate balance. The good news is, drivers also know this. Be as accurate as possible, but also honest about the uncertainties you are navigating. Prioritize sharing information with drivers that will affect their jobs or lives. In your communication, be realistic and honest about what your company is and is not able to accommodate. When drivers have questions, listen to understand rather than to respond. Focus on setting appropriate expectations and de-escalating frustration or tension.

4. Be Clear and Consistent

In addition to transparency, consistency is critical during uncertain times. It’s so important that in 2019, Harvard Business Review found that consistency is one of the three key elements of building trust.

In the trucking industry right now, transparency is a way of giving drivers something stable to rely on. Have policies in place for personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizing resources, and sick days. Unfortunately, no one can control the outcome of this disease or how different economic sectors will respond. That said, veteran and new drivers should know what they can expect from you. Be proactive in communicating measures for their health and safety before it’s an emergency.

Fine Tune Your Message Delivery

5. Give Praise in Public and Private Ways

To connect drivers during Coronavirus, the message delivery is almost as important as the content. To recognize drivers, take a two-fold approach. Be public with praise on social media in addition to internal kudos. Highlight drivers who are doing quality work during this time, and call attention to their hard work! Hero campaigns are a great way to do this. 

Public recognition is most meaningful as a way to connect drivers when it is paired with private or internal recognition as well. Drivers will quickly see through any companies that praise in public and don’t value drivers in private. In addition to external marketing campaigns, take time to reach out to drivers individually. Share your appreciation directly with drivers who are doing good work. Listen for signs of stress and other challenges that drivers are facing. Support drivers in any way you can. Good employees are your most valuable company resource.

6. Sending to One or Many?

There is a lot of information to communicate right now. Within that flood of content, identify dissemination best practices. In short, not every message is for every driver. Some information is best shared with your entire fleet as a bulk message. Other instructions or resources might only be relevant for a subset of individuals or even a single person. Consider carefully who needs to hear which pieces of information before sending anything. 

7. Contact Drivers on Their Terms

Choosing to use the platforms drivers prefer is a form of respect, and it’s good business. Our Drive My Way Driver Happiness and Retention Survey found that 64% of drivers prefer to speak with recruiters by phone with email being the next closest option. Now, other platforms using video calling or other technology may also play a role in training or fleet communication.

64% of drivers prefer to speak with recruiters by phone. Email is the next most popular communication channel.

Choosing to communicate based on drivers’ preferences is a small way to accommodate your drivers and increase job satisfaction. Similarly, reach out to drivers at times that work for them. Attending to details like communication channel and timing turns the driver – manager relationship from a one-way chain of command to a conversation. 

8. Air on the Side of Over-Communicating

hiring truck drivers

Communicating with the mobile, widespread workforce that is truck drivers is no small job. Add to that challenge the flood of information and misinformation that is swirling around Coronavirus. The bottom line? It’s hard to overcommunicate with your fleet right now.

Drivers’ viewpoints are shaped primarily on their day to day experience on the road or hear from other drivers. That may not be the whole picture. Because drivers have often not earned the respect they deserve, some may think they are being singled out unfairly. Take the time to listen to their concerns and empathetically explain any increased regulations and reassure drivers that they are valued as part of your team.

driver happiness and retention survey

FREE SURVEY REPORT

Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey

We surveyed over 400 CDL truck drivers nationwide to discover what makes them happy in their career and life. Access the survey report to see the results.

Get the Results

4 Tips for a Successful Driver Safety Program

Truck driver safety is of the utmost importance in the trucking industry. Keeping your drivers safe, and your fleets moving are the keys to any successful trucking company. Every trucking company should have a documented driver safety program as a best practice. So whether you’re a company with a great safety history, or a newer carrier just getting things started, here are 4 tips for putting together a successful driver safety program.

1. Make Safety Everyone’s Responsibility

The best way for any carrier to operate is with a comprehensive approach to safety. It’s not the job of the owner or the individual drivers to make sure that safety is a priority. It’s everyone’s responsibility. Safety should be baked into the foundation of the company, and communicated both internally and externally. If not, it’s always going to fall to someone else to take care of it.

Having safety as part of your carrier’s culture is a terrific way to show drivers that you care about them. It can help you attract good drivers, and keep your drivers with you for the long haul.

2. Seat Belt Programs

Wearing seat belts is important. Some might say that seat belt wearing is the most important thing all drivers should do to be safe over the road. So making sure that every driver, and passenger in the cab, wears their seat belt is a good idea.

There are seat belt detection options that can pay dividends when utilized. Adding these options to your overall driver safety program can reap great benefits over time.

3. Offer Rewards for Safety

Make sure your drivers have some skin in the game, as the saying goes. If drivers have good safety protocols to follow, give them a reward for doing their part. There are a number of ways for carriers to implement rewards that can help your drivers feel recognized for doing a great job. And these rewards can be as simple or grand as your imagination and budget allow.

Simple things like recognition boards for doing things right daily are a great idea. Or for those drivers that achieve big safety milestones, celebrate those more visibly.

4. Document Your Driver Safety Program

If the driver safety program at your company is not formally compiled and readily available for everyone, it’s not worth very much. Like most HR policies, this one should be written out and distributed to everyone, so that there’s no confusion as to what’s in it, or where employees can find it. Add this program to your formal employee review process. Be clear when communicating changes to the program. This way it’s clear for everyone to know they’ve got the most current version.

Writing your program down avoids confusion. And it ensures that everyone who needs to see it, is able to see it.

Your truck driver safety program can be a foundational part of your culture and the way the you run your company. It can help with both your truck driver recruitment and retention over time. Showing drivers that you care about their safety can make drivers feel like a more valued part of the company. To learn more about retaining your good truck drivers, get the guide below.

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

home time

Home time is a very important job benefit to many drivers. Communicating policies clearly sets drivers’ expectations from the start. As with all driver communication, strive for clarity, consistency, and empathy. Set your policies early, but prepare a few flexible solutions for the times when unexpected emergencies arise. Implement these best practices for communicating home time with drivers, and get to know the most frequently asked questions.

1. Give the Details Early

Home time is cited as a top priority for many drivers. In our Drive My Way Driver Happiness Survey, time at home was ranked more important than Bonuses and Benefits, Equipment, and Route/Location among other factors. Only pay and company culture ranked higher when drivers answered what was attractive to them in a job. With that in mind, make sure to list home time in job descriptions.

Allowing drivers to decide right away whether the job is a good fit for them ensures you’ll only interview drivers who are a good fit. 

Home time policies should also come up in a job interview. If drivers don’t ask, be clear in stating your policy, especially if there are any unique elements to it. This is another opportunity to ensure that your recruitment policies prepare you for strong driver retention. Communicating policies early and often helps set a tone of transparency for new drivers.

2. Strive for Consistency

Clear home time policies go a long way with drivers. When possible, follow a clear pattern for days off. For some companies, this will be easy. For others, a consistent schedule simply isn’t practical.

Whether you offer 2 weeks on the road 2 days off or 7 days on 1 day off, be as consistent as possible within your scheduled routes.

Drivers want to know what they can expect and may be planning family events around their time off. Stay as close to their anticipated schedule as you’re able to, and share changes with advance notice. 

3. Put it in Writing

Home time should be clearly stated in the hiring contract. While it may seem unnecessary, putting home time in writing is good protection for both the company and drivers. If your policy is in writing, it ensures consistency among drivers. If you do have different policies for seniority or other factors, make sure that is clearly outlined so there is no favoritism at play. 

Having expectations set in writing also manages company optics. There should be no question about why drivers have different home time policies. Visible policies are good for clarity upfront and protect you if disputes occur later.

4. Be Understanding

Inevitably, drivers will request time off that is different from their standard home time policy. When extenuating circumstances arise, be flexible when you’re able to. Understandably, it’s not always possible to get drivers home immediately. Strong communication is your best asset. In difficult situations, be sympathetic, and use neutral language as you explain the situation. Empathize with the driver and work to identify a solution that works for both parties.

5. Be Prepared for Driver Questions

Home time is very important to most drivers.  Drivers who are willing to be out for weeks may still have obligations at home. They speak highly of companies that recognize this and try hard to get them home when they need it. Because home time is so important, questions are a guarantee.

Here are some of the most common questions that we get at Drive My Way.

  1. Is home time truly guaranteed?
  2. Do I have a say in when I take my time?
  3. Will I work weekends or be off?
  4. Will I be home for my reset? 
  5. Are the home time and mileage really what is listed in the job description or communicated in the interview?

TruckingTruth also shares a few common driver FAQ.

  1. What happens in case of an emergency?
  2. How are loads assigned?
  3. What hours will I work each day?

6. Identify Areas for Flexibility

If drivers stay with your fleet for long enough, they will likely request time at home outside their typical policy at some point. Additionally, new drivers might ask about for more time at home in a hiring interview. Before those conversations arise, consider how you can offer flexibility in a way that works with you.

One option is to offer a take your truck home program. If drivers don’t have to add the extra miles to and from a terminal, that means more time with their loved ones. Another option is to offer an emergency policy. Drivers might be granted a minimal, set number of days to use in case of personal emergencies. Partner or pet ride-along programs also offer drivers similar benefits while keeping them on the road.

driver happiness and retention survey

FREE SURVEY REPORT

Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey

We surveyed over 400 CDL truck drivers nationwide to discover what makes them happy in their career and life. Access the survey report to see the results.

Get the Results

driver care

Let’s call a spade a spade. 2020 has been a year full of surprises and challenges. As an employer in the trucking industry, you may have a front-row seat to the hardships of Coronavirus. As you’re navigating these uncharted waters, be proactive in reaching out to your entire staff. This is not business as usual, and silence will be noticed. Take this opportunity to firmly demonstrate that your company cares about drivers. Focus on driver care, and you will build positive, lasting relationships for years to come. Here are just a few ways to show employees that you value them as people as well as for their work. 

1. Clear Communication

Be transparent and proactive with driver communication. It is one of the best ways to demonstrate driver care during COVID-19. Good communication is increasingly important because face-to-face interactions are scarce and can be hard to facilitate.

As you navigate the many transitions of this year, integrate driver check-ins as a regular priority. Ask drivers what form of communication works best for them.

While you may prefer emails, your drivers may feel more connected through phone calls, video calls, or texts. Show them you care by reaching out in the way they prefer, even if it’s not your most natural communication channel. 

2. Truck Sanitation

mask

As essential workers, truck drivers are keeping our country moving. As a fleet manager, you know that keeping drivers safe and healthy needs to be top of mind. Even as other industries slowly reopen and stay at home orders are lifted, the danger is not gone. Make a plan for sanitizing fleet equipment. 

If you haven’t already, consider sending drivers out with the resources they need for their day to day work. Masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning wipes go a long way toward making drivers more comfortable. Regardless of what you decide, clearly communicate with drivers what you are doing and your expectations for them. If you ask drivers to bring their own supplies, consider reimbursing their purchases. 

3. Mental Health

A life on the road has its fair share of loneliness for anyone, but COVID-19 adds unique stress. Often, drivers are working increased hours or are completing more runs. The pressure for on-time deliveries is high. In addition, many drivers are deeply concerned with the well-being of their loved ones.

The same home time that is often a relief may be equally or more stressful than being on the road.

As a result, even when they come home after a few days or weeks on the road, family time may be very different. Some drivers intentionally quarantine themselves when home to reduce the risk of spread. As you check-in with drivers, provide them with resources to help connect with spouses, children, and friends. 

4. Company Culture

Perhaps ironically, challenging times often provide the clearest moments for demonstrating strong company culture. Focusing on driver care helps build relationships throughout your organization. It’s also an effort that will leave a lasting impression on your drivers. Treat them well, and you will reap the benefits for years. 

Drive My Way feature of Driver Dee from Prime Inc.

There are both public and private ways to prioritize driver care. In the public eye, use this opportunity to visibly thank and showcase drivers. If you maintain social media accounts or share a regular newsletter, use your platform to elevate drivers. Trucking is often a thankless job. Even though many Americans are now publicly thanking drivers, company recognition goes a long way. Consider launching a driver showcase series where you spotlight one stand-out driver each week. Then, you’re boosting morale and offering other drivers a model of what a top employee looks like. 

Private appreciation of drivers can take many forms. In addition to your regular driver check-ins, consider writing short, personalized notes. Alternately, pack lunch bags or coolers for drivers. It’s no secret that a healthy life on the road is harder than ever right now.

Sending drivers with a cooler shows that you care and you understand their challenges. If you’re not sure where to start, ask for feedback. Most drivers are all too happy to share their suggestions for improvement. Are drivers happy with how communication and health concerns are handled? Thoughtfully consider the suggestions that are offered. Then, choose a few to implement as soon as possible. Being responsive to driver questions and concerns is a form of driver appreciation.

The Long and the Short Of It

As we move into the second half of 2020, experts forecast that companies should prepare for the continued effects of  COVID-19. Now, you have time on your side. A focus on driver care necessitates both short and long term planning. In addition to your ongoing efforts to support drivers now, start developing a relief plan for the future. Consider, what would you have done differently this spring if you had been given 4 months warning? Take advantage of your experience this spring and develop a plan to sustain your company and support drivers in the event of a second wave.

CDL Employment Verification

We’ll Get Through This Together

Times like these create uncertainty, but they also lead to opportunity. We’re here to help you and your team, whether you’re downsizing or growing.

Total Compensation for Drivers: Communicating Effectively

Job offers that are limited to salary and health benefits tell a partial story. If you have great perks, equipment, or company culture, don’t miss a chance to talk about it! Total Compensation statements are a great way to showcase all of the direct and indirect compensation benefits you are offering to truck drivers. They won’t make up for bad pay, but they are a good way to highlight all of the assets you have to offer. In short, a total compensation package accounts for the complete pay package awarded to employees on an annual basis.

Direct compensation is the money that is paid directly to an employee. It typically includes base salary and incentive pay. On the other hand, indirect compensation accounts for all of the compensation that is not paid directly to the employee. Healthcare, retirement benefits, fuel perks, and continuing education opportunities are just a few examples of indirect compensation.

When talking to a candidate, share both the direct and indirect compensation to effectively communicate what you have to offer.

Typically, the more detail you’re able to give, the more beneficial the statement will be. Here are several common assets to include in a total compensation package.

Direct Compensation

Direct Compensation is divided into two main categories⁠—base pay and bonuses. These are the most common forms of compensation that come to mind for most people.

Base Pay

Whether you state base pay as an hourly rate or annual salary, be clear about your offering. At a minimum, include how much can drivers expect, the anticipated hours or miles, and how frequently they will get paid. If your company offers a per diem rate, this can also be included.

Bonuses

Clarify the potential for driver bonuses from the start. A few of the most common are safety, sign-on, performance, retention, and referral bonuses. Consider sharing the average amount that drivers receive from bonuses in addition to the top amount. By sharing both, drivers have realistic expectations (boosting driver satisfaction and retention) and a goal to strive for.

Indirect Compensation

Indirect compensation includes a very broad range of offerings. Most companies offer several forms of indirect compensation, but may not discuss it in their job offer. That’s a missed opportunity! Let drivers know about all of the benefits you’re providing them. While it may not come as money in the pocket, indirect compensation can be significant financial assets. Drivers who are a good fit for your fleet will value the benefits your company provides.

Health and Wellness

Medical benefits, life insurance, retirement benefits, and disability insurance are all common forms of health and wellness benefits. Nearly all fleets offer basic healthcare, and many go above and beyond. This section should communicate when benefits start as well as the details of each package. If you offer a 401K match, that’s another great asset to include in this section. Even perks like a gym membership allowance or smoking cessation programs can be included here. Drivers love to see that you are prioritizing their health by supporting their healthy habits. 

Days off

Paid time off and vacation days are another form of indirect compensation that drivers value highly. If you are offering any additional sick days or benefits for drivers who get sick with COVID-19, make sure your total compensation package includes that time. In addition, always include the anticipated schedule for home time in a job description or compensation package. 

Continued Education

Learning and development offerings are a wealth of opportunities for drivers. Many potential employees will be particularly excited to find a company that supports their professional growth. Whether you offer compensation for educational assistance programs or regularly facilitate career advancement opportunities, these are a form of indirect compensation. Not all drivers will take advantage of continued education opportunities, but those who do will be highly appreciative. 

Perks

Once you have covered the big benefits like health insurance and PTO, it might be easy to overlook smaller perks, but they add up! Perks can help drivers with big expenses such as relocation benefits or maintenance benefits. They might also defray the cost of smaller, regular expenses such as highway tolls, or gas. If you offer an EZ Pass or a Fuel Card, list it in your total compensation package.

Highlight Non-Financial Incentives

When asked, drivers revealed that there are consistently two top factors that determine whether they are looking for a new job: pay and company culture. Company leadership and culture are difficult to equate to a compensation amount. That said, they are no less important to driver recruitment and retention. If you prioritize a family-like culture or are very safety-minded, it’s appropriate to include this in your total compensation package. 

Foodliner, Inc. is one of the largest bulk food carriers in the country and a Transport Topic Top 100 carrier. They make a point to highlight company culture in their job descriptions. We spoke with Tim Yochum, Foodliner’s Director of Recruiting, and this is what he shared:

“The culture of a family owned business that values their people, treats them with respect, and works well together as a team is what makes us successful and provides a more positive experience for the driver. We have late model equipment, high quality shops, and a great customer base, but in the end it is people that make it all work.”

Similarly, quality equipment is a high priority for most drivers and can be included. Consider adding the year and type of truck as well as whether it is manual or automatic. Then, highlight any additions to the cab. If you provide a fridge, microwave, Sirius XM radio, or allow ride-along programs, share it in your total compensation package. To recruit drivers, there are also other attractive non-financial incentives that you can implement.

Communicating Total Compensation Effectively

After you have clarified exactly what your company is able to offer potential candidates, start drafting the total compensation statement. Ultimately, you’re looking for good hires and strong retention. Tim Yochum shares why he prioritizes transparency at Foodliner:

“We list non-monetary compensation in our job postings and if a candidate contacts us we are very open to providing the details of the compensation so they understand how this can affect their total compensation package. Honesty up front verses a surprise later is what we feel candidates value and appreciate. We feel that if the only reason you take a job is the money, then that will eventually be the reason you leave the job. We want the candidate to understand how the total package affects them and their family.”

Give as much detail as you are able to clearly share. It’s important for drivers to have all of the necessary information to make a decision. Even if drivers decline the job offer, that is a better outcome than hiring drivers with misleading information. If drivers feel like they have been intentionally deceived, they are more likely to quit and will have a poor impression of the company. There should be no hidden surprises. Clear communication that highlights everything you have to offer is the best approach to a total compensation package.

Mockup-1-1

7 Reasons Drivers Decline Your Jobs

Unlock the top reasons why truck drivers decline your CDL jobs by downloading our free ebook. The book shares insight to what drivers really want.

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lease purchase trucking company

Recruiters work hard to find the best candidates for their open jobs. Using all available resources, recruiters 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. Perhaps becoming a lease purchase company is something worthwhile to attract new drivers?

The Basics

Many CDL drivers are looking to advance their careers by owning their own trucks. Often, these drivers need some support with buying the truck in the first place. However, this is a big step for a driver and requires a significant financial investment up-front. Lease purchase agreements can be a great solution! If your company 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 its 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

lease purchase agreementThere are plenty of opportunities to market that your company is a lease purchase trucking company. As mentioned earlier, it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition. And unfortunately, it is also potentially an opportunity for carriers to put out deceptive marketing messages—ones that might make it seem that it’s an easy way for a driver to become an owner.

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

These regulations ensure that nobody is less than transparent when it comes to these types of purchase agreements. So be sure to be clear and forthcoming on every aspect of the deal. 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

There is a level of risk associated with becoming a lease purchase trucking company. There’s always a hope that everything goes right, but sometimes things do go wrong.

All of the deal points of the lease 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 they’re 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 implications on the lease company as well, if the driver can’t cover the costs to repair. Throughout the lease period, the carrier has an interest that the proper insurance and maintenance is being done on the leased vehicle.

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. This can bring in new leads to your hiring office, and new revenue streams to benefit your bottom line. But it is 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.

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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How to Boost Driver Retention with What You Already Have

Trucking companies are in competition every day for the best drivers. Recruiters work hard to find the best fit drivers for their current and long-term needs. Once these drivers are onboard and driving, you still need to work to keep your driver retention rates high. Otherwise, you will be constantly cycling through the hiring process. You want your drivers to stay with you, and need to work to keep them. So when it comes to keeping good drivers, let’s explore how to boost driver retention with what you already have as assets to your driver strategy.

Company Culture

Every company has a culture, and it could be either your best asset or your worst enemy. One thing any recruiter needs to be aware of is the general perception of what it’s like to work for your company. If you’ve got satisfied and productive drivers, your company culture is an attractive value proposition when recruiting new drivers. And a strength that you should leverage when recruiting and onboarding your drivers.

Drivers will look for jobs where they find personal fulfillment and a sense of belonging, not just simple job satisfaction. Soliciting and acting on driver feedback signals to drivers that they can call your company home.

However, if you’ve got disgruntled employees and corresponding high turnover rates, it’s time for change. You need to do some hard work to fix the internal issues causing the problems. Take the steps needed to build a driver-centric culture. Your current employees and new hires will stay longer, improving your driver retention over the long run.

Driver Testimonials

Current driver testimonials are a powerful tool in recruiting for retention. Who better to tell a prospect about why a driver would want to work for your company, than a current driver? Sometimes the most sophisticated marketing tools for recruitment can’t compete with a simple, honest and authentic testimonial from a driver who loves their job. So use these to your best advantage!

Drivers looking for work, often ask around their peers for leads and opportunities to apply for driving jobs. Having a few good testimonials to leverage in your marketing channels is a fantastic way to recruit for drivers that will best fit your company culture for the long-term.

And when hiring for a best fit from the beginning, it also helps with driver retention once hired. Having your current drivers be a marketing asset for your company is a great way to make current employees feel even more valued. It shows that you’re proud of the work that they’re doing, and gives them even bigger feeling of belonging vs. just punching a timecard.

Flexibility

Flexibility is a major strength in any good recruitment and retention strategy. Keeping things personal in this process, means being flexible. Listening to what your candidates need in order to join your team vs. another, is extremely important. Candidates have a lot of questions for any recruiter. Are you ready to answer them for each candidate?

The more you can tailor the experience to each individual, gives you the best advantage for signing the best drivers. And signing them quickly.

Once new drivers are hired in, staying flexible to meet their needs help keep these drivers as happy and engaged employees.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your hiring process and start hiring for retention, Drive My Way can help!

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

employee value proposition

It’s time to go back to your roots. Every company needs to identify their business value proposition. An employee value proposition is exactly the same. Identify your employee value proposition, and consider it your north star. 

As you grow as a carrier, it’s easy for your core hiring offerings to get lost. Avoid the trap. A strong employee value proposition is about more than improved marketing. It should drive everything from your recruiting to your business model. Can you answer in 1-3 sentences:

1. Why is my company different (and better) than the competition?
2. What about my company is attractive to truck drivers?

This is your Employee Value Proposition. 

hours of service proposed ruleWhy is an Employee Value Proposition Critical?

The way we recruit employees has changed. Over the past decade, candidates have been steadily becoming more and more powerful in the job search. As a result, attracting the best talent has become harder than ever. As an employer, consistent and efficient communication of your employee value proposition has become extremely important.

Tips to Make Your Employee Value Proposition Stand Out

Now that you have identified your employee value proposition, make sure you package it in a way that is attractive to candidates. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Move Beyond the Pay Rate

Your future drivers need more than a paycheck to be happy. It’s true, pay is often one of the first things cited by drivers as either a huge benefit of or drawback of a company, but you need to go deeper.

Start by thinking about what you have to offer as other forms of compensation: benefits, bonuses programs, loyalty incentives, other perks. Then, go beyond the finances.

Do you excel at creating a positive work culture or work environment with fair treatment or great home/family time? How about a focus on career? Career development opportunities and strong training or orientation programs can be very attractive to drivers. Make sure you can clearly identify what makes your company a great place to work. Then, talk about it! 

2. Make it Compelling

truck driver job description templateAn Employee Value Proposition should provide the foundation for your recruiting and retention strategy. It must be unique, compelling, and relevant if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement, and retention. Be clear in what you offer, and make sure to cover all the core reasons that people are proud and motivated to work at your company. 

If you have a great company culture, try to capture your distinct company experience. Are your drivers offered good home time? Build on the emotional aspects of why your company considers that important. Those reasons will resonate with your drivers and tell them you care about their well being as an individual, both on and off the job. Make sure to incorporate your value proposition into your job descriptions.

Free Template: Truck Driver Job Description

Follow this template to make sure your job descriptions are converting.

 

3. Talk About it In the Interview

Crucial Conversations with Driver Candidates: 3 Ways to Prepare

When interviewing a truck driver, focus on why your company is better than the competition. You are considering these drivers as potential employees. But, they also need to be sold on your company. Why is your company so special? How are you different? Why do drivers want to join your company and stay with you? Don’t let a good candidate leave the interview without sharing your employee value proposition. They need to view your company as a strong personal and professional fit.

4. Focus on What Matters

An effective value proposition rests on the foundation of driver personas. When you know what kind of drivers you want, you can align your value proposition with their interests.

To Determine Your Driver Personas: 

  1. Define the most important characteristics of your ideal driver. Do you need someone who is:
    • Reliable/timely?
    • Confidence/perseverance?
    • Courteous/willing to help others?
    • A good mechanic?
    • Prioritizing healthy habits?
  2. Set your goals
    • How many drivers do you need?
    • What’s your typical recruiting conversion rate?
    • Based on that, how many leads do you need?
    • Do you currently have empty trucks?
    • How are you planning for future growth?  

Use your ideal driver persona and your company goals to steer your employee value proposition. When they are well aligned, you are more likely to attract the drivers you want to hire. 

5. Consider Your Candidates Against Your Employee Value Proposition

With a little training and practice, probably most people can manage to drive a tractor-trailer. However, professional truck driving is more than just getting a vehicle from Point A to Point B. 

Great truck drivers are much more than mere steering-wheel holders. Driving a heavy vehicle with its cargo of costly supplies and equipment and keeping to a demanding schedule isn’t a job for an ordinary driver.

Use your ideal driver persona to evaluate applicants. Then, consider whether those applicants are attracted by your Employee Value Proposition. If so, you’ve likely found a good fit. If not, you may want to consider what types of benefits would be most attractive to the types of drivers you want to recruit. Doing so will make it easier to recruit those drivers AND retain them for longer.

The Quick Guide to Employee Value Proposition

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Employee Value Proposition

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

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driver seat belt protection

Requiring driver seat belt detection isn’t just a matter of good business, it’s personal. The safety of your fleet affects so much more than the individual employees. Keep your drivers safe with a seat belt and get them home to their families. Everyone will sleep easier at night. 

While driver safety should always lead the conversation, driver seat belt detection is also good business. Whether it’s by preventing lawsuits or lost revenue, one small action can have huge benefits. Here are three reasons driver seat belt detection pays off. 

1. Increase Driver Safety

The drivers in your fleet are your company’s most valuable resource. Without a doubt, keeping those same drivers safe on the road should be a top priority. Seat belts are the single best way to increase truck driver safety. Study after study demonstrates this, and most truckers do buckle up. According to a 2015 CDC report on trucker driving habits, 5 in out of 6 drivers regularly click in before driving, but what about the last 16.6% percent? That’s approximately 583,000 drivers who aren’t protected by a seat belt on the road. 

We know you can’t be on the road with your drivers at all times, so consider a form of driver seat belt detection to motivate your drivers. As an employer, there are tools you can use to increase seat belt use in your fleet. Consider investing automatic safety procedures that alert your drivers by SMS if they are driving without being buckled up or prevent engine starts without seat belt usage. Looking for a lower tech option? Incentivize your employees to wear their belts. Remember, small rewards and perks or small financial bonuses can go a long way. Even something as simple as recognition or internal company awards can go along way toward encouraging safer driver behavior.

Driver safety is a top recruiting tool for bringing in quality drivers and retaining the good drivers you have.

Once you prioritize these efforts, don’t be shy in letting your drivers know!  Whether it comes through in your well-maintained fleet rigs or in the rewards you offer for good driving, you’re showing drivers you care. That goes a long way toward building a company culture where drivers want to be.

2. Reduce Company Liability

Everyone has heard accident horror stories. As you know, even if your drivers have met all their safety requirements and are driving cautiously, accidents happen. Unfortunately, some people may try to take advantage of a bad situation. An accident participant or lawyer may try to build a case for reckless driving based on evidence that your driver wasn’t wearing their seat belt. 

drive my way primary seat belt map

For more evidence, consider that as of June 2019, 34 states have primary seat belt laws for front seat occupants. Even if there are no other infractions, drivers can be pulled over by a law enforcement officer for not wearing a seat belt. If your company offers a ridealong program, make sure safety isn’t limited to drivers. Primary seat belt laws include passengers as well, and CMV drivers are held responsible for any other vehicle occupants. 

3. Safety Affects Your Bottom Line

While keeping your drivers safe should top the reasons to implement driver seat belt detection, there is also revenue at stake. Consider, a single truck accident costs an average of $148,279. That number skyrockets to $7,633,600 if there is a fatality. Keeping your drivers safe on the road is a good return on your investment.

In 2012, 700 truck drivers or their passengers died in accidents. 40% of the unbelted drivers could have been saved with a seat belt. Three seconds of clicking in could have saved lives and millions of dollars.

Perhaps not surprisingly, not wearing a seat belt is often just one of several unsafe practices that drivers engage in. There is a strong correlation that the drivers who do not wear a seat belt also are more likely to be found speeding and have received multiple moving violation tickets. As an employer, the best thing you can do is to build a culture of safety.

Become a Leader

Driver safety programs often start at the managerial level. The National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence conducted a year long study with 9 carriers to improve their safety records. Top successful strategies included:

  • Develop a strong safety culture
  • Comprehensive Ongoing Driver Training programs
  • Collision Mitigation Technology such as Automatic Emergency Braking, lane departure warnings, and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems
  • Strict driver hiring criteria

For each of the companies studied, there was no single practice that brought improved safety metrics. Instead, a combination of the above practices led each fleet to experience decreases in the severity and number of crashes. This also improved their overall scores in FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

 

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Trucking recruiter Skills to master

Deciding what grade of gas to add to your fuel tank? Easy. Finding quality tanker haulers to transport that gasoline? Much harder. As a trucking recruiter, you’re all too familiar with the challenges of hiring owner operators and company drivers: driver shortages, high turnover rates, and an ever changing recruitment landscape are just some of your daily obstacles. Since you are the first face of your company to interact with drivers, it’s critical to be prepared with the skills that will turn your list of leads into great hires. Here are the top 5 skills that every trucking recruiter should master. 

1. Be Strategically Proactive

It’s a driver’s market. If you want to be a trucking recruiter who successfully reaches quality drivers, it’s on you to be proactive. That said, being proactive should be a strategic plan and not just aggressive outreach. Consider the times and channels that are most likely to be productive for the drivers you seek. Recruiting local or regional routes? Try calling in the evening to avoid busy loading and unloading schedules. Seeking OTR drivers? Make sure there’s a mobile-friendly website for drivers who are looking for jobs while on a driving break. Once you’ve optimized your strategy, continually reach out through multiple channels to engage new leads and reconnect with old leads.

2. Know Your Audience

This might seem obvious, especially to an experienced trucking recruiter, but it couldn’t be more important. The Commercial Carrier Journal found that the overwhelming majority of surveyed drivers cited inadequate pay as a reason fleets are struggling to find drivers. That’s likely not a surprise. Perhaps more striking is that lack of respect and lack of home time are responses two and three for the same question.

If you want to increase the number of quality drivers you hire, you need to know their priorities and address their concerns.

Identify the benefits that are most important to your candidates, and offer those perks whenever possible. Be straightforward about what drivers can expect on the job. Many will find your honesty refreshing and a compelling reason to join your company.

3. Take Advantage of Technology

Gone are the days where a clean, mobile-friendly user interface was a nice, extra touch used by only the most tech-savvy trucking recruiters. According to the 2019 Overdrive Connectivity report produced by Randall-Reilly, 74% of owner operators use a smartphone to access the internet. Over half of those same drivers use a phone more than any other device to access the internet. As for company drivers, 77% use smartphones to access the internet. 65% of company drivers use their smartphones to access the internet more than any other device. With this in mind, don’t just make your recruiting mobile-friendly. Optimize your process with the assumption that most drivers will be recruited first, and possibly exclusively, on a smartphone.

4. Prioritize Your Workload

Coming into a new year or quarter, it is tempting to take on a heavy load, but don’t get caught in the frenzy.

Your hours are limited. Take the time to prioritize your leads based on urgency and fit early on to increase your overall productivity.

Evaluate which candidates are most likely to fit your positions. Are they qualified? Which drivers are really a good match for you? Is your company really a good match for them? Speak with each driver and understand their priorities. Then, be candid if they’re not a good fit. Remember, hiring a bad match increases turnover and leaves a bad impression on drivers. Since time is critical, engage your strongest leads first. You’ll be glad you took time to slow down at the beginning so that you can efficiently recruit the drivers best suited for your fleet.

5. Build Relationships, not Just a Sales Funnel

Even when time is of the essence, you can’t afford not to get to know your potential drivers.

As a trucking recruiter, you may feel like there isn’t time to build relationships, but it’s time well spent. 

Taking the time to build relationships and treat drivers like people, not leads might reveal key information that will improve position fit. Unsurprisingly, better fit ultimately leads to improved driver retention. Most recruiters know that drivers need to be qualified for particular jobs, but it goes beyond just having the right certifications. As you know, experienced drivers have the opportunity to choose jobs that meet their lifestyle and goals. Identify what those are and find ways to meet them. Drivers who are satisfied with their time at home, model of truck, and who feel they can meet their goals with your company will perform better and stay longer. If you want to improve your sales funnel, taking the time to build relationships with potential drivers is time you can’t afford to not spend.

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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