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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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driver feedbackThe trucking industry is years into the “Driver Shortage”, and carriers are still having a difficult time hiring and retaining top talent. Drivers now have a lot of options for which carrier they work for, and they’re choosing to work for ones that have a proven track record of listening to their drivers.  

That’s why in today’s labor marketplace, any carrier that wants to recruit and retain top talent needs to collect and utilize driver feedback. But how do you collect drive feedback? What are the benefits to collecting it? And, once you do have it, how do you utilize it for your business? 

Why Should You Use Driver Feedback?

Driver feedback can help carriers solve the two biggest problems facing trucking right now: recruiting and retention. 

Nobody enjoys working somewhere where they have no input in what goes on; especially truck drivers. This type of environment can lead drivers to become actively disengaged and eventually start looking for another job. 

On the flip side, when drivers feel their voices are being heard, they’re more likely to stay. In Drive My Way’s Happiness and Retention survey, we found that a strong company culture where drivers feel valued is the second leading reason that drivers are attracted to working for certain carriers.  

We talked with Bryce Kjellander, Recruiter with Stevens Trucking about why collecting driver feedback is important to them.  

We collect feedback from our drivers because they’re at the front lines and can be a huge asset when it comes to staying on top of maintenance issues. One of the main ways we communicate is by having an open-door policy with our drivers. This includes everyone at the company from the top down. Secondly, as a company we use an anonymous software service that allows drivers  to give input to the owners and upper management. We’ve been using this tool for about a year and a half now with a lot of success. Throughout this process we have received all kinds of feedback, some of which we have been able to implement. One of the ideas we are looking at incorporating is setting up an inbound service lane for all of our trucks and trailers to pull into so they can be checked out before leaving the yard. Our goal is to help catch some of the minor stuff that could have been missed when guys are in a hurry to get back on the road.”

Gathering Driver Feedback

driver feedbackPutting up a suggestion box in the break room probably won’t be enough to get the kind of feedback your carrier needs to really make a difference. You’ll want to create multiple avenues for drivers to share their thoughts.  

A suggestion box is one way. Others could be having an open-door policy with drivers, holding monthly/quarterly meetings, or using anonymous feedback services.  

Anonymity is a huge part of collecting driver feedback. While some drivers may be fine putting their name with their feedback, many won’t be. Having options for both is the key to collecting as much as you can. 

Another reason these anonymous feedback services work well is because drivers can use them to submit feedback from anywhere. This is very important in trucking since drivers will probably be on the road when an issue occurs. 

Exit Interviews are another great way to gather honest driver feedback. These are interviews done with a driver who’s planning on leaving your company. While the drivers may be leaving simply because of a better pay package, there could be other factors that led them to leave that you’re unaware of. Having productive exit interviews with drivers can help you uncover those reasons. 

Utilizing Driver Feedback

This is the biggest part of the equation, and one that many carriers may fall short on. You’ve collected all that driver data, but that’s only half the battle.  

The first step is to analyze the feedback you’ve gotten. Do you see any trends? Are multiple drivers citing the same issues time and time again? You’ll want to gather your results and plan to meet with decision makers in your organization to see what can be done.  

From there, you can begin the process of implementing solutions to the feedback you were given, just like Stevens Trucking did with their inbound service lanes. You may not be able to work on every issue raised by a driver, but just communicating that it was received shows drivers that your carrier is listening.  

As for how to communicate, consider having a monthly or quarterly email that goes out to all drivers containing all the feedback you’ve received and the steps the carrier is taking to address it. You can also hold monthly zoom (or in-person) meetings or call the drivers who gave you feedback directly. 

As the “Driver Shortage” continues to roll on, carriers are finding it necessary to change their operations and policies in order to attract the best drivers. That’s why the carriers that actively seek out driver feedback and implement it into their businesses have a huge edge in the fight to recruit and retain top talent.  To see what other factors drivers consider when looking for a new job, check out our Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey below. 

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

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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Jeremy ReymerYou probably know Jeremy Reymer as the host of Taking the Hire Road, his weekly podcast done in collaboration with FreightWaves. But Jeremy isn’t just a podcast host. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the trucking industry, working as both a carrier and a vendor. 

In 2016, Jeremy founded DriverReach, a driver recruiting and compliance management solution, to help address the ongoing challenges with recruiting, qualifying, and hiring CDL drivers. 

Jeremy recently took the time to talk with Drive My Way’s President and CEO, Beth Potratz, about what he feels will impact the trucking industry this year, the new administration’s commitment to trucking and the labor shortage in general across the country.  

What do you think 2022 holds for the trucking industry?

The pendulum swings wide. When you have a supply chain that’s focused on just-in-time freight and you throw a global pandemic on top of that, it throws things way to one side. To overcorrect, we in the industry try to move things way far in the other direction, and that’s what we’ve been doing these past two years. I think this year, we’ll start to see things normalize a bit more in terms of driver supply and demand. 

What are some other changes you think will affect the trucking industry this year?

We’ve already begun to see a significant increase in new entrants into this industry. That includes both new CDL holders and new registered companies (owner-operators) as well. This new supply will help to meet some of that demand, but I think demand will continue to outstrip supply, especially when you factor in drivers being eliminated from the workforce due to the

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. Inflationary pressures, specifically wage inflation, will continue to rear their head as well. 

Another interesting thing is that the industry has drawn a lot of attention from investors over the past few years.  Trucking as an industry proved that it’s quasi-recession proof and certainly global pandemic proof.

At the end of the day, it’s an industry that everybody needs. It has fundamental stability in turbulent times. So I think that attracted money and interest. Also just recognizing that in general, trucking is behind more innovative or progressive industries, and you can see that there’s a lot of opportunities to excel.

What are your thoughts on driver recruiter burnout and the labor shortage in general?

Hopefully, we don’t see that as much in 2022 as we did last year. I was listening to a demographer who was talking about the notion we’ve heard again and again over the past two years that “Nobody wants to work anymore.” It seems that way because you can’t find people. His point is that there are literally not enough eligible workers to meet demands for labor. When you’re just talking about the number of people; Generation X is much smaller compared to Baby Boomers and Millennials.  

By now, the Baby Boomers are leaving or have already left the workforce, but they still need services. Instead of being consumers and workers, now they’re just consumers. We’re asking a much smaller generation, (Gen X) and millennials to carry the burden of servicing themselves and the Baby Boomers.  

The new administration has put a spotlight put on the trucking industry. What are your views on their plans, and how much do you think will get accomplished?

This administration embraces trucking much like the previous administration. I’m encouraged by elements of the DRIVE Safe Act, including putting a pilot program to allow 18–20-year olds to drive trucks. That’s in the works and going to happen. Action exists. Nobody can say that this administration isn’t taking action. It’s going to take time to get it rolled out, but the path is paved. 

You can find new episodes of Jeremy’s podcast, Taking the Hire Road, every week on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and YouTube.

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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While orientation is a necessary part of the hiring process, it’s probably not something new drivers look forward to. While this is true, there are ways that trucking companies can make their orientations more enjoyable for drivers, that can lead to increased driver retention and morale. Here are 5 different ways to improve your truck driver orientation program. 

1. Allow Drivers to Meet the Team

Instead of drivers coming in, meeting a trainer or two, and then being put on the road, schedule times for higher management and current company drivers to visit your next orientation class. They can share their thoughts and tips with new hires and do a Q&A session as well. This sends the message to your new drivers that they’re an important part of your company, which is extremely important for driver retention efforts.  

Your orientation could also be a great time to kick-off a mentoring program between more experienced drivers and new hires. Drivers appreciate having someone in the company that they can rely on once the driver is on the road.  

2. Personalize the Program

Orientations don’t have to be rigid, point-by-point slideshows that share company policies and safety information. Take the time to personalize your orientation by talking to new drivers about areas of proficiencies at and what they could need help with. This helps you tailor your orientation so that you’re not boring some drivers while overwhelming others.  

Another way to personalize your orientation is by using interactive learning. Administering quizzes and trivia games will keep orientation engaging and add incentive. It’s also a great way to see which drivers are understanding the material and who might need a little extra help. 

3. Make it Unique

Avoid generic training videos to convey information. These can send the message that your company is the same as others, especially if a driver has seen the same video while working for a different carrier. Instead, opt for personalized training videos that feature your company logo and branding

You can also do this by going the extra mile and giving small gifts or even a new hire kit of items drivers can use on the road. This has been shown to be a great way to increase employee retention as it further reiterates to your drivers that you’re excited they’re coming on board.   

4. Offer Multiple Orientation Dates

The hiring landscape for truck drivers is extremely competitive right now. If you don’t act fast during the recruiting process, another carrier will. That’s why aside from making your orientation enjoyable, having it take place in a timely manner is also very important. Drivers don’t want to be told they’ve been hired, but that they need to wait two and a half weeks for orientation. That’s two and a half weeks without pay and the perfect way to have them sign with another carrier in the meantime. 

To combat this, try to offer orientation classes a few times a month at least. Also, paying drivers to attend orientation is all but a must at this point. If your company hasn’t initiated this policy, make it a point of emphasis to start as quickly as possible.  

5. Ask for Driver Feedback

Talk to current drivers who have already been through your orientation, as they’re the best resource you have. Ask them what could make it better, what they wish was covered, and what they think wasn’t necessary or could be done without. Thanks to their unique perspective, you’ll get insights you or your team would have never thought of. Do this often, as it will be your best way to constantly improve your orientation.  

Your company’s driver orientation is a very important part of the hiring process. It’s the first real impression a driver will get of the company they’re driving for. It will also tell them whether they want to leave after a few short months or stay and build a long-term career with your company. Make sure it’s the latter by providing the best orientation experience possible.  

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

Get the Ebook

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

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

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

 

Foodliner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

1. Create a Structured Referral Program

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

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

2. Advertise

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

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

3. Offer Benefits that Drivers Want

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

4. Provide Training and Education Resources

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

5. Be Honest with Job Seekers

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

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

truck driver incentive program checklist

FREE RESOURCE

Truck Driver Incentive Program Checklist

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

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Stan Smith

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

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

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

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

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

Q: What made you decide to start KimChris Xpress?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

Get the Ebook

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

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

Hiring the best drivers starts with having the best recruiters.

Ruben Moreno, NFI Industries

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

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

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

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

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

Promote from Within

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

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

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

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

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

Hire with Advancement in Mind

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

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

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

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

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

Train Driver Recruiters for Success

truck driver recruiter career path

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why You Need Workforce Planning in Trucking

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

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

5 Steps for Workforce Planning Success 

1. Determine Business Goals

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

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

2. Evaluate Your Current Workforce

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

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

Leah Shaver

Leah Shaver, President of National Transportation Institute

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

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

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

3. Plan

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

Beth Potratz

Beth Potratz, CEO of Drive My Way

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

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

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

4. Implement

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

5. Analyze the Results

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

 

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

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

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

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Trucking Truth with Alessandra Szul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: How does Flatbush Freight Express handle recruiting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alessandra finished with these thoughts:

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

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

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

Get the Ebook