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Recruiters work hard to bring in valuable driver leads. Are you making the most of them? From the first point of engagement to the job offer, your drivers offer valuable insight. Use this data to inform your recruitment process and optimization areas. The recruitment funnel should be realistic and efficient. Focus on hiring rather than strictly lead generation. Use these tips to optimize your recruitment strategy and ensure you’re making the most of your valuable driver leads.

1. Lead Attribution

There are two main models of lead attribution—single-touch models and multi-touch models. Single-touch models clarify pain points at particular stages in the recruitment process. Multi-touch models provide a holistic view of your recruitment process. Single and multi-touch models are also divided into smaller subsets. Each of the models has benefits and drawbacks. You may implement different models at different times as you continuously analyze your lead to hire process. Randall Reilly’s comprehensive video covers each lead attribution model in detail. Here are the highlights.

Single-Touch Lead Attribution

First Touch Model: As the name implies, this type of lead attribution is analyzed based on the point where a consumer makes first contact with your company. Drivers still have a long journey through your sales or recruitment pipeline. This model is most helpful in determining how drivers are being introduced to your company, particularly within a single campaign. 

Last Touch Model: This model similarly analyzes a single point of contact for a driver, but this time at the end of the recruiting funnel. The last touch model rests on the idea that it is most helpful to understand the point where the sales/recruiting effort is successfully closed. As a result, credit is given to the final point of contact in the recruiting pipeline. This model is a good fit for companies who are bringing in leads and want to analyze the success of a single closing campaign or compare results between campaigns. 

Multi-Touch Lead Attribution

Linear Attribution Model: The linear attribution model is the simplest way to track leads at multiple stages or across multiple campaigns in your recruitment pipeline. Each stage is weighted equally in importance. While multi-touch models are inherently more complex than single-touch models, linear attribution is a good place to start a broad analysis of your recruitment funnel. 

Time Decay Model: This model also examines leads at each point of contact or across campaigns, but it weights the stages of your funnel differently. The first points of contact are weighted less heavily, and more significance is given to points of contact that are closest to the point of conversion. This model can be particularly helpful with long recruitment funnels with time between each of the touch-points.

Position-Based Model: Like the Time Decay model, the Position-Based model unevenly weights lead attribution. Credit is more heavily attributed to the first and last points in your funnel that a driver encountered. This model implies that the first and last points of contact are the most important to successful recruiting. This model may be a good fit for companies that rely on long-tail lead nurturing because it weights your most important interactions more heavily. 

2. Allocating Paid Marketing

Once the research is done and you have a better understanding of your lead-to-hire process, paid marketing can amplify your impact. Assess your lead attribution model and determine which channels are driving your success. 

As you decide which marketing campaigns and platforms to elevate, keep the number of quality hires, and not the number of leads, as your north star. 

Ultimately, regardless of how many valuable driver leads you acquire, success is a hire. It’s important to understand your cost per lead (CPL), but the cost per hire should be the final decision-maker. In the end, a channel that has a low CPL but high cost per hire is less valuable than a channel with a lower cost per hire. Allocate your paid marketing to the channels with the lowest cost per hire.

3. Know Your Target Driver

The leads you are generating are more than potential hires. They are also reflections of your recruiting message. Make a point to understand the basic profile of your applicants. Then, examine which drivers are moving furthest through your recruitment funnel. Do they fit the persona of a driver who is a good fit for your company? If so, that’s confirmation that your messaging is resonating with the right people. If not, it may be a good opportunity to refine your content. 

Lead tracking is another valuable tool to understand the people behind your leads. Determine where your strongest applicants are coming from. That data, combined with carefully targeted messaging, can help you align your recruitment strategy to be attractive to the drivers you really want. A clear understanding of the people who make up your valuable driver leads will help you create an employee value proposition and write successful job descriptions

Free Template: Truck Driver Job Description

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

4. Create a Realistic and Efficient Recruitment Funnel

To make the most of your valuable driver leads, set appropriate hiring targets. If possible, use historic data from the past 1-2 years on the hiring trends for your company.

Like many industries, trucking has seasonal peaks and troughs. These may correspond to your type of freight. Also consider that drivers who change jobs at different points of the year may be attracted by slightly different messages. Aligning your marketing strategy with natural seasonal flux will help you maximize your budget and your recruiting efforts. 

5. Improve the Quality of Your Leads

Inbound marketing is the gold standard because it brings valuable driver leads to you. Optimize your inbound digital marketing efforts with a few quick updates to your intake process. Review your site for appropriate and mobile-friendly calls to action as you share company information with drivers. Then, consider how drivers are sharing their information with you. Collecting qualifying information early on is key. Even though it may deter some drivers, it will ensure that the drivers you do get are qualified for your position.  

For example, when recruiting HazMat drivers with 2+ years of experience, ask for that information on an intake form. Then, sort your leads by that information and only pursue candidates who meet your criteria.

Similarly, cultivate your brand image and company reputation so they can be used as assets. In-person or virtual Word of Mouth and Referrals are some of the most effective marketing channels. When drivers learn about your company and turn to Glassdoor, Facebook, or Google for insight from other drivers, what will they see? Develop an online presence that will make drivers excited to learn more about your company and available positions.

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

What's the True Cost of Hiring a Truck Driver?

There are many ways to measure the success of your hiring process. Some things are more well defined. Other things are a little more subjective or hard to wrangle. But no matter how you decide to look at it, dollars spent to hire a great candidate is consistently at top of the list. So it’s important that you know what these costs are for your company. Let’s take a look at the true cost of hiring a truck driver.

How to Calculate Your Cost Per Hire

This calculation may vary depending on who you ask. But for the record, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Institute standardized the equation in 2012. The calculation they set is as follows:

Divide all the money you spend on hiring-related items, both internally and externally, by the number of hires in a set period—a year, a quarter, or even the length of a concentrated campaign.

Turnover Is Your Enemy

Now that you understand the calculation and have an idea of where to get started, there’s another piece of the hiring puzzle that needs to be factored as well. And that’s your turnover rate.

The trucking industry faces high turnover rates. According to some surveys, over 50% of newly hired drivers will leave their carriers within the first six months. In some cases, turnover can be closer to 90-100% over a year.

Looking at those stats, it’s easy to see why turnover is a problem. Don’t fall into the trap of hiring simply to fill an empty rig as quickly as possible. If you’re hiring quickly and not taking the time to ensure you’re a good match for each other, it’s not likely it’s going to be a relationship that will last. Every time you hire a new trucker, hire with the intention to retain that driver. This way, you’re doing things up-front to mitigate the impact of driver turnover.

So if you go through the hiring process from start to finish just to lose the driver to another company after a few months, it’s going to cost more over time. When you keep repeating the cycle, it’s going to cost your company exponentially more. And you’re still going to have empty seats to fill. The cost of turnover should be factored into your costs when hiring a trucker.

So What’s the Real Cost of Hiring a Truck Driver?

Recruiting and hiring truck drivers have costs. Additionally, there’s costs to retain that driver once they’ve been hired. There are several ways to look at the hiring process and develop a budget for the pieces from start to finish.

The actual math is not the tough part here. It’s finding all of the costs you’d attribute to the cost of hiring. Not just the cost that got you the leads, but the costs that got you all the way to hiring a new driver.

Since you want to look at everything it took to get a new driver hired, you need to look at everything involved in the process. This is where things can get a little muddy when trying to find an industry number to compare. If you look around at industry websites, you’ll find a ballpark of about $5,000 to $10,000 per hire.

Your company’s cost per hire will be unique to the way you recruit and hire drivers. And it might take some time and refinement to ensure you’re looking at it correctly.

Measure Consistently for Best Results

The best way to look at this cost calculation and cost is to always measure it consistently. This is the only way that you’re going to be able to compare things year-over-year and be able to tell if the changes you’re making are helping to reduce your true cost of hiring a truck driver. Overall, you want this number to be as low as possible to deliver you a quality driver who wants to stay with your company. Once you are tracking consistently, you should see some trends that help inform changes to your overall hiring strategies.

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

Everyone knows the trucking industry is a driver’s market. Drivers get to choose between competing carriers which offer different pay, benefits, and home time. They will also likely choose whichever carrier presents them a good offer the soonest. Drivers will want to be hired soon to get that next paycheck. The carrier which can convert leads to hires quickly has a definite advantage. This is where lead velocity comes in—it measures how quickly you can convert leads into new hires into your fleet. With so much competition for a small pool of drivers, you don’t want to lose leads to other carriers simply because they hired quicker than you. Here are 3 tips for your lead-to-hire process.

Tip 1: Focus on Top Candidates

As a trucking recruiter, you’re usually bombarded with an overwhelming number of leads. Just a fraction of these actually convert to drivers for your fleet. In fact, you know that most of them are going to be unqualified leads. It’s no wonder that some recruiters and carriers take too much time on their lead-to-hire process—they’re spending time on too many unqualified leads!

Try to narrow your focus and limited time on the top leads

You can use landing pages and other automated methods to ask qualifying questions and narrow your leads. Using lead ranking will help you prioritize the top leads first and focus your energies there. If you don’t use lead ranking, you risk losing the best candidates to other carriers while spending time and energy on unqualified leads who don’t convert to drivers.

Tip 2: Automate the Process

We mentioned automating the qualifying questions through landing pages. Similarly, you can automate other steps of the process, especially the paperwork. Instead of taking a few hours for new hires to fill out the paperwork, it should take 20-30 minutes. Use electronic paperwork for new-hire forms such as DOT applications, release forms, I-9, W2, etc. Make sure these forms are mobile-friendly, as many drivers will take advantage of opportunities to complete them on the go. You don’t want to face application abandonment because your paperwork wouldn’t load on their phone!

If you automate certain steps, it frees up that time to spend one-on-one with the drivers during orientation

Take advantage of the face-time with drivers to build relationships in-person, instead of asking them to complete forms that take an hour.

Tip 3: Lead Efficient Orientations

One of the reasons the lead to hire process may take too long for drivers is because of long or delayed orientations. Of course, it’s risky to just breeze through orientation. That time is crucial for onboarding as drivers need to be welcomed to the organization, learn about the culture, meet their dispatchers, and learn more about the company. One trick to getting around this is to offer more frequent orientations so that the soonest one beats out other carriers.

Make sure to offer orientation a few times a week to meet the schedule needs of your new hires

You can even be flexible with the orientation schedule and craft it to fit the schedules of your incoming drivers. Another time-saving method is to move some training items to an online learning system. By automating the less exciting parts of orientations, you free up time to have the important face-to-face interactions. It also makes the in-person orientation shorter, as drivers can complete some learning materials from the convenience of home.

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

Crucial Conversations with Driver Candidates: 3 Ways to Prepare

The hiring process is a stressful one. From both sides of the table (or telephone). Recruiters have to do a great deal of work to find and vet the best driver candidates. Filtering and sorting through piles of resumes, data files, and reading a constantly increasing number of emails. Driver candidates looking for new opportunities have all sorts of information being tossed at them from many directions too. They’re getting calls, emails and text messages from resume screeners, and finding information while doing their own research. The process can take a long time and require tough talks along the road to get on the same page. As a truck driver recruiter, here are 3 ways to prepare for those crucial conversations with driver candidates.

1. Be Honest with Driver Candidates

When working through the steps to bring a driver on-board, you’re going to talk through a lot with your candidates. If your company has a less than stellar reputation, you might get asked questions about what drivers might have heard about what it’s like working for you. These things might be true, or might not be true. But in the cases where they’re asking about something that’s actually the case, you need to be honest with your candidates.

Employers who are transparent in nature with pay, benefits, job role, home time, etc. often see better, more sustainable driver retention than those who exaggerate in a job description to get drivers in the door.

If you know you can’t compete on salary or benefits, be clear and up-front about it. And then also let the candidates know where you’re company can be a great fit with them. Starting out anywhere other than with honesty and transparency will most likely not lead to a long-term employee.

2. Know Your Facts

When being asked questions about pay and benefits, be prepared to provide accurate numbers. Being vague is never a good way to gain trust from your truckers. If questions come up about what their future career path might look like, be clear on what could potentially happen. But also provide the driver with what needs to be accomplished to gain promotions in the future. On the flip side, you may need to discuss negative findings after a background check or a drug screening. Be sure that your information is 100% correct when having these discussions with your truck driver candidates. Accusing someone of something that’s not true, or preventing them from being further considered, could have lasting consequences.

3. Be Empathetic

When going into a tough conversation, put yourself in the other person’s boots for a minute. If it’s a conversation to deliver bad news, or to discuss a potentially sensitive topic, think about what your driver candidates might be thinking or feeling. And most importantly, ask yourself how this conversation is going to affect them moving forward with your company. Empathy can really help choose words to keep tempers controlled, as well as keep the tone of the conversation civil and not accusatory.

A great resource for helping with these conversations, is a book called “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High”. Written by Kerry Patterson, Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny and Ron McMillan, this book is a highly acclaimed reference for both personal and professional use. It’s a must read for any HR or recruiting professionals.

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

Trucking recruiters are tasked with finding top candidates for a position, matching them to the right jobs, and converting them into drivers for the fleet. This is dependent on finding a high number of qualified candidates through driver applications. One reason why you may not have as many candidates in your talent pool is because some percentage of leads start driver applications but soon abandon them.

You’ll get more candidates if you are able to reduce application abandonment. Just imagine the kinds of stronger candidates you’ll have in consideration if 10% of candidates don’t quit in the middle of your application! Here are four suggestions of how to reduce driver application abandonment and get better candidates in your recruiting pipeline.

1. Application Length

Put yourself in the place of your candidates and imagine why they may abandon the driver applications. Most drivers don’t want to spend their limited free time filling out lengthy and complex applications. In fact, this is the top reason job seekers quit in the middle of applications. If your applications are requiring too many details, or take too long, most drivers are going to move on to other tasks. Worst case, you may be losing these candidates to rival carriers who have optimized and shortened their applications.

Ideally, your driver application should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Instead of requiring drivers to provide all information up-front, focus on the basics and stick to questions that require simple answers. You can ask more detailed questions later, in your follow-up or in-person phone call.

2. Make Applications Mobile-Friendly

Most drivers search and apply for jobs online through their smartphones. In this mobile-driven world, recruiters and fleet managers need to make sure they’re able to communicate and interface with drivers how they would prefer. Designing mobile-friendly applications means you’re able to meet drivers where they are and make driver applications easier for them.

Simply duplicating the web-based driver application for mobile devices introduces so many hassles, no wonder drivers abandon these!

Optimize your applications for a mobile-first experience by using mobile rendering, saved login information, and other useful features. Drivers will be more likely to complete applications that are quick and easy to complete on the go. They can easily access and submit these applications on their devices while waiting at truck stops or rest areas.

3. Avoid Tedious Steps

If your driver application is requiring candidates to complete tedious steps, they’re going to abandon the application and run for the hills, or worse, to the next carrier’s application.

Nothing can be as difficult or tedious as requiring drivers to print or download something on the application.

These steps can be tough to complete if drivers are on their smartphones and looking at your applications while on a rest break. Using the proper software and encryption can go a long way toward drivers submitting the applications online without having to worry about their data being at risk. Build a safe and secure application on the back-end so as not to compromise the private information of candidates. For example, e-signatures and other features make application submission simple, secure, and effective.

4. Be Transparent

Your driver applications aren’t just simple tasks for candidates to complete as part of the hiring process. They’re also an integral part of the marketing and advertising for your fleet and carrier. Keeping this in mind, drivers will expect you to address their concerns about compensation, benefits, company culture, and other important topics. In this day and age, any reputation about your carrier has spread far and wide.

You can expect that your candidates have already heard everything about your company—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What you can do to handle this situation is to practice 100% transparency. Perhaps your carrier can’t provide the latest truck models or the strongest benefits, but that is balanced by the company culture, safety record, and spouse policy. Be upfront about whatever concerns you think drivers may have. Then, make it easy for interested candidates to contact you with questions. If you’re serious about avoiding long-term turnover, your carrier should do what it can to promote transparency.

truck driver job description template

FREE RESOURCE

Truck Driver Job Description Template

Your job description can either convert or lose applicants. Follow this template to make sure you’re on the right track.

Get the Template

driver recruitment

Budget planning and compliance is one of the most important jobs at any company. A limited amount of funds is available for each team, and they need to be spent wisely. When working through your plans for hiring drivers, your recruitment budget is a critical piece of that puzzle. But when you step back and look at the process, and what you’re actually spending, maybe now’s a good time for also rethinking your driver recruitment budget.

First Things First

do you have a good handle on your actual budget needs? It could be as simple as knowing your turnover rate, your anticipated need for additional drivers above turnover, and then multiply that by your current cost per hire. Simple, right? Could be that easy, but it’s probably a little bit more complex than that if you’re working through this for the first time. Especially when turnover rates keep climbing, and the driver shortage continues to grow. These things impact revenue because trucks are sitting idle, and once revenue decreases, assigned budgets can unexpectedly change at any time.

Cut Out What’s Not Working

The best thing to do when looking at your driver recruitment process is to figure out where to cut out waste. Let’s start with the type of drivers your looking to hire. Here you want to be highly strategic in your approach, to attract the perfect candidates. You don’t want to simply generate hundreds of leads only to find out that they don’t meet even half of your qualifications. If that’s what you’re doing, you probably also know the amount of time it’s taking for your team to work that massive pile of ice-cold leads. It might be a good idea to try and find a better place to spend that money. And a better way to use all of those wasted hours.

Using your historical data of what’s worked best, where have you found the best matches? The best retention? Those are the places you want to ensure your recruitment budget is maximized.

Part of any good budgeting strategy is tracking everything related to that budget. You should have at least a simple tracker of costs vs. return on each tactic, best case on a monthly basis (if not weekly). Once you’re sure the low performing tactics are no longer part of your plan, you can work to reallocate those funds to tactics that produce the best matches. Who knows, saving those hours and dollars might allow for improvements in employee benefits or salaries that will make you more competitive down the road.

Stop Making the Same Driver Recruitment Mistakes

At the end of the day, a recruitment budget shouldn’t be focused strictly on volume. Producing thousands of unqualified leads for your fleet, just bogs you down and creates capacity challenges throughout your day.

Instead, a driver recruitment budget should be focused on making meaningful connections with drivers that you are able to sustain in the long run.

It should be about focusing on spending in areas that will actually produce qualified matches for your fleet, instead of just trying to get warm bodies in your trucks.

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 leads

Everyone on your hiring team is always busy. You seem to have a good stream of leads flowing in for your posted jobs. In general, these should be a very good thing for a hiring team. However, you’re just not seeing the conversation rates you’d like. Team members are frustrated because they have to start all over every time a new driver is needed. And your trucks are still sitting empty. In this challenging time where you’re doing everything you can to hire drivers as fast as possible, why is converting truck driver leads so hard?

What’s Your Current Lead Conversion Process?

Do you have an effective lead management process in place? Or even any structured lead management process in place? If yes, that’s great! If no to both, this is certainly the place to start when trying to determine how to better convert your truck driver leads. You can quickly find an online guide to help your team map out a simple lead management process, that you can then tailor to your company’s unique needs. Once you’ve got that figured out, work to follow the stated process. Every. Single. Time.

Once you know you have a great process in place, what are you doing to optimize your process? And what tools are you using to alleviate pain points or roadblocks in the process?

One very important part of a lead management process is scoring the generated leads. Your process should include fast turnaround on scorning (if that’s not already being done for you), and then a quick hand-off to the person/team that contacts the drivers. An effective scoring process helps you focus on the most qualified truck driver leads first. And the those less qualified leads later. Getting leads already qualified from your marketing efforts is a best practice here. That saves so much time sifting through potentially useless lists that should never have been matched with your postings.

hiring truck driversWhat are your lead contacting best practices? How quickly are they being contacted? Once a lead comes in, you need to contact them quickly. If a driver just applied for your job, they’re expecting to be contacted immediately. This way you’re sure that you’re doing your part to get the relationship off to a good start. This also helps to avoid losing top candidates to your competition. Making sure that you have a great contacting and nurturing process for your truck driver leads is a key component in getting the best candidates hired. This is also a great place to augment your manual processes with technology to automate the lead contacting (and recontacting) process more efficient and productive.

Tired of Struggling to Convert Leads?

Then it’s time to take a totally different and personalized approach! One way to improve converting your truck driver leads is to start thinking about the process in a completely different way. Like we do here at Drive My Way. Truck drivers aren’t just leads. They’re people. We have a driver-centric platform that provides matches instead of leads. We focus on matching employers with drivers for each unique job based on the driver’s professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. Unlike traditional job boards, we match at the individual job level. We don’t deliver unqualified lead lists. We focus on quality matches. Which makes the most sense for you, and the drivers.

truck driver job description template

FREE RESOURCE

Truck Driver Job Description Template

Your job description can either convert or lose applicants. Follow this template to make sure you’re on the right track.

Get the Template