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minimum driver qualifications
The higher the driver qualifications, the better the driver applicants. Right? Not always. In some cases, high minimum qualifications bring top driver leads, but it may also cause you to miss top drivers who are strong candidates but don’t meet your minimum criteria. Especially when you are hiring for several positions in challenging geographies, you may be better off with a high-volume hiring strategy. If you’re having trouble getting good drivers behind the wheel, rethink your minimum qualifications and open your hiring pool. 

Find True Minimums

When you set minimum qualifications, are you starting with the true minimums? Before you modify the job description to fit your internal, company-specific qualification minimums, start with federal and state requirements. Many companies aim above the 21-year-old age minimum for interstate driving or simply displaying a valid CDL. However, it’s important to be strategic about where to raise the bar and where to keep minimums at or near their base level. When you do finalize hires, best practices include keeping a driver qualification file for each driver. 

Use the Job as the Foundation

Before you set minimum qualifications in a job posting, closely analyze the details of the job in two rounds. In Round 1, make a list of the skills and qualifications that you are looking for in a driver. Which ones are “nice to haves” and which ones are essential for a driver to be able to successfully complete the job? Are any of the skills or qualifications that you listed in Round 1 on the list primarily because they are intended to drive up application quality? For requirements that are just “weed-out” criteria, consider lowering your bar slightly to increase the hiring pool for jobs that are difficult to fill. 

Which ones are “nice to haves” and which ones are essential. Distill your qualifications list to the true minimums.

In the second round of developing appropriate minimum qualifications, focus on the “need to haves.” Distill your qualifications list to the true minimum qualifications. Use federal and state requirements as well as the minimums that you determine for your company and the specific job in question. Do not inflate the required qualifications from the essentials. Keep all of the necessary qualifications on the job description skills list. From there, determine your next round of priority qualifications. Decide where to increase your minimum qualifications and where to leave them at their baseline. 

Minimum Qualifications Are Not Static

Once you have reevaluated the qualifications for each job posting, consider those requirements the starting point. Optimize minimum by making them responsive to driver supply and job demand. When applicant volume is low, decrease the minimum qualifications to increase the hiring pool. This is often an effective recruitment strategy when hiring in challenging geographies with limited drivers. Even within a single company, some jobs may mandate different qualifications. 

Qualification requirements are not static. When applicant volume is low, decrease the minimum qualifications to increase the hiring pool. When applicant volume is high and job demand is low, consider increasing minimum qualifications.

On the other hand, when applicant volume is high and job demand is low, consider increasing minimum qualifications. Rapid changes to job postings may cause interested drivers to get frustrated by the perceived changing standards. Increase the required qualifications gradually to find the balance point between a sufficient candidate pool and maximizing driver quality. Then, boost your efforts with other recruiting best practices to connect with the drivers who will be valued members of your fleet.

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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4 Timely CDL Lessons Delivered By COVID-19

By mid-March, most everyone was impacted by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, professional truck drivers included. Schools closed, office workers went to working from home full-time, and the grocery stores were wiped out of cleaning supplies and toilet paper. Everyone across the globe was forced to adjust to their “new normal”. But with all this seemingly bad news, there might be a silver lining to come out of it. All this rapid change might have forced companies into making decisions and changes they might not have otherwise. Here are 4 timely CDL lessons delivered by COVID-19.

1. Long-Term Planning is Important

The global pandemic affected virtually everyone in 2020. Hiring freezes are commonplace across many industries currently. Trucking companies are no exception. Quickly needing to shift gears from rapid hiring to potentially significant downsizing in a matter of weeks, was a tough change. But this time is a great opportunity to keep recruiting and getting your message out to potential future hires.

Maintaining your recruitment efforts may seem like the last thing you’d want to do when you’re downsizing. When you’re not actively hiring truck drivers, focus on building relationships in your recruitment pipeline.

Use this time to invest in your future needs and hiring once things get back on track. Many companies are coming up with creative ways to keep current employees engaged while things might be slow. Investing in the long-term is one of many great CDL lessons for many trucking companies.

2. Supply Chain Disruptions Can Be Mitigated

Global disruptions in the supply chain forced companies to make quick decisions in key areas. Production was adjusted while new suppliers were located. Longer lead times were baked into schedules. And this often resulted in higher prices and longer wait times for end products. What does all that mean for the trucking industry? The CDL lesson here is that it’s important to diversify your supply chain as much as possible. For truckers, this lesson’s impact might be felt soon, if there is a second or third wave of the virus that some are predicting.

Now that things are opening back up and shortages aren’t as common, what will happen if factories get shuttered again, or raw materials are delayed in transit? Having a resilient and diversified supply chain is the only way to mitigate this.

3. Technology is Key

Office workers in many trucking companies had to quickly migrate to working from home. Though unplanned, these transitions were easier through leveraging technology. Using new software for video conferencing improved the communications channels for remote workers, and keeps your teams informed and connected.

For your drivers, working from home is not an option. However, this is the perfect time to invest in technology and equipment upgrades for your trucks and drivers.

Finding ways to take manual paper processes out and implement more contactless options will prove to be a great investment for the future. Anything that helps keep your drivers safe is a great investment.

4. Truck Drivers ARE Essential

While many industries came to a sudden halt, truckers kept rolling. Hospital equipment that needed to move quickly to areas of need – a truck driver got it there. Those empty grocery store shelves need refilling – here comes a truck with a load of supplies. The biggest CDL lesson here is that truck drivers are essential. Those of us in the industry already knew this, but now many more people do.

It’s a great time to thank a trucker and show that you care for all that they do to keep this country moving.

If you’re still working on your plans and making changes, we hope these CDL lessons are useful to you. If you’ve have thoughts on what other lessons this time is providing to the trucking industry, drop them in the comments below, we’d love to hear your feedback.

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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.

truck driver job description

Two things quickly rise to the surface as the most important features of a good truck driver job description: transparency and specificity. While your post may be engaging and well written, if it’s not transparent and specific, you will struggle to fill the position. Most drivers have been in the industry for years and have worked for multiple employers. They will quickly detect if there is information you are trying to hide or embellish. Once you’ve perfected the content, optimize the non-content aspects of your post and publish it. 

Based on our most successful companies and feedback from our drivers, here are the most important tips for writing a strong truck driver job description.

1. Be transparent

This is essential. When drivers look at your job description, they want to know exactly what you are offering. No surprises later on. As an employer, it can be intimidating to clearly note every critical part of your job offering, but transparency and specificity are key. Whether you’re a big or small company, know your strengths and talk about them. Do you offer great benefits? Above average pay? Are you particularly mindful of getting your drivers home on time? Talk about it. Don’t sugar coat hard truths or try to hide things (they’ll know), but do focus on the positive.

If you’re having a hard time retaining drivers, odds are high that a lack of transparency is contributing. Consider this: if your post does not perform well, you need to know that data more than ever. A transparent post allows you to properly A/B test to understand how to connect with drivers. Perhaps you need to increase pay to recruit drivers. Not an option? What other benefits can you offer to entice them? 

2. Be specific

Drivers want to know exactly what your job entails and offers. Being specific in your truck driver job description increases understanding of your job and trust in your company. If you’re more specific, drivers feel more confident that nothing is being intentionally hidden.

lead to hire process

Specificity goes beyond including the line items that are listed below. Drivers want to know not only that you pay $0.55/mile or $25 per hour, but also what that means for their average weekly pay or annual pay. In a competitive hiring landscape, simply listing an hourly rate or CPM isn’t enough to bring in new drivers—they want to know the total compensation details.

Similarly, if you offer some weekends home, consider sharing that drivers will work the first weekend of the month and be home for the rest. This may be more information than your company can realistically provide (again, stay transparent!), but companies who are more specific have the advantage. 

3. Putting it all Together

Every truck driver job description should include:

Compensation

– CPM or hourly rate, per diem, and overtime (if applicable)
– Average weekly miles (if applicable)
– Average weekly pay or average yearly pay
– Sign-on, referral, safety, or performance bonus

Tip: Pay, miles, and home time are typically the most important things to a driver. Leading with this information and providing as much detail as possible will make driver applicants happy.

Benefits Package

– Health, dental, and vision insurance details. Include start date for benefits
– Life and disability insurance
– Paid onboarding and/or paid training
-401(k) plan and employer contribution

Equipment: Type & Amenities

– Make, model, and year of the truck
– Manual or automatic
Features and/or amenities

Tip: Some drivers only prefer jobs with specific equipment, so the details here are important.

Schedule & Home Time

– Schedule (if applicable)
Home time: daily, 2 days per week, weekends, once a week, etc.
Take home truck program (if applicable)

Other Job Details

– Perks including fuel card, EZpass, Sirius XM Radio, lodging, showers, etc.
– Truck with pet/spouse

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements

– License type (and endorsements) needed with minimum years of experience
– Record needed to apply, including if you hire felons
– Hiring radius requirements

Tip: Reiterating some details like endorsements, location, etc. is helpful to attract the right drivers.


These are the criteria that are most likely to make a driver decide to join your team, so don’t hide anything. Add these details near the top of your posting and make sure they are very visible. Crowding this information in a long paragraph will cause drivers to skip your posting all together. 

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.

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trucker job postings
When was the last time you applied to your own trucker job posting? Yes, that sounds strange, but there are reasons why trucking recruiters should try applying to their own postings. Since job postings are the first type of engagement that leads directly to a driver being considered for a job, it’s crucial to get them right. Recruiters can test their own job postings by making sure they are simple, user-friendly, and check off all the right boxes. With hundreds of other carriers out there, truckers have very little time to read every job posting, which makes getting it right all the more important. Here’s a helpful checklist for your ideal trucker job postings.

1. Optimize for Search Engines

The content of your trucker job posting is irrelevant if no one sees it online. Even if you have the best written job description and images, it won’t matter if it doesn’t show up on online searches or the right advertising channels.

If you’re sharing job postings on digital channels, it becomes crucial to reach your target audience. You can optimize your job posting with keywords and phrases that truckers are searching for. Use Google Keyword Planner or similar tools to keep a pulse on which terms drivers search, and the match those in your job descriptions.

2. Mobile-friendly

mobile-friendly application

More and more job seekers are searching for jobs on their mobile devices. Even if they end up not applying through mobile, they’ll browse and shortlist the jobs while on-the-go.

Creating job postings which are mobile-friendly will ensure they are easy to read and view on small devices. Ideally, your entire application process is mobile-optimized, including a single-sign on functionality and save-application features.

But this starts with the job postings themselves.

  • Is the text easy to read and understand on mobile?
  • Or is the font size not optimal for mobile?
  • Are images clear and detailed?
  • Or over-sized and blurry?

View and apply to your own job posting on mobile to make sure it works as planned.

3. Calls to Action

Every piece of text in your trucker job description should be designed to lead to the APPLY NOW button. That’s your call to action. After you’ve successfully persuaded a driver to consider working at your carrier, you don’t want to be searching aimlessly for how to proceed next.

Make sure your call to action buttons are front and center, and easy to identify.

You may want to include it two or three times, depending on the length of the job posting. Including a call to action at the very top and the very bottom of the post is essential, with another one in the middle being optional.

4. Contact Information

Where should drivers turn if they have questions about this job? Your trucker job posting should have easily identified contact information. Have you posted a phone number, email address, or other contact info? If truckers don’t see contact information, they won’t wait around to investigate. They’ll simply move on to the next job posting that sounds good.

If the job is posted on your own website or other digital channels, you can even integrate chat functionality for more optimal communication. This way drivers can write to recruiters in real-time with their questions. If recruiters are away at the moment, a chat bot can be programmed to deliver automated responses and record driver queries until you are able to get back to them!

5. Text Description

truck driver job postingFinally, we are getting to content. Did you notice that we didn’t cover it yet? This isn’t because the content of your trucker job postings isn’t important! Rather, it’s because you can get the content just right, but still not have a strong posting if you miss out on other things on the checklist. With the job posting description itself, it’s all about striking a balance.

You want it to be long enough to hook drivers and give them the important details. But if it’s too long, it may more drivers with unnecessary details which they’ll just ask about later anyway.

Rather than a simple bulleted list of responsibilities and qualifications, you’ll want to paint a picture of the experience and the company.

Use a varied hierarchy of text to mix how the information is presented. Important details can be highlighted by using bolding, underlines, or different font sizes. Anything you can do to visually catch the eye of the reader will make that information stand out.

6. Images

In addition to the text description, make sure your job postings contain images. In fact, the richer multimedia content you can include, the better. Depending on the channel of the posting, you may be able to include more graphics, or even a video featuring testimonials from your own drivers.

It’s very important to show images that represent the experience truck drivers will have. For many drivers, seeing a picture of the type of truck they’ll be driving is essential before they consider working for that carrier. Make sure images have good resolution, that they are the proper size, and that they are placed in the right position on the page.

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 referral program

To hire the best truck drivers, recruiters need to constantly create a good impression of their carriers. However, there’s only so much you can do as a recruiter to control your brand and reputation. Unfortunately, many advertisements lie, and drivers have good reason not to believe everything that a carrier says about itself. That’s why they’re more likely to listen to other drivers instead. People are more likely to listen to those they trust, and they’re more likely to trust those who are similar to them. The power of peers is so great that people are 4 times more likely to buy a product when referred by a friend. You can harness this power in the trucking industry as well. A potential driver for your fleet is more likely to trust a fellow driver than what you have to say about your fleet.

This is the idea behind creating a driver referral program. Since your reputation as a carrier is going to spread anyway, you may as well use that to your advantage to attract the best candidates.

Research shows that “word of mouth” plays a huge factor for drivers looking for trucking jobs.

According to the 2019 Overdrive Connectivity Report, 26% of company drivers use word of mouth when looking for driving jobs, second only to Internet searches. Meanwhile, it’s the strongest factor for owner-operators, who look to it 39% of the time. A driver referral program will help you harness the power of word-of-mouth and use your company reputation to bring the strongest drivers to your fleet. Here are 3 tips to create a strong referral program.

1. Build advocates

As we mentioned, drivers are already speaking to each other about your carrier. Your company already has a reputation, and you can’t override it by a referral program. Either your drivers believe you have a strong company and culture that values them, or they don’t. You can’t magically change their opinion by using incentives, but you can encourage them to share their opinions with other drivers.

Offering incentives nudges your drivers to make referrals they already believe in.

It just adds the extra benefit that it won’t slip their mind between a busy job and personal life. If drivers already believe in the strength of your company, you’re really building them as advocates for your company, and not simply as referrals.

2. Structure incentives

Many companies use incentives to nudge drivers into making referrals. Most of these incentives are monetary rewards, although they don’t have to be. As we learned in high school economics class, incentives matter.

You have to make sure you’re offering the right incentives, and that they are influencing behavior in ways you want them to.

If you’re offering a vinyl record player as an incentive and all your drivers use MP3 files for their music, you aren’t going to get any referrals even if everyone loves your company! Make the referral worth it for your drivers. If you’re offering a monetary reward, there are different ways to distribute it. For example, a $500 referral bonus can be spaced out- $250 when the referred driver gets their first run completed and another $250 when they’ve been with the company for 60 days. Often the incentive doesn’t begin until the new driver has already joined the fleet. Driver benefits like extra paid vacation time are other referral rewards which many drivers will covet. Find the right incentive structure and distribution mechanism that works for your company!

3. Build Your Budget

It’s easy to think of referral programs as a waste of money if you haven’t used them before or measured their impact. Try to think of driver referrals as an investment into your recruiting budget. The hire you make from a referral program will help you gain back the amount you spent on the incentive or reward. In fact, you can measure the impact of your referral program and calculate the return on investment. If you’re doing it well then you make a significant number of hires which more than account for the budget spent on the referral program. Consider these budgetary issues when structuring your referral program.

If your program is losing more money than gaining, you need to seriously re-think your entire driver referral program.

Which incentives aren’t working? Should the monetary reward be greater? Maybe the rewards need to be spread out more or be delivered only after you’ve converted leads to hires. Don’t forget to account for the hundreds of dollars being wasted on trucks sitting idle in your lot. Investing in a driver referral program might a way to end that loss of value.

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

Untitled-1-4

What do truck drivers look for in jobs? What are the most important traits to them? These are the questions that pester recruiters in the back of their minds. Recruiters know that there is a driver shortage, and that truck drivers are looking for the best jobs they can find. If drivers aren’t happy then, they will quickly move on to finding another job with another fleet. We’ve written previously about the top factors truck drivers want. Here are some of the top traits of the best trucking jobs as drivers see them.

1. Salary and Compensation

Have no doubt about it—drivers are looking to be compensated well. Truck drivers are in high demand, and they know it. The salary and benefits of different jobs depend on a number of factors which may sometimes be out of your control. That being said, make sure you do everything you can to ensure that drivers are being paid well for the type of job they are taking on.

Compensating drivers below the industry average will raise red flags and impact your company’s reputation.

In addition to salary, there are many financial incentives you can consider, such as sign-on bonuses and paid time off. Some companies give their drivers a bonus for every year that they stay with the fleet. Make sure that drivers are receiving a simple pay statement that is easy to understand and has the accurate amount. Drivers don’t want to waste time following up with the payroll department for company errors.

2. Home Time

This is one of the most important traits of the best trucking jobs. The ideal trucking job doesn’t take OTR drivers out on the road for more than a week. If the run is local or regional, even better. While drivers realize that OTR jobs are necessary, they will expect their work schedules to reflect the sacrifice in home time. Ideally, there is a considerable amount of home time of several days between jobs.

Don’t forget, the average driver works 8 days straight before taking a break. Anything the company can do to shorten that schedule, or to add more home time after that schedule, will be something drivers will appreciate.

Most drivers will have families hoping to see them every week. Even truck drivers currently without families will crave downtime after being on the road for that long.

3. Mileage

The number of miles offered on a given job is one of the traits of the best trucking jobs. Some drivers may feel that the shorter the run, the more desirable the job. But, that isn’t always the case. Other drivers enjoy OTR jobs, and would rather have a longer job which pays more. It is completely up to driver preferences.

Most importantly, drivers will be upset if the advertised mileage doesn’t match the real mileage.

Similarly, if the other traits of the job are not what they were advertised to be, drivers will not trust your company. Word about company reputation can spread like wildfire.

4. Equipment

Truck drivers are often frustrated when dealing with shoddy equipment. Drivers routinely warn other drivers to stay away from companies just because of the reputation they have over equipment. A big factor in determining what’s a good truck driving job is the state of their trucks and equipment. Are the truck models recent and well maintained? Or are they falling apart?

Truck drivers don’t want to be held liable for maintenance failures on the company’s end. Nor do they want to have to spend time repairing the truck while they should be on the road getting to the next destination.

While your fleet doesn’t need to have the latest and greatest truck models, you should make sure they are well-maintained. Invest in quality equipment and truck drivers will consider jobs from your company to be some of the best.

5. Respect and Communication

Perhaps the biggest sign of a good job for truck drivers is how well they are treated by the company. Drivers view themselves as working professionals just like in any other industry. They are looking to be treated with respect by the company and by their peers and supervisors. Having respect for drivers means valuing their time and effort they put into the work.

Put most simply, drivers just want the company’s representatives to treat them they way they would like to be treated.

A big component of respect is how well the company communicates with drivers. Having an open line of communication where both parties feel their concerns are heard and understood will go a long way toward earning drivers’ trust. Make sure dispatchers and others are not speaking to drivers rudely or taking them for granted.

In addition to some of the monetary factors, things like respect and strong communication from the company are what make for a good truck driving job. Keep these traits in mind that drivers look for, and soon your company will be known for offering some of the best trucking jobs.

driver happiness and retention survey

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