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.
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
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 is—the 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.