When recruiting CDL drivers in today’s highly competitive market, it’s important to make every minute count. From the initial review of an application to the end of the onboarding and driver orientation processes, being efficient and effective with your time will save you money and maximize your success in hiring and retaining quality drivers.
There are many tips and tricks to streamline the hiring process and ensure the best experience for each candidate, from start to finish. Keep reading to learn how to integrate this advice into your recruiting efforts, and you might be surprised by how quickly you see results!
Creating the Best Candidate Experience
Although a streamlined hiring process will save your company time and money, your goal should still always be centered around providing the best experience for every applicant. If a driver feels valued and supported from day one, they are much more likely to continue through the hiring process and become a committed employee.
Develop a strategy for hiring that takes into account each driver’s unique background while ensuring every candidate receives the same level of attention and support. Having a strategy in place will also help keep everyone in the hiring department on the same page, so candidates don’t have to repeat information or parts of the process.
The first step in any hiring strategy should be connecting with a candidate as soon as they express interest. The longer a driver waits, the higher the chance that they will find another opportunity with a different carrier. Make sure that each candidate has the option to provide multiple forms of contact on an application so they can be easily reached by phone call, text, or email.
Frequent touchpoints are beneficial to display your commitment to a candidate and will help keep them in the loop. The first point of communication should act as a preliminary screening, where you explain job requirements, criteria, and clarify any questions the driver has. At the end of each communication, explain what the candidate can anticipate for the next steps, and when you’ll be in touch again.
Setting expectations and maintaining communication with every member of the hiring team is essential to streamlining the hiring process. Drivers will quickly lose interest if they are unable to easily schedule interviews, submit important documents, or receive updates on their progress.
Because a lot of today’s recruiting and hiring is now held remotely, a clearly defined process, roles, and repsonsibilites across your organization will make the process smoother for everyone involved. When it comes to steps which require the coordination of multiple members of the hiring team, such as interviewing, planning ahead is a must.
Make sure that interview appointments are widely available enough to provide flexibility for candidates, and that the scheduling process is easy and straightforward. It might help to block off a certain amount of time each week for hiring managers to conduct interviews, making it easier to count on regular availability and reduce scheduling conflicts.
When speaking over the phone, you should aim to directly warm transfer candidates to the hiring manager to schedule interviews. This ensures that the candidate doesn’t have to repeat information, and demonstrates the commitment of the whole team to the hiring process. If direct connection is impossible, try creating a link where the candidate can schedule interviews themselves. CDL drivers are busy, so this allows them to check their availability and decide on their own time.
It’s also important to always come prepared to every stage of the hiring process. Before speaking with a candidate, make sure to have all the information needed from the safety and insurance teams on minimum criteria for hiring. For example, if there is a strict age requirement for insurance purposes, it’s much better to be up front to drivers.
Background Checks and Clearinghouse
Since the start of the pandemic, the alcohol/drug clearinghouse and background check stage of the hiring process has often taken longer on average. Although wait times have been decreasing recently, it can still sometimes take up to two weeks to complete this important step.
Although there isn’t anything you can do to speed up processing times, preparing ahead and maintaining organization will help you move as fast as possible. As soon as you know you’ll be moving forward with the candidate, make sure they’re registered and up to date with the clearinghouse.
Since there are criteria in place to regulate truck driver hiring nationwide, it’s important to be mindful of what each driver needs to complete their file. Each time you touch base with a candidate, confirm what documents and information you have on record, and what you still require.
Hiring CDL drivers is an extensive process, and as a recruiter, this makes your time very valuable. However, it’s also important to remember that any time invested in a quality candidate is time well spent, even if the match isn’t perfect at the time.
If there is a certain requirement an otherwise perfect candidate doesn’t meet, such as minimum age or experience level, be sure to keep in contact with them periodically through email or social media, until a spot has opened up or they meet the hiring criteria.