To say that the trucker recruiting industry is a competitive business is an understatement. The driver shortage is a long-standing industry issue with the ATA estimating that the shortage is likely to reach 175,000 by 2024. Combine the shortage with an aging workforce then throw in a pandemic and the trucker recruiting industry becomes a competition like no other.
But there are ways to help overcome the challenges if you make a smart recruitment plan, that is to say, one that includes both active and passive driver applicants. When recruiting truck drivers, understanding the difference between active and passive driver applicants can be the difference between a healthy candidate pipeline and struggling to fill the seats in your fleet.
Active vs. Passive Candidates
The difference between active and passive driver applicants comes down to the driver’s connection with the job search. Active driver applicants are engaged, looking and ready to make a job change immediately. Passive driver candidates on the other hand are not actively looking for a new position, but are open to making a change if the right opportunity were to present itself. Both types of candidates are necessary for a healthy recruitment pipeline, but it’s important to use the right type of strategy for each type of candidate.
Reaching Active Driver Applicants
Active driver applicants are ready to make a change, they have likely begun the process of applying for new positions and are ready to change jobs now. For active driver applicants, recruiters must act quickly because drivers want to move quickly to a new position and won’t stay on the market for long.
Go Where the Drivers Are
The first step to reaching active driver applicants is to go where the driver candidates are. With statistics from our recent survey showing that 84% of applicants use Facebook during their job search, it’s likely that your core audience is on social media. Partner with Work4 to reach maximum candidate exposure and generate the leads you need to reach your hiring goals.
Use Technology to your Advantage
Adopting technology to make recruiting more efficient is key to a strong recruiting strategy. An ATS, API and CRM can all work together to create a streamlined strategy that is convenient for applicants and recruiters alike.
Cast a Wider Net
If you’re struggling to fill seats on your trucks, cast a wider net by accepting applicants with less experience. You can also consider offering a driver training program to train and certify new drivers and partnering with driving schools to reach new recruits.
Say the Right Thing
As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Make sure that your recruitment marketing clearly shows active candidates why your company is the best to work for. Active candidates are looking for a job change now, they need to know upfront how your company is different and why they should work for you! Whenever possible be sure to include your pay rate and any perks or bonuses your fleet offers.
Be Ready to Move Quickly
Active driver applicants are ready to move quickly. That means recruiters your recruiting team should be too! Hiring top candidates can come down to a simple decision of timing. If your company and another make similarly competitive job offers to the same driver, and the other company is more responsive, you will likely lose that driver. In order to attract top talent, you have to be ready to move faster than the competition.
Reaching Passive Driver Applicants
Passive driver applicants make up the vast majority of the job market according to a recent LinkedIn’s report, 70% of the workforce is made up of passive talent. With so many candidates in this demographic, including this talent pool in your recruiting strategy is a good practice to ensure you reach your staffing goals.
Play the Long Game
The strategy for recruiting passive applicants is entirely different than recruiting active applicants. For passive applicants, you’ll need to start by building your driver lead pipeline, and Work4 has a variety of products that can help you do just that. At its core, building a passive driver pipeline is all about relationship building. After all, passive driver candidates may not be looking for a new job immediately, but if you nurture the lead, your name will be top of mind when they are ready for a change.
Harness the Power of your Existing Drivers
One of the most valuable assets in your recruiting toolbox is your own drivers. Using driver testimonials in your marketing will help you stand out from the competition. Research shows that people are more likely to trust people similar to themselves over unfamiliar people when considering new information. It also shows that employee voice is 3x more credible than corporate messaging when it comes to talking about what it’s like to work for a company. Hands down, the best way to connect with drivers is to demonstrate your company culture, and the best way to do that is to use testimonials from your own current drivers.
Improve Lead Sourcing with Social Advertising
Developing an effective driver recruitment process starts with sourcing the right candidates with the least work involved. No matter how many ads you place on job boards, passive candidates will never see them. They will however see your ad if it’s placed in their social media feed. Working with Work4 is an excellent way to expand the number of potential candidates you can reach with just a few clicks. Our proprietary systems get your ads in front of passive candidates and deliver leads directly to you via email, ATS integration (Tenstreet, and DriverReach) or through our API access.
Establish a Driver Referral Program
Employee referrals remain one of the most direct, reliable, and efficient ways to source prospective candidates. Not only are your employees likely to identify qualified candidates, but they can start the engagement process for you. Plus, studies show that employee referrals that result in hires tend to remain with the company 70% longer than non-employee referral hires.
To tap into the power of the referral it’s essential to create a well-defined employee referral program that offers transparency and consistency.
Build a Comprehensive Recruiting Strategy
In the world of driver recruiting, the landscape is always in flux. Active applicants become passive once they find a new job. Passive candidates decide they are ready for a change and switch to active candidate status. Since recruiting, demands and drivers’ needs change a comprehensive recruitment strategy needs to account for both active and passive candidates. Partner with Work4 to help build your active and passive candidate pipeline today or contact us to learn about a free trial of our candidate lead generation system.