Recruiting and retaining drivers is at the top of the pain point list for most carriers. Nothing is more frustrating than putting time, effort, and money into your recruiting and still falling short of your goals. Without enough drivers to fill your trucks, you’re losing money. There are drivers out there, but getting them into your seats is a constant challenge. One that can be made more difficult without a strong strategy. Driver recruiting success doesn’t just start with a job post. So, today we are going to back things up and talk about where driver recruiting truly starts and all the steps that need to take place long before you post your ad.
Know Your Competitors
Before you start to market jobs an important first step is to do your due diligence with a little competitor research. Make note of how these companies are promoting their brand and their job opportunities. Find out what your competitors offer and what they don’t. Knowing who your direct and indirect competitors are and what they are offering is the best place to start differentiating your company from the rest. Identify who your competitors are early, and keep tabs on them often. Use your research to focus on meeting the needs of your target candidate better than anyone else in the industry does.
Invest in Employer Branding
One of the worst things you can do as a recruiter is blend in with the crowd. That’s where employer branding comes in. If you’re not sure just what employer branding is, the simplest way to describe it is that a brand is what drivers think of when they hear your company name.
The reality is that without your action, social media and review boards have given the power to your drivers to define your brand for you. Start by assessing where your brand is currently at. Remember that every interaction your drivers have with dispatch, management, payroll, secretaries, and even other drivers influence the shape of your driver brand. So make sure these key pieces of your company are running smoothly.
Once you know where you stand you’ll be able to take the steps necessary to create a unique and positive brand. Next, you’ll need to consider some key facts and values about your company. What is it about your fleet that is different from everyone else? Candidates have a lot of options out there. It’s vital that you do everything you can to highlight what differentiates your fleet from the rest. Anything that sets you apart is a selling point to drivers. Use strong employer branding to ensure that your company never blends in.
Nurture Your Audience & Develop Trust
Developing trust with drivers is an important part of recruiting. Drivers have to know and trust you to want to drive for you. Nurturing relationships with drivers will give you a double benefit. One, it leads to longevity in employment. Two, happy drivers equal word of mouth from your current drivers. Few things will make you a trusted name quicker than the recommendation of a current driver.
Define Your Ideal Driver Persona
One of the biggest mistakes a transportation company can make when it comes to driver recruiting is not taking the time to define driver personas. In short, your driver personas are a fictional representation of your ideal driver (s). Knowing your personas before your start recruiting makes it easier for you to tailor job ads to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different segments of your audience. Creating driver personas will take an investment of time and research but in the end, we think you’ll find that the results pay off. You probably have at least a few great drivers who have been with you for years. Do you ever wonder to yourself, “Why can’t there be more drivers like them?” Look to these top performers to begin your driver persona research. Start by putting together a profile of your best drivers. Consider their license class and any certifications they hold. Different drivers value different things. Once you know what qualifications make your top-performers the best, speak to those values and begin to more accurately target your job posts to your ideal drivers.
Widen Your Search
Transportation companies who are struggling to find drivers should widen (not narrow) their search. A few ways to do this include:
- Widening your experience level requirements. Be willing to accept 1-year experience instead of only 2+ or consider drivers with little to no experience.
- Offer a driver training program to train and certify new drivers
- Partner with driving schools to reach new recruits
- Offer assistance to help drivers get the required certifications
Offer Perks & Bonuses
One of the biggest factors in driver recruiting is compensation and bonuses. Ensure that your compensation package is comparable to that of your competitors and then find ways to enhance it. Do you have a great pet policy? Do you offer a rider program? Is your fleet made up of nicer / newer trucks? All of these elements add up to a happier work environment for your drivers. Be sure to list any driving benefits you have over your competitor’s offerings. And, never dismiss the power of a sign-on bonus to draw in the candidates you need.
Step Up Your Technology Game
Every company needs to find a way to put the human back into their Human Resources department, but oftentimes that starts with technology. It may seem counterintuitive, but technology is the infrastructure that supports human relationships in recruiting. Using HR Technology like the systems created by Work4 can remove inefficiencies in your recruitment process. Not to mention increase the number of qualified leads in your recruiting funnel.
Now you know all of the steps you need to take before you make your next job post. If you need help anywhere along the way we are here for you, click here to schedule a meeting with our team. Try out all of the features of our custom ads campaigns for 5 weeks and see the difference in your recruiting stats.