There’s no denying the driver shortage presents numerous, profound challenges for the trucking industry. There are serious issues with an aging workforce, driver turnover, a limited pool of qualified candidates, and difficulty getting young people behind the wheel.
But it’s not all bad news — at least for those who are able and willing to adopt the new ways of targeting, reaching, and recruiting truck drivers. Fleets that are more intentional, strategic, and data-driven in their pursuit of qualified drivers are the ones that can survive — even in lean times.
To this end, one of the main strategic capabilities we’ve been beefing up here at Randall-Reilly over the last several years is extracting insight from data collection to help fleets recruit hard-to-find drivers. This is the name of the game now — utilizing data and digital advertising techniques to find exactly who you’re looking for, and to figure out the most effective ways to reach them.
We have an incredible team here who are dedicated to meticulously monitoring, visualizing, and analyzing the sorts of data that gives you a huge recruiting edge over your competitors. Diving deep into datapoints like search volume and parsing the particulars of how to drive leads are an integral component of our success.
Using data we’ve aggregated over the past year, here’s a peek into how we determine lead generation strategies on a daily basis for our clients, as well as takeaways to consider as you formulate your own recruiting efforts.
Total Leads by Type
The key here is determining which types of leads are more valuable for your particular operation. Are you more capable of handling long forms, short forms, multi-carrier apps, or phone calls?
Answering these questions can help you align your marketing toward the specific outcome that most effectively suits your purpose.
If it’s calls you want, for instance, then it helps to measure factors like time of day and day of week.
Here’s what we’ve tracked over the last year in that regard.
Calls by Time of Day
Time of day has an effect on recruiting. Notice the spike in calls during lunchtime. Are you missing those lunch hour calls? How about calls that come in after 5 or 6? Do you have someone covering these shifts?
You could be missing out on drivers if not.
Calls by Day of Week
On a similar note as above, look at all the calls that come in on Saturdays (and to a lesser extent, Sundays). This is another major consideration for recruiters — especially those eager to exploit the lack of competition as far as other fleets’ ability to respond on the weekends.
The same can be said for short forms. Is it worth it to be able to respond to off-hour short forms in a timely manner? As we discussed in a previous post about common recruiting mistakes we see, the answer is emphatically YES.
Just like with calls, forms tend to flow pretty freely during the lunch hour and on weekends.
Short Forms by Day of Week
Short Forms by Time of Day
Applications by Driver Type
There are only so many fish in the driver sea. Getting a sense of how many apps are being submitted gives you reasonable expectations in terms of who’s out there, and how that might affect your cost-per-lead.
In other words, the scarcer the driver type, the higher your cost-per-lead is likely going to be. Haul type applications (apps for specific flatbed, van, tanker, or hazmat positions) and haul type search volume (how many flatbed, van, tanker, or hazmat-specific searches were conducted in a certain time frame) offer more insight as to what sorts of drivers are out there and who’s searching for what. Analyzing this data can help you spot trends, and reveal which drivers may be harder to recruit in particular months.
Apps by Haul Type
Haul Type Search Volume
Analyzing search volumes (and regional search data), as well as related metrics like impressions, cost-per-click, and click-through-rate, reveal crucial digital advertising insights and help guide how you allocate your advertising budget. Sharp dips and spikes mirror freight and industry trends, and help you plan accordingly.
We can get even more granular here, to the point of minute specificity.
Let’s say you’re keen on learning as much as you can about flatbed-related searches on Google. We can provide month-by-month data on flatbed-specific search volume, impressions, clicks, and cost-per-click details. This is can be sliced regionally or by state as well.
That goes for searches related to teams, lease purchase, owner-operators, or whatever driver niche you need.
Building Strategies Together
This is a broad overview of how we use data to gain insight and build strategies to help you land the best driver leads. It’s not the whole puzzle, but hopefully this post gives a sense of what’s possible in terms of data-driven, strategic recruiting.