Six Ways to Make the Most of Recruiting Phone Calls

Benjamin Franklin once said “Time is money.” He would’ve made a great driver recruiter with that mindset (if all that being a scientist, statesman, printer, politician, postmaster, author, inventor, and diplomat stuff didn’t work out.)

Benjamin Franklin surely would have been an efficient recruiter.

Much of recruiting is about efficiency, and time. As in, how do you make the most of it? How do you make sure your team is strategically using those precious minutes on the phone to drive not just recruiting results, but also harvesting data you can use for future marketing efforts?  

Interviews can boost content marketing success, after all.

I recently spoke with our VP of Sales, Scott Miller, and one of our recruiting experts, Daniel Buckhannan, about this topic. They were kind enough to offer up some handy pointers on how recruiters can maximize their time on the phone — for both recruiting and marketing purposes. Here are the six points they identified.  

1. Treat Drivers with Respect

There’s a fine line between being brisk and being brusque. Recruiters are often under the gun; especially those who need to make a certain amount of calls per day. It’s OK to talk fast and get straight to the point, but people can perceive when they’re being hurried along or not listened to.

Marketing, just like recruiting, begins with respect. Recruiters in this sense are on the front lines of your marketing efforts; they’re the voice of your fleet. If that voice is rude, disrespectful, or rushed, that has a direct impact on your ability to fill trucks.

On the flipside, respectful, engaging communication makes a great first impression. It also has a disarming effect, which opens up a more open, honest dialogue. That’s how you gather whatever data points you’re after and set an interviewee at ease.

Respectful communication is an underrated, secret weapon to getting drivers behind the wheel.    

2. Cut to the Chase with Knockout Questions

Respect doesn’t mean rambling however!

If a recruiter small-talks with a candidate for 10 minutes, only to find out later in the conversation he’s recently failed a drug test and been in three rollover accidents, then you’ve just wasted everyone’s time.

Efficient, effective recruiters can find that sweet spot between ice-breaking with friendly dialogue to establish rapport, and also getting to the point with whatever constitutes ‘knockout’ questions for your fleet.

Everyone’s different in this regard. But it’s crucial to tick those boxes early on in the call. For everyone’s sake.  

3. Collect Phone App If You Can

Daniel mentioned to me how it’s ideal if recruiters can casually, in the course of a call, gather all you need to fill out the application for a driver. This is a smooth way to reduce friction and save a potential driver a step.

If you don’t fill out the app for them now, the driver might forget to fill it out later. Or they might get scooped up by another fleet with an easier application process before the next time you hear from them.  

For a driver on the go, sometimes even filling out a short form is a tall order. You never know what hurdles or hassles people are facing. Maybe their phone screen is busted. Their glasses are missing. Maybe they had to go to the optometrist and get their eyes dilated.

Save them the trouble and collect whatever info you need during the call to get their particulars.   

4. Nail Down a Date for a Visit

This is another ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ tip. Or, if you prefer your analogies to come via Elvis, phone calls with drivers are often a Now or Never proposition.

Encourage your recruiters to lock drivers into specific visit dates while on the horn. If you don’t do so you’re relying on being able to connect again down the road, in which case you might as well book your room at the driver recruiting Heartbreak Hotel.

(I originally intended to do some kind of Return to Sender email joke here, but it didn’t work. I’m All Shook Up let’s just move on.)  

You know The King would’ve been a great driver recruiter.

5. Capture Info Anyways

This is a caveat for point number 2 listed above. Oftentimes a disqualification would be the end of a conversation, but in some cases you should keep going.

Maybe they got dinged for a ‘too fast for conditions’ three months ago or didn’t match the experience level you’re after. Whatever the case may be, sometimes it pays to collect a driver’s info anyways.

Even if you can’t hire the driver now, you might down the road. So why not go ahead and get their information on file and start cultivating a relationship?

It’s also a savvy move to collect disqualification data to monitor what the most common knockout reasons are. These driver pain points can help shape and guide your content marketing, which you can tailor to offer practical, relevant tips on alleviating common issues. If you’re hearing about specific pain points over and over again, it’s a safe bet drivers would be interested in content geared around that subject.

Tracking DQ data is a matter of efficiency and overall effectiveness, too. Kyle Jernigan, our Director of Digital Services, is passionate about this issue. He told me, “The number one reason recruiters need to track disqualification reasons is to hold advertisers accountable. That way you know if the leads you’re getting are remotely accurate to the hiring requirements.”

For example, he told me about a client who was receiving too many leads who lacked the level of experience they required. Kyle and his team responded by more prominently displaying the work requirements on the client’s landing page, while also adding the requirement to the whisper text that plays to a caller before being transferred to a recruiter. When drivers would call and hear the whisper text, they’d press 1 if they have enough experience, and press 2 if they didn’t. Anyone who pressed 2 didn’t make it to the recruiter.

In addition, our team moved the experience requirement info to the top of the ‘Requirements’ section on the page, bolded it to ensure visibility, and made it a required field on the form. That way any form that had too little experience would not submit to recruiters.  

Kyle told me that this client is “now hiring more drivers, more efficiently, because we’re sending more leads that match their requirements. This saves recruiters time, headache, and hassle.”

Here’s a sample chart of what DQ data collection might look like.

6. Measure Metrics that Matter

We’re all about measuring what really matters here. How else can you know what’s working, and what needs to be tweaked?

You need to identify the metrics that matter most to you, and commit to tracking those to gauge your efficiency. Whether it’s hold time, time to pick up, unanswered calls, time of day, day of week, after-5 p.m. calls, or segmenting lead types by recruiter, select the ones you care about and go whole hog on monitoring those.

So what metrics matter most to you? Does your team know?

If everybody knows what specific parameters are most important to achieve, what targets to shoot for, and where you’re falling short, that’s a step toward making the most of phone calls — and improving your team.

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