When focused on the whirlwind of trying to hire drivers, it can be tough to pinpoint the mistakes that are getting in the way of your recruiting process. In our last article, we looked at eight of the common mistakes that stifle recruiting. We would like to outline eight more to help you identify which might be getting in your way.
9. Not Prioritizing Your Ultimate Outcome
There are many things that can distract from your ultimate outcome, which is, of course, hiring drivers. Are you focused on metrics that are not contributing to your ultimate outcome? Having a low cost-per-lead means nothing if your leads are bad. Or increasing call duration is useless if it’s not improving your hire rate. You may be focused on keeping your recruiting up-to-date with the latest digital platforms but it’s a waste of time and money if drivers are not using those platforms.
Make sure every step of your recruiting process is leading to producing your ultimate outcome.
10. Not Personalizing Your Recruiting
A one-size-fits-all approach in your recruiting can cause you to be overlooked. If your message doesn’t speak to the individual driver, then the individual is going to assume it doesn’t apply to them. Thanks to technology, there are ways to personalize your messaging:
This content changes based on a driver’s online actions. For example, a returning visitor to a landing page can receive a more personal “Welcome back, [First Name]” message instead of the same “welcome” shown on the page the first time they visited. This shows a driver you’re keeping up with where they are in the process.
The message displayed on a smart CTA is based on the unique actions of the individual driver. This ensures a driver sees a CTA that is relevant to them. For example, a driver who does not take action can receive a CTA for relevant content (e.g. white paper) which can help cultivate their interest in your fleet.
Beyond the online experience, it’s important to personalize the phone call with a driver. A simple first step is by using a driver’s name throughout the conversation. This may seem like a basic concept but this personal touch provides a more memorable experience for the individual driver.
11. Not Aligning to Pain Points
Providing real solutions to problems drivers face can attract drivers to your fleet. Some common pain points drivers face on the job are long wait times when getting loads from shippers and truck parking. If you have solutions in place to ease these pain points, it’s worth mentioning during the recruiting process.
Two pain points more commonly mentioned in recruiting ads are pay and hometime. It’s important to mention these specific pain points because they’re a huge determining factor for drivers, but it can be difficult to stand out in these aspects. So emphasize your strengths. You may be able to offer more hometime than most fleets but it will require lower pay. Or you may have higher pay that will require a driver to spend less time at home. Drawing attention to the details of these aspects that are specific to your fleets allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
This topic also brings up the importance of knowing your specific driver audience. Not enough home time may be a common pain point for a lot of drivers but you may be after an OTR driver audience who want more miles than most. Knowing the specific driver audience you’re after allows you to speak to their specific pain points.
12. Ignoring Your Own Database
The lists of current and potential prospective drivers that make up your driver database can be a goldmine of hiring opportunities if utilized correctly. The obvious value to be drawn from your own database is identifying the strongest, interested leads and targeting them. Some go the extra mile of targeting a list of drivers from their database who worked for their fleet in the past and are now eligible for rehire. Unfortunately, many fleets stop there without knowing the full value their database has to offer. Recognize that just because a driver is not hired in one hiring cycle doesn’t mean they won’t be valuable later. So reevaluate potential drivers in your database.
Perhaps a driver didn’t have enough experience when they were first added to your database. Well, once they’ve racked up enough experience, they become a good candidate. Or perhaps there was a driver in your database with a certain number of moving violations but is now due to have some of those violations roll off their record. You may have drivers who left your company for better pay and now you’ve raised your pay. Keeping track of why a lead from your database didn’t close helps you predict whether they’ll be eligible to hire in the future.
13. Not Aligning Your Goals with Your Budget
Making wise choices when it comes to properly allocating or shifting budget is easier said than done sometimes. A common issue we seen here is when a fleet has a particular area in their business that’s thriving and other areas they want to grow. The answer isn’t as easy as shifting budget from where the largest percentage of your budget is because that would mean pulling from the most successful part of your business, therefore reducing its success. The answer may be in communicating to your higher-ups how such a budget shift can affect the overall success of the company while requesting an increase in budget for the less successful areas.
You can use our recruiting budget calculator to lay out the details of how your budget is and needs to be allocated.
14. Not Making a Good First Impression
In part 1 of this article, we mentioned that a driver’s relationship with the recruiter needs to be frictionless as not to interrupt the conversion process. Until a driver becomes a part of your fleet, the recruiter is the voice of your fleet to a driver. That voice has the power to sway a driver’s decision for better or worse. When you’re constantly on the phone with drivers, it’s easy to zero in on the end goal (hiring drivers) and forget some of the basics:
Drivers aren’t interested in listening to a talking ad. They want to have a conversation with a personable human being. So be courteous, use their first name, and steer the conversation but don’t dominate it.
This isn’t the time to run through your lists of requirements and benefits. You need to find out if the driver is the right fit for your fleet and you can only learn that by listening to the driver.
Provide Next Steps:
A driver should leave the conversation knowing what to do next or else, you present an opportunity for them to forget about you. Instruct them on where to find the application and how to reach you if they have questions. Also, let them know when they’ll hear from you next.
Follow-up in a Timely Fashion:
It’s highly likely you’re not the only fleet going after your prospective drivers. So the more you keep in contact, the better. That could mean checking in with a driver to see where they are on filling out the application. You can also use autoresponders like emails and text messages to keep the conversation going when you’re unavailable.
15. Stopping at the “Yes”
It’s a mistake to believe the recruiting process is over once a driver says “yes” to the job offer. There’s still the matter of showing up for orientation. Not showing up isn’t always due to a driver losing interest. There are those who cannot afford the transportation. If you have the ability to do so, you can cover a driver’s bus or plane ticket to ensure they make it to orientation.
Beyond orientation, it’s important to stay engaged with a driver from the point when they say “yes” all the way to them getting their first load. Are you making sure their process of getting into a truck goes smoothly? Going that extra mile can prevent a driver from changing their mind even after giving their “yes”.
16. Not Learning from Drivers
You can learn a lot about how to overall improve your fleet from drivers themselves. You can get feedback from your own employees through driver surveys. This can reveal how drivers currently see your fleet and reveal what drew them to your fleet in the first place. You can also give exit interviews to those leaving to company to learn why. Hearing from drivers gives you insight into how to improve from the perspective of your targeted audience.
You may be, for the most part, taking the right steps to getting the drivers you need, but are wondering why you’re failing to produce the desired results. It could be because you’re overlooking the holes in your recruiting. Evaluating the common mistakes made in recruiting can help you tighten up your process and achieve the success you’re looking for.