Surveys estimate there are a third fewer owner-operators on the road right now than there were in 2008. But of course the shortage is just the beginning of your problems.
We have compiled the 5 most important statistics from the 2014 Overdrive Connectivity Study to help you recruit owner-operators.
1. Owner-Operators Prefer Print
Owner-operators consume media differently than their company driver counterparts do. This means that your strategy needs to change when you are needing to recruit owner-operators. This doesn’t mean you should throw all of your budget into print and disregard all other recruiting channels.
According to the Overdrive Connectivity Report, printed magazines are the most important source of information for owner-operators. 53% of owner-operators even responded they would choose printed magazines as their only source of information.
It’s important to incorporate print advertising into your campaigns and track its effectiveness.
2. Internet and Owner-Operators
Almost 80% of owner-operators are using the internet every day. Of that number, 25.8% are using the internet constantly. However, all 100% of the owner-operators surveyed use the internet to some degree or another.
Don’t get caught up on the fact that owner-operators prefer print; digital advertising can be a wildly influential part of your campaigns.
Adding in digital advertising as an additional touch point will improve your campaigns’ performance. Your digital advertising can get in front of drivers who are actively looking for new jobs. You can even target your advertising by tagged browsers and geography to get in front of very specific drivers.
3. Target Mobile
Almost 50% of owner-operators have reported they use smart phones to access the internet. For the estimated 160,000 owner-operators in the United States, 80,000 of those actively using the internet from their mobile devices.
Owner-operators tend to be less technologically advanced, but many still access the internet from their smartphones. You can target your digital advertising to display more prominently to audiences using mobile devices. You even have the option to build text ads and landing pages specifically around mobile devices with click-to-call capabilities.
For fleets trying to generate inbound calls and short form applications, targeting your advertising around mobile devices can help you accomplish your wins.
4. Word-of-Mouth is Important
According to our research, 39.3% of owner-operators say they find jobs most often through word-of-mouth advertising. For those fleets with sterling reputations among drivers, this is an encouraging statistic.
But for fleets with high turnover, this could be less than hopeful information.
It’s important to understand both recruiting and retention are interconnected, especially where word-of-mouth is concerned. If you have a high turnover rate, then you have drivers who probably don’t appreciate the benefits, pay, respect, or etc. they received while working for your fleet. And these drivers will probably tell their driver friends about their bad experience with your fleet.
Improving your driver retention rate can lower hiring costs and improve your word-of-mouth advertising among drivers.
5. Don’t Forget Social Media
In the final three pages of the 2014 Overdrive Connectivity Report, you will find a wealth of information about the habits of owner-operators on social media. In particular, you need to know that almost 35% of owner-operators visit YouTube and another 47% use Facebook.
While these may not be the massive numbers you see when talking about the internet in general, these are still important statistics. Understand that 47% of your audience is within easy reach of your Facebook ads.
YouTube offers a great way to engage potential hires and your current employees. But, we won’t spend much time on that here. If you want to know more about how you can use YouTube to recruit and retain more drivers, you can read more about that here and here.
Adding in social media in a way that complements your additional advertising can help you accomplish your recruiting goals.
Recruiting owner-operators is difficult, but extremely important for many fleets. There are many unique challenges you face while trying to get these drivers to carry for your fleet. But by understanding exactly how owner-operators consume the information you are putting in front of them, you are setting yourself up for success.