Fleets and their recruiting partners have tried many different methods to try to land the drivers they need. There are more options available to today’s fleets than ever before.
Whether using radio or print ads such as in years past, or embracing the newer digital options such as email, social media, search, and display ads, all fleets are simply looking for the best way to reach the drivers they want.
Does everything come down to the tactics these fleets take, or are there other factors at play?
While, yes, the channel you use to reach prospective drivers is important, there are some other things that you need to keep in mind regardless of how your fleet initiates contact.
What things you ask? Here are things you can do to improve your driver recruiting.
1. Fleets must target the right drivers.
As recently covered in the article, To Get the Drivers You Need, You Must Target the Right Drivers, a big part of landing the drivers your fleet needs comes down to targeting them to begin with.
Many fleets have specific needs or requirements that must be met before a prospective driver is allowed to drive for them. Targeting a precise segment of drivers from the get go can minimize wasted time and spend, while at the same time maximizing a fleet’s recruiting effectiveness.
Through the use of actionable data available through robust databases, such as Randall-Reilly’s allows you to focus on these segmentations and reach exactly the drivers you need.
Driver Segments Fleets Can Target
- Driver Type:Company, owner-operator, or team drivers
- Driver Experience:Years of active driving experience
- Driver Haul Experience:Dry van, tanker, flatbed, refrigerated trucks
- Driver Geographical Location:Where the driver lives or operates
Eliminating wasted time, effort, and spend by focusing on the right drivers from the beginning is a vital step to effective truck driver recruiting.
2. Recruiters need to follow-up in a timely fashion.
Another struggle in the recruiting world is timely follow-up. Recruiters can be overwhelmed with the sheer number of prospects they are trying to reach, which ties back into our first reason. If you eliminate some of the strain and become more precise with targeting, you help your recruiters be more efficient.
What fleets must avoid is letting an interested or qualified prospect fall by the wayside. Recruiters need to prioritize prospects and remember to follow-up with them. This helps not only keep you in the forefront of the driver’s mind, but keeps them engaged with your fleet and not that of a competitor’s.
When a driver is not properly engaged they can become a cold lead, or worse commit to a different fleet. That’s why it’s imperative to always maintain contact and continue to move them along through the entire recruiting process, no matter what step along the journey they are at.
3. Recruiters need to make sure prospects are nurtured and attend orientation.
Building off the last point of follow-up, it’s important that the recruiter follow-up and nurturing doesn’t end until you reach your goal of gaining a new qualified driver. From first contact, to app completion, to orientation scheduling and attendance, every step is important.
We’ve touched on this before in the article, Don’t Let Inefficiency Kill Your Driver Recruiting. A huge issue facing recruiters is a large number of leads are never even scheduled to attend an orientation; and of those that are scheduled, up to 15-20% don’t actually attend a driver orientation.
That is a tremendous amount of wasted effort and resources to miss out on a potential driver. Providing qualified drivers with information, keeping them engaged, and ushering them along the process to completion is hugely important.
No matter how many leads you and your fleet attain, in the end it only really matters what your fleet is able to do with those leads.
4. Drivers must be provided with truthful and accurate data.
Getting drivers to follow through with every step is important and as stated in the previous entry, providing information to the drivers to spur them along the process is vital. However, the information must always be truthful and accurate.
Over the years driver recruiters have developed a reputation among some drivers of being willing to say anything to get the job done. Obviously this is not something you want associated with your fleet or its recruiting practices.
Your recruiters must never become focused on the short-term goal of landing as many drivers as possible. Instead, it’s much more crucial that fleets try to make every single driver interaction a quality one.
Providing prospects with all the information they need to make the right decision for them should always be a top priority. Fudging facts and stretching the truth will only end up with a disgruntled driver and generate negative feelings and a bad fleet reputation.
5. Fleets need to target old or cold leads.
The final aspect I’d like to touch on is retargeting your old or cold leads. One thing that is unique to the trucking industry is the constant and nearly universal turnover rate of drivers.
According to American Trucking Associations Chief Economist, Bob Costello, the driver turnover rate rose to an annualized rate of 95% near the end of 2017 (this turnover rate reflects that of large fleets). That is an incredible difficulty that almost no other industry on the planet has to face.
While this does present a unique challenge for fleets on an ongoing basis, this high turnover rate also means that a prospective driver that is unavailable now, or previously chose to drive for a different fleet, may soon be available. That is exactly why retargeting is important. Old leads that may have gone cold or failed to convert in the past should never be forgotten or swept aside.
This is still valuable lead information and could lead to getting drivers on the road for your fleet. Checking in on or following up on these old/cold leads from time to time never hurts. Use the various digital options available to you online such as Facebook or Twitter custom audiences to maintain contact with these old leads without distracting your recruiters from pursuing new leads.
Even if a driver currently works for another fleet, at the very least you’ve made contact and shown them you are still interested. This leads to your fleet being fresh on their mind should they choose to make a change at some time in the future.
Embrace these methods and see your driver recruiting prosper.
Become more deliberate with your recruiting approach and embrace these 5 tactics to set your fleet up for future success. Targeting the right drivers, following up in a timely fashion, making sure those prospects are nurtured and scheduled for orientation by providing accurate and truthful information along the way, and finally revisiting any old leads are all great ways to land all the drivers your fleet needs.