Listen to the article:
As a small fleet, it is difficult not to get lumped in with bigger fleets when it comes to content on how to improve, best practices, how to manage leads, and so on. You may not need to know how to empower your recruiting team or efficiently manage a large volume of leads because you may not have either. Your recruiter may be an employee who plays more than one role and needs to know how best to manage their time. You may not have a large budget to invest in all the new technology out there or have locations in multiple states.
The bottom line is your fleet runs differently from a big fleet. But just as a big fleet has its advantages, so does your small fleet. The key to reaching the drivers you are looking for is to capitalize on the strengths of your size. To do that, you need tactics that apply to how your business runs.
So, let’s take a look at some of the tactics that will work best for a fleet your size.
1. Communicate Your Culture
Many fleets, no matter their size, may boast of having a family culture, but small fleets really do have an advantage here. The smaller your fleet, the easier it is to have a close-knit team. There’s a lot of room for face-to-face interactions with others in the company, including the owner. This opens up more personal lines of communication between employees and organically produces that family culture many fleets boasts about.
It is important to communicate this close-knit culture when you are recruiting drivers. A great way to do that is through driver testimonials. Potential drivers are more likely to believe their peers than anyone else in your fleet. So, have your current drivers speak about their positive experience at your fleet through testimonials you use in your advertising, on your website, etc.
2. Create a Referral Program
You may be aware that your close-knit culture is attractive to drivers, but what you may not know is how it may be influencing your current drivers. Our research shows that word of mouth is the most common way owner-operators find jobs and the second most common for company drivers. So, odds are that if your drivers enjoy your culture and enjoy working at your fleet, they are already telling their peers about it. Take advantage of this opportunity to recruit by giving your drivers an incentive (e.g. monetary, extra paid vacation, bonus, etc.). This will encourage them to actively recruit for you.
3. Take Advantage of Lead Quality
Because you are not trying to create the same amount of scale with your leads as a much bigger fleet, you have the opportunity to engage with leads in a more meaningful way. With fewer leads to manage, you can take your time to properly nurture each lead.
For example, on calls with potential hires, you can take out the time to get to know these drivers, listen to their questions and concerns, and give proper answers. You can also go as far as going through the application with them over the phone and assist them in filling it out.
Another advantage of not dealing with a large quantity of leads is that it allows you to prioritize quality to a greater degree than fleets trying to create scale. You can utilize multi carrier apps and be picky about the drivers you want to hire.
4. Improve Time Management
You may be handling the recruiting of your fleet, while operating in other roles at the same time. The downside here is that when juggling more than one role, it can be difficult to manage your time properly. This can present an issue with recruiting. How can you ensure all leads are followed up on in a timely manner? What about potential hires who are a great fit for your fleet, but are returning your calls after hours? You have your limits. So, what can you do to extend your reach? This is where automation comes in.
By automating timely follow ups and responses, you keep the conversation going with potential hires even when you are unavailable. You can use autoresponders like SMS messaging, email, and voicemail to follow-up with drivers or move them along in the recruiting process. You can also use a 3rd party recruiter to supplement your own recruiting. For example, Randall-Reilly’s LeadConnect option utilizes automated texts and calls to connect a driver to someone at your fleet or one of our live agents if your recruiter is unavailable.
5. List Your Driver Jobs on Job Boards
If you are not looking to generate huge lead volumes, perhaps it isn’t necessary to invest in larger advertising platforms that will get you more attention than you want or have the capacity to handle. With job boards, you get access to drivers posting their applications, while getting a chance to advertise your open job positions. Randall-Reilly offers a robust network of job boards including websites dedicated to niche types of haul.
Growth Specific Tactics
You may be wanting to grow your fleet but may be having trouble doing so. Remember that a lot of the big fleets started as small fleets. So, here are a few tactics to help you get on track:
6. Invest in Branding
It is difficult for you to get a driver’s attention when they have never heard of you. Building your brand can help you get your fleet’s name out there. So, how do you do this?
Cater to What Matters to Drivers:
Tailor your messaging around driver interests, pain points, concerns, etc. to show that you care about what they care about.
Communicate Your Culture:
This takes us back to our first tactic. Having a great culture creates a strong foundation for your brand.
If taking on branding on your own is a greater workload than your fleet can manage, you may consider outsourcing your branding.
7. Track KPIs
If your aim is to grow your fleet, you will need a way to track the areas where you need to improve. What are some KPIs that are easy for you to track? It could be number of leads, leads to hire, advertising cost-per-hire, etc. KPIs like these will reveal the areas where you need to take action to improve growth, e.g. outsource, hire a new employee, etc.
8. Utilize an Applicant Tracking System
As you begin to grow, you will need a way to manage the increase in leads. A great way to improve your workflow and remove some of the pressure from the recruiting process is to invest in applicant tracking system software. An ATS will allow you to automate a lot of the process you would usually handle manually like storing and organizing applications, narrowing down candidates, etc.
Every fleet wants to improve their recruiting process, and content that advises fleets on how to do this is a huge plus. The problem is there is a lot of content out there that seeks to solve all fleets problems using a “one size fits all” solution. But it does not work that way. Recruiting for a small fleet works differently than for a big fleet. Hopefully, our 8 tactics have presented you with realistic solutions to your specific struggles.