Defining the Right Driver
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Efficient recruiting starts with finding the right drivers for your fleet. That seems like an obvious statement. But if it really is, why do some fleets fall short in that area? Why do they end up with bad leads or have qualified leads slip through their fingers? The issue is that not enough fleets realize that having the right qualifications is not the only factor that defines ‘the right driver’. If you don’t factor in ‘right place’ and ‘right time’, the right driver can become unreachable.
The results of not factoring in place and time are evident in the old ways of marketing. Take the billboard for instance. Look at this Venn diagram comparing a billboard’s intended reach to and its actual reach:
There’s little overlap between people who drive by, people who drive by and qualify, and people who drive by, qualify AND can remember the number on the billboard. That’s a big investment of money and effort for such an uncertain return.
Not factoring in the right place and the right time turns your advertising into mass advertising. The problem with mass advertising is you’re not trying to reach the masses. You are trying to reach drivers who suit your hiring criteria. Here’s a visual to put who you are trying to reach into perspective:
With 3 billion internet users, you’re essentially trying to find a needle in a field of haystacks. Fortunately Google has targeting capabilities. If you utilize the “transportation audience” you are now reaching 500 million potential users. This is just a tad beyond your target audience (please excuse the sarcasm). But you get the idea. How then do you relegate your advertising to only the qualified drivers, ready to work in your area of operation?
This is the part most fleets have down pat. You know the driver type you need. You know the number of years of experience you require for your driving positions. You factor in what type of haul drivers need experience running. Basically, you go down the list of qualifications. The application and conversations with prospective drivers answer these questions for you. But then how do you reach these drivers through online platforms?
If you can align an email address or phone number to an application listing these qualifications, you have all you need. You can target past cold leads, past employees, or Randall-Reilly’s 1 million+ database of qualified drivers.
The usual assumption here is that the ‘right place’ only refers to geography. The ‘where’ in terms of region, radius, or route is a very important factor when it comes to targeting drivers. Too often we see the “out of area” as a disqualification code within fleets’ ATS. Every online platform and job board lets you filter geographically. Never waste your spend on out of area leads.
But an aspect of ‘where’ that can easily be overlooked is where drivers are…online. What platforms are they using? What type of content are they consuming? This clues you in on where to find the drivers you’re looking for online. For example, according to our research, over 80% of company drivers and over 70% of owner-operators use social media. For both driver types, Facebook is the most used social media platform. This tells you that you will find drivers on Facebook. Targeting the right people on the right platforms betters your chances of reaching the drivers you’re looking for.
This isn’t referring to when a driver is online, but what phase of the job search they’re in. Are they actively searching for a job, researching job opportunities, or currently applying for a job? This is when you should be targeting the right driver on the right platform.
If a driver is not on the lookout for something new, they’ll ignore your recruiting efforts. The best advice here is to be active and accurate. This simply means keep your job offers and open positions up to date and posted to the major job boards and advertising platforms. You never know when a driver might be looking.
The only true way to target intent is through search. Having about 90% of the search engine market share worldwide, Google search is the most commonly used platform for online searches. That makes it a great place to start when it comes to targeting drivers at the right time on the right platform. Another factor to consider here is ad schedule. Make sure your ads are active when you can respond to the incoming calls they bring in.
Going After the Right Driver
As I said before, efficient recruiting starts with finding the right drivers for your fleet. But it definitely doesn’t end there. What do you do when you’ve properly defined ‘the right driver’ and you know where and when to find them? You work on recruiting them. There’s a lot that goes into that you’re already familiar with e.g. building a list of drivers to target, choosing the right platforms, creating relevant ad messaging, etc. What I would like to cover are a few things to keep in mind while going through your recruiting process.
The reason why it’s important not to target every driver is because you aren’t trying to hire every driver. You want to hire drivers who are the right fit for your fleet. So begin with your ideal hire candidate e.g. 5+ years of experience, no DUIs, no felonies, hazmat endorsement, lives in Houston, etc.
Scale Up Slowly
It’s alright to start small and find out what works for your specific fleet. For example, being present on every single platform at once may not work for you. You might start with a few and see how they perform. Then slowly add-on another. The same goes with making changes to your campaign. Give it a little time to determine what’s working and what’s not.
Emphasize with Creative
You can filter out non-qualified leads by making your messaging clear and consistent. Your search ads, Facebook ads, landing pages, etc. should make what you offer clear enough for the right drivers to be able to know from the get-go whether it applies to them or not.
Stay Within Geography
Just because you need more leads don’t try and hire outside of where you can actually get them home. Targeting leads outside your area of operation is a waste of resources. By adding geography to your landing pages (e.g. maps, list of states, etc.), you can filter out unqualified leads. The other aspect here is to target drivers on the platforms they’re using e.g. Facebook, Google search, etc.
When identifying the right drivers for your fleet, it is important to factor in ‘right place’ and ‘right time’. These factors tell you where to find the right drivers (both online and in terms of geography) and when to go after them. Taking all of this into consideration with your driver recruiting increases your chances of hiring the qualified drivers that are right for your fleet.