The competition between fleets over qualified drivers can be fierce. Fleets have tried everything from sign-on bonuses, higher pay rates, and even more time off the road to try and entice prospective drivers and gain a competitive edge.
Over the past few months we’ve looked at a few possible solutions recruiters could embrace to secure more drivers with the articles, Young Truck Drivers Are the Key to the Future and Could Women be the Answer to the Driver Shortage?
But what else prevents fleets from gaining a competitive advantage?
One of the problems fleets face on a regular basis is poor lead management. Things like improperly attributed leads, poor follow-up, and sub-par orientation attendance can all hinder your success. What can be done to help alleviate these issues? What if eliminating inefficiency could give your team the boost they need?
What are you doing with the your prospective driver leads?
Before we discuss potential inefficiencies, let’s take a look at the typical conversion lifecycle of converting a lead into a hire.
Sort through all the potential leads you have acquired to begin the recruiting process.
Reach out to prospects and make initial contact. This can be accomplished via texts, phone calls, emails, etc.
Once a driver is reached, gauge their interest and prioritize those whom you deem the most valuable. Keeping the most qualified and prized prospects engaged is vital.
Whether they are aware of it or not, every fleet and its recruiters participate in this lead conversion lifecycle.
When a quality lead is secured, it becomes the recruiter’s job to usher the lead through the process of what we call the conversion lifecycle to complete the process and secure them as a driver for their respective fleet. Along each step of this driver conversion lifecycle, there are opportunities to optimize for success by eliminating the inefficiencies within your recruiting process.
Examining the driver conversion lifecycle.
Let’s take a look at the conversion lifecycle and plug some hypothetical numbers in to see exactly how this all works together.
Let’s say you start with 10,000 leads. You then try to make initial contact with them. Of this 10,000, you are only successful in reaching 60%, or 6,000 prospects. After sorting through the leads that have been contacted, only 43% or 2,580 of them are qualified for the job you offer. Of the total qualified drivers, only 17% (439 prospects) are willing to be scheduled for orientation. Once you get to orientation, only 85% (373 prospects) actually attend. Following the orientation process, 82% (306 prospects) were hired. Of the 306 hired drivers, 98% (300) of them were actually assigned a truck and began work. Meaning, during this conversion lifecycle, your lead pool of 10,000 produced 300 actual hires.
When looking at it from this perspective, it’s not hard to see why it’s so difficult to get qualified drivers on the road. There are so many variables along the way . . . even after you have quality leads. But what would happen if you were able to eliminate some of the inefficiency along the way?
Let’s say you were able to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of just one of those areas . . . by 5%. What exactly would that look like? Would it even really matter? First let’s figure out how to eliminate some of the inefficiencies.
Eliminating inefficiency in your recruiting process.
Here are some common problem areas within each step of the conversion lifecycle that we have observed and the solutions for those problems.
- Leads not captured in your applicant tracking system (ATS)
- Leads not assigned to a recruiter
- Leads not attributed to a source
Completing periodic test applications across all utilized media (landing pages, company websites, and social media) can help find weaknesses in ATS lead attribution. Look up your test applications in your ATS. Did they show up? Are they attributed to the correct source? Where they correctly assigned? Errors in your tests will help you identify and fix problems that lead to inefficiencies.
Routinely checking the unassigned board and making frequent updates to the ATS routing guide can ensure that no lead is left assigned. Set reminders for yourself to look at the unassigned board. And by leveraging your ATS to assign referral codes for each channel utilized, you can make sure that each lead is correctly attributed to the proper source.
- 35-40% of all leads are unreached
- Recruiters spend only 33% of their time actively recruiting
- Too slow to contact prospective drivers after acquiring lead information
To combat unreached leads and increase active recruiting time, try automating routine tasks. For instance, you can use automated emails or texts to instantly respond to new applicants. You’ll save your recruiters time, and you’ll speed up the response time for the driver. , You could also increase the time your recruiters are actively recruiting by using a qualifying center. That way you know your recruiters are on the phone with qualified leads.
Another way to improve the “reachability” of applicants is to take advantage of local presence dialing (use the same area code as the number you’re calling) and voicemail drop features. Even defining roles within your team can help. Have one person assigned to qualifying drivers quickly and then pass the lead off to your recruiter who is great at getting the close.
Establishing contact quickly through these means and continuing to keep the prospect engaged throughout the conversion lifecycle will help drive them to making you their fleet choice.
- 55-60% of leads are disqualified
- Recruiters are unsure of who to call next
- Unqualified leads take up recruiters’ time
To avoid high numbers of disqualified drivers, recruiters need to nurture the leads and become more in tune with exactly who they are and what they are looking for. Pursuing leads who are not a good fit for your fleet will only waste time and resources.
Source conversion rates, manager-defined queues, reminders and task lists, and calendar notifications can all be used to point recruiters to who to call next. These are all ways to keep recruiters on point and following a consistent timeline and process. Avoid wasting time on unqualified leads by embrace lead scoring, and take detailed notes to know exactly where each driver stands and gauge their interest.
- 80-85% qualified leads don’t get scheduled for orientation
- Calls are either too short or too long
- Poor follow-up
Make sure recruiters are not satisfied with where they are at and continue to learn instead of just going through the motions. The more new techniques and tactics they add to their arsenal, the more qualified leads they can reach and schedule for orientation. Call recording with coaching or one on one time afterwards can help improve call times. By listening to recruiting calls and coaching recruiters up in weak areas fleets will be able to continually improve their standards and recruiting practices.
To eliminate consistently poor follow-up try scheduling tasks, calendar items, encouraging notes, and file auditing to help keep recruiters on task. These reminders and time lines spur recruiters on and help to ensure no lead falls through the cracks and each qualified driver receive proper follow-up.
- 15-20% scheduled for orientation fail to attend
- 15-20% of orientation attendees are not hired
- High turnover rates
To increase the number of qualified orientation attendance and curb “no shows,” try featuring introductions from leadership to entice attendance or complete more of the hiring process prior to the orientation date. To net more hires from those attending orientation, it can be as simple as trying to make the overall experience more enjoyable for those prospects who attended, and tracking the top disqualification reasons to try and screen those out prior to future orientation events.
Now that you have a better idea of exactly what we mean by inefficiencies and have some ideas of how to eliminate them, let’s look at exactly what that would do for your overall recruiting numbers.
What would a 5% increase of efficiency in recruiting mean for your bottom line?
By addressing these areas and optimizing your process for success, you can increase your success rate and get more drivers on the road. An easy way to illustrate just how big of a difference these optimizations can make is to see what just a 5% improvement does to your conversion lifecycle.
Based On a 5% Increase
- Orientation show rate – 18 additional hires
- Orientation attendance to hire rate – 18 additional hires
- Contact rate – 25 additional hires
- Qualified lead rate – 35 additional hires
- Scheduled for orientation rate – 90 additional hires
As you can see, just a minute increase of efficiency to any one of these levels can translate to huge gains. And it should be noted that this is if you only increased one step in the conversion lifecycle. If you were able to increase every step of the lifecycle by 5% it would result in 75-80% increase overall, meaning the hires would jump from 300 to 537.
Don’t let inefficiency be the barrier that holds you back from reaching your goals. Work with your recruiters to become as efficient as possible at pursuing qualified leads. Randall-Reilly assists fleets in this capacity through multi-channel digital marketing campaigns driven by data and decades worth of industry expertise.
With the data and experience offered by Randall-Reilly you can pinpoint and target the most qualified and desired drivers for your particular needs. Coupled with these optimization techniques, you can eliminate inefficiency from your recruiting and reap the benefits moving forward.