In the previous weeks, we have covered some areas and issues that give recruiters trouble based on interactions and conversations with various managers and recruiting staff over the years. Today we look at more of what NOT to do with your truck driver recruiting. If you missed either of the previous two installments, they can be found here, Driver Recruiting: What NOT to Do (Part 1) and here, Driver Recruiting: What NOT to Do (Part 2).
Failing to Ask for Referrals Or Asking for Referrals Without Earning Them
One of the best and most readily available sources for new prospective drivers is . . . other truck drivers. When approached correctly, a satisfied fleet driver or prospective driver can be a wonderful source for quality referrals. Recruiters, however, must be careful not to push for referrals too soon before a relationship is established.
Itʼs only once a driverʼs needs and concerns have been addressed that a trusting relationship can form. If recruiters push for referrals for other drivers before fully taking care of the driver they are working with, that driver can feel neglected or used. Asking for referrals shouldn’t be forced and should occur naturally within a conversation. Perhaps at a time when the prospect expresses satisfaction with the services a recruiter has provided to them.
On the flip side of the equation is the problem of not asking for referrals at all. If a driverʼs needs are taken care of and all his/her concerns have been addressed, most are happy to refer other prospective drivers to the recruiter. Failing to take advantage of this resource is a mistake.
The number and quality of the driver referrals a recruiter will receive will depend entirely upon how and when the subject was broached. Itʼs a fine line and takes practice to know exactly when and how to initiate this conversation, but can prove to be a quite successful technique given time and practice.
Recruiters Fail to Prioritize the More Engaged Qualified Prospects
Every prospective driver for your fleet is different. Itʼs for that reason that every driver should be treated a little differently. What works with one driver, may not satisfy another. Treating all prospects fairly is important, but each driver must be gauged based on their qualifications and interest or engagement.
Each time a prospect is contacted, it provides an important interaction for the recruiter to analyze. Prioritize those who meet the required qualifications and show genuine interest over those who are less engaged. Simply going down a list of prospects without taking this into account will yield minuscule results and waste valuable time.
Mistakenly Assuming Interested Drivers Will Follow Up
Sometimes it can be easy to assume that if a driver is truly interested that he/she will take it upon themselves to follow up for more information and move the process along. However, when a driver is actively seeking a new fleet, they can be overwhelmed by the flood of information from all the different sources.
Most, if not all, will court several fleets at the same time to weigh their options. With differences in company policies, pay, and equipment, it can be difficult for a driver to remember every detail of what each fleet offers as incentives. This is why it falls on diligent recruiters to continue to pursue prospects and not assume that the drivers will reach back out to them for more information. Every genuine lead deserves time and attention.
Attention and continued communication are what can ultimately make the difference. As pointed out by Grant Cardone, “Following up is the problem you donʼt know you donʼt know. 48% of sales people make no follow-up attempt on a prospect. 25% make two attempts and quit. 12% of all sales people make three contacts. 2% of sales are made on the first contact. 3% of all sales are made after two contacts. 5% of sales are made after the third contact. Only 10% of all sales are made after the fourth contact. 80% of all sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact.”
Source: Grant Cardone
These figures illustrate just how vital it is for your overall recruiting success for recruiters to maintain contact and follow up with prospects. If recruiters donʼt take the time or make the effort it is unlikely that the driver will.
Failing to Follow Up With and Nurture Old Leads
In a similar vein to assuming drivers will take it upon themselves to call back, failing to follow up and nurture old leads is also a common mistake. The turnover in todayʼs trucking fleets is astronomical. Itʼs practically unheard of in any other field.
Drivers are known to jump frequently from fleet to fleet. Whether it be that they are unsatisfied with time off, pay, or any other number of things, a driver who turned your recruiter down in favor of another fleet may not be unavailable for long.
Itʼs for this reason that these older leads cannot be forgotten. Continuing to make contact with and nurture prospective drivers will keep the lines of communication open between your fleet and the prospective driver. Should the time come when he/she is looking to make a change once again, your fleet will be positioned to reap the benefits of the extra effort expended.
Check Back for the Conclusion of the Driver Recruiting: What NOT to Do Series Next Week
Over the past three weeks, I have offered up advice based on the knowledge of our teamʼs interactions with fleets and their recruiting practices over the years. I hope that this information has been useful to you thus far. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to for all our latest articles, including the next and final installment of the Driver Recruiting: What NOT to Do series.