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Monthly Driver Recruiting Trends for August 2022

August 2022 Driver Recruiting Trends. The following metrics are sourced from truck driver recruiting campaigns managed by Randall Reilly. Recent trends are detailed below to review driver employment activity. 

The following metrics are sourced from truck driver recruiting campaigns managed by Randall Reilly. Recent trends are detailed below to review driver employment activity. 

In the past 12 months, the network of unique driver recruiting landing pages maintained by Randall Reilly has been visited by over 6.9 million users. 6 million users visited using a mobile device, 840k visited using a computer, and 130k visited using a tablet.

For Driver Recruiting campaigns managed by Randall Reilly, in the past 12 months:

  • Drivers submitted 1.19 million unique leads to 885 different clients through Randall-Reilly advertising campaigns. 
    • 367k unique driver contacts submitted 645k unique short forms to fleets.
    • 392k unique driver callers made 543k unique call leads to fleets.

Summary

Decreases in click costs and the highest conversion rate on recruiting landing pages since April 2020 are causing lead costs to drop to levels not seen since the Autumn of 2020.

  • Through the first two-thirds of August, [1] the overall average cost per lead is down 12% from July and down 26% from last August.

The decline in lead costs over the past few months is lowering average hire costs. Despite lead-to-hire ratios staying quite consistent over the past four months, in that time…

  • The average company driver hire cost is down 22%.
  • The average owner-operator hire cost is down 25%.

Since there are five non-holiday Mondays in August, and lead costs continue to decrease, expect hire costs to fall further in August.

Trucking employment continues to rise as drivers move from the spot market and are choosing to lease or drive for established carriers. Because of this, truck driver job posting numbers are decreasing, indicating that carriers are starting to cut back on new hiring efforts.

Weakening freight volume, capacity utilization, and rates combined with high fuel costs and an increase in the cost of capital caused FTR to drop their Trucking Conditions Index to negative for trucking companies in June. They expect trucking conditions to be around neutral through the end of the year before slightly weakening further in H1 2023.

Click Cost Averages

Search and Facebook click costs (CPC) in August are both on pace to fall to their lowest level in at least a year and a half. Search costs continue their steady descent and are on pace to be at their lowest level since June 2020. Facebook click costs in August are on pace to decrease by 17% from July and are on pace to be at their lowest level since January 2021.

Display CPC is on pace to be basically unchanged from July. Click costs continue to be higher than in past years, mainly because the digital marketing team at Randall Reilly is focusing on improving lead counts from display ads rather than click counts.

Search CPC - Aug 2022
Search CPC – August 2022
Facebook CPC - Aug 2022
Facebook CPC – August 2022
Display CPC - Aug 2022
Display CPC – August 2022

Cost Per Lead Averages

July’s overall average cost per lead (CPL) fell to its lowest point since January 2021. Through the first twenty-one days of August, the overall average lead cost is on pace to fall another 12% from July.

All tracked experienced driver types are on pace to decrease. Average CPL for company driver, owner-operator, and team campaigns are all on pace to decrease between 11% and 19% from July.

In July, student campaigns had their lowest average CPL on record (which goes back to March 2019), but lead costs have increased through the first two-thirds of August.

Overall Recruiting CPL Averages - Aug 2022
Overall Recruiting CPL Averages – August 2022
Company Driver CPL Averages - Aug 2022
Company Driver CPL Averages – August 2022
Owner-Operator CPL Averages - Aug 2022
Owner-Operator CPL Averages – August 2022
Team CPL Averages - Aug 2022
Team CPL Averages – August 2022
Sutdent CPL Averages - Aug 2022
Student CPL Averages – August 2022

Hire Costs & Rates

Lower lead costs continue to push both company driver and owner-operator hire costs lower. Monthly lead-to-hire ratios have remained quite steady over the past four months for both driver types, but average company driver hire costs have decreased by 22% over that time, while average owner-operator hire costs have decreased by 25% over that time.

Despite July only having three non-holiday Mondays, preliminary hire data shows hire costs decreased for company drivers and barely inched upwards for owner-operators. Since many fleets start orientation on Mondays, a higher percentage of drivers who agree to drive for a fleet in July are likely being officially hired in August.

Since there are five non-holiday Mondays in August, and lead costs continue to decrease, expect hire costs to fall further in August.

Company Driver Average CPH - Aug 2022
Company Driver CPH – August 2022
Company Driver Hire Ratio - Aug 2022
Company Driver Hire Ratio – 2022
Owner-Operator Average CPH - Aug 2022
Owner-Operator Average CPH – August 2022
Owner-Operator Hire Ratio - Aug 2022
Owner-Operator Hire Ratio – August 2022

Other Digital Trends

Driver behavior on recruiting landing pages indicates that they have greater intent in their job searches. Drivers are filling out more multicarrier applications, they are spending more time on recruiting websites, and they are converting on those sites at the highest rate since April 2020.

MCA Applicants, Landing Page Users, Conversion Rate, and Avg. Session Duration - Aug 2022
MCA Applicants, Landing Page Users, Conversion Rate, and Avg. Session Duration – August 2022

External Market Trends

In July, the number of job seekers for trucking jobs rose by 3% from June to the highest number on record. The number of job postings fell by 6%, so competition for drivers decreased by 9% in July.

Comparing July 2022 to July 2019 (for a pre-pandemic comparison), this past month there were 46% more people searching for driving jobs (+711,000), while there were 106% more jobs available (+217,000) for these searchers.

Truck Driver Job Seekers per Job - Aug 2022
Truck Driver Job Seekers per Job – August 2022
Truck Driver Jobs Posted and Truck Driver Job Seekers - Aug 2022
Truck Driver Jobs Posted and Truck Driver Job Seekers – August 2022

Market Information[2]

Weakening freight volume, capacity utilization, and rates combined with high fuel costs and an increase in the cost of capital caused FTR to drop their Trucking Conditions Index to negative for trucking companies in June. They expect trucking conditions to be around neutral through the end of the year before slightly weakening further in H1 2023.

Trucking Conditions Index - Aug 2022
Trucking Conditions Index – Last 3 months and future forecast

FTR’s latest outlook for truckload freight rates continues to soften due mostly to continued weakness in the forecast for spot rates. FTR expects rates in 2022 to increase by 0.9% YoY excluding fuel, down from 2.8% in their previous estimate. Spot rates are expected to fall nearly 12% YoY, down more than 4 percentage points from their prior forecast, while the forecast for contract rates is +9.0% YoY, down only slightly from the prior forecast. The latest outlook is weaker in all truckload segments, and dry van is now expected to see lower overall rates than in 2021. FTR’s forecast for truckload rates in 2023 is a drop of 5.7%, led by a 9.8% decrease in spot rates. Contract rates are forecast at 3.6% below 2022 rates.

FTR’s total truck loadings are forecasted to increase 3.6% YoY in 2022, unchanged from the prior forecast. However, the 2021 base is lower because the Federal Reserve’s annual revision of industrial production data resulted in lowering truck loading levels in 2020 and 2021. The 2023 forecast is slightly weaker at 2.0% growth, down from 2.4% previously.

Truck transportation employment added 4,300 payroll jobs in June, and for-hire trucking employment is at a record level (74,100 jobs, or 4.9%, above February 2020 numbers). The gain in June was far smaller than those in April and May, which gained a combined 31,200 jobs—the second largest such two-month surge on record. The recent gains have been greatest in the general freight truckload segment.

Revisions in the estimates and forecasts for truck loadings are largely to blame for a modestly weaker outlook for active truck utilization. FTR now expects the share of seated trucks engaged in hauling freight to bottom out in Q1 2023 at just under 93%, which is about a percentage point below the prior forecast. Risks to this forecast continue to be mostly to the downside: freight is more likely to weaken than strengthen, and capacity and productivity are more likely to increase than fall.

Truck production increased by 23% in June as manufacturers began to see supply chain constraints ease. For trucks ordered in June, the estimated average lead time from order to delivery was 7.3 months, returning to a normal range for the first time since late 2020.

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August 2022 Driver Recruiting Trends Report.

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[1] August’s lead and hire stats are taken from campaign performance from August 1 to 21; all others are taken from August 1 to 15.

[2] Market information is taken from: FTR “Trucking Update: August 2022.” 29 Jul 2022, FTR

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