Driver Recruiting for Your Terminals: An Interview with Geno Dykes

Coming from a journalism background, I have always enjoyed interviewing people. Interviews provide a great opportunity to enlighten both the reader and myself. Not only do interviews enhance an article with real, expert insights, but I have always been able to leave with a much deeper knowledge of the subject matter.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to conduct many interviews for my blog posts (though we are looking to change that). Busy schedules, tight deadlines, and a steep learning curve have thoroughly prevented me at times from being able to access the wealth of recruiting, trucking, and construction industry knowledge here at Randall-Reilly.

However, last week I was afforded the opportunity to sit down with Geno Dykes, Director of Sales Operations for Randall-Reilly’s Recruiting Media, and discuss how fleets recruit from their terminals. The conversation that follows is an excerpt from that interview.

Geno Dykes Driver Recruiting

Q: Let’s start off with something basic, what kind of jobs are recruited for out of terminals?

A lot of fleets hire a number of jobs from these terminals. For jobs that aren’t over the road or have perishable goods that can’t be in a truck a long time, they might hire within a 50 mile radius of that terminal. They might be looking for those local guys who are at home every night.

Q: Do they also recruit for OTR from terminals?

Yes, they do. They do hire over-the-road guys from terminals too.

Q: How is driver recruiting from terminals set up?

A lot of fleets will recruit out of terminals on a specific terminal’s needs. Often these terminals have different allocated budgets for terminals. This means you have a recruiter working out of a terminal with their own recruiting budget and not a corporate staff hiring for everything.

For instance, you may have the same exact company with terminals in Tuscaloosa and Mobile with recruiters working in both. They may not even work together. They will be running separate campaigns, each to get the different drivers they need for their terminal.

Q: What do you see in terms of budgets?

Most of these terminal recruiting budgets are small. Sometimes you may have a recruiter with a $10,000 budget that is recruiting for 20 terminals. But usually it’s a recruiter with a $1,500 budget recruiting for 3 terminals or less.

Q: So there is a big different between the terminals, budgets, and how they recruit?

Yes. It all just depends on the fleet and how their recruiting process is set up.

Q: What are some opportunities for terminals with larger budgets?

With smaller budgets, I say there are fewer opportunities to create comprehensive campaigns. When you work with these larger groups of terminals with bigger budgets, you can do performance marketing and you can certainly get into print.

Larger budgets also have more of an opportunity to use content. So they may have YouTube videos. We have seen that there is a spike of drivers searching for fleets who are using content.

So the larger fleets or larger terminal groups are able to use more of a comprehensive campaign.

Q: What are we commonly doing to help these terminals recruit the drivers they need?

There are several things we can help them do.

I will start off with performance marketing. We can use SEM and display network campaigns to serve ads to a tagged and segmented online driver audience. You can also use other targeting options to help refine this audience. So you might geotarget these tagged drivers to make sure you’re getting highly qualified applications.

We also have options like voice connect campaigns, which is targeted to drivers within a certain radius of the terminal and can connect them to a recruiter. We can also do emails sent out to drivers in that same area, auto responders to drivers who meet certain criteria, and multi-carrier apps.

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Q: Are you seeing more of a trend towards product or campaign focused recruiting?

I think what we are seeing is a trend towards campaign focused recruiting. I see, even with our smaller terminal clients, are a focus on campaigns and creating multiple connections. We actually just put a campaign package together for smaller fleets where they get a piece of print, Careers In Gear postings, and multi-carrier apps, if they can use them.

If you just pigeonhole yourself into one product you normally can’t get what you need. And sometimes you have to use as many products as possible. If your terminal is in a smaller city, than we may need to use Careers In Gear, voice connect, email, and other products.

The balance is when working with smaller carriers or single terminals, they may not have the budget to use performance marketing. That is why we try to create these campaign options that will fit their fleet and needs too.

Q: What would you like to see clients do that you think are missed opportunities?

Especially with bigger fleets, I think content is a big missed opportunity. We actually had a client who released a new pay increase for drivers, but there wasn’t any content. They wanted to go straight from press release to hiring drivers.

One of the biggest things to me would be creating content. Maybe the first month would be content and getting the message out there to drivers. Whether it is a newsletter, a whitepaper, or a YouTube video, and then being patient. Maybe month two you start generating leads.

Q: Do you have any final advice for recruiters working out of these terminals?

Well, for these recruiters, I would recommend finding a better way to communicate. Often you will have recruiters working out of separate separate terminals who don’t communicate with each other at all. They aren’t talking about what is working nor are they talking about what doesn’t.

In corporate recruiting settings, things are just handed down to the terminals. But when there are a bunch of terminals recruiting separately, you have to communicate between each other to find successful recruiting strategies.

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