The Importance of Building a Driver Persona
You’ve probably heard the term ‘buyer persona.’ It’s used a lot by businesses catering to customers who purchase their products, solicit their services, etc. A buyer persona for customer or client-based businesses refers to a profile of their ideal customer. They build this profile using data on their current customers and industry research.
Now what does this have to do with recruiting? A fleet doesn’t operate the same way a B2C business does. But when it comes to recruiting drivers, there are some similarities. You could say that drivers are your ‘buyers’ because you’re trying to get them to buy into the idea of working for your fleet. That would make ‘the product’ you’re selling your fleet. And just like B2C businesses, you need a clear picture of what ‘buyers’ you should be targeting so you can bring in hires who are the best fit for your fleet. You need a driver persona.
You may assume that you already have a driver persona in place. After all, you know the type of driver you want to hire and you know the qualifications that make a driver eligible to drive for your fleet. But what are you leaving out? What are those common characteristics in your current drivers you should be looking for in future hires? Here’s how to find out.
Build a Driver Persona
71% of the companies who exceed their revenue and lead goals have documented Personas.
This goes beyond your list of requirements. This involves taking a good look at commonalities between the drivers at your fleet who have had the most success working for you. That would be drivers with the least violations or safety issues on the job. Or drivers who go that extra mile to do good work (no pun intended).
Once you’ve identified these such drivers, use your own data to identify unique characteristics common among them. Are they younger or older than your other drivers? Do they have a certain level of experience? Do they have past experience with other types of haul? Learn how these drivers are different from your other drivers.
With the unique characteristics of your current successful drivers in addition to the basics of what type of driver your fleet needs, you can create a well-defined driver persona that tells you where to focus your recruiting.
Align Your Recruiting to Your Driver Persona
Now that you’ve defined your driver persona, how do you apply it to your recruiting? This takes us back to the purpose of creating a driver persona. You create it to learn who you need to target. The characteristics of your driver persona clue you in to what adjustments you need to make to your recruiting.
For example, a hazmat company could learn that many of their drivers have experience hauling tanker. Now that the data has revealed that their recruiting is pulling in drivers who go from hauling tanker to hazmat, they can include tanker drivers in their targeting.
Another instance is if a fleet learns that many of their drivers are hired from specific regions. In the case of a fleet searching for drivers nationwide, this can reveal what areas they need to concentrate their recruiting on. Or it can reveal the areas where their recruiting strategy needs to be revamped. It depends on what’s best for the individual fleet or what changes they can afford to make.
The truth is every fleet is unique. Which means that even if your driver persona is similar to that of another fleet’s, the changes your driver persona leads you to make in your recruiting could look very different from the next fleet. It depends on your fleet’s specific goals (what your fleet is trying to accomplish) and your budget (what your fleet can afford to do).
Your fleet may be very different from a B2C business, but you do share this similarity: You need to reach a specific audience and get them to buy into your ‘product’. One of the best ways to do this is to build a driver persona. Having a clear picture of who to target helps you improve your recruiting which ultimately leads to more freight being moved and less turnover.