How efficient is your lead-to-hire process? With so many fleets vying for the opportunity to hire the same drivers you are after, it’s important to always be on the lookout for ways to improve your process and get ahead of your competitors. One way, that is not as common as it should be, is to consider the length of your lead-to-hire process. How long does it take you to contact a driver once they have become a lead? How long does it take to complete orientation? It may not seem necessary to know the answer to questions like these until you consider the fact that taking too long to complete the lead-to-hire process could be costing you hires.
The unfortunate truth is that the longer any stage of the lead-to-hire process is, the more at risk you are of experiencing any of the following:
The Risks of a Slow Lead-to-Hire Timeline
Research shows that your chances of getting a hold of a lead drops 10 times within the hour after a lead is generated. So the longer you wait to contact a lead, the more likely it is to result in a lost lead.
Negative Impact on a Driver’s Decision
With drivers looking to change jobs immediately or if a driver is unemployed, your quick responses and timely follow-ups play a huge part in convincing a driver to choose your fleet.
Increases Chances for Competitors
The longer you take to turn a driver into a hire, the more opportunities you give your competitors to steal that driver’s attention.
Taking longer to onboard a driver can increase your cost-per-hire. For example, the longer your orientation, the more money you spend on hotel costs, meals, transportation, etc.
Cutting down on the length of your lead-to-hire process can increase profit. For example, let’s say the average length of your lead-to-hire process is 45 days and your daily revenue per truck is $750. By shortening the length of your process by 2 days, you make an addition profit of $1,500 per driver. If you’re hiring 10 drivers, you make an extra $15,000. The shorter your process becomes, the greater the profit.
Now that we’ve seen the negative effects of having a lead-to-hire process that is too long, the next question is how do you define ‘too long’? First, you need a way to measure the length of your process. We use a metric we call ‘lead velocity’. This metric tracks the average number of days it takes to turn a lead into a hire. 33 days is the average across all of our clients, but the length changes depending on driver type. For instance, it takes longer to hire an owner-operator or a student driver than it would a company driver because of factors like owner-operators needing permits or student drivers yet to graduate, etc.
Depending on what type of driver you are hiring, your lead velocity could be longer than 33 days. Despite that, it is still important to do everything in your power to make sure your lead velocity is as low as possible. What are you doing or not doing that is lengthening your lead process? Are you taking too long to contact leads? Are you waiting on drivers to submit their applications without following up? You have a part to play in decreasing your lead velocity. So let’s take a look at some ways to shorten the process.
Shorten Lead Velocity by Managing Leads Effectively
An obvious thought is that waiting too long to contact a lead can cause you to lose them. But this is not always done intentionally. If a recruiter is managing too many leads, it can be difficult to keep up with them. It could be that you do not have enough recruiters to handle the amount of inbound responses you are getting. The answer’s simple. Hire more recruiters. But budget does not always allow for that. You can tackle the issue by weeding out leads that do not fall into your hiring criteria. You can also screen calls to improve the quality and volume of responses coming in before they hit your headcount capacity.
This goes back to who you are targeting with your advertising. Making sure you are reaching qualified drivers who fall into your hiring criteria allows you avoid time wasted on bad leads.
Have Skilled Recruiters
A driver’s interaction with a recruiter can make or break your chances with that driver. So it is imperative that your recruiters are equipped to get drivers onboard. The better your recruiters are at convincing a driver to become a hire, the quicker the process moves. Having recruiter training not only for new recruiters but as a refresher helps your recruiters consistently improve. Training your recruiters in areas like proper lead management, having efficient phone calls with drivers, and timely follow-up ensures that this stage of the lead-to-hire process is timely and efficient.
Take the Application Over the Phone
Because so much information is needed from a driver, it is understandable that it will take time for a driver to fill out an application. How long it takes is out of your control, but there are things you can do to ensure that they do complete the application. You may consider going through the application with a driver over the phone and perhaps even filling it out for them. This allows you to avoid having to wait for a driver to submit the application. This may not be an option every fleet can afford due to a lack of time but is definitely worth considering.
Conduct Efficient Orientations
Scheduling orientations too far out can cause a driver to go with another fleet. This could be due to an employed driver trying to avoid too long of a financial gap between jobs or unemployed drivers wanting to start working ASAP.
When you conduct orientations and how often you conduct them can have an effect on a driver’s overall decision. For example, conducting more orientations during the week provides more options for drivers who are unavailable on certain days. You could even consider shifting the days you conduct orientation. If you find that you receive the most inbound calls from drivers looking for jobs on a certain day of the week, you can align your orientation to happen on a day immediately following that busy day to get drivers in quickly.
What You Need from the Driver
With orientation comes materials needed from the driver like a physical and a drug test. Waiting to receive the results of either once orientation is complete can lengthen the orientation time and rack up hotel and meal costs for you. Having drivers do drug tests and physicals prior to the orientation will save time. There’s also the option to partner with local drug clinics in other areas around the country to provide a means for drivers to do drug tests before attending orientation.
Review Your Process
Conducting a review of your process every 6 months or annually gives you a clear picture of what is working and is needed in your process and what is not. What are you requiring in your process that is unnecessary? Is there an extra document that is not needed? Is there any unnecessary training? Are you making drivers jump through hoops the government does not require. For example, do you have drivers going through any extra training in orientation that they never use? You may have been taking these unnecessary steps for so long, no one has questioned whether or not they are needed. Reviewing your orientation process allows you to expose such oversights.
The quicker you move through your lead-to-hire process, the more likely you are to get the drivers you need. This creates a necessity to measure your lead velocity and find out what areas of your process need to be shortened to increase efficiency.