As the driver shortage continues to increase the demand for highly qualified drivers, fleet owners are focused on how recruiting is affecting their bottom lines. That means that driver recruiters have to find ways to make their recruiting efforts more effective. However, with driver turnover hitting around 96% last year, recruiters are forced to hire drivers faster than ever.
Hiring drivers isn’t cheap. It’s expensive just to generate applications, but your final cost-per-hire for a single driver could be in the thousands. These numbers can really add up when you’re hiring hundreds of drivers a year.
But why is driver recruiting so expensive?
First of all, driver recruiting is expensive because it is competitive. Fleets are forced to try and hire a shrinking pool of qualified drivers. This means that fleets are constantly working against one another to get the hires they need.
Because fleets have to compete with every other fleet for applications, recruiters need to create targeted advertising to generate high quality leads. This means recruiters need to know the kinds of drivers they need to hire, the area they need to come out of, demographic information, and possibly other factors (i.e. what type of haul they drive).
Knowing this information can help recruiters develop highly targeted advertising to reach prospective drivers. Not only are these ads highly targeted, but driver recruiters can even create specific copy and design that resonates with the specific type of driver they want to hire. While these ads will probably have a higher conversion rate, they are also much more expensive.
The competition involved in Adwords campaigns is a great example of the competition between fleets to generate applications. Considering many fleets need to generate a large number of applications to get the hires they need, their recruiters bid on keywords such as “driver jobs.” These short-tail keywords have high search volume, so ads are getting the massive, if not highly targeted impressions they need.
However, because so many fleets are bidding on these keywords, the bids are some of the most expensive of any industry.
The other main reason driver recruiting is so expensive is simply because the advertising space is crowded. Fleets are constantly fighting for prominent visibility where they know their audience is actively looking for positions. With trucks sitting idle, fleets can’t afford to waste money on advertising that doesn’t generate applications.
Most tend to use the same type of message in their recruiting advertising. Usually it is something along the lines of “Our signing bonus is huge” or “We treat our drivers like family.” However, these don’t stand out. They fade into the background because they are the same thing as everyone else.
Instead, recruiting ads need to be eye catching and distinct. There are plenty of examples of marketers who have found new, innovative ways to tailor their content and message to engage their target audience. Fleets have to be willing to do the same thing. The quality of the message and the way it is presented are just as important as building comprehensive, multi channel campaigns.
Recruiters have to work harder and harder to make sure they are standing out from the crowd and generating the applications their fleet needs.
There are plenty of reasons why driver recruiting is so expensive. However, every dollar spent by fleets to hire new drivers is an investment in their future.