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Digital Playbook | Trucking Schools & Carriers, Part I


AvatarFleet President Scott Rea recently presented at the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) 5th Annual Conference. The conference offers attendees from Schools a chance to meet with both carrier and insurance groups, learn about pressing industry news, and engage with speakers covering topics such as youth career paths, women in trucking, and more.

Rea’s presentation focused on how a better marriage between schools and carriers can help both parties solve their driver problem. What can schools and carriers each do to attract better candidates? A good place to start is improving their digital marketing efforts.

Graduates You Love to Hire

As a school, do carriers really love hiring your graduates? Or do they feel like they’re sifting through the dollar-bin at the discount store? There are two things that schools can control to improve the quality of graduates. First, you can look at your curriculum. Are you using the best available driver programs you have at your disposal? LLLC Defensive Driving Certification is a great foundation for enhancing your curriculum. However, graduating quality drivers starts with getting the best candidates at your school in the first place. You can do so via effective digital marketing.

Stand Out From the Crowd: Be A Purple Cow

The concept of putting better people behind the seat applies equally to both schools and carriers. It starts with your driver brand. A driver brand is what drivers think of when they hear your company name. With a properly leveraged driver brand, you’ll stand out from the competition and attract higher quality candidates.

We subscribe to Seth Godin’s philosophy of the Purple Cow to stand out from your competition “being the purple cow”. If I’m driving from Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois tomorrow, I’ll certainly pass a few farms. At those farms, I’ll see a bunch of cows that all look the same and none of them will grab my attention. However, if one of those cows were purple, it would certainly have my attention. I’d slow down, safely pull off the road, and take a picture because I’d be so tickled. Long story short, you want to be the purple cow. You want your company or school to stand out from the competition so you can attract more candidates.

Evaluating Your Driver Brand: The Post-It Note Test

How do you evaluate your driver brand? How do you know if you’re doing the most to stand-out? The Post-It Note test is a simple solution. It has three steps:

  1. Write down three reasons drivers should join and stay with your school or company (one per post-it note).
  2. On three more post-it notes, write down your competition’s top three reasons why someone should join and stay with them. Don’t just guess. Go to their website or pick up the phone and call them.
  3. Compare your top three with your competition’s top three. Is there any overlap? If so, your reasons aren’t compelling enough. You need to change your pitch so that you can stand out from your competition. 

Improving Your Driver Brand Statement: Start With The Why

Too many advertisements start with the what. “We have a regional position that goes from Cleveland, OH to Boise, ID then back to the East Coast.” That’s a what, and it’s not very compelling. Instead, focus on the why. “Are you tired of an inconsistent paycheck and not seeing your family? Our company offers drivers guaranteed paychecks and every weekend home.” That’s a why, and it’s much more likely to strike a chord with your candidates.

From a school’s standpoint, you’re asking someone to make a career change. You’re looking for someone unhappy with their job, their pay, their boss, or whatever it is. If you want to attract quality candidates, speak to why they would want to leave their current job and become a trucker.

Getting The Right People in The Right Seat

Carriers and schools alike are having trouble finding and attracting quality candidates. What’s worse, carriers have an even harder time holding onto those all-stars when they do find them. With North America suffering from the driver problem, effective digital advertising is more important than ever. Tune in next week where we’ll continue our discussion on digital advertising with a focus on using driver personas to perfect your brand statement.

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