The days of simply posting a job online and landing qualified applicants are long gone. Today, you have to “pay-to-play.” But tomorrow, you’ll have to pay even more! Indeed, Facebook and most jobs boards have embraced the algorithm auction format of Google Ads. They picked up on the industry’s desperation for drivers and realized you’d spend about anything to find more candidates. So, they pit you against everyone else and escalate their click fees to drive up their profits.
So, what can you do?
Stick Out Like A Purple Cow
Start with a Purple Cow. You have to find a way to stick out from the herd. The best way to stick out in a sea of nearly-identical driver advertisements is to take Seth Godin’s advice and become a Purple Cow. A Purple Cow is the kind of marketing that turns heads. It grabs your audience’s attention.
Award-winning advertisements attract applicants who will like the jobs you have to offer – applicants who will most likely stay with you long-term. Start by creating your Driver Personas. Conduct driver stay interviews and meet with your senior drivers. What are they all about? Why have they stayed loyal for years and years, while so many others have come and gone? What do they like about you and your business, the freight you haul, the trucks you buy or the lanes you run?
These questions pull out a deep understanding of who your long-term drivers are as people. They help you uncover their values, motivations, and personalities. This data helps you create a powerful marketing and recruiting message that resonates with drivers who are most like your senior drivers.
Through recorded interviews conducted over a video call, you'll start to hear themes. The art of this process is hearing the voice of THE driver, not A driver. You can't ask surface-level questions or you'll get surface-level responses. Getting this right will lead to headlines and images where prospective drivers will say "that's me!". As an added bonus the interviews strengthened rapport with their drivers, who were grateful to have a voice at the table.
Quotes from the senior drivers became part of the recruiting message used in future ads. The targeted advertising improved applicant quality and job-fit because it spoke to the type of person most like their senior drivers.
When you interview your senior drivers, use Post-It notes to document three reasons why a driver would join you and stay with your company (one reason per Post-It). Don’t attempt to do this yourself. You’re not qualified. Only your senior drivers are. Get a few reasons from as many drivers as you can and post them on the wall. Look for common themes and move them around until they fall into their natural categories. Next, study your competitors ads, websites and trucks. Document their claims on Post Its, using a different color Post It. Put them side-by-side with your claims. What’s different? That becomes the foundation for creating your driver persona and claims. It’s your Purple Cow.
Being special and having jobs that are better than your competitors doesn’t do you much good unless you have a way to prove it. You need to make your internal reality visible to the outside world. You can do this by creating video testimonials. Prospective drivers a skeptical of any new company for good reason - they've been burned. You need to use social proof to reduce their fear and build trust. The more videos the better. Everyone knows you can find 3 drivers that will say nice things. But when I see 13 or 23, I start to believe it's more than just the owners' nephew who gets taken care of.
Let your drivers tell their stories. We remember stories, not facts and figures. Drivers will join you if they feel good about you.
You can control your message on your careers page. Drivers know this. So they look for unbiased places for reviews such as TruckerReport, Facebook, Google and Indeed. Ask your drivers if they’ll say those nice things about you on Facebook, Google, Indeed, etc. If you have a solid driver referral bonus in place, which you should, your drivers will have that much more of an incentive to leave a positive review. But don’t underestimate your drivers – they’ll post positive reviews without an incentive if you ask them, just because they’re nice people.
This seven-part video series will walk you through all the steps to find your Purple Cow. Start there on your journey to spending less money for more drivers.
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