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Build Your Recruiting Funnel By Understanding These Key Terms

Build Your Recruiting Funnel By Understanding These Key Terms

Build Your Recruiting Funnel By Understanding These Key Terms

Recruiting is an everyday job. It can be a lot to track, email, and call drivers day to day. So it might be helpful to be able to step back and look at how recruiting a driver goes, step by step. If we can see the big picture, that recruitment is not just a list of tasks but a cycle of stages that can repeat, we can better understand what needs to go into everyday recruiting processes. We break down the Lifecycle Stages of driver recruiting into four: lead, candidate, employee/contractor, and term eligible.


A lead is a driver’s name and contact info that you have yet to qualify. Typically, a lead is generated through a digital form fill online or a jobs board. A lead can also see an ad, one of your trucks, talk to one of your drivers and give you a call. All recruiters have basic qualifying questions (three to five) that determine if the lead is qualified or not. You’re job is to get the answers to those three to five questions automatically through the form fills or quickly on the phone to determine if you’re going to qualify the lead to a candidate or not.  


Once a driver has answered your qualification questions successfully, they are a qualified candidate. Anyone working through the hiring process between the application and the completion of onboarding is a candidate. Within the Candidate Lifecycle stage, there are sub-stages to monitor drop off rates to identify any bottlenecks you may have in the hiring process:

  • Application
  • Screening (MVR, PSP, background screen, employment verification, drug screen)
  • Interview (Interview, road test)
  • Onboarding (New hire paperwork, training)

Keep the process efficient; candidates have to fill out A LOT of paperwork, so don’t give them more than necessary at each stage and don’t give them everything at once. Keep the initial application to what you need to know to make a hiring decision - gather the other details to maintain compliance during orientation when they’re already committed to work for you. CDL drivers have a lot of required documents, but that doesn’t have to be the reason they drop out of your recruiting funnel.

Employee / Contractor

Once your candidate has been onboarded, filled out all of their paperwork, and signed on the dotted line, they are now working for you as an employee or independent contractor.

Term Eligible

There are many drivers that walk out your door that you wish would come back - these are Term Eligible drivers. These drivers go right back in the recruiting funnel. You’re job is to convince them the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The best way to do it is to document why they’re leaving and their pain points. Use your driver-centric Applicant Tracking System to check in after that first month to see if those pain points are actually getting met.

Measuring Throughout and Drop Off

Your job is to make sure each driver recruiting life cycle stage is easy to navigate. You need to define each stage and then measure drop off at each stage. Identify your bottlenecks - where the largest drop off is and identify how you can make it easier on the driver or automate it. If you can’t hire and onboard a motivated driver in three days, you have work to do!

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