Are you feeling the pain of driver shortage? Trick question - there is no driver shortage. You’re feeling the pain of the driver problem, which is a much different thing.
If there were a driver shortage, there’d also be a shortage of clothing, food, electronics, and fuel. When we go to the store, the shelves are still stocked. If you bought it, a truck brought it. Somebody is moving the freight - it’s just not you.
While there’s no driver shortage, demographics are working against you. The average age of a driver is 55 and the younger generations are not backfilling to keep up with retirements. Turnover is back at 93% for larger carriers and 74% for those less than $30 million in revenue. Turnover is what’s preventing your growth. You’re in a zero-sum game with other carriers. The fact is, truck drivers looking for work have tons of job options. When they’re done talking to your recruiter they’re on the phone with your competition’s recruiter. Even easier, they’re applying with few clicks the next time they’re on the ESPN app. If you want to successfully recruit and hire high-quality drivers, you have to stand-out from the crowd. It takes two things: pitch and process.
First and foremost, you have to answer why a driver should pick your company over anyone else. That’s what your candidates are asking themselves. They’re looking for two things: quality of the job and culture. What do you pay? How much hometime can you give them? What’s the work-life balance? These are the table steaks questions. Candidates will compare these qualities of the job you’re offering with what other companies offer. Many companies we work with have a much better job than they advertise. They have a unique offering but stink at sharing the package. Their below average marketing is your opportunity to stand out!
Potential hires also care about culture, but don’t come out and directly ask you about it. Drivers don’t quit a company, they quit their boss, manager, or dispatcher. Potential hires might be coming to you because they just left a poisonous dispatch office. If you can offer them respect and a literal voice at the table through your driver’s committee, make that known. Remember that your culture is on full display on Facebook, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Truckers Report with driver reviews. Driver’s are much more likely to publish something negative than positive, just like people on Yelp with restaurant reviews. Your job is to encourage positive reviews on those sites. Just ask nicely, you’d be surprised that drivers will do it - especially if you have a referral bonus in place. There’s a direct correlation between the amount of stars on your review pages and the quality of the applications you receive.
Your process is just as powerful as your pitch when it comes to recruiting drivers. Potential hires want the application process to be quick, easy, and painless. You won’t get many applications if the process is full of clicks, cumbersome and not mobile friendly.
We call the process the Driver’s Journey. Candidates see an add that with one click takes them to your landing page. Your landing page should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should all fit on one page without having to scroll. Here’s a bonus fun fact: landing pages with videos have an eighty percent higher conversion rate. We can help you with a job promo video like this one.
After you’ve capture basic contact info from the landing page, there should be a DOT compliant application with release forms ready to complete. Your time to hire should be days because of the automation in your Applicant Tracking System. If you’re still wasting two hours during orientation on paper-work, your Applicant Tracking System should have the ability to digitize your new hire paperwork and pre-fill any previously entered data. This will cut two hours of nonsensical paperwork down to fifteen minutes.
After drivers apply, schedule them for an interview and provide realistic job preview. Tell them what this job will actually be like. This might scare one or two people away, but that’s not a bad thing. You want those folks out the door before they eat-up your precious time and resources. Of course, there’s no reason to scare an applicant any sooner than that. Describe the sunshine and rainbows, but be transparent about the potential storms - it’s a balance. It’s important that you follow the exact order of The Driver’s Journey. While you want your potential hires to know what the job entails, their first contact should highlight the positives.
When’s the last time you looked at your ads and tried to apply? Do your ads turn heads or do they just look like everyone else? Can you easily apply on your phone like 90% of candidates applied on our Applicant Tracking System last year or does it feel like it’s 1999?
There’s a lot to Pitch and Process, but keep diving deep into the driver’s journey. The driver problem is for your competition to whine about while you grow like a weed!
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