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Recruiting Truck Drivers Using Social Media

Are you struggling to fill empty seats with the right drivers? Like you, we used to wonder where all the good drivers are hiding. Your driver problem can be solved. It just needs a new perspective.

Editors Note: We're giving away our driver recruiting secrets! Check out our free video series to double your hires without spending more on ads:
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Why Social Media Recruiting Works

If you’re like most trucking companies, you have some social media presence but you struggle to capitalize on it. We have some good news for you: you’re on the right track. The vast majority of your current and prospective drivers are on social media. Here are some statistics to back it up.

Drivers are on social media and applying for jobs on their phones and tablets. You have to meet them there if you want to keep hiring quality drivers. The good news is any company can make a plan for effective digital/social recruiting and execute it.

Social Media Recruiting: Where to Begin

There are two things that are table stakes for any type of digital driver recruitment (including social media recruiting):

  • An Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
  • A mobile-first application

When you capture a driver’s attention on social media, you want them to quickly provide their contact information that integrates with your ATS.

You're handicapping yourself without these baselines. An ATS allows you to easily track and manage all of your sources and driver prospects in one place. A mobile-first application allows your drivers to apply from a truck stop, while they're unloading at a customer, or waiting for their next load. These two work together to bolster your digital recruiting efforts.

Download eBook: How to Double Your Hires Without Spending a Dime More on Ads >>> 

3 Steps to Developing a Driver Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Once you have an ATS and mobile-first applications, it's time to develop a strategy for reaching qualified drivers. Here are a few steps to consider:

1. Set Goals and Objectives

Before you get started, it's important to know where you want to end up. Going into social media recruiting with unrealistic (or no) expectations can be a recipe for failure. So before you dive in, consider some of the following goals, and make them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound):

  1. Increased driver applications — This is one of the most common goals, but be sure to consider how many candidates you want, how many you can reasonably interview, and how much you plan to spend per candidate to have a positive ROI.
  2. Increased hires — Increasing application volume means nothing without hiring quality drivers. This should be your priority, and ensure that you're not getting lost in a sea of low-quality candidates as opposed to a tighter group of qualified candidates.
  3. Building brand awareness — Some drivers may not be ready to make a job change right now, but by getting your name out there and promoting the benefits of your company, when these passive candidates are ready to consider a move they'll think of you first. Measure this based on impressions and post engagement.
  4. Reducing recruitment costs — If you're not satisfied with the quantity, quality, or cost of hiring currently, testing social media recruiting can give you a sense of how the cost compares. Many companies find that recruiting on social media is an important addition to the mix of recruiting channels they use.

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2. Define Your Target Audience

If you're fishing in the middle of the ocean, you might not get many bites; but if you're fishing in a well-stocked pond, you're likely to have better success. That's the importance of targeting the right audience on social media. Defining your ideal applicant profile before starting to recruit helps you reach the right candidates, save time (and money), and personalize your messaging to ideal driver candidates. For example:

  • Determine the level of experience — Experienced drivers are likely looking for different jobs and benefits than newer or inexperienced drivers. Create different ads for each persona - don’t fit everything into one ad. Appealing to everyone appeals to no one.
  • Determine the role — Are you looking for an owner-operator? A long-haul trucker? Someone with specialized certifications? Part-time or full-time truckers? Make sure you're clear about the role and job requirements before you begin.
  • Determine the location — Some companies may be recruiting nationwide or even globally. Others will be looking for drivers within a very small radius. Whichever the case, understanding where you're recruiting will help you later on.

3. Create Engaging Content

Something to remember: many of your competitors are recruiting the very same driver candidates that you are. This means that if your content (text, images, video, etc.) looks the same as theirs, candidates won't be able to tell you apart. That's why engaging content is a critical part of recruiting drivers on social media. Here are a few tips for creating engaging content:

  1. Leverage driver testimonials — Drivers are most likely to trust the opinions of other drivers. Therefore if you have strong testimonials from your current drivers that cover the benefits of a career at your company, you're more likely to engage potential candidates.
  2. Focus on company culture — What makes a job stand out from all the others? An emphasis on your unique company culture and benefits available to drivers. Everyone talks about home time and pay. Get your drivers talking about what makes you unique and how you’ve gone above and beyond for them.
  3. Write specific job postings — Include pay, type of run/range, schedule and time off, and training and development opportunities for drivers.

3 Easy Steps Towards Effective Social Media Recruiting

Once you have an ATS and mobile-first applications, you're ready to step up your social media recruiting. Here are three methods to get you started.

1. Targeted Ads

People post too much information about themselves online. That's great news for your digital marketing efforts. With modern tools and marketing technology, you're able to identify key details for your driver demographics and psychographics. Organize your targeted demographics and psychographics into groups called Driver Personas. These personas will be your guide to setting up effective targeted ad campaigns.

Of course, creating and managing targeted ads with A/B testing can be complicated. That's why large companies with marketing teams jumped on the train first. There are plenty of companies like us who can help you build, manage, execute, and measure these campaigns.

Download eBook: How to Double Your Hires Without Spending a Dime More on Ads >>> 

2. Positive Reviews

We have heard many transportation companies have reservations about using social media due to their fear of negative reviews. If people want to post a negative review, they’re going to find you. You’re better off playing offense than trying to hide. 

It's true that negative employee reviews on social media can tarnish your reputation and give a quality driver pause to apply. However, if negative reviews hold that kind of power, positive reviews are equally as powerful.

If you want to build positive reviews, it's not enough to rely on the chance that your employees will leave them on your behalf. You need to ask your best drivers to leave positive and honest reviews. They're likely to say yes if you explain why. If you have a referral bonus program, they'll be even more inclined. That way, you'll build a solid reputation and develop a driver-centric brand online. These efforts will produce more applications from higher-quality leads.

We had a great conversation with Joel Mandelbaum on our podcast about this very topic. Check out that episode of “Solving the Driver Problem” here.

3. Visual Storytelling

Not all online content is created equal. If you want an effective social media presence, you need content that catches people's attention. Humans are visual creatures. That's why pictures are more effective than just text, and video is the best of all. Video ads have the highest click-through rate of any digital ad format at 1.84%. Including relevant pictures and videos in your social media posts and ads means more clicks from interested leads.

Read the blog post: Positive Employer Branding Grows Your Fleet

Learn Social Media Recruiting from the Experts

With the basics covered, we're ready to take a deeper dive into effective social media recruiting. We partnered with HireRight a while back to host a webinar called How to Create a Driver Brand.

Our friends Kyle Kistynik from Jetco Delivery and Marilyn Surber from Melton Truck Lines joined us to provide real-life examples of trucking companies that have driver brands that appeal to all drivers.

The webinar included a live Question and Answer section that was brimming with activity. Below are some of those questions that focused on social media.

Social Media Recruiting Q&A

We don't have the budget to put in place costly ideas and processes for social media recruiting. What's the best "Free" or low-cost idea that works?

Social platforms can have great success if you have a dedicated person managing those pages. Pick three sites to hone in on (most drivers are on Facebook, YouTube, and the younger ones are on Instagram). To improve retention, use these sites for daily communication with your drivers.

The recruiting benefit is that prospective drivers will come to these sites to evaluate your company. They will see how well you treat your existing drivers. Of course, this strategy assumes you already treat your drivers with respect. Creating a posting schedule can be overwhelming. We created this Social Media posting calendar to help out.

In regards to Facebook as a recruitment tool, how many of the comments tend to be "negative"?

Our marketing team says about 25% are negative. However, Marilyn stated that most of the time her drivers will defend Melton publicly. We've seen the same, and this is the best-case scenario. If they don't, it's up to you. Prospective drivers will respect you for replying in a timely and professional manner.

How and where do you advertise to increase the flow of drivers that you target?

The first step is to create your brand statement. Create a unique message that in one sentence tells your target audience why you have the best driving job available. Only then can you select advertising sources that attract your target audience.

Mass market sources like TV, radio, and billboards are expensive and inefficient. We currently prioritize targeted ads on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, as well as job boards like Jobs in Trucks and Craigslist. Know your audience. Find their pain points and understand how your competition addresses those issues in ads. These will help regardless of the size of your company.

Social Media Recruiting For The Masses

Recruiting 101 says to go where potential drivers are. Well, drivers are on social media.

With the tips that we provided here and some help from our driver marketing services and driver recruiting services, your driver problem can become a distant memory!

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