Actions that the government takes in the interest of trucking safety (CSA, HOS) seem (and often are) incomprehensible, counter-intuitive and, well, crazy. It makes our blood boil. Driver “shortages” bring out the same level of angst among carrier management. Sometimes it seems the whole world is conspiring against the trucking community
Maybe it’s best not to think too much about the big picture of this chaos and focus more on what the individual carrier should do. It’s not unlike when the rules change in a major sport. When they moved the kickoff closer so kicks wouldn’t be returned as often (for safety reasons, no less), NFL coaches focused on what to do next. They didn’t waste much time bemoaning the fact that their kick returner wouldn’t get a chance to make a lot of yards. They realized the other teams’ returners were just as handicapped. When professional baseball cracked down on muscle-building steroids after embarrassing congressional hearings, big league managers found other ways to win.
Unfortunately in trucking, we seem to do the opposite. We often don’t take into consideration that the new rules and circumstances affect us all. Many carriers react very slowly or don’t react at all until the pain gets too great to bear. On the other hand, progressive carriers think and act ahead of the majority and are ready to turn changes to their advantage.
A good example of this way of thinking is in recruiting. Got profitable contracts from shippers and brokers but need more drivers? It’s no secret that there are lots of ways to recruit good drivers. Having a strong on-line presence is just one of them, but in today’s world, it’s the essential one for most carriers.
Yet, a cursory look on the web shows that excellence in web site recruiting is rare. Most carriers don’t have “Mad Men” creative types to design and write copy. They don’t have Webmasters (or even web specialists) conversant in terms such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), HTML, CMS, Flash, and WordPress themes. Nor do they make a priority out of updating their site. Too many don’t differentiate themselves in any way. Take the name and photos away from one site and you can replace it with someone else’s material and no one will be the wiser. Since recruiting is a competitive activity with winners and losers, blending in with the herd won’t cut it.
With that in mind, here are some tips to move your website up the food chain of driver attraction.
These tips won’t help the industry solve the driver shortage. There aren’t many things that are potent enough to reach that lofty goal. But these tips help your firm. The minority who use even some of them are accomplishing more. And that may be enough.
In the seemingly never-ending battle to acquire quality drivers, we argue that the carrier’s website is critical and continues to grow in importance. Drivers are getting more web savvy and you need to take advantage of that trend. We offer these nuggets to win that battle.
Carriers can’t afford to turn off drivers who would have made good members of their team. Drivers are getting more and more web savvy. Make sure your website is pulling its weight by measuring it against the tips above. Do a better job of recruiting drivers through your website! It's a big thing!
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