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Transitioning From PDF Applications to Digital Files: A How-To Guide

Excel spreadsheets, downloadable PDFs, and website form captures aren’t the industry standard anymore. These processes are cumbersome, take a lot of effort, and lead to mistakes. Worse yet, your old-school driver application process is actually losing you drivers. The good news is that there are cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions out there.

Switching from a PDF to a fully online driver application is a painless process that will save you time and money. You’ll hire best-in-class drivers and leave your competition picking from the bottom of the barrel.

Why Downloadable PDFs Are Costing You Drivers

You might be thinking: my downloadable PDF or website form capture are technically online. I’m good to go!

You’re actually still suffering from huge opportunity costs.

If you’re using downloadable PDFs or website form captures, you’re dealing with two major problems:

  1. The all-stars aren’t applying for you
  2. You’re wasting time in hiring/orientation

Choosing From The Bottom of The Barrel

Without a robust online application system, you’re missing out on all the quality drivers. 

Think of it this way: the drivers you want are already driving for your competition. These are called passive candidates. They’re in the industry making money for someone else and you need to convince them to drive for you.

You can’t attract passive candidates without an online application because they usually don’t have time to complete it in one sitting. They’re out on the road. They’re only going to apply for jobs on their phone when they’re at a rest stop or waiting at a customer’s location. They don’t want to download a PDF and take the thirty minutes to submit everything to you. 

If they don’t have the time to complete everything at once (which they don’t) they move on. That means you’re stuck with all the drivers who can’t get work anywhere else.

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You’re Wasting Time

Once you manage to get someone in the door, you stick paper forms in front of them and spend a couple hours filling out forms that could have been auto-populated up front.

What would you do with an extra two hours in orientation? Some of our clients spend that time reducing their claims by 30% with LLLC Driver certification

They spend less time messing with paperwork and get a huge return on their investment. 

How Can You Transition to an Online Driver Application?

There’s really only one step in this process: get an applicant tracking system. When you invest in an applicant tracking system, or ATS for short, you can attract all-star drivers, reduce your time to hire, and save yourself money and headaches.

What is an ATS?

An ATS is an automated tracking system carriers use to manage job applications and candidate information. It’s no longer a “nice to have” in the transportation industry. It’s table-stakes if you want to hire drivers.

With an ATS, you’re able to:

  • Create and manage effective online applications
  • Collect data on applicants
  • Store applications in one convenient location
  • Keep in better communication with candidates
  • Automatically filter-out unqualified drivers

An ATS will improve the worklife of recruiters, HR departments, managers, candidates, and everyone else involved in the driver hiring process.

The Benefits of Using an ATS

The main benefit is obvious: you move your driver application online. It goes a lot deeper than that, though. There are three ways that an ATS will revolutionize your company.

  1. Reach more drivers. As we mentioned earlier, without an ATS, you’re stuck with your competition’s reject candidates. An ATS will allow you to build a massive pool of qualified drivers. Drivers will see your application online and, with just a few clicks, send in their application.
  2. Reduce cost per hire. Hiring drivers is expensive. This study from Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute shows that the average cost per hire is over $8,000. Most companies who invest in an ATS will reduce their cost per hire by about 20%. This is because they have less people involved, spend less time spent on a candidate, and attract more interested candidates. That 20% reduction of cost per hire will pay for an ATS investment by a large margin.
  3. Improve your candidate experience. An ATS allows you to quickly and consistently talk to your candidates. No one gets lost in the shuffle because the system will alert recruiters to talk to candidates and move them along the hiring pipeline. Better yet, an ATS auto-populates candidate information from form to form. This makes the process much more efficient on the candidate’s end. All that translates into less drivers getting fed up with your application process and ghosting you.

How Do You Get Started?

We weren’t kidding when we said investing in an ATS is the only step you need to take. Of course, we like ours because it’s specific to the transportation industry, but there are others out there as well.

A good place to start is with our self-guided demo. There’s no commitment and it’s an easy way to learn how an ATS might help you.

Whatever you do, take action. You can’t afford to keep losing drivers to your competition. If you want to solve your driver problem and keep all the all-star drivers for yourself, take the one and only step in moving to an online driver application.

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