This blog post was updated on March 26, 2021.
The grass ain’t always greener on the other side. How many times has a driver left you only to come back?
Like a marriage, nobody is perfect and sometimes we realize after we left that the snoring and smelly feet aren’t that bad in the big picture. When your drivers are less than satisfied, that company down the street starts looking pretty tempting. We’ve blogged a lot about why drivers quit, from how they’re treated to lack of home time to unmet expectations. Regardless of the reason, they usually quit to work for another transportation company. However, your relationship with that driver doesn’t stop there.
If you want to improve your hire numbers, it’s time to look to rehires as a key lead source.
Sometimes, your drivers make a mistake when they switch from your company to another. They find out they didn’t have it so bad working for you. They traded in their gripes with you for gripes with someone else. Drivers constantly quit one company to work for one with the exact same problems. It’s called driver churn, and it’s a big problem in the industry.
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When good drivers quit your company, you don’t have to say goodbye. It’s possible and beneficial to pursue them as a lead. Here are three reasons why you should.
You spend way less time recruiting a rehire than a driver who’s never worked for you. It’s like getting back together with an ex. You already know each other so you don’t have to spend all this time getting acquainted. For example, if you’re using a Driver Management System like A-Suite, you’ll already have your rehire’s DOT files. All you need is a quick update on the paperwork.
Fewer hours for the driver and fewer hours for you is a win-win.
One of the most important aspects to retention is setting expectations. If you want to hold onto your quality drivers, you have to do what you say you’ll do. With rehires, it’s a lot easier to figure out expectations because you already know where you fell short. This will come out during the re-recruiting process. Be careful about your commitments and only make promises that you can keep. Of course, if you actually want to keep them this time, you have to follow through.
You don’t need to spend money advertising to your rehires on Facebook, Craigslist, or Indeed. Instead, all you need to do is pick up the phone, send a text, or fire off an email. Then you can put that money towards improving your driver’s work life so they don’t feel the need to turn around and head right out the door again.
Rehires are an underutilized resource for many companies. If your turnover is as high as the rest of the industry, you have entire fleets of potential re-hires at your fingertips. However, hiring is only part of the equation to solving your driver problem. You’re trying to plug up a leak while three more are sprouting. If you want to become a great company, you still have to improve your driver retention.
Think back to what we said about churn. Drivers quit your company to work for one with the exact same problems. There’s a golden opportunity for you here. If you invest in becoming a driver-centric company to improve your drivers’ quality of work life, drivers will want to work for you. You build positive momentum that will begin to snowball. What’s better than replacing or rehiring a good driver that quits? Preventing that good driver from quitting in the first place.
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