American Trucking Associations has, once again, updated its numbers and they confirm what we read and hear about nearly every day; the driver shortage continued to worsen. That isn’t news to any of our regular readers and, of course, you know we vehemently contend there is no driver shortage, just a driver problem.
Freight isn’t rotting on the shipping docks and our stores are full of merchandise. The law of supply and demand hasn’t been repealed yet - you’re just on the wrong end of it. There isn’t a lack of drivers, there is a lack of quality drivers for you to hire. Which means, there doesn’t need to be a driver shortage at your company. Let the other guys struggle. You don’t have to.
Werner Enterprises President Derek Leathers confirms our point in this FreightWaves article, mentioning that more than 100,000 people applied to work for Werner last year, but they only hired about 2,700 of those drivers.
Sure, Werner is one of the largest carriers in the country, but 100,000 applicant proves that there are plenty of drivers out there.
We’re in the driver recruiting business and we know how tough it can be. We don’t have the scale of Werner but, at 2%, our hiring ratio is comparable. Most applicants just aren’t hirable. Some have bad driving records, many can’t pass a drug test and others have medical conditions that make them too risky to put on the road. Unfit applicants apply at every company because sometimes they get hired! But you know better. You only want the good ones; safe, courteous, friendly, professional and conscientious. Your solution is how you build your recruiting funnel.
Starts With Targeted Advertising
Generic, mass media advertising brings you all types of drivers - but not drivers who will love working for you. Effective advertising is targeted advertising. As we’ve been preaching over the years, start with by creating your drivers personas. Use this process outlined in this presentation for the NTTC to get really clear about who your target drivers are.
Sure, they have to meet your minimum qualifications, but that’s far from enough. You want to find drivers who are going to value the job(s) you offer. By clearly defining who loves to drive for you, your ads are more effective. Targeted ads also improve your conversion ratio because you’re ads are attracting the right people to your front door.
Once you have effective advertising based on your driver personas, you'll need an easy way for applicants to apply for the job. Quality drivers already have a job, so you have your work cut out for you.
Picture this: Your new, catchy ad caught their attention while they were skimming through Facebook, they had enough interest to click on the ad and were attracted enough to submit their name and phone number. Score! Advertising conversion!
Now your job is to jump on that lead in minutes (not hours) and uncover the pain point of that driver. By using a driver-centric Applicant Tracking System, you have the ability to track your notes and progress of the driver and all messages you send can be branded and personal.
At a 2% lead-to-hire conversion rate, you need to systematize the communication process so mass emails/texts feel personalized. Drivers can see through the mass marketing bologna and want to know that you care about them as an individual.
An Applicant Tracking System like A-Suite Recruit is a must to manage the volume of leads necessary to meet your hiring goals.