[Updated February 2022]
There’s no silver bullet to filling your driver recruiting funnel. It’s a long, hard, and sustained effort to consistently bring in the professional drivers you desperately need. The good news is, there's an opportunity to beat your competition in the current driver wage war, and it doesn’t involve throwing more money at advertising.
Our approach is like Moneyball - you need to look at different numbers, create a unique recruiting message, and have a more efficient application process than your competition. This page is a resource to help you improve your driver recruiting pitch, process, and people.
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:
[Video Series] Purple Cow Academy—Double Your Hires
"A brand is what drivers think of when they hear your company name."
A brand is what drivers think of when they hear your company name. Your company has a reputation amongst drivers. Every interaction your drivers have with dispatch, management, payroll, secretaries, management, and other drivers shapes your driver brand. You can try to steer your brand through marketing efforts, but social media and review boards have given the power to your drivers to define your Driver Brand. Their perception is your reality – fair or not. You need to start by assessing where your Driver Brand is today.
Read the sections below and follow the article links to learn more about developing your Driver Brand Statement:
A brand is what drivers think of when they hear your company name. To create a unique driver brand, you'll need to define some key facts and values about your company and then apply those points to your marketing and advertising strategy.
A Purple Cow is the kind of marketing that turns heads. The best way to stick out in a sea of nearly-identical driver advertisements is to take Seth Godin’s advice and become a Purple Cow. Find a way to stand out from your competition. What do you offer that’s different from the rest of the crowd? Consider the following:
Then, use what's unique for your driver brand statement!
Recruiting is a daily challenge in trucking. It takes a lot of effort and vigilance to fill your driver needs, especially when you have to deal with driver turnover. But you want to maximize these efforts and get the right drivers for your company. Otherwise, you’re just treading water.
How do you make your trucking company stand out from the rest during the recruitment process? Find your unique driver brand. Read a summary in part one of our presentation at the Ohio Trucking Association's annual conference.
Take the term Driver Shortage out of your vocabulary. It’s an excuse not to grow your fleet. There is a Driver Problem, but not a shortage. Read the recap from our webinar with Verified First to learn how to develop your driver brand.
Read about real-life examples of trucking companies that have driver brands that appeal to all drivers. Also, learn about the tools and strategies that these companies are using to attract drivers to their fleet.
The biggest mistake a transportation company makes when it comes to driver recruiting is not taking the time to define the target drivers. The desperation for drivers has created a process of ready, fire, aim that creates ineffective advertisements. The objective is not to please everyone, but to create specific ads for the right person. One ad for all jobs is a backward approach. The correct approach is multiple ads and campaigns for each job type you offer while constantly testing and tweaking.
Different drivers value different things. Your stay interviews with existing drivers will help you determine your different driver personas. We define driver personas by their job duties and their shared values, motivations, and personalities. To help create the different personas, start with the different jobs you offer and spread your stay-interviews evenly across each job. The common themes will boil to the top.
Read the info and articles below to learn more about developing your driver personas so you can specifically target your advertisements.
Millennials and Generation Z get a bad rap in the transportation industry. They’re seen as lazy, spoiled, and adverse to hard work. The problem is, it isn’t true. These comments have been made by previous generations since Socrates around 410 B.C.:
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
It’s true that younger generations approach work differently than Boomers and Gen-Xers, but they’re not lazy. You need to create a job and culture that inspires them to see how they make the world a better place.
Below are a few articles you can use to help your recruiting efforts for attracting younger drivers.
Millennials represent the largest segment of the workforce in the country with 86 million people, and that number will only continue to grow over time. How do you reach this workforce and put them in a position to be successful drivers? Read our 5 ways to attract and retain good millennial drivers.
You’ve read about how the trucking industry needs younger drivers. Let this how-to guide teach you to understand and impact how millennials think about trucking.
How do you find younger drivers and, more importantly, how do you make sure they’re the type of workers you want? Read this post to find a few different ways you can make an informed decision.
Part two of the presentation held at the Ohio Trucking Association’s Annual Conference focused on finding and onboarding Millennials into the trucking industry.
The average age of your driver population is going through the roof and you desperately need a game plan to bring the next generation into your trucking company. What can you do to recruit more drivers without spending a ton on marketing and advertising? Read the list to find out.
The trucking industry, like all industries, offers many opportunities to learn and grow. To combat the driver problem, we urge you to create a career path for your drivers so they are given the best chance to learn and develop at YOUR trucking company - not at your competitor’s.
Younger people have a negative view of trucking. They’re familiar with a stereotype of middle-aged men, in lousy health, spending their whole lives behind a wheel out on the road. That is a poor representation of the trucking industry and you need to wipe that away from public perception. To do that, you need to have a flexible recruiting strategy.
Millennials became the largest generation in the workforce in 2016. Generation Z is only a few years behind. Even so, most trucking companies fail to effectively recruit and retain millennial drivers. Now, it’s sink or swim. Whether you like it or not, you need millennial drivers.
The average age of an Over-the-Road Truck Driver is 55 years old. As your drivers get more gray hair, you need to be building your farm system to replace them. Insurance companies see this too and are loosening their strict two-year experience requirement - if you bring them a consistent and documented curriculum. We’re even starting to see systems to recruit and train drivers who are 18 years old.
To build a safe and responsible CDL Finishing School program, it needs to be built on a train-the-trainer model with consistent teaching and documentation throughout the fleet. Your reporting for each driver will make it clear who’s excelling and who needs a watchful eye.
This time-consuming endeavor will increase your cost per hire to about $10,000. If done properly, these students will pay for themselves with fewer accidents and lower turnover because you’ve groomed them from the ground floor - they never learned two years of bad habits.
Click on any of the links below to learn about AvatarFleet's CDL Finishing School program (which is ELDT-compliant), as well as helpful articles on the importance of creating a farm system for your drivers.
CDL Finishing School effectively trains and develops recent CDL graduates into safe professional truck drivers, providing a consistent process and documentation. The program builds on AvatarFleet's online driver training and our train-the-trainer program, LLLC Instructor Certification. Perhaps most importantly, it is ELDT compliant.
With potential Congressional changes coming to CDL age restrictions and new ELDT mandates, you need to be ready to have the proper support and mentorship in place for younger drivers. Without proper training, your millennial drivers will only increase your risk as a trucking company.
You’re going to need to bring on less experienced drivers in order to deliver freight into the next decade. Less experienced drivers are at greater risk than seasoned veterans. A structured Finishing School program closes the gap and, if done properly, produces a new driver without bad habits.
A clunky process will destroy creative marketing, so execution is everything. Start by mapping out the driver candidate’s journey and evaluating each step along the way. Each step should end with a simple, low-risk call to action that makes it easy to say “yes” to the next step. This includes a “yes” from your ad, to your jobs board, to your application, release form, interview, orientation, and day one. You need to treat the candidate like they are a guest at the Ritz Carlton along each step in the journey.
Click on any of the links below to learn more about executing your driver recruiting plan.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Cost per hire by source and location is the ultimate metric for success of where to spend money. However, that’s a lagging indicator. You need leading indicators that will allow you to make adjustments before you have a vacant orientation class.
Measure how often you answer the phone (no voicemails) and leads generated each week. Tracking these trends will become your canary in the coal mine so you can predict success or potential failures.
Use these helpful tips below to start measuring the success of your driver recruiting efforts.
If your driver recruiting process takes weeks or is cumbersome to the candidate, they’ll apply to work down the street. They know they can find a job anywhere and they need a job now. Speed to hire is key. Modern driver recruiting software increases speed to hire with:
The resources below will help you select the right tool and evaluate the correct features.
Schedule your 15-minute personalized call to talk through what's holding your driver recruiting back and see how AvartarFleet can help.