A Three Step Process to Improve Driver Recruitment

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Written by Scott Rea, President, AvatarFleet

With today’s shortage of safe drivers the importance of recruiting and attracting drivers to apply with your company has become paramount.

It’s a noisy employment market and quality drivers hold the cards to choose who they drive for.

So, how do you stand out from the competition?  Follow these three simple steps to improve your driver recruitment activities:

  1. Create a compelling value proposition
  2. Create an effective message that attracts drivers
  3. Constantly evaluate the effectiveness of advertising sources
Creating Your Value Proposition

Great businesses don’t sell products, they solve problems.

A value proposition is the concise statement of why your company is the best solution to a problem.

Take a look at your current driver advertisements – do they look just like your competitors’ ads?

Unfortunately, the market is flooded with advertisements touting platitudes such as “Great Pay!” or “Drive for the best!”

How is a driver supposed to know that your company is the best if every other carrier uses the same selling points?

To be successful, you must sell your company and your job. Start by creating a unique value proposition:

  1. Define your target driver
  2. Identify their pain points
  3. Research competing alternatives – direct and indirect competition
Define Your Target Driver

You have great drivers who have been with you for years and you wonder, “Why can’t there be more drivers like them?”

To understand the type of driver that you want for your company, start by putting together a profile of your top performing drivers.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What do you like most about this job?
  • What satisfaction does the job give you?
  • Why do you show up on time every day?
  • What does our company do well?

This exercise will help you in crafting your marketing message and to identify potential good fit drivers when they do apply.

Identify Pain Points

Drivers will only consider joining your company if you solve a problem they have at their current employer.

Your recruiters should start their process by asking diagnostic questions such as:

  • What job would be a great fit for you?
  • Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  • How often do you want to get home?
  • What benefits are important to you?

Think about what your company does well and ask questions around your strengths.

Make sure your recruiters diagnose the driver’s pain before they begin to prescribe your company’s job(s) as the cure.

Know Your Competing Alternatives

To make your advertisements stand out from the competition – understand your direct and indirect competitors and their associated value propositions.

For example, your direct competition might be over-the-road, regional and local carriers.

Your indirect competitors may be LTL carriers. And, don’t forget about alternative industries – as unemployment rates drop and the housing market grows, drivers may leave to work in the construction industry.

Make note of how these companies are promoting their companies and jobs.

Turning Your Value Proposition into a Compelling Advertisement

The second step is to create advertising which will excite and attract quality drivers to either contact you or apply with your company.

Use the following steps to be heard in a noisy marketplace:

  1. Interrupt: You have .5 seconds to capture a driver’s attention when you are one of a hundred jobs to choose from. Visual images are very powerful and can quickly portray a driver’s pain points.
  2. Engage: After you’ve captured their attention, you have one second to hook them. This is where you tout your value proposition. Examples may include: Guaranteed $1,000 per week and Guaranteed Weekends Home. Be specific, avoid platitudes and keep it to one sentence.
  3. Educate: Success! A driver has invested 1.5 seconds into your advertisement and is willing to commit to learn more. Keep your pitch to three bullet points based on what you discovered during your driver interviews.
  4. Call to Action (CTA): Be sure to include your phone number and link to a job-specific webpage with a contact form or application for drivers. The webpage should also be another avenue for you to advertise and sell your job.
Evaluating Advertising Sources

There are a multitude of advertising channels to choose from; however, there isn’t one great source.

It’s important to constantly change, test and evaluate your sources following this process:

  1. Look for a direct line of communication to your target driver. Trucking specific-job boards are a good general approach to target job seeking truckers. Pay per Click ads through Google, Bing and Yahoo and social advertising platforms such as Facebook allow you to serve ads to your target audience through the right keywords and targeted personas.
  2. Determine your Return on Investment (ROI) for each advertising channel. For example, if your company hires about 10% of every Recruiting Qualified Lead (RQL), you can infer the future success of a potential lead source from there. Ask vendors to give you their best estimate of leads that they will generate and work backwards to determine if the ROI is acceptable.

Improving the effectiveness of your recruiting practices is not an overnight fix, but a never-ending marathon.

Because there is no end, celebrate hitting monthly and quarterly goals with your team.

Your job is to make sure those short term, measurable goals move the boulder in the right direction.

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Key Techniques to Find and Retain the Next Generation of Drivers

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These materials were created by AvatarFleet, LLC for HireRight, LLC and are provided for general informational purposes. They are not intended to be comprehensive and should not be construed as legal advice. Avatar Fleet, LLC and HireRight, LLC do not warrant any statements in these materials. HireRight, LLC is not affiliated with and does not endorse Avatar Fleet LLC.  HireRight’s products and services are provided under the terms and conditions of HireRight’s screening services agreement and any applicable product-specific addenda, and pursuant to HireRight policies, guidelines and procedures. Please contact HireRight for more information.

Copyright © 2016 HireRight, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is prohibited.

About the Author: Scott Rea

Scott Rea is the President of AvatarFleet. Scott hates empty trucks and is on a mission to keep trucks full of safe drivers. He cut his teeth in trucking through Voice of the Customer market research to understand the pain points of drivers, dispatchers, CEO’s, Operations and anyone else who would give him their time. Scott has managed a high growth driver recruiting department since 2014 and uses that first-hand experience to ensure AvatarFleet’s software is the best in the trucking industry to help carriers recruit, hire, train and retain drivers.

Avatar Fleet

Avatar Fleet started making the world a safer place in 1992. It provides professional consultation and the design and development of custom-branded safety and risk management solutions to the transportation industry. Avatar produces systems, processes and materials used to influence the performance of people at work.

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