The end of the year is a time for reflection for many industries and teams. It’s a time to reflect back on the past twelve months and discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what could be done better in the future. The end of the year is also a time for strategic planning. Whether your team is looking to try out new ideas, take a more creative approach to recruiting, or deliver new experiences to driver candidates, the new year is the best time to give these ideas a run.
As you’re determining what ideas to act on and bring to fruition in 2020, here are some recruitment trends to watch for. Your team can use these ideas to help inform and mold your CDL driver recruiting strategy:
- A clear, straightforward recruiting process.
For many years, the CDL driver application and recruiting process was stuck in a cloud of confusion, misunderstandings, and slow processes. Drivers and recruiters alike never really knew where each other stood, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Modern CDL driver recruiting, however, has no room for ambiguity or uncertainty.
Today’s CDL drivers require complete transparency from carriers and recruiters at every stage of the recruiting process, from the first thing a driver reads online to the ongoing engagement programs while they are employed. As you’re planning your 2020 strategy, make sure there aren’t any gaps in the process where drivers or recruiters could get bogged down.
2. Digital recruiting tools with a human touch.
Let’s get this out in the open: CDL driver recruiting is quickly becoming a digital-first industry. From AI-powered chatbots to text-driven interviews, new digital solutions are popping up all over the place. This is a critical turning point for the CDL industry, which is still in the midst of a multi-year driver shortage.
Now, instead of asking CDL drivers to go on the road for days at a time with little to no connection with their team, digital tools are making it possible to keep drivers connected no matter where they are. This doesn’t mean your team can simply turn on the machines and sit back. Instead, CDL recruiters should look for new, innovative ways to forge human-first relationships through digital solutions.
3. Easy-to-find applications and answers.
Unlike many industries, the CDL trucking industry is becoming more and more candidate-driven. This means that candidates are actually reaching out directly to recruiters and carriers about new opportunities instead of waiting passively for recruiters to reach out to them. Drivers are making the first move, which means that if your job listings and openings aren’t located in the right places, you could be missing out on qualified applicants.
Furthermore, thanks to increased competition in the space, drivers truly have their pick of the litter when it comes to what carriers to do business with. This means that carriers who aren’t providing easy-to-find job descriptions, benefits, answers, and other relevant content will be passed over for those organizations that can deliver this information.
Luckily, 2020 is poised to be a year not only of innovation but also creativity in the CDL trucking industry. Digital solutions and the introduction of new engagement channels are making easier for carriers and recruiters to flex their creative chops and deliver drivers with exciting engagement campaigns. 2020 is the perfect time to test out some of these creative ideas, including:
- Video driver testimonial videos
- Interactive online applications and assessments
- Real-time interviews and conversations over text
- New channels and sites for advertising
4. Constant, personalized, and automated engagement.
CDL driver recruiting is no longer a one-stop-shop. Instead, it is a complex, ongoing process that involves multiple stakeholders and touchpoints. This is especially visible in the way recruiters communicate and engage with drivers. While it used to be okay for recruiters to send a quick follow-up email and then reach out later to schedule an interview, today’s drivers expect much more from carriers.
Luckily, it’s easy for recruiters to stay on top of communication calendars with automation. Recruiters can schedule out messages - both text and email - to drivers beforehand, and they can even go as far as setting up auto-responses to frequently asked questions.
This constant stream of engagement doesn’t end once a driver is hired, either. Modern CDL recruiting teams and carriers are taking these elements of automation and personalization and making them work for driver retention too. Once drivers are out on the road, their connection with the larger organization shouldn’t fade away. Instead, companies are making driver retention a top priority in 2020 by doubling-down on things like social media, company culture, and in-person check-ins to ensure drivers don’t feel left out when on the road.
5. The driver experience is – and always will be – king.
One thing that hasn’t changed heading into 2020? The driver application experience. Simply put, there is just too much competition in the CDL industry – and too few drivers to alleviate the need – for recruiters to forget about what drivers are actually looking for. Delivering an amazing driver experience (through one-click application access, a mobile-optimized application, short and to-the-point questions, etc.) can be the key to attracting a driver’s attention and pushing them to the next step in the recruiting process.
If your team is going to focus on one thing in 2020, make sure it’s the driver candidate experience. Without a good foundation, your team won’t be able to take advantage of the innovative and creative ideas you came up with during planning.
Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog or follow us on LinkedIn for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.
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