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Expert Guide to CDL Driver Recruiting

For CDL driver recruiters, it’s no surprise that today’s competitive industry is causing some major challenges. There just aren’t as many candidates as in past years, which means every single touchpoint counts even more than before. Recruiters have been trying to bridge the gap between the tech-savvy world that drivers live in with the traditional lifestyle of a CDL driver – with mixed results.

The answer to this conundrum lies in a new era of recruiting where candidate experience and satisfaction are prioritized above all else. Just think – 85% of candidates won’t consider your company again after a bad recruiting experience. In an industry with such incredible turnover (and drivers frequently looking for new opportunities), you’re bound to come across some of the same candidates more than once in the recruiting cycle. One mistake, and you’ve lost these potentially qualified candidates forever.

In order to thrive in today’s driver-first era of CDL recruiting, we’ve compiled some best practices to take your recruiting efforts to the next level. If you’re building a high-impact, high-functioning CDL recruiting program, here are 5 guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Give conversational recruiting a try
    If you keep up with recruiting thought leadership, you’ve probably heard of this concept of ‘conversational recruiting,’ and if you think it sounds pretty self-explanatory, you’re right. Conversational recruiting basically puts the focus of recruiting back on the candidate, promoting two-way conversations, messaging, and more. Instead of throwing information at a candidate, conversational recruiting emphasizes personalized meetings and answers. As a recruiter, you should ask what the candidate wants to know, or what they’re looking for in a company, and then tailor your responses to their answers. This is also where chatbots can come into play. With chatbots, potential candidates can ask questions in real-time and enter into a live conversation with a recruiter before they even apply.
  1. Take your recruiting process mobile, including text messages
    For any recruiters still thinking that CDL drivers aren’t looking for a tech-first application process, it’s time to get out of the dark ages. Drivers are like every other job applicant, which means they want a streamlined, hassle-free recruiting experience. Texting allows recruiters to connect with drivers where they are, and where they prefer to enter into a conversation with recruiters. Text messages have an 8x higher response rate than emails, and they enable recruiters to connect with more candidates in a shorter time.  
  1. Make social media work for you, not against you
    It’s no surprise that social media has become a driver of conversation in many settings, including recruiting. It’s not just about delivering amazing candidate experiences anymore, it’s about delivering experiences candidates want to share with their networks. Unfortunately, much of this social sharing can be negative (72% of candidates share poor application experiences with their social networks), but with the right strategy, recruiters can make social media work for them, not against them.

    First step? Create social networks for your organization. Connect with candidates, thought leaders, and notable industry experts online. Post blogs, survey results, and educational content to build your online presence. Share pictures and updates of your drivers out in the field or in your home office to build a sense of community.   
  1. Keep it human with video calls
    All of this emphasis on technology can be daunting, especially for recruiters who favor a more personal approach. Fear not, because this technology is actually serving to bring recruiters and candidates closer together than ever before. A perfect example is with a video call. Video calls can connect candidates with your recruiting department without actually being in the same place, which is huge for an industry that revolves around drivers being disconnected and traveling. Human interaction is a critical part of a successful recruiting process, and video calls are a great way to add an element of personalization to it.
  1. Don’t be afraid of asking for feedback!
    Gathering feedback and running surveys are parts of the recruiting process that tends to get swept under the rug. While this may have worked back in the day, today’s most successful organizations are the ones that are constantly updating and improving processes. Don’t be shy to send surveys to candidates, even if they didn’t end up being hired by you, to find out what's working and what you could do better. This is the only way your team is going to move forward and improve at every stage of the process.

While the CDL driver recruiting industry is constantly changing, it doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for recruiters to succeed. With the right strategy in place, you can truly thrive in today’s competitive driving environment.

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