Keys to Building a Robust Driver Applicant Pipeline

When it comes to hiring CDL drivers, many innovative recruiters have the application game down to a seamless process. With the right strategy and focus, they’ve trimmed down applications, implemented advanced technology, and created a truly driver-focused experience. And yet, sometimes this still isn’t enough to fill their demand. Why? Because there’s no one in the applicant pipeline.

A seamless application process is only going to work if drivers are actually applying. If they’re not applying, then it means they either aren’t aware of the opening or the barriers to entry are too great.

In the world of sales, a pipeline is a group or pool of people or accounts who are interested in learning more about a product or service. In CDL driver recruiting (which has more in common with sales than you may think) this ‘pool’ is full of interested applicants. If a person has shown interest in your company before, or if they have the desired skills or experience, they would be added to your applicant pipeline. For many recruiting teams, however, a heightened focus on what happens after a candidate applies means this before process doesn’t receive as much attention as it warrants. It takes some serious strategy to ensure you have a consistent, robust driver applicant pipeline.

That being said, here are 4 best practices to keep in mind when building an applicant pipeline:

1. Know where applicants are coming from
To build the most successful applicant pipeline for your specific organization, you need to start at the beginning. Go back through your ATS or CRM to see where your applicants are coming from. Generally speaking, there are a few talent streams that typically bring in new driver candidates, including (but not limited to):

  • Networking
  • Referrals
  • Candidate mining
  • Advertising

Once you know where your applicants are coming from (and not coming from), you can start optimizing these channels.

2. Identify which channel contributes the most hires
Now that you have your channels identified, you can really dig into the metrics behind the applicants. First, add up all of your applicants from various channels and rank these from top to bottom. Next, take it a step further by seeing which applicants became candidates, and which candidates were hired. With these numbers in front of you, you can hone in on the channels that contribute the most successful hires.

Having some insight into whether or not channels work can help your recruiters understand how drivers are finding and engaging with your recruiters. Understanding how these applicants move through the process is super important. If you find one channel is bringing in a ton of applicants, but none of them are actually completing their applications, then you might have to rethink some of your marketing efforts.    

3. Update marketing efforts accordingly
When it comes to re-thinking the different channels feeding into your applicant pipeline, it’s all about the balance. Ideally, you’ll find that every channel produces at least a few applicants, and if you see one or two channels are lagging behind, you can work to strengthen your outreach efforts. Additionally, if you find that there is a channel that is producing candidates and hires at a higher rate, you might want to double down on your marketing efforts there.

4. Enhance hiring process where applicable
Reviewing your applicant, candidate, and hiring metrics during this process can also help your recruiters recognize where there are larger gaps in the hiring process as a whole. If you find you’re getting a ton of inquiries from social posts but a significant drop off in completed applications, you might have an issue with your mobile application. Or, if you have a ton of completed applications coming in from online but few hires from that channel, you most likely need to streamline your follow-up process and optimize your overall time to hire.

Don’t miss out on qualified applicants
Taking a step back and reviewing your current applicant pipeline can help set your recruiters up for success. In today’s competitive recruiting environment, CDL driver recruiters can’t afford to miss out on qualified applicants. See how your applicant pipeline stacks up – schedule your personal call with DriverReach today!


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