Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “Day in the Life | Technology & Roleplay Techniques to Hire. Better. Faster.”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time, so our presenters, Angela Osterhoudt, Senior Driver Recruiter at DriverReach, and Wendy Bartz, Vice President of Customer Experience at DriverReach, answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post.
If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!
Question: Is your application a DOT application?
Answer: Yes. DriverReach is an applicant tracking platform for driver recruitment.
Question: Your tool allows you to see candidates who have not completed the application?
Answer: Yes. It is important from a technology standpoint to capture name, phone number, email, etc. to ensure you’re building relationships and strengthening lead volume overall.
Question: What advice would you give for those of us who are part of small carriers where there is no single-purpose employee called a recruiter?
Answer: It’s still important to have a focus on building relationships with drivers and reaching out to them multiple times. Internally, your business strategy has to be focused on quickly communicating with drivers.
Question: How do you get a driver to commit to orientation?
Answer: Be sure to keep the drivers interested throughout orientation. Continued contact is required, such as reaching out, checking in, chatting about more than just the job. Share follow up info like the benefit packages, info about the company, and always answer their questions in a timely manner.
Question: How important is an in-person interview?
Answer: An in-person interview is generally not recommended. Most carriers have their process set to include either phone or virtual interviews, or sometimes a combination of both. If you aren’t able to offer a job over the phone and instead require an in-person interview, it’s much less likely the candidate will show up. Technology provides the opportunity to still keep that level of interview but in a way that’s up to date with what drivers prefer.
Question: Wouldn't it be better to get them in the office to start the process to help them feel more secure?
Answer: Drivers are used to operating remotely. Over the last several years, the recruitment process has largely taken place over the phone. Even through COVID, drivers successfully completed the onboarding process virtually. Onsite orientation does often help them feel secure, but also the right process virtually – with proper communication – will as well.
Question: What are key components to sealing the deal?
Answer: Document what their problem is, solve it, and then share that with them. This has everything to do with initial impressions. Meeting the driver candidate where they are in, in regards to their communication style, is a must. If they are casual, be casual. If they are more pointed and factual, mimic that. Gain their respect and trust to build the relationship.
Question: What are your requirements to schedule a driver for orientation?
Answer: A conditional offer of employment once you have a completed application and consumer reports generated will help the driver feel wanted throughout the process. Consistent communication and reassurance are critical as well.
Question: Interesting observation about the type of driver applying today being different than a year ago. Where do you think those drivers that were applying a year ago went?
Answer: They are the same drivers. The biggest change has occurred in technology and driving opportunities. Just as we’ve advanced in technology, so have the drivers.
Question: What is a good way to retain a driver?
Answer: Building the relationship and being upfront and honest. Drivers want what they were sold as it pertains to pay, hometime, and respect. Fleet Managers have to know their drivers and re-recruit their drivers each and every day.
Question: If you have an auto-responder set up to send a text/email when the lead comes in, does another text need to be manually sent before a call is attempted?
Answer: Not unless it’s been a day or two. At that time, sending a bulk text message to drivers in different stages of your process will only help the driver know you are still interested.
Question: Do you find that drivers have buying motives?
Answer: A study conducted by ATRI (American Transportation Research Institute) recently conducted a survey to determine the top motivating factors for CDL drivers. Company drivers indicated the following: 1. Job Security/Stability (90%), 2. Income and 3. Health Care/Retirement.
Question: I have been noticing it is all about the CPM or hourly wage. How do we get around this hump if our pay is lower than competitors?
Answer: Find what is above the competition. Maybe it’s weekly pay or doing a driver pay analysis with NTI. This could help your company see what additional options are available.
Question: Do your managers interview the drivers before they are hired?
Answer: Some do and others don’t – it’s important to ensure you aren’t slowing down your process. The second the candidate feels like they’ve been forgotten about, they will look for another job.
Question: No driver tests before an offer? How about pre-employment Drug Tests? FMCSA Clearinghouse Queries?
Answer: Conditional is key in the offer letter in this situation. As long as it’s made clear with the driver, it’s on them to be honest about what might change the offer.
Question: What amount of time should you spend on a call with a driver?
Answer: Do not look at this as an average. Move past the drivers that are not interested or not qualified and spend more time with the drivers that are interested and qualified. Help them through the process by conducting a phone application. Each driver is different and your call time will vary and that is okay.
Question: Should you reach out every day? Or periodically through the week?
Answer: Use 12 - 15 points of contact as a benchmark. That could be 1 email, 1 text message and 1 phone call in one day to equal 3 points of contact. Aggressive recruiting is key in today’s market. If you’re one of 40 other recruiters on a single driver, you want them to answer your call – and be sure to thank them when they do!
Question: What about voicemails? What Magic Words do you use in voicemails to get the driver to return your call?
Answer: Try to change it up, highlight the position – stand out from the typical intro with a captivating company message. Draw them in quickly.
Question: Can you give us an example of a VM you would leave for a driver?
Answer: “Hey, Driver, this is Angie with XYZ Company. Just wanted to touch base to see if you would be interested in a local driving position paying a weekly average of $1500? If so, give me a call back when you have a second.”
“Hey Driver, it’s Angie with XYZ Company again.You are a hard guy to get ahold of! Give me a call when you have a free minute so we can talk about the home daily, $1500/wk job that we have available.”
“Hi, Driver! This is Angie with XYZ Company. I received your app and would like to know when you want to get scheduled for Orientation. Does this week or next work best for you? Give me a call and let me know! Thanks!”
Question: How can I respond to a driver that is frustrated with Operations/dispatch to help with my retention, but I am not supposed to get involved?
Answer: Work within what is acceptable with your company culture and operations team expectations. The recruiter is the first one to build the relationship and gain the trust of the driver. Have a conversation with your team and highlight how you are willing to and want to help with retention and ask how you can be of help. Continue to stay in touch with your driver, even if you dont have all the answers. You can be there to help bridge the gap.
Question: Could you explain more about the ‘saved views’ tool?
Answer: Saved Views in DriverReach is a tool that makes recruiting processes much more streamlined and efficient. Leads don’t get lost or misplaced because they’re in a specific saved view. Several different attempts, in different Saved Views, can be recorded, so the recruiter knows where that driver might be at /what their stage might be at any point in time.
Question: What would you recommend for the average number of leads/apps in each recruiter's queue to ensure each are touched daily?
Answer: This depends on the responsibilities of the recruiters/processors. Every carrier is different in this area. Feel free to schedule some time with a DriverReach driver recruiting expert and we can help talk through this and give you advice.
Question: Do you have any books you would suggest for someone who is brand new in the recruiting business?
Answer: YES! Phil M Jones has partnered with DriverReach to develop a book called “Exactly What to Say: CDL Driver Recruiting Edition”. We created this book to speak to the specific challenges and opportunities CDL driver recruiters face on a daily basis. You can buy your copy of the book for $19.99 here.
Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.
Listen to Taking the Hire Road podcast, hosted by Jeremy Reymer and in collaboration with FreightWaves, for timely conversations with industry experts. For more information, or to join a live group demo, visit www.driverreach.com/livedemo