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Why is Driver Recruiting SO HARD? 5 Key Reasons.

2020 has forced countless industries to completely shift their operations and re-evaluate their foundational strategic drivers. The CDL driver recruiting industry is no different. Huge spikes and dips in supply and demand have left the industry reeling, leaving recruiters wondering how they will ever get back to ‘normal’ processes.

The short answer is that, like it or not, this is the new normal. CDL driver recruiters are having to change the way they do business and its going to be like this for a while.

In a recent webinar, Jeremy Reymer, Founder & CEO of DriverReach, Wendy Bartz, Director of Recruiting Services at DriverReach, and Pricilla Peters, VP of Marketing & Training at Conversion Interactive Agency discussed some of these new challenges facing modern driver recruiters and made a list of best practices and new ideas to overcome some of these roadblocks to be successful in the new normal.

5 big challenges in driver recruiting

Any CDL driver recruiter, carrier, or even driver can tell you that driver recruiting has gotten hard over the last few months. Here are 5 of the biggest reasons this industry has become especially challenging over the last few months:

  • Internal teams have shrunk, but applicants are still needed

Carriers are also being impacted by the effects of the last few months. Recruiting teams have gotten smaller due to layoffs but driver applicants are still in high demand. Recruiters are having to learn how to do more with less.

  • The rise of demand for local jobs increases competition for long-haul talent

More and more drivers are also seeing the benefits of being able to work close to home and stay connected with their families. Local driving jobs are seeing a huge increase in applications, while long-haul routes remain harder to fill.

  • This year especially has been hard for carriers to ‘break through’ the news cycle

It’s an election year, which means competition for the news cycle is fiercer than ever. There are a ton of hot-button topics on the docket and brands are struggling to be heard through the noise.

  • Increased recruiting fatigue as recruiters go back to basics

The competition for drivers hasn’t always been this intense, and driver recruiters are receiving a harsh wake-up call to this new reality. Driver recruiting is sales, and recruiters must be more proactive in attracting and nurturing new leads.

  • The supply of qualified drivers just isn’t there anymore

The competition for qualified drivers skyrocketed almost overnight. From the effects of COVID, ongoing unemployment, and the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse (which so far has removed over 35,000 drivers from the industry), the supply just isn’t where it used to be.

Best practices for success

Looking at the above challenges it can seem like all doom and gloom for the CDL driver recruiting industry. Luckily, Jeremy, Wendy, and Pricilla also discussed some innovative best practices and opportunities for overcoming these challenges and thriving in the new CDL market:

  • Authentically sharing your organization’s story and creating a personal connection to drivers.  
  • Diversifying where you’re posting jobs online and doubling down on your social and digital media strategies.
  • Embracing new technology and solutions, but leveraging these tools in creative and interesting ways.
  • Nurturing and building relationships with drivers, sometimes across 15 to 20 touches.
  • Gamifying the recruiting process to put your team’s metrics and goals front and center while making it fun to hit targets.

You can watch the entire webinar recording of Jeremy, Wendy, and Pricilla’s conversation around challenges facing driver recruiters here.

Watch the On Demand Webinar Now

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.

Interested in seeing DriverReach’s modern Recruiting and Compliance Management System in action? Request a demo!


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