2019 is a challenging year for trucking companies. The U.S. economy is chugging along and the driver shortage is not getting any better. With e-commerce continuing to shift consumer shipping expectations, keeping fleet utilization high is a real competitive advantage. By taking a candidate-centric approach to truck driver talent acquisition this year, you can implement these good habits in 2019 to recruit the drivers your trucking company needs.
Communicating exactly what the hiring process for your company looks like and who will be engaging with driver candidates along the way does a lot to establish trust. After all, drivers are sharing a lot of personal information to get hired and transparency is a small price to pay to make a driver feel like their privacy is being respected and maintained. It is not uncommon for a driver to be interviewing with many companies at the same time so sending updates along the way keeps you top of mind throughout the process.
In 2019, a website is table stakes to hiring any driver under the age of 35 and growing closer to that for folks over 35. Making sure that driver candidates have a place to understand the company culture, mission and values is a meaningful commitment to those axioms. After all, if your company cannot invest in making that information easily accessible to the world, how committed is the company to the rhetoric in the first place? Learning your company's story should not be a challenging endeavor for a prospective hire. If starting with a public Facebook Page is easier for you, that's fine but nothing says professionalism better than a dedicated website. Building a website is so simple these days with platforms such as Wix, LaunchRock, and Instapage. If you wanted a bit more of a challenge, SquareSpace and WordPress can get you there. Don't let the technology or cost be the reason not to publicly tell your company's story. If this sounds intimidating, then pick something like Instapage or LaunchRock and who you are, what you do and your story on a single page. Move on.
If you're doing outbound communications with email or SMS, response rates increase dramatically with personal touches such as addressing the recipient by name. Per GetResponse, using personal messages in emails leads to a 3.5% higher open rates on emails, which is a lot in email marketing.
No matter what you're communicating with an email, you want to make sure the subject line is accurate and applicable to the email itself. Certainly do not write the entire email in the subject line. The hardest part of the subject line is keeping it brief and concise. Mixpanel suggests 42 characters in the subject line but that's a median number from their data. If you can keep the subject line closer to 30 characters, it will appear better on mobile devices. And keeping in mind that truck drivers are likely using a smart phone to read an email, 42 characters may not make sense for their heavily mobile lifestyles. Believe it or not, emoji's are a growing trend among all ages groups so consider testing for improved open rates with drivers by using emoji's. Don't go blasting everyone with the test though, start small and work larger if the results prove worthwhile.
If a driver turns out to be a no today, that does not mean they're a no forever. With turnover rates as high as they are, unhappiness can occur rapidly. By checking in with a handful of candidates you really liked could go a long way. Building that relationship overtime keeps you top of mind when they go looking. Further, if they want to make a change fast, you're number is likely right there in the call history or your string of emails are quick smartphone search away.
Ultimately, there are a bunch of ways to recruit truck drivers in 2019 but technology is playing a bigger and bigger part in the process. This goes beyond just using a Facebook post or Twitter Tweet. Leveraging personalize touches and good old fashion direct and clear communications goes a long way. Truck drivers are busy so making it easy and comfortable for them to engage with you and/or your company doesn't need to be so hard with the help of some small technology enhancements.
What are some ways you're using technology to support driver recruiting efforts this year? Share your tricks of the trade in the comments below!