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Why Truck Driver Personas Matter

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Why Truck Driver Personas Matter

Flatbed Frank. Tanker Tammy. Dry Van Stan. Experienced Eddie or Newbie Nick. How much you know about the driver personas your company is looking to hire matters a lot. Has your company created truck driver personas to segment marketing audiences and personalize recruiter conversations? If not, this blog post is for you and there's even a free workbook at the bottom to help your company get started!

But before we just give away all the free stuff, we need to add a little context to just exactly what personas are and why they're useful. Even though you may know exactly the type of drivers your company needs, the process of documenting that information is incredibly valuable. If you're apart of a broader team then it generates alignment and may flush out new insights among others who do not have as deep of a grasp on these personas as you do.

Segmenting based on truck driver personas is extremely impactful for both marketing efforts and recruiting efforts. Truck driver personas help frame the narratives for the marketing messages & channels but also the conversations prospective hires will have with recruiters.


What truck driver personas arehead-3824362_640

Truck driver personas are fictional, generalized representations of your company's ideal truck driver. They help marketing and recruiting relate to the drivers as humans and not just leads or applications. Internalizing who the ideal truck driver is for a driving position enables stronger truck driver hiring and retention practices.

Building meaningful truck driver personas really starts with asking the right questions and then finding the answers to those questions. Maybe you already have the answers but if not, then this exercise will be materially helpful to your truck driver hiring efforts.

Organize your truck driver audience segments easily and make marketing stronger with these free buyer persona templates.

Documenting truck driver personas allows knowledge sharing to occur across an organization from marketing through recruiting and even safety during onboarding. Preparing the personas and making them accessible to our team puts every person interacting with truck driver candidates on a level playing field with the same great insights as your strongest teammate. As you may have noticed above, we created free template for creating buyer personas, so you can focus on the research and compilation without having to think of what the right questions to ask are! Follow along with this guide and download the persona template so you can get to your research without delay.


Why truck driver personas matter

Truck driver personas help your company and your teammates deeply understand candidates, new and even existing truck drivers in your fleet. It makes it easier for marketing to curate content, build ads, develop marketing messages and pick the right marketing channels to reach the right truck drivers. After all, training schools are great places to find new drivers but not drivers with two decades of experience. And that's just the tip of the iceberg on how these personas matter. How do their interests differ based on age, location or skill set? Do they have the same goals? Do they find information in the same places?

The most solid truck driver personas are made from market research as well as knowledge from within your organization, such as why experienced drivers may be choosing other trucking companies. Depending on the size and diversity of your fleet, you could have just a few driver personas or as many as 30. But start small if this is new to you. Take baby steps because you can always build more as you get better.


Personas for what you don't want!

Thinking about the ideal truck driver hire is great but it is also importantcompany-3502288_1920 to know what you do not want. You likely have a certain set of criteria that matter during background checks but what about cultural fit or geographic location that you know just won't work out well for your company? Making sure to document bad fits for your company helps end conversations early and save precious resources from going to waste later.


Marketing based on truck driver personas

If your marketing team has access to well documented truck driver personas, they can target and segment appropriate audiences with efficiency and accuracy. This will not only improve the quality of drivers that get interviewed by recruiters but it will save marketing dollars on messages to drivers who may not have ever been a good fit for your company. Further, personas enable personalized messaging that lead to significant increases in attracting truck driver attention. Per GetResponse, using personal email messages leads to a 3.5% higher open rates, which is a lot in email marketing! So if you're ever sending mass email communications, with quality truck driver personas those emails can be tailored to the differences in those drivers interests.


Creating truck driver personas

Really this starts with your internal knowledge but that's not where it should end. Doing deeper research will only improve effectiveness of your organization. Marketing a survey or interviewing your existing drivers for feedback is a great second step. Consider having the marketing team build personas separately from recruiting and then working together to create a shared set of the same personas. By starting separately it will illuminate just how different their understandings of what your company's needs really are.

  • Ask marketing to build personas from a template
  • Ask recruiting to build personas from a template
  • Have marketing and recruiting compare personas
  • Involve safety for additional insights
  • Market surveys to truck drivers not in your fleet
  • Interview truck drivers in your fleet
  • Research driver demographics from places such as the ATA or ATRI


Demographics vs psychographics

Demographics explain "who" truck drivers are while psychographics explain "why" they work with the companies they do. Example demographic information is gender, age, marital status, income. Psychographic information would be things like truck driver habits, hobbies, and values. Combining both sets of data into truck driver personas create a very detailed picture of the people you want to hire but also where you can find and how you can attract their attention.

This can get a little confusing so it may be useful to run through a quick example to hammer this difference home.

Demographic information:

  • Male
  • Aged 50 - 65
  • Divorced, with children
  • Dealing with sleep apnea and obesity
  • Household income $70,000+


Psychographic information:

  • Not concerned with appearance
  • Wants to lose weight but doesn't know how living OTR
  • Doesn't consider himself a gamer but plays Farmville
  • Uses Facebook daily but doesn't enjoy it
  • Favors a good beer over a cheap beer
  • Values time with friends during home time

Once you get going with this, it starts to become much clearer as to what separates a demographic from a psychographic. Using demographics alone really leaves a lot on the table but pairing them with psychographics empowers you to really find where ideal drivers are and what motivates them to come work for your company.


Naming personas is not silly

It probably sounds silly to name your truck driver personas but it isn't. The ability for marketing, recruiting and safety to have clear communications about different driver types can be simply boiled down to a placeholder name for each persona. Going a step further, it helps to include a real-life image for each persona. But it does help to put a face to a name, even in persona documentation!


If your company has already created personas for recruiting truck drivers, we'd love to hear what hasn't worked in the past or if we left anything important out. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


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