In each episode of Trucker Tools Talks, our weekly video interview series, we interview folks from all across the trucking industry for business tips and timely updates on what’s happening in the market. Trucker Tools’ Director of Onboarding and Implementation Russ Bennett recently interviewed Randall-Reilly’s V.P. of Sales and Recruiting Seth Becker for Trucker Tools Talks to find out what fleets can do to attract top talent. Seth has spent the last eight years working in driver recruitment and currently oversees recruiting for several big names in trucking. As Seth noted in his conversation with Russ, rates and volumes are strong for fleets, but as a natural result, fleets all over the country want to add new drivers and capacity, which has made recruitment extremely competitive.
During the interview, Seth offered some concrete tips for fleets like yours on how you can increase recruitment success. Check out these six recruitment strategies for fleets.
1. Plan on Offering Pay Increases
“When you have more and more of these fleets competing for the same pool of drivers that creates all kinds of interesting problems for fleets,” Seth said. “One of them is remaining competitive with pay. We often do different polls and we do a driver advisory board to understand the market and one thing that we found is that fleets across the country have raised pay at least twice already this year — and have plans to continue to raise pay. When you see one fleet doing it and you want to be competitive, you’ve got to do the same thing.”
2. Boost Your Marketing Spend
“With everybody competing for that same pool, naturally costs have gone up for that cost per lead, that cost per hire, which are metrics we look at and watch all the time with our clients,” Seth shared. “It quite literally costs twice as much this year to hire a driver. You see fleets raising their marketing budgets, saying, ‘Okay, if a driver costs more and we need them, we’ve got to have them and we’re willing to increase our marketing budget to try to keep up with the times to attract those drivers.’ If you don’t have a budget, maybe consider getting one because even though it costs way more to acquire a driver this year than any other year we’ve seen before, the rate of return on that driver is two days faster on average to recoup those costs. You’ll recoup those costs two days faster this year than even last year.”
3. Leverage Social Media
“I hear a lot of chatter about TikTok and everyone is saying that’s where the younger drivers are,” said Seth. “I do think it’s important to work with influencers, especially if you’ve got folks at your fleet already there. You can provide them with some coaching and provide them with the tools and resources they need to really promote your company and the things they love about it. We haven’t seen a whole lot of return on advertising dollars yet in TikTok, but it’s definitely a space I think people are trying. I think that we’ll eventually see a return on investment with TikTok as more and more people jump on it.”
4. Get Drivers Home Time
“When we’ve done studies of drivers, they’ve shown that the number one thing a driver looks for initially is pay,” Seth advised. “It makes sense. We’re all human and we want to be compensated well for what we do, but it actually goes beyond that. It’s not just pay, it’s predictable pay. Can you offer guaranteed pay? It’s something a lot of drivers are looking into. Reliability is important. It can be very difficult with some family situations or personal situations to be out on the road, two, three or four weeks at a time. So when I do need to be home, can I rely on you to get me home when I say I need to be home? That reliability creates a lot of trust with the fleet and with the driver.”
“Personalization is something we talk about all the time,” Seth said. “We see companies say in their advertisements, ‘We don’t treat you like a number. We treat you like family.’ You have to stand behind that personalization and really support what you say. That starts from the very beginning of the recruiting process. When you look at your drip marketing emails, you have to ask yourself, ‘Are they bland? Are they so generic that from the beginning it makes the driver feel like they’re just a number?’ It can make the driver feel like you don’t care about them as a person. The more you can do to personalize it from the very beginning, the better luck you’ll have with attracting good drivers.”
6. Create a Positive Driver Culture
“One thing we like to say around here a lot is that reputation is currency,” Seth shared. “That’s pretty powerful. One of our studies shows that the number one method that drivers still use to research a company is talking to other drivers. Word of mouth still plays a huge, huge role. Even if you’re a smaller fleet that doesn’t have a big budget, you have to think about your culture. What are you doing to create a situation where those drivers talk to other drivers and say, ‘You’ve got to come here because this is a great place to be?’ You don’t have to have a big budget to be on social media. You can encourage your drivers to shoot videos that tell the real story of what it’s like to work with you.”
For more recruitment tips, watch the Trucker Tools Talks interview with Seth.