Truck driving isn't always the easiest lifestyle. You're on the road so much that you get little family time or even time to shower, sleep in a bed, and eat a healthy meal. It's a hard sell, but it's a necessary one. The economy simply can't function without truck drivers, who transport more than 80 percent of all freight in the United States. Trucks also carry 65 percent to 67 percent of all exports into Canada and Mexico, effectively keeping North American trade moving.
The more goods get transported by truck, the more truckers are needed. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an estimated 100,000 more trucking jobs to fill by 2028. If companies can't fill those seats, shipping costs could easily skyrocket and throw the economy into chaos.
At FATj, we're committed to helping the trucking industry — and the economy — thrive. To get there, we research the market and learn all we can about what attracts drivers. We've already used our expertise to optimize tens of thousands of truck driver job titles and job descriptions, securing thousands of workers for the companies that need them.
A job description in today’s competitive recruitment market should be more than just what the job title and qualifications are for that position. It’s a whole range of different variables that will be different for any job type in every industry. So getting the perfect job description in a competitive market can seem like a daunting challenge.
Here are some of our favorite tweaks. Each one can help you optimize your CDL job description and convince that perfect candidate to click “apply.”
1. Keep Company Descriptions Brief
Any marketing professional will tell you that when you're trying to convince someone to buy, you have to keep the focus on them. A job description is essentially content marketing. And while learning about a company is an important part of the apply process for candidates, the job description doesn’t have to be the place where they do it.
When you write a CDL job description, minimize the amount of space that you devote to describing the company. What's important to them is that they know what their job responsibilities will be before they apply for the job. Stick with a short description of the company's mission and culture. Phrase it so that candidates will know why joining you is to their advantage.
Some candidates will want to learn more, so add some information about how they can read employer reviews—after they click “apply now!”
2. Be Transparent About Salary
As trucker jobs get harder to fill, companies often boost salaries to make the jobs more attractive. That might be to your advantage or not, depending on how competitive your company is. You already know the trucking and transportation industry is incredibly competitive today, and many companies are not shying away from letting their competitors know how much they are willing to pay their drivers.
Some companies can offer salaries in the range of $80,000 or even $100,000, and they're not shy about promoting it. If you can't match that, don't make it sound like you can. Instead, be honest and clear about what you can offer. That way, you and the candidate are on the same page from the moment you call them to set up an interview.
You can always emphasize other parts of the employment package, like benefits or educational opportunities. Remember that if you want someone to fill out your short form, they should be excited about the opportunity you have for them.
3. Highlight Benefits
Benefits are how many trucking companies sell themselves to candidates, especially when those companies can't afford to pay top dollar. Be clear about what you offer and highlight the best parts of your benefits package. Having an optimal benefits package on top of a transparent salary makes a candidate more engaged and excited to work with your company.
If you have specific benefits that are real selling points, such as a great sign on bonus or guaranteed home time, and particularly if other trucking companies can't match them — consider mentioning one or two in the title of the job post. Our team has seen conversion rates jump with just that one little change in a CDL job description.
The team at FATj has done some surveys with drivers across the nation to learn more about what types of benefits entice them to apply for a job, along with what benefits are most important to them. Learn more in the our report on What Motivates Drivers to Click Apply.
When we're teaching people how to write a CDL driver job description, we suggest an 80-10-10 balance.
- 80 percent of the post should talk about what's in it for the candidate
- 10 percent should lay out expectations
- 10 percent is reserved for other useful information
Remember that candidates are mostly looking for a job that will benefit them. They might end up being some of your most loyal workers, but they don't know you yet. You have to sell to them. After all, your candidates are applying to work with your company to benefit both you and themselves.
If you want to learn some more of the best practices our team has for driver recruitment, check out our ultimate guide to driver recruitment.