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7 min read

Q&A: Reducing Unqualified Leads in the New Driver Recruitment Market

By Connor Zazzo on Sep 30, 2020 10:52:20 AM

On September 23, FATj's Corey Wagner, was joined by Conversion Interactive Agency's Priscilla Peters for a webinar on how to reduce unqualified leads in today's new driver market. Our teams received tremendous feedback from our attendees, and we wanted consolidate some of the highlights from the webinar in one place. In this post, you will be able to read through the Q&A portion of the webinar, where we received some great questions from our audience. In case you want to watch the webinar in full, you can register to view it here.

If you have any additional questions for Corey or Priscilla, reach out to us at hello@fatj.com to get the answers you need.

Question 1: What is the reason for driver turnover right now?

Priscilla

As we talked about earlier, there are reasons related to COVID for turnover. But if you think about the fact that turnover was low for a while, for about a 5-6 month period. Then whenever freight booms, typically that’s when turnover starts to rise again. It’s always been that way since I’ve been in this industry. Drivers begin to think “oh the grass is greener on the other side” and we start to have those types of conversations. 

But typically, when freight is good, turnover is high. I think we are seeing that, and I do think that the whole component of drivers leaving the industry is probably making it feel like the pinch is a little worse than it traditionally is from a turnover perspective. So from all of those reasons we talked about earlier, not just retirements and the normal reasons, but because people are staying home with their kids and new factors have come into play with the pandemic. 

 

I really think those are the top reasons. But if you are looking at simple high-level reasons, the freight being better is typically why turnover is high.

Question 2: Indeed always mentions to keep job titles short and sweet, what are your thoughts?

Corey

That’s a good question and a lot to unpack. For one, you should try to have that conversation with each platform you use because each one operates differently. So if Indeed makes that suggestion, maybe push back at them and ask, “why?” And so, Indeed is one of those platforms that will give you organic traffic, so if you are using shorter titles and you do get irrelevant clicks, you are not actually paying for them so there’s that potential issue you are avoiding. 

But with organic placements with high click-through rates, if the candidate sees the job description and they don’t apply, the platform will realize that this isn’t relevant or it isn’t a great job description and they are going to stop giving it organic traffic. 

From the paid side, it depends on what you mean by “short”. If it’s, “Truck Driver”, then of course that’s not going to be enough. But again, having a conversation with each platform to see what works best for them is worth having. And at the end, if you’re not sure after the conversation, it doesn’t hurt to A/B test these titles. Hardly any platform is charging you per job posting, so try a long title of your own and try a short one that the vendor recommended, and let it run for a few weeks to see what happens.

For job descriptions with keywords that are pulled to gain more impressions, some platforms do that and some don’t necessarily look that deep into your description. Anywhere that FATj syndicates, we always send the whole content of your job so that way if they can index that way based on your description, they will. But not all platforms are as sophisticated at that and there could be a loss. With the job title, maybe one of ten words in there will be a keyword, and if you just rely on that one keyword being in your description, where you probably have 300 words, it may get lost in the shuffle and not index properly.

Question 3: Do you recommend A/B testing titles or descriptions?

Corey

Yes, like I just covered. It doesn’t really cost anything extra to do A/B testing, but just remember that every time you do it you’re cutting your data in half so you can only put your budget behind so many jobs and different tests. And you need to have a decent sample size to determine whether this A actually beat the B. So make sure it’s something that has the potential. 

For example, changing exclamation points to a period is going to be negligible, and will waste your time and budget to try to get impressions for both of those scenarios to see which is better. Definitely testing, almost anything else in the title would make sense.

Question 4: How does a carrier identify quality? A qualified and quality driver?

Priscilla

I think one of the things we always challenge carriers to do is identify who is their ideal driver. What does your ideal driver look like? Where do they live? What are their habits and the way they run? 

Identifying down to character traits, because what you will begin to see is that drivers that stay with your organization who are “quality drivers” for you and your carrier, may not exactly look like other carriers. Like, if you a lot of drop and hook, then you are looking for someone that is good with that. Or if you have lots of regional runs, then you need someone who is interested in that. So I would ask your team or sit down with a group of folks at your carrier and identify what we call a driver persona, and figure out what it means to you. Because that’s what quality really means to you.

Yes, we all need a driver with a CDL and a good record and all those things, but really what do they look like? That’s a good exercise to answer your questions so you know, yes it’s a qualified driver, but are they really qualified for us? Does it make sense for us to hire this guy or girl?

Question 5: What are your tips for advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter?

Corey

So obviously we could have a whole other webinar just on social media advertising. It’s a key component that we use to generate leads as well. A lot of the same principles go hand in hand, including being extremely transparent about job descriptions. Making sure benefits are in there, and knowing you only have so much room to work with. You have a little bit more than a title, but a lot less than a description. So just make sure that in the first three lines you are highlighting the key benefits, because otherwise the user will have to click “See More” and most people aren’t doing that. Most people are just flying through and saying “Woah is that a good position or not?” 

And on social media, it’s all passive. Most job advertising that gets done is to active candidates who are willing to look through a job description to see if it meets their needs. On social media, they’re looking at all sorts of content and probably weren’t planning on applying to a job today so it has to be pretty compelling stuff. You can’t say, “Great benefits and great pay,” because that’s not going to get someone out of their newsfeed and ready to apply with you. The other big difference is that images matter a whole lot on social media, where they don’t on a job description on a job board. 

That’s probably the most important thing to A/B test on social media, trying different images. Make sure that the freight on the image extends to the audience you are targeting and the job you are advertising, but there’s a lot more we could always talk about there.

Priscilla

I’d also like to add in to make sure you always monitor your ads. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen carriers invest thousands of dollars in their social ads, and then they don’t invest in the monitoring. Either your people monitoring those ads or your agency, whoever you partner with, should be monitoring those. Those candidates are on social media and having conversations, so if they see an ad and have a question, they’re just going to comment on that ad.

And if you’re not monitoring it, it’s like a phone call that you just never answered. So be sure that you are monitoring your ads on social media.

Question 6: Special characters like colons, semi-colons, exclamation points, dollar signs, etc. in job titles; do platforms look down on that? Especially in Google Search?

Corey

Well I know with Google paid search, they won’t even let you use exclamation points or a lot of special characters so when you go to write the add, it will just delete it for you. They won’t even let you do it, and other things like all caps. They obviously do frown down upon that.

A general rule of thumb is to keep the special characters to a minimum. But of course, a lot of companies have an ampersand in their name, so they need to use it. We use dashes to separate benefits in our titles all the time and have not run into any issues. So again, really you want to talk to every platform and ask them how it works on their end and where they syndicate. But in general, keep it limited with special characters because it won’t help much.


New call-to-action

If you missed the webinar, you can view it on-demand here. We loved hosting this event, and having friends in the transportation community join us for it, and we are looking forward to inviting you to our next one.

Topics: recruitment
8 min read

12 Do’s and Don’ts for Text Recruitment

By Connor Zazzo on Jul 10, 2020 12:18:03 PM

How you define success may be different for every step in your recruitment process, but one metric that stands out most is getting a response from a driver. You are already familiar with picking up the phone to call, or sending an email, but have you looked for an even more successful channel? Getting responses when reaching out to recent applicants can be an uphill battle. Your first thought probably isn’t what method of communication will be the most successful in getting a response. That’s where text recruitment comes in.

Text messaging is becoming the most important engagement channel in any successful recruiter’s process. The stats speak for themselves. For starters, 90% of texts are opened within 3 minutes of being received. Overall, only 21% of all emails sent are opened, versus 98% of text messages. Knowing that, what do you think is the better way to connect? Reaching candidates on the device they probably applied from (84% of FATj candidates apply from a mobile device) is going to help increase your conversion rates.

We know that texting candidates can seem unconventional, but the proof is in the pudding. Text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone calls or emails. If you follow these best practices, you will start enjoying the benefits of adopting text messaging into your recruitment process. Here are the 12 do’s and don’ts for text recruitment to jumpstart your best recruitment channel.

10 Do’s

1. Introduce yourself

Tell the applicant who you are! In addition to basic professionalism, you should provide context about who you are, what your position is, and what company you are from. Do this to start each SMS conversation. Remember, candidates likely have several applications in progress.

What’s just as important as introducing yourself, is identifying exactly why you are reaching out to a candidate. This should be in every introductory message you send out. This requires a conscious effort because we don’t do this in our personal texting with our friends and family.

2. Keep it short

Whenever you see a long text message come through, are you ever excited to read it? For a lot of people, long messages can be hard to read on a mobile screen. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your text messages to the same length as you would a tweet. 140-characters should be the length limit you follow to ensure your messages are brief.

When you are asking a question, try to keep it simple. If you are asking a candidate a question over text message, think to yourself first, “Is this something I should be asking over a phone call instead?” Candidates should be able to answer any questions you send them over text message with a simple yes or no.

3. Create some templates

Do yourself a favor and create some templates. There is no need to reinvent the wheel every time you want to send out a text message to a new candidate. If you find yourself sending the same, or similar, messages often, ready-to-use SMS templates will save you some time.

Want to get a jump start on writing some SMS templates? Click the link here to check out 8 templates we guarantee will make your first text message campaign a success.

4. Always be professional

When it comes to maintaining professionalism, a little bit of extra effort can go a long way. Correct grammar is the smallest and simplest thing you can do to make a good first impression with your new candidates.

Even though texting can seem like a more casual way of communicating with just about anybody, it should not seem casual with candidates. Keep it professional, and remember that you are representing your business with every message. Emojis, abbreviations, and slang should be avoided unless it's part of your company culture.

Texts shouldn’t be any less professional in your tone and messaging. Limit the number of text messages you send, avoid the use of abbreviations and emojis, and make sure you are only reaching out during business hours unless the candidate has told you otherwise.

5. Pay attention to timing

Speaking of business hours, you must pay attention to the time you are sending your messages if you want the highest engagement rate. The best time to send a text message is between 9:00 AM and noon. The next preferable time is in the afternoon during business hours. Absolutely never text candidates outside of business hours unless initiated by the candidate.

Luckily, an employer texting study featured on ERE discovered that the best time to start sending text messages is at the start of the working day and before lunch. The study showed that:

  • 26% of candidates preferred to receive a text between 8:00 and 10:00 AM
  • 29% of candidates preferred to receive a text between 12:00 and 2:00 PM
  • Candidates tended to view texts sent after working hours unfavorably, so make sure not to schedule any campaigns after 5:00 PM

Sending recruiting text messages with a candidate in the evenings or on the weekends sends a dual negative message. First, you probably are working overtime, which isn’t exactly a perk to attract potential hires. Second, you aren’t respecting the candidate’s personal time. Stick to regular working days and hours for all kinds of communication.

One additional factor to keep in mind when deciding to text a candidate is the time zone you are both in. If you are texting across the country, or even just a time-zone over, be conscious of what hours both you and your candidate will be available.

6. Personalize your text messages

An easy way to engage your candidate from the very first message is to make sure the message is personal. Simple personalization such as including their name or the position they applied to, will help you stand out from the rest of their inbox. This little piece of customization will make the entire experience more personal for both you and the candidate.

7. End with a CTA

Adding a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each message is the best way to ensure a successful conversation with a candidate via text message. This gives both you and the candidate a direction and next steps to take in your recruitment process. If your next steps are to schedule an interview or meeting, then include a link to your calendar at the end of the text message. If you have another application you’d like the candidate to fill out online as well, then include a link to where they can fill that out.

Sometimes a CTA doesn’t have to include a link. If you are just asking a simple question, let them know they can reply with just a yes or no. Or if you are letting the candidate know that you are sending an email, make it clear when you are sending it. Ending a message with a CTA drives your conversation forward.

8. Make it easy to unsubscribe from receiving messages

You want your communication with a candidate to feel effortless, but not everyone will be receptive to receiving messages from businesses. Giving candidates an easy way to opt-out of text messages is important to providing them a positive experience with your company. The text message provider you use to connect with candidates will always have guidelines on how to provide candidates a way to opt-out of text message communications

9. Integrate with your other channels

Just because text messaging is the best way to connect with a new applicant, doesn’t mean that it’s the only method you should be using. Omni-channel communication should be a vital part of your recruitment process. It doesn’t have to be a complicated plan either.

Think about what will provide the best candidate experience, from application to hire. The first contact should be with a text message, because the candidate likely applied from a mobile device, so you will want to reach them from where they started. Then move on to emailing the candidate, because that often a more accessible format for any long forms of communication such as longer applications or any paperwork that may be required in your process. Ultimately you will be conducting the final interviews over a video call, a phone call, or an in-person meeting.

Whatever your recruitment process entails, make sure you are using the best channel for the purpose of your message.

10. Get permission

You are probably excited to start texting candidates so you can start seeing the replies flooding your inbox, but not so fast. You need permission to text a candidate in order to not only get the highest engagement but to protect yourself and your company from any legal action. That’s why getting consent from an applicant is so important for the overall success of both your campaign and your relationship.

Text message recruitment requires businesses to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), along with other regulations to ensure the candidate is protected from any unwarranted messages. Have you ever received a spam text message from a random company? If so, you already know how annoying that can be.

The most important thing you can do to ensure your text messaging channel is effective and legal is to get consent from the candidate. Written consent is mandatory to opt-in a candidate to text message recruitment. You can achieve this through including opt-in in your terms and conditions on a website form, having a candidate text a keyword to a number, or having them sign up in-person at a physical location.

However, you decide to get consent, make sure you are clear and direct with your candidate base to receive the best engagement with them.

2 Don’ts

1. Don’t use a text message to reject a candidate

Absolutely never reject a candidate through text messaging. Rejections can be tough for both parties involved, so delivering that message is best left for more traditional channels, such as emails or phone calls. It’s common that rejection notices can include information about the reason why a candidate was not accepted for a position, so longer messages are best left to channels built for them.

2. Don’t include links to a candidate’s personal information.

While text messages are convenient, fast, and easy to use to communicate with candidates, they are not always the solution to your team needs. Text messages are not encrypted or protected, which means cybercriminals can access any information that you send. For that reason, you should avoid sending any links that include a candidate’s personal information. Instead, share that information through email, which can be encrypted and protected.

Text message recruitment is a new frontier for many in the transportation community. The data behind how texting is transforming other sectors of recruitment and marketing are promising, and that’s why you should invest in tools that can propel your company forward. Texting candidates is not the single solution you need to reach every type of candidate, but it is a way to prevent situations that make the life of a recruiter harder than it should be.

Moving into text message recruiting will revamp your current recruitment process. Whether it helps you reach with candidates faster, or never drop a line of communication, the benefits will be felt for both you and the candidate.


Have questions about text recruiting, or trying to figure out a way to get started? We just introduced FATj Text as the best tool for recruitment teams to reach qualified candidates. Reach out to one of our FATj team members to learn more about how text messaging can boost your recruitment process.

If you’re looking for some templates to get started, check out our post with 19 templates you can download to get started with your next text message campaign.

Topics: recruitment
2 min read

8 Texting Templates To Boost Candidate Engagement

By Connor Zazzo on Jul 10, 2020 12:15:59 PM

If a driver applies for your open position, how are you reaching out to them? My guess is that you are either calling or emailing them because that’s what the data shows. But what if you started to really optimize your recruitment process, and connected with candidates on the channel that they apply for jobs the most? At FATj, and almost every other job site, most drivers are applying for a job from a mobile device.

98% of all sent text messages are opened at some point, so why wouldn’t you try to reach a candidate where they are almost definitely going to see your message? One reason we hear a lot is that recruitment teams aren’t sure where to start. We are here to help with that. To help you create your own recruitment strategy around text marketing, we’ve come up with 8 different texting templates to help you connect with candidates. From beginning to end, we’ve got you covered at every point in your recruitment process. To make it easy for you to scan through, we’ve broken up the templates into the seven most important stages in any text recruitment strategy.

Introduction

  • Hi, [Candidate Name]. My name is [Recruiter Name] and I am a [Job Title] at [Company Name]. Thanks for your interest in [Job They Applied For]. Our company offers great things such as [Benefits 1, 2, and 3]. When do you have time to discuss more about this opportunity?

Long Application Completion

  • Hi, [Candidate Name]. Thanks again for your interest in [Company Name]. In order to move forward with next steps, please take some time to complete our full application here [Insert Link Here]. Let me know if you have any questions. [Recruiter Name – Company Name

Qualifying Candidates

  • Hi [Candidate Name], I've reviewed your application and was hoping to ask you a few follow-up questions via text message. Sound good? - [Recruiter Name – Company Name]

Phone Interview Scheduling

  • Hi [Candidate Name], thank you for your application for our [Job Title] position! We’d like to schedule a phone interview. When is a good time for you? - [Recruiter Name – Company Name]

In-Person Interview Scheduling

  • Hi [Candidate Name], are you free [Date/Time 1] or [Date/Time 2] for an in-person interview at our offices at [Address]? If not, what works best for you and your schedule? - [Recruiter Name – Company Name]

Confirming Interviews

  • Hi [Candidate Name], we can’t wait to meet you at your interview [Date] & [Time], at [Address]. Can you confirm that still works for you? A YES or NO will do! - [Recruiter Name – Company Name]

Anti-Ghosting/Stale Candidates

  • Hi, [Candidate Name] . We haven't heard from you in a while. Are you still interested in our [Name of Position]? Is there a better day and time to connect? - [Recruiter Name – Company Name]
  • Hi, [Candidate Name], Are you still interested in new driver opportunities? If so we’d love to keep you updated on relevant positions! Check out some options here insert link - [Recruiter Name – Company Name]

We know these templates will give you the jumpstart you need to start a successful text recruitment campaign. So what are you waiting for? Incorporate them into your prospecting strategy today.

Want to always have these templates handy? Just bookmark this page to refer back to it and check up on new templates that the FATj team has added.

Topics: recruitment
6 min read

Webinar Q&A: What Really Matters to Drivers in 2020?

By Connor Zazzo on Jun 30, 2020 8:43:32 AM

On June 25, FATj's Director of Client Engagement, Amanda Fasano, was joined by Tenstreet's Client Success Concierge, Ed Leader, for a webinar on What Drivers Really Want in 2020. We received tremendous feedback from our attendees, and we wanted consolidate some of the highlights from the webinar in one place. In this post, you will be able to read through the Q&A portion of the webinar, where we received some great questions from our audience. In case you want to watch the webinar in full, you can register to view it here.

If you have any additional questions for Amanda or Ed, reach out to us at hello@fatj.com to get the answers you need.

Question 1: Should I start advertising for drivers now?

Ed

Yeah, I think that anybody that wants to get ahead of the power curve should. It's one of those things that if you do have a V-shaped recovery, you don't want to be waiting until after you have trucks sitting in the lot or missing freight. I suggest that if you think you are going to pick up in the middle of July, then you should really get going now and getting your name out there.

You should also start getting your advertising budget put together. The more eyeballs you have on your ads, the more responses you are going to get. You don't want to be in that situation where you call the Concierge Service on a Wednesday, and you need 10 drivers by the following Monday.

Question 2: What is the current activity level in regards to recruiting?

Amanda

At FATj, we are seeing a really high demand right now. I've had about 15 clients in the past couple of days come back, after being paused due to COVID-19. They are saying they need drivers now more than ever. They have been winning new contracts and new business, and we are super excited that they are seeing that.

Also, we are seeing an increase in applications coming in. A lot more serious candidates have been applying. Just a couple of months ago, there were a lot of drivers just putting feelers out there, but now the waters have shifted and we are seeing even more candidates not just apply, but also be extremely serious about the position.

Ed, are you seeing the same thing on your side?

Ed

Yeah, the last few weeks things have really picked up. To your point, this morning I had three clients that had paused because of the COVID situation, come back and say, "Listen, we need to get going. We need to get started for January." Things are definitely picking back up, and again getting ahead of that power curve is really important.

Question 3: What is the best vendor to use?

Ed

One of the things that we offer when we look at Concierge, is the make-up of your recruiting department. The vendor for a two person recruiting department is not necessarily going to be the best option for a ten person recruiting department. What we want to do is really get in and work with you and identify the goals of your recruiting department, and then build out a custom campaign. All of the merchants that we use in the Job Store have value, it's just really where does that value fit in, and how does that value support the goals of each individual recruiting department.

Amanda

I think it's super important to consider the goals of a recruiting team. If you are looking for volume, it may be a different setup or it may be different platforms that you are using. Versus someone who is looking for a fully qualified applicant. Something great about FATj is that we don't just have the job distribution piece, we also do things like Craigslist, Social Media, and Google Ads. Ed, just like you were saying, we match that up with their goals to help optimize their campaign performance.

Question 4: What does the Job Store Scrubber cost?

Ed

The Job Store Scrubber really depends on your fleet size. The best thing to do is to get in touch with your advisor and they will help you get in touch with Hayley Hitchcock, who handles drip marketing through the Job Store Scrubber. She will go ahead and set up a price and campaign for you based on fleet size and activity level.

Question 5: Do you recommend requiring new drivers in-depth surveys to help weed out bad candidates, even if it hurts our hire rate?

Amanda

On the FATj side of things, we are a short app. We drive in contact information and a couple of qualifying questions on the short form, such as years of experience, license type, and questions like that so you can quickly screen the candidate. Like we were saying before, we are fully integrated with Tenstreet. As soon as a driver fills out that short form, they are redirected to a full application where a lot of that informations is pre-populated. A lot of our clients are getting the short app, but they are also getting a full application as well. Ed, if you want to chime in on that question as well, what are your thoughts about that?

Ed

I agree 100% that where you can convert those "lead apps" as I call them, into full IntelliApps, then that's a wonderful benefit. If you are requesting two or three pieces of information, you are going to get a ton more applications. Are they going to be quality apps? Do you have the time to work them? Where if you are in a situation with IntelliApp and have FATj fully integrated into your campaign, a couple of questions in the FATj app can turn into a full IntelliApp. So really asking them as little as possible if you can convert them into a full IntelliApp is great.

If you can't convert them into a full IntelliApp, it really again depends on a lot of different factors within your recruiting department. Are you trying to build a database? Are you trying to send emails to candidates? Or tele-market to them? All of those things are going to come into play when you are building out a campaign

Question 6: For a small company like ours with a total of 40 units, we only have three to five units empty at any given time. I don't advertise all the time, so would you suggest that I advertise year round and then just respond that we are not hiring at the time?

Ed

That's kind of a personal preference. One of the nice things about the Concierge Service is that work with our clients to set that up. So if you need two or three drivers, we can turn that ad campaign on and off. You have options like Pulse Match or FATj Pay-Per-App (FATj PPA), where we can go through and set up a budget. Once we get your trucks filled, we can turn that budget off and come back to it when you need it again. There are a number of free options available that I think everybody should use to keep your name out there.

But, when it comes to hiring drivers you need we can tailor a campaign for you that you can turn on when you need to hire drivers, and turn off when your trucks are full, and then go back to turning it on. There are a lot of options out there.

Amanda

And with FATj being one of those vendors in the Job Store, what we do as well is something called a "Build-up Campaign." So say you have a goal to hire 60 drivers in September, what we do is set up custom budgets to meet your needs to hire all those drivers. So maybe you don't have the campaign running every single month, but as you get closer and you really feel the need to get all those drivers, we would help you determine how to build up your budget to meet that demand.

Ed

One more thing; that's where a drip campaign can come into play, where you can engage the applications that you already have over time. This way you can stay in the game, even when you aren't actively looking.

Question 7: We are a current Tenstreet user. We use Tenstreet for our corporate owner-operator and lease-purchase drivers, for both recruitment and hiring. We need company truck drivers and have an immediate need, what is the best way to attract those types of drivers and what resources do you recommend?

Amanda

So this is a bit of a two part question. I'll touch on ad content right now. With company drivers, just like in the survey we are seeing a lot of responses, and a lot more of those drivers applying to positions right now. Each company is very different. In this case we would take a look at what you are offering drivers, what type of freight, what type of equipment you have, and get very detailed with ad content to really showcase what you are offering those drivers.

Ed, anything you want to add to that? The second part was what resources to recommend?

Ed

Sure thing. Hiring area plays a huge factor into what resources you should use, at least I think so. If you are hiring in a 50-mile radius of Jackson, Mississippi, then you are going to want to use something like Craigslist that is going to be more focused or Google Ads. You want something that are going to be focused advertising options that can dig down and get in the smaller radius.

If you are hiring in the lower 48, there are a lot of different options that can work. Like with anything else, the smaller the target, the more expensive it is to hit. We look at those factors with the Concierge Service, to help determine what is your hiring area, what do you need to accomplish, and then help build out a custom plan to meet those goals. There are a lot of factors that come into play when putting these campaigns together.


New call-to-action

If you missed the webinar, you can view it on-demand here. We loved hosting this event, and having friends in the transportation community join us for it, and we are looking forward to inviting you to our next one.

4 min read

Q&A: COVID-Conscious Recruitment

By Connor Zazzo on May 26, 2020 11:16:39 AM

On May 19, our Director of Client Engagement at FATj.com, Amanda Fasano, was joined by our friends Mitzi Hartman and Jill Kotys, from McLeod Express for our first webinar. The topic of the webinar was How to Attract and Retain Drivers While Being COVID-Conscious, and there was a ton of insightful information that came out of it. One of the more popular segments of any webinar is the Q&A at the end, so we consolidated those questions into one post for you to read and share with your team.

If you have any additional questions for Amanda or FATj.com, reach out to us at hello@fatj.com to get you the answers you need.


 

Question: What processes that you’ve adopted over the last two months do you feel will stick around after COVID-19?

Mitzi: I can say for 100% for certain that we will stick with Zoom as our orientation platform. I think we will bring some of the hands-on training back, pre-trip inspections, the road tests, a few things like that will come back into play. As much as COVID has hurt many individuals, we have seen in our business in the transportation world, because we are so resilient, become more efficient, and make us look at things a little differently.

We see that older folk whom you might think will have a problem jumping on Zoom, or the super-drivers from years ago would be the ones who wouldn’t want to do it. But now we are hearing them tell us, “Wow, I can’t believe we can do this today!”

So I absolutely believe that we will have 85% of what we are doing now stick with us due to the success we’ve had with it.

Question: Have driver questions or objections changed for you since COVID? Or have things that drivers worry about, regarding routes and pay, remained the same?

Jill: We have seen a lot of drivers do have questions about freight and whether we can keep them running or not right now. We assure them that we can and that we are providing clean sanitized safe equipment for them, along with any necessary PPE to keep them safe and protected. We also make sure that our customers are doing that themselves with our drivers.

So far, we haven’t had a lot of objections. There maybe have been a couple of people who pushed back for a period of time. When they did have an objection, it wasn’t for very long, and they ended up coming to us within a couple of weeks as things started to settle a little bit.

Question: Do you feel that your relationship with drivers has changed during COVID-19? If so, how?

Mitzi: Absolutely. I think that our drivers feel more secure now than ever. Security, understanding, support, and communication are all things our drivers have felt because we have kept the lines open. In the beginning, and I am sure everyone else did, you are communicating every day and saying we are doing it. We were sometimes making multiple changes a day, and just keeping them informed gives them that sense of security that we do care, because we do.

Sometimes, especially pre-COVID, we say we care about drivers, but our actions did not always reflect that because they are in a cab and they have all the time in the world to think, and we are in the office busy and crazy, and they don’t see that. All they see is somebody’s not getting back to me, and not all the fires we are putting out. What’s happened here is not really a role reversal, but we’ve had to communicate so much that it gives them a sense of security. I think they absolutely appreciate the time we’ve invested keeping them going on.

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Question: How are you handling your driving tests differently?

Mitzi: We are not currently doing road tests. What we are doing is selecting drivers with enough experience that should not need a road test. We put our trainers on hold and have ceased any activity that puts two people in the cab of a truck as an organization.

Question: How do you work or communicate with drivers’ concerns during this health crisis?

Mitzi: We have a macro that goes directly to Cole McLeod, our President. We have an open-door policy, and a lot of companies say that, but they don’t live it, but at McLeod Express, we live it. He makes sure they [drivers and concerns] go through the proper channels and doesn’t take a complaint without going to a supervisor with it. Right now, if it’s a COVID complaint or COVID concern, it’s all of our concerns, no matter who receives it. It doesn’t matter, and we are all handling that. I also think our HR department has done a really good job of keeping everybody informed so we can answer those questions.


If you missed the webinar, you can view it on-demand here. We loved hosting this event, and having friends in the transportation community join us for it, and we are looking forward to inviting you to our next one. If you're looking for some best practices for driver recruitment, check out our guide here.

6 min read

3 Ways to Attract and Retain Drivers While Being COVID-Conscious

By Connor Zazzo on May 5, 2020 9:46:58 AM

According to a recent survey conducted by our team, 54.2% of recruiting professionals in the transportation industry have had drivers stop driving due to COVID-19 fears.

This is an issue neither the U.S. economy or employers have ever faced, so it begs the question: How have professionals in the trucking and transportation industry dealt with this significant shift? In combination with the historical shortage of qualified CDL drivers, this new fear makes recruiting even more challenging. Today the industry as a whole will need to adopt new ways to attract new drivers, and more importantly, retain the drivers that are already part of this vital workforce.

But where does someone even start to do this in our new world after the COVID-19 pandemic? In today’s market drivers, both actively looking for a new job or passively looking for a better gig, have endless opportunities available to them with fleets of all sizes reeling to keep vehicles on the road. So, what does this mean for you? Companies need to prove and promote that your company is COVID-Conscious. It’s a term you are going to start hearing a lot more of shortly.

To help you get started with becoming COVID-Conscious, our team has prepared some of the best methods companies in the transportation industry are using to attract and retain drivers. Read on to find the top three ways to grab a driver’s attention and keep them driving your company forward.

Why is being COVID-Conscious important?

The business operations of yesterday are forever changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today all companies have had to reinvent their business models and are learning to accept and find new ways to support their customers and employees. Being COVID-Conscious in this “new normal” means adapting to the needs of employees and candidates during this current health crisis. It also means that you are aware of the new challenges that threaten the existence of your business.

Adapting to new norms to make your company COVID-Conscious can strengthen your team and create a stronger foundation for the future. Events such as social distancing orders and extra caution around good hygienic practices can seem like a roadblock in the short term, but there are ways this can make a positive impact on a business’s profit, efficiency, and employee satisfaction.

As of April 2020, 57.2% of companies in transportation anticipate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak will have an impact on their business for the next six months to a year. Businesses cannot wait, or expect, that our society and economy to shift back to the way things operated in the past. Transportation leaders need to put processes in place that keep their business moving forward, such as adapting COVID-Conscious methods to their recruitment and retention efforts. Here are some ideas to help you.

1. Show you are aware of the situation.

First impressions matter. Your business and your recruitment methods need to reflect the changes that have taken place and how those actions are presented to candidates. In this COVID-Conscious reality, that means letting candidates know that things aren’t business as usual.

When active job seekers see your open position on a job board or social media, they should know your company isn’t treating their job likes its 2019. The job of a driver is different now, and your recruitment efforts need to show they are aware of that. This means updating job titles and adding phrases to job descriptions like; “No-touch Freight” or “COVID-19 Safe Delivery”.

Here’s an example of that from a client of FATj.com: McLeod Express.

 

McLeod_Job-1

 

This may not apply to all companies or load types, but small changes like these will also mean companies have to discuss new delivery requirements with current clients and partners. Promoting no-touch freight doesn’t just help drivers follow social-distancing guidelines, it will also save time by allowing the receiver to unload themselves and give your driver a chance to rest before they head back on the road. Making candidates aware of these changes in a job description shows that your team is adapting to what matters to them, the result is that applications will follow.

2. Be serious about personal safety.

If your headquarters or office looks the same as it did last year, there’s a good chance you may feel a little uncomfortable. That’s because the way people conduct personal safety is taking a huge leap forward right now. Hand sanitizer, face masks, and social distancing are some of the hottest commodities on the market, and your team will look for those types of personal safety accommodations. Whether you are in the office or at the shop, everyone in your company should be taking cleanliness and hygiene seriously.

There are many ways companies are taking extra precautions both at the office and for drivers out on the road. Implementing new COVID Conscious safety measures will help retain drivers, and show employees that you know how important these actions are to them. During a survey in April 2020, FATj.com asked companies in transportation what are some of the extra steps they’ve taken to ensure the health and safety of staff and drivers. The six most common responses include:

  • Providing basic PPE such as wipes, gloves, masks, etc.
  • Limiting exposure at delivery points
  • Educating on sanitation processes for vehicles
  • Taking the temperature of everyone entering the office
  • Moving interviews, training, and orientation online
  • Working from home when possible

One real-world example of these methods being implemented is Bowers Trucking. To show they are being serious about the safety of their drivers, their teams have taken to social media to prove it. Even though people may think candidates and employees expect a safe work environment, doubling down on proving that point will provide that relief.

Here's a video from Bowers Trucking that they recently uploaded to YouTube to explain their position on this:

 

3. Adapt to how you communicate.

Recruitment leaders have told our team they are already adapting to how they communicate with their workforce. We learned that 60.5% of recruitment teams at transportation companies started working from home by early-April, 2020, which is a significant increase over “normal” business operating models. So how does communication change in a COVID-Conscious workplace?

One of the easiest and most effective techniques that recruitment teams have adopted is conducting online interviews. Instead of having a candidate come to the office, recruiters and hiring managers are using tools accessible from their home, via phone and computer. 65.6% of recruitment leaders are using phone calls for their interviews in the first half of April 2020. We also found in that same survey that 16.1% of people in the industry are utilizing video calls for interviews. Both phone and video calls are great adaptations to make a candidate’s hiring process run smoothly while remaining COVID-Conscious.

Video calling doesn’t stop at just interviews. Another way we’ve seen the trucking and transportation community adapt their communication methods is with training and onboarding classes. Software that was recommended during our survey in April for virtual orientation and training include tools like:

  • Zoom
  • Google Meet
  • Slack
  • Facetime

Adaptations like phone and video calls help keep candidates and current drivers engaged with your team. Virtual methods of communication allow for more frequent and personal interaction with candidates and co-workers. There are certain things you’ll miss out on during remote work, such as water cooler or coffee maker chatter in the break room. That’s why our team strives to over-communicate with each other during times like these, to make sure everyone still feels connected while they may be far apart.

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Closing

Working in a COVID-Conscious world is something everyone is still getting used to, but for drivers, it’s their reality. People want to feel safe and understood when they work for a company, and it’s the responsibility of your team to make sure you have proper processes in place that can attract and retain drivers during these times. Some of the changes companies are making to ensure the business runs smoothly will become part of the “new normal”. But all of these changes will make a company’s relationship with its employees stronger for the long haul.

Great teams at transportation companies will not settle with these current methods of being COVID-Conscious. They will continue to adapt and innovate new methods of communications, sanitation, and promotion of these efforts. Make sure you and your team keep an open line of dialogue with your drivers and ask them what is working, and what’s not. You can learn from them so you can find out what motivates a driver to stay with your company. The lessons you learn from those who trust your team the most, are the best teachers for how your recruitment efforts can shift to attract qualified drivers.

Topics: recruitment
3 min read

The Motorcoach Community Needs Our Support

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 27, 2020 1:37:59 PM

With over 100,000 employees and 36,000 buses across America, the motorcoach industry has been hit especially hard by the effects COVID-19 has had on the economy. Bus and motorcoach drivers play an important role in transporting passengers around the country, and right now they need your attention. As the International Motorcoach Group (IMG) has stated, these companies and drivers support tourism, commuter, emergency response, intercity, and other types of charter services that reach every state.

FATj.com is a proud partner of IMG, and we want to share with you videos from other IMG members that emphasize an important message to help an overlooked industry by the latest government stimulus package. These videos feature:

  • IMG
  • Annet Bus Lines
  • Arrow Stage Lines
  • Anderson
  • Terrapin Blue

Please take a moment to share some of the videos below with your friends on social media, or reach out to your local representative to let them know we need to help our national community of motorcoach companies. They are there when we need them, now please help us support them while they need us.

You can find your local government representative and reach out to them here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

 

1. International Motorcoach Group (IMG)

 

2. Annet Bus Lines

 

3. Arrow Stage Lines

Or watch their video here on Facebook.

4. Anderson

 

 

5. Terrapin Blue

The motorcoach industry is one of the lifebloods of American transportation. Please take the time to share this message, and again you can find your local government representative and reach out to them here: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

3 min read

How To Avoid CDL Driver Ghosting

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 6, 2020 3:53:41 PM

Few things will get under a recruiter's skin like having the perfect applicant come through on paper only to have them ignore your calls and emails. When a qualified candidate applies to your driver job but you never hear back, you're left thinking: “Why did they apply to the job in the first place? Why did they waste my time?”

To decrease the number of CDL applicants that ghost your team, think about what you can do to connect with the right candidates before your competitors do. Here are a few suggestions for how to do it:

Speed Your Response Time

One technique that lowers the likelihood of an applicant ghosting you is to respond to their submission as quickly as possible. Once an applicant has taken the time to fill out your application, don't make them wait too long to hear back. The further along they get in the process, the shorter your response time should be.

Are you able to set up automatic emails after application submission, phone call, interview, offer, and on-boarding to inform the applicant of where they stand? This type of strategy can keep valuable applicants informed and engaged, reducing the risk of ghosting and saving you time down the line.


Make Your System More Efficient

Finding a way to adequately recruit and evaluate driver candidates amid a talent shortage takes certain skills. There are numerous places that CDL drivers can go to apply for jobs, and many of these are confusing, long, and involve a lot of waiting. Having a process in place for evaluating candidates can give you a leg up in a competitive environment.

Ghosting_Blog

Consider your current process. You want to know where you need to be proactive and potentially develop new driver-focused procedures. Try to add personal touches that will separate you from other companies—anything that tries to create a sense of the community you've created for your drivers. Finally, think about implementing group hiring sessions. These can relieve some of the tension recruiters feel when CDL driver candidates ghost them. Even if half of the drivers you invited do not show, your team is left with a solid cohort to meet with and start vetting in a group setting, saving you time, money, and frustration.

Identify Active vs. Passive Applicants

Another helpful tactic for reducing the number of applicants that ghost your recruiting team is to understand what type of applicant you're evaluating. Active applicants are:

  • Looking for a new role
  • Could currently be employed or not
  • Ready for a change
  • Found on a variety of platforms including job boards, job fairs, or social media

In contrast, passive applicants are:

  • Not actively seeking new opportunities
  • Currently employed
  • Less likely to be interviewing with other jobs
  • Good for recruiters who want to expand their pool

Knowing where your candidate is at can help you employ the right strategy for retention.

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Consider Your Lead Source

Where your trucker applicants come from can determine how likely they are to respond. While a bulk job board is a budget and time-friendly option with good exposure to your openings, it can produce less-serious leads. High-quality leads tend to come from direct lead sources. These platforms use advertising networks and popular industry job boards to promote your openings to skilled talent. Candidates apply directly to your company rather than seeing competitor openings as well. To reduce candidates that ghost you, consider getting your candidates from a direct lead source for reliability and high value.

Final Thoughts

If you are considering how you might improve your recruitment process for drivers, FATj may be able to help. Check out our best practices guide for all the tips and tricks to boost your driver recruitment efforts.

3 min read

Evaluating Applicants Amid a Truck Driver Shortage

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 6, 2020 3:50:26 PM

Across the Internet and by phone, there are plenty of places for truck drivers to apply for jobs. Attracting and harvesting driver applicants has never been so technologically efficient. But the issue is the type of candidate employers have at their disposal.

“It’s not a shortage of applicants,” says Rebecca Brewster, the president and COO of the American Transportation Research Institute. “It’s a shortage of qualified applicants.”

So How Do Employers Evaluate Candidate, Especially as a Severe Driver Shortage Makes Every Hire More Competitive?

The applicant’s driving licenses, of course, need to be checked to make sure they are appropriate by state, then by type of truck or cargo being carried. Interviews and driving tests are also vital parts of the evaluation process.

Driver-Applicants_Blog

But sizing up the candidate also involves retrieving and managing applicant information from multiple sources. It’s not uncommon to get duplicate applications. So application management—which is available—is vital for the evaluation process.

Some trucking firms also use recruitment marketing companies that offer different methods of looking beyond driving experience and other variables. They take intangible factors into account when trying to identify job candidates who could become top performers.

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Assessing Adaptive Learning Ability

No matter what evaluation approach is taken, companies must account for something new to previous generations–a driver’s technological awareness. Because trucks continue to become more and more technologically advanced—from mounted cameras to sensors to computer screens and software programs—a driver must be able to adapt and learn.

In “How to Hire Local Truck Drivers: Job Skills,” Monster.com lays out several other factors that must go into the evaluation process—from health screenings (does the candidate have sleep apnea?) to background checks about operating-under-the-influence, and other convictions to investigating moving violations as far back as 10 years.

Putting the Safety Record in Perspective

Brewster astutely notes that the evaluation process frequently comes down to experience and safety violations. And according to Joe Rajkovacz, director of government affairs and communications for the Western States Trucking Association, safety violations could present a big missed opportunity for the industry when it comes to qualified drivers.

He explains, for example, that drivers aren’t required to search under trucks to look for safety violations, yet they, not trucking firms, are responsible for such trouble spots as leaky wheel seals. As a result, many drivers have violations on their records.

Companies often cite these violations in weeding out job applicants, but Rajkovacz thinks companies are spiting themselves. “You can’t just take raw data and draw conclusions,” he says.

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Rethinking Legal Age Limitations

He also believes trucking firms should rethink the driver age. Many firms don’t allow drivers as young as 18 years old because they aren’t allowed to drive over state lines. He believes companies could be cheating themselves out of capable, long-term drivers. “I drove at 18,” he says. “I just didn’t cross a state line.” Even if he had, he adds, he wouldn’t have suddenly become unsafe. “It’s antiquated and ridiculous,” he says about the federal law, which now requires drivers to be 21 years old to traverse state lines.

The tide may be turning. Two years ago, federal legislators created a pilot program to lower the age to 19 ½, but only if the person was a military service member or veteran. In December, though, New York Rep. Claudia Tenney introduced a bill to extend this program to individuals 18-21 without military experience, if they have a commercial driver’s license, an unblemished driving record, and the necessary Department of Transportation training certification.

Rajkovacz doesn’t believe young drivers should just be unleashed, but they should be mentored, along the lines of Germany’s apprenticeship model. “Trucks aren’t going away,” he notes. “The question is, how do we populate people in the industry?

Looking for best practices to help find more applicants during the shortage? Check out our guide of the best tips and tricks your team needs to know.

4 min read

Trouble Recruiting Young Drivers? You're Not Alone

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 6, 2020 3:19:08 PM

The U.S. truck driver population is aging, and this is perhaps the biggest threat that the sector is facing today. With the industry already experiencing a severe driver shortage, there are not enough young drivers entering the industry to fill the empty seats needed for the upcoming retirement of drivers.

Over the last 20 years, the average age of the trucking industry shifted from a younger to an older workforce. Compared to other segments of the U.S. economy, the trucking industry has a far higher percentage of workers in the 45-54 and the 55-64 age groups.

Recruiting-Millennial_Blog

With a combination of retirements and people exiting the industry, the trucking industry will need to hire a total of 890,000 new drivers over the next decade to simply keep pace with projected nationwide freight needs. Replacing retiring truck drivers will be by far the largest factor, accounting for nearly half of new driver hires (45%).

Because the trucking industry is experiencing such an unprecedented labor shortage, some companies are already choosing to hire drivers who are beyond retirement age. Retirees age 65 and older make up 10% of the commercial truck driver population in the U.S., which is an increase over the last two decades. As long as drivers can pass a mandatory physical to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License, they can be hired. Some trucking schools are actively recruiting senior drivers, who may be looking for additional income and benefits in their retirement.

Identifying Possible Solutions

This solution has brought on another problem, however: Commercial truck accidents involving drivers in their 70s, 80s, and even in their 90s increased by 19% between 2013 and 2015. Driving any motor vehicle is a complicated task, and according to the National Institute of Health the ability to drive safely generally decreases with age.

The most significant driver shortage over all is for over-the-road (or long haul) drivers who spend weeks at a time away from home, sleeping in their trucks, showering and eating in truck stops, and the pressures of getting cargo unloaded in a timely fashion.

So what can the industry do about the truck driver shortage problem with more drivers moving towards retirement age? Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer. Various industry experts have provided some of the following possible policy solutions to address the driver shortage.

Compensation is a “critical factor” regarding solving the driver shortage, both now and in the future, according to industry transportation and logistics research group experts. The contention is that the driver pay right now for the industry, as compared to other industries, has been stagnant because of the lower rates trucking companies can charge.

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Kickstarting Ideas for Change

Other industry experts believe carriers must deploy tactics beyond pay increases to find and keep drivers for the long-term. Suggestions to address the realities that truck drivers deal with every day include:

  1. Loan assistance: Help new drivers pay off loans incurred for driver training courses.
  2. Better equipment: Trucks are the driver’s home-away-from-home and drivers are happier in well-maintained, comfortable vehicles.
  3. Focus on driver health and wellness: This is an industry-must – not in the least because poor health is reducing the lifespan of the average trucker to 61 years – 15 years below the national average – according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Financial incentives should also be considered for drivers who meet all health goals.
  4. Create clear “career paths:” Though career incentives may eventually remove some drivers from behind the wheel, clear pathways to become supervisors, dispatchers, trainers or recruiters will offer options to experienced drivers who want to stay in the trucking industry.
  5. Recruit more women: Just 5.8 % of truck drivers are women.

 

There are also tactics that the industry as a whole might use to deal with the driver shortage, such as:

  1. Lower the driving age: Interstate drivers must currently be at least 21 years of age. The 18-20 year old segment — an entire age category that the industry cannot access — has the highest rate of unemployment of any age group. (Note: Some argue that insurance rates for 18 to 25 year old drivers could be so high that only carriers that self-insure would be able to afford to hire them.)
  2. More at-home time: Potential drivers often hesitate to take a job that requires so much time away from home, especially those who are just starting out in the industry.
  3. Recruit veterans: Continue efforts to ease the driver shortage by facilitating the transition of military veterans into careers in the trucking industry.
  4. Recruit more spousal teams: Many couples may find careers in the trucking industry highly appealing.
  5. Expand truck-driving schools: More training programs and schools would help attract more drivers.
  6. Reduce driving hassles: Providing greater access to parking and showers, and minimizing driver wait time and load-unload time will help keep drivers in the industry.
  7. Packaging innovation: More efficient packaging will allow more cargo to be transported on fewer trailers.
  8. Cross-shipper collaboration: More efficiency would eliminate waste by combining heavy and light products on a single trailer and could eliminate payload from multiple shippers to smaller-volume receivers. Increasing equipment utilization not only helps increase supply but also reduces demand by getting more freight delivered by fewer trucks.
  9. Address scheduling surges: Smoothing out wasteful day-of-week, end-of-month and end-of-quarter freight surges would mean fewer trucks could move the same amount of cargo.

The Takeaway

To address the daunting driver shortage number, the American trucking industry has already taken steps to fill vacancies left by our aging workforce. The advent of advanced human resources capabilities, job advertising and sleek mobile apply solutions is making it easier to recruit better drivers.

As many top ranking trucking companies are already on the forefront of implementing new driver and employee programs to attract new talent, more measures are needed. However, the strength of the U.S. economy is directly linked to a strong trucking industry: This driver shortage issue must be tackled, head-on. 

Looking for some tips and best practices on driver recruitment to combat this issue? Check out our best practices guide for more information.

3 min read

Direct Lead Source vs. Bulk Job Boards: What's Your Lead Source?

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 5, 2020 3:58:57 PM

When it comes to finding new CDL drivers to hire, recruiters’ first stop is often a bulk job board. Recruiters can use the job boards self-serve platform to post their job and pick a daily budget and then cross their fingers for a high number of applications. Some days may be great and your team will receive a load of applications, and some days you will think that your ads stopped running.

Here’s the thing: While job boards are a great tool to gain exposure for your company and to easily post jobs, they’re not the best resource for CDL driver recruiters. Sure, maybe they will send you new candidates every day, but how often do they respond to your call? If your goal is to make a quality hire quickly and cost-effectively, your best option is a direct lead source.

Let’s break down the difference between a bulk job board and a direct lead source:

Bulk Job Boards

Job boards are a database for drivers to find a new job. With the single click of a button, drivers can send their resume out to dozens of companies at once. While this feature may seem great initially as you get a high amount of applications, recruiters using job boards experience higher competition for quality drivers. Instead of applying to one company at a time, drivers can mass apply to all the transportation companies in your area with one click. Even after clicking on your job posting, they are recommended to apply to similar jobs (hint: your competitors’). Drivers will then be inundated with calls from dozens of recruiters, making it harder for you to get in contact with them.

Bulk job boards often send recruiters database leads. This means that they automatically send you resumes that match your job description from drivers that are not actively looking for a new job. Although receiving a large number of resumes may seem positive, these drivers are unlikely to respond or take further steps to apply. Nothing is worse than picking up the phone to call a driver, only to have them say they don’t know you or your company and don’t remember applying. There's a good chance your team is experiencing headaches like this already, so solving that issue is only going to benefit productivity and increase the ROI of your recruitment campaigns.

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Recruiters relying strictly on job boards to post their jobs may get a high number of applications but lower quality and unresponsive applicants. A FATj survey has shown that more than 25% of recruiting teams in transportation have missed their hiring goals in the past year, and this is at a time where bulk job boards are the go-to method for the industry. With an already busy and sometimes hectic workday, recruitment teams shouldn’t waste their time reaching out to applicants who aren’t interested in their open positions.

Direct Lead Source

In comparison, a direct lead source is a platform for recruiters to use to find drivers. These platforms connect to advertising networks and popular industry job boards to get your job postings at the top of a driver’s search results. Drivers that see these postings apply directly to your company and are not redirected to apply to your competitors. These drivers will be more responsive because they aren’t being overwhelmed with recruiter calls.

Plus, most of these services offer fully-managed advertising campaigns, meaning that they take over all the manual labor of adjusting and updating your posts all within one platform. This frees up time for your team to focus on contacting the applicants you receive and making hires. Recruiters using a direct lead source to advertise their jobs can expect higher quality applicants and a faster time-to-hire.

We have found that over half of recruiting teams in transportation surveyed in a FATj report agree that recruiting qualified CDL drivers has gotten more difficult in recent years. A direct lead source resolves that issue, especially if you decide to use one that offers a fully managed service too. Changing up your candidate lead source will help recruiting teams produce more quality work by enabling them to spend more time talking to qualified candidates and less time sourcing them.

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The Take-Away

If you’re looking for a reliable way to find new drivers, a direct lead source is your best option. This method will deliver you a steady stream of unique and qualified leads that your team can pick and choose from. Driver recruiting is about value over volume and while job boards may provide a high quantity of applications, they lack in terms of quality. Direct lead sources benefit transportation and logistics companies immensely, by enabling them to bid on more business and pick up more contracts knowing they have a constant flow of new candidates and prospects. 

Interested in more best practices on driver recruitment? Check out our ultimate guide to learn more.

3 min read

Top 3 Reasons You Can't Find New Drivers

By Connor Zazzo on Mar 4, 2020 3:28:16 PM

Finding qualified and licensed drivers is a growing challenge for employers. The trucking industry will need an additional 1.1 million new CDL-qualified drivers over the next decade as older drivers retire and industry safety standards continue to increase.

We've surveyed and talked with countless trucking and transportation professionals, and here are the 3 biggest mistakes we see recruiters make that are costing you new qualified applicants.

1. You're posting jobs where they aren't looking

Qualified CDL candidates are inherently on the move, and they're looking for jobs on the move, too. With today's drivers spending more time on mobile devices, it's important to connect with them on their terms. Qualified applicants spend more time researching companies on their phones and use social platforms and mobile-friendly job postings to apply for them.

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Industry recruiters overwhelmingly agree. In our 2019 Trucking Recruitment Report, 98% listed social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook as key places to recruit drivers, while 92% believe that offering shorter, more responsive job applications that are easily completed on a mobile device is key to attracting new candidates.

2. Your job descriptions aren't attracting candidates

We see drivers researching companies more, looking at everything from the clients they work for, the hours they work, and the types of trucks they're driving. When you're recruiting CDL drivers, make sure your job descriptions touch on the areas of the job that are the most important to truckers.

The professionals we surveyed told us that, more than location and amenities, what they care about most is pay and the amount of home time they can expect to see. They also listed these other factors as major considerations:

  • Benefits
  • Company reputation
  • Rider policy

Beyond the personal satisfaction of a job that meets their needs, you can expect that more prospective drivers are taking the time to look at your company's employee reviews to ensure that drivers are treated fairly and valued for their service and expertise. It's important to keep an eye on your online reputation if you want to attract new CDL candidates.

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3. You aren't allocating your ad spend efficiently

Younger drivers and millennials who are more comfortable with technology increasingly scout for new jobs online, so it's important to allocate your ad spends accordingly. Because the use of social platforms is on the rise among CDL candidates, advertising on these platforms and through the following mediums is an effective way to recruit for qualified drivers:

  • Social ads: Try allocating some of your ad dollars to social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Create highly visual and modern graphics, or experiment with short videos using driver testimonials and company benefits. You can boost posts that perform especially well and experiment with custom messaging on each platform.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): Today, Google is a natural first stop for researching both jobs and companies. PPC ads are another way to reach prospective drivers. By “bidding” on the right keywords, you'll ensure that qualified drivers see your company in their search.
  • Direct leads: A direct lead source like FATJ.com connects you to both advertising networks and popular job boards to deliver you high-quality leads you can act on. Take out some of the guesswork of bulk job boards by investing in direct leads that hand you vetted, CDL-qualified drivers who are looking for work.

The Takeaway

Identifying the issues that may be keeping candidates from applying to your jobs can be time consuming. There are countless variables to the application and recruitment process that hiring managers and recruiters need to be aware of, so it makes sense if some of the smaller items are glanced over. This results in the unqualified and unengaged candidates making it to your inbox.

Today's recruitment requires much more attention to detail. Whether that is monitoring the ROI of a campaign you are running, or having someone double check the job description to make sure no details are left out. The industry will keep changing over the next decade, and so will the requirements of what it takes to be a successful recruiter. If you're trying to brush up on some more best practices, check out our guide of best practices on driver recruitment for some tips and tricks of the trade.

Interested in signing up for a free recruitment consultation? Click here to learn more about FATj's fully managed campaigns today.

Topics: recruitment
4 min read

Try Social Media Recruitment To Find Drivers

By Connor Zazzo on Feb 5, 2020 2:30:02 PM

The world of recruitment is constantly changing. You can still find a trucking job candidate by running an ad in a local newspaper, but this method has lost a lot of its efficiency in recent years. In some places, local newspapers can be scarce, and your job candidates are looking somewhere else entirely for new positions: the internet.

Even online recruiting is going through a shift. You used to be able to post job descriptions on sites like Indeed or CareerBuilder, but that’s just not enough anymore, especially in the hyper-competitive trucking industry.

Recruitment on social media has been going through something of a renaissance in the past couple of years. Instead of placing ads in front of active candidates who are looking for a job in your industry, social media allows companies to start targeting passive candidates who were not necessarily looking for a new job but could be interested in yours.

The growing driver shortage is no secret in the trucking industry. There are tens of thousands of opportunities going unfilled, and the demand is only getting more intense. Some drivers are using the demand to their advantage, scanning for new opportunities when they have idle moments online. Others are letting opportunities come to them.

Recruiting “Passive” Candidates with Social Media

When someone isn’t actively looking for a job but might be open to the right opportunity, they’re usually referred to as a “passive” candidate. An estimated 60 percent of the workforce falls into this category.

These candidates are already employed, so they don’t have the same fire under them as an active job seeker might. You have to catch their attention, and that requires a proactive approach.

There are several techniques for reaching passive job candidates—referral programs, for example, or Boolean searches of LinkedIn profiles—but social media advertising is one of the most effective for CDL recruiters. Here’s how it can offer you a great bang for your buck.

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1. High Traffic

Facebook is the third most-visited website in the world. It has 2.41 billion active users worldwide, including 240 million users in the US alone. That’s close to 70 percent of the country’s entire population.

You can reach almost anyone on Facebook—but as a recruiter, you don’t usually want to cast that wide of a net. Fortunately, Facebook is great at helping advertisers focus their searches and has become a valuable lead source.

2. Detailed Audience Targeting

Facebook’s social media marketing team has developed three distinct tools for advertisers. Each one can help you put your job posting in front of the right people.

  • Core Audiences: Pick out the important characteristics that you want your audience to share. This includes factors like age, past work experience, education level, and pages followed.
  • Custom Audiences: Facebook can also target your ad to people who have interacted with you or the hiring company. Maybe they’ve visited your site, added themselves to your contact list, or downloaded your app. Whatever the case may be, Facebook can help to keep them in the loop by showing them your job ads.
  • Lookalike Audiences: If you have an active Facebook presence, you can use information about your followers to broaden your reach. All you have to do is tell the site what subsets of your audience you want to re-create—those who have clicked on your job ads, for example. Facebook will then target your job posting to other users who are demographically similar to the people you specified.

Using these tools, you can position your ads so that they reach the most receptive audience. You can even adjust your targeting as you go. If your first campaign does well, you can create more audiences the next time and broaden your candidate pool. You may even reach people who aren't truck drivers yet, but who start to consider it after they view your ad.

3. Low Cost Per Applicant

Ad targeting can help to refine your search, but you have to start with a wide audience. Otherwise, you won’t reach enough people to justify the cost of the ad.

Facebook is by far the best platform for recruiters in the trucking industry. A survey from Truckers News revealed that 63 percent of truck drivers use Facebook, compared to 15 percent for Instagram and 14 percent for LinkedIn.

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What’s more, Facebook is one of the top three sources that truck drivers use to actively look up industry information. These active industry participants are among the people who view your CDL job ads, and they make great job candidates.

The Take Away

Mastering social media recruitment is not a skill someone can just learn overnight, because it takes practice and time. Recruitment teams need to understand their audience, know what they are interested in, and know how to handle the trial and error of starting up social media campaigns.

At FATj.com, we know how to recruit CDL drivers on Facebook. Applying best practices of social media recruitment, we achieve optimal ROI for our clients' job postings 90 percent of the time.

Results like that don't happen by chance. They happen when you learn from the best and invest in reaching the right audience.

If you’re looking to fill a CDL driver position, get some quick tips in our best practices guide on driver recruitment.

3 min read

Losing Applicants? Think About Mobile Short Forms

By Connor Zazzo on Feb 4, 2020 11:31:48 AM

It takes more setup and time than one would think to get job seekers to click on your application, but that’s only the beginning of the process. Not everyone who starts a job application will complete it, and some of those users that bounce off your job description may be your star candidates.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to whether someone gets to the end of a job application. Sometimes the candidate feels that they’re not qualified or not a good fit for the company. More often, however, the problem is the application itself.

At least 60 percent of the time, people give up on job applications because they’re too long or complex. If you’re demanding more of your applicants than is necessary, you might be driving them away—especially if they’re on mobile.

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According to Glassdoor, trucking has the third-highest share of mobile job applicants, just behind package handling and restaurant management at 74 percent. Three out of every four candidates are filling out your application on their phones. It makes sense, especially when you consider that most applicants are working and on the road—nowhere near a computer.

At FATj, we’ve found that the percentage of mobile job applicants in the industry is even higher—above 80 percent, to be specific. If applicants have trouble filling out your application on their phones, they’ll go somewhere else.

Keep your audience in mind and make sure that their favorite method of job searching works for them. After all, who’s going to work for a trucking company that doesn’t understand the trucker lifestyle?

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Creating the Mobile-Responsive Application

Research from Appcast has shown that when a company uses short forms that take 5 minutes or less to finish, its application completion rate is 300 percent higher. In the trucking industry, where the driver shortage is estimated at more than 60,000 drivers and rising, that increase in candidate numbers makes all the difference.

It’s difficult to create mobile-optimized job applications, especially because browsers are constantly updating and changing their formatting. In addition, there are a wide variety of screen sizes to test for. Is your audience applying for your job from a phone, a tablet, or their desktop? Maybe you haven't looked into that yet, If you want to be sure that your application is mobile-friendly, you have to test it yourself regularly.

Here are the top three things to look for:

  1. Is the font readable? Is it big enough on the mobile screen?
  2. Is your job application easy to navigate via touchscreen—can you easily click on text boxes, checkboxes, and buttons without making a mistake or clicking the wrong field?
  3. Is your job application form recognizable as your brand, or does it look like a generic application? If it looks too generic, consider adding a logo or changing the colors to be more engaging for applicants.

Above all, pay attention to your experience with the user interface. If you have trouble getting to the end of the application, your top-choice hires will struggle even more.

Count On the Pros

At FATj, CDL recruitment is what we do. We keep our site optimized for mobile so that whenever candidates apply with one of our client companies, they can move through the process easily no matter what kind of device they're using. You can learn more about other best practices from our team in our ultimate guide for driver recruitment.

Want in? Reach out to us today to schedule a free recruitment consultation. We will help you to improve your CDL driver application conversion rates, filling more jobs and reducing your number of open seats.

4 min read

3 Tips To Optimize Truck Driver Job Descriptions

By Connor Zazzo on Feb 4, 2020 11:11:28 AM

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!”

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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.

The Take-Away

When we're teaching people how to write a CDL driver job description, we suggest an 80-10-10 balance.

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  • 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.

Topics: recruitment
4 min read

Pro Tip to Hiring Drivers: Connect With Them Faster

By Connor Zazzo on Feb 4, 2020 9:55:13 AM

When someone goes to the store and buys groceries, they get a receipt. When they get in the car and turn the key, the dashboard lights up. But what happens when they submit a job short form application online?

The response time when applying for jobs online all depends on the post-application practices of the company and recruiter. Making sure your practices are in line with industry standards and applicant expectations can be the difference between a qualified new employee, and a missed opportunity.

After They Click “Apply”

Picture a trucking job candidate who responds to two job ads.

One recruiter picks up the phone as soon as the application comes in and calls the candidate while they’re still at home. The momentum of the application process stays alive, and the candidate feels better knowing that someone’s interested. Maybe they even got offered an interview and are now truly excited about the company.

The second company calls the next day. The candidate agrees to an interview, but the first job is already at the front of their mind. They’ve already forgotten most of the details about this other company, and they’re at risk of falling out of the hiring pipeline entirely.

Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and you don’t want to be the recruiter who’s stuck playing catch-up.

Competing for Candidates

Among a group of 800 recruiters surveyed by Jobvite, 74 percent reported that hiring in 2019 was more competitive than it had been the year before. Additionally, 67 percent reported that their candidate pool was too small for comfort, and that’s particularly true in the world of trucking.

The for-hire trucking industry has been struggling with a worker shortage for years. The American Trucking Association last measured the gap in 2018 at 60,800 drivers needed, an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2017. Predictions suggest that at this rate, the shortage might grow to 160,000 by 2028, even as almost 100,000 new jobs hit the market.

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Recruiter Response as Reputation Management

With qualified workers in short supply, it’s crucial for your company to maintain a good reputation with employees and potential hires.

Everything gets reviewed on the internet now, including jobs and companies. Job applicants pay attention to how attentive you are and how easy you make the hiring process, and they share their thoughts on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor.

Candidates will touch on many different factors in these reviews. Sometimes they’ll talk about things you as a recruiter can’t control, like the salary or benefits that the company offers. But they’ll also talk about the candidate experience, and you do have control over that.

Optimizing the Candidate Experience

In trucking, as in many other in-demand industries, it’s a candidate’s market. You have to sell your opportunity just like you would sell a product or service because, like any sales professional, you have competitors.

Your competitors are trying to recruit the same candidates you are. Candidates who know the industry know they’re in demand, and they won’t stick around forever waiting for your response. If you don’t meet their interest in the position with interest in them as a candidate, they’ll move on to someone who will. And they won’t wait around very long to do it either, especially when there are plenty of other opportunities competing for their attention.

To keep applicants engaged with you and your opportunities, you have to reach them soon after they apply. But exactly how long should a recruiter take to respond?

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Recruiter Response Time: What’s Ideal and What’s Realistic?

Many industry experts claim that recruiter response time should be less than five minutes from when you receive an application. It’s a rule of thumb that’s based on lead response time in sales, and it’s a good idea in theory. But how many recruiters in the trucking industry have time to watch their inboxes all day waiting for a new application?

At Find a Trucker Job, we work in the real world with real recruiters. We’ve found that a half-hour is much more realistic, and it still shows that you’re interested in the candidate and respectful of their time.

How to Reduce Your Response Rate

A half-hour can still go by quickly when you’re doing other things. To make sure you can respond to candidates within that window, create a few standard email templates that can be sent out quickly when you get a new application.

Here are a few ideas to start:

  1. An email for when you only have time to acknowledge receipt of their application
  2. Another email for candidates you know you want to interview
  3. And lastly, one for candidates that aren’t qualified

Create a subject line that uses the person’s name—it improves open rates by 26 percent. Use active and inviting language, especially for those emails that might be going to your new top candidate.

Work With the Pros

If you haven't already, there's loads of more advice like this in our blog that recruiters FATj has worked with are already using to make a different in their hiring process. You can check out some of the highlights on our best practices for driver recruitment guide here.

But if your team is looking to excel in the way you find drivers, and you are interested in looking like a superstar, we've got you covered. We can help you improve your response time to candidates and even fine-tune your language so you keep the excitement going. Reach out to us today to set up a free recruitment consultation.

3 min read

Active vs. Passive Job Seekers: What’s the Difference?

By Connor Zazzo on Jan 30, 2020 4:07:04 PM

If you’ve ever tried recruiting new candidates for your open positions, you’ve likely realized that candidates can be split up into segments: active and passive. The terms active and passive refer to the candidates’ role in their job search. Simply put, active candidates are those candidates that are actively looking for a new role and passive candidates are those that are not. In a competitive driver market, it’s important that transportation and logistics companies today are able to identify what types of candidates they need.

Any recruitment team that is looking to boost hiring efforts needs to take a step back and ask themselves a question before they post their next job: what type of candidates are you trying to advertise to, and where can you find them? Answering that question can reduce loads of headaches and will help streamline your recruitment efforts.

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What’s an Active Candidate?

Whenever someone applies for your open position directly, they are considered an active candidate. They can be either employed or unemployed, however, what makes them unique is that they are taking an active role in their job search. Typically active candidates are going online and actively searching for a job for multiple days on end. This can be through job boards, social media, or Craigslist.

This is typically what recruitment teams hope they will receive when they are advertising jobs, both online and in more traditional methods. To increase the active candidates you receive from your job posts, your job needs to stand out from the competition and make it clear that your company and team is the one to work with.

Key indicators of what makes an active candidate include:

  • They’ve applied via short form or application
  • Can be either unemployed or employed
  • Usually a shorter time-to-fill
  • Found through job ads, online presence, or job fairs

A best practice when reaching out to these candidates is to do so in a timely manner since the competition will be high if they’ve applied to multiple companies in your region. You can learn more about some other recruitment best practices from our ultimate guide on driver recruitment here.

What’s a Passive Candidate?

If you have a database of past candidates that you are tapping into when you are looking to fill open positions, those are considered passive candidates. There’s no time frame it takes for an applicant to be considered a passive candidate, however, if you haven’t scrubbed through your database in a while, the chances are they may not be interested.

There are also other methods recruiters can utilize to source new passive candidates. One example of an effective way to make a connection with passive candidates is getting job ads in front of them and piquing their interest enough to click on the ad and go through the application. Simply put, a passive candidate is not looking for a new job, but that doesn’t mean your team can’t win them over.

Key indicators of what makes a passive candidate includes:

  • They’re not searching for new opportunities
  • Usually employed
  • Can be sourced through referrals
  • Helps recruiters expand their candidate pool

These passive candidates can be harder to get on the phone, let alone getting in for an interview, however, they are still a valuable resource for your team to utilize when you are looking to recruit at scale. Before posting your jobs, think about what optimal ROI for job advertising would be for your team, and then move your recruitment strategy forward from there.

What Kind of Candidate Do You Need?

The simple answer for your team is that you will need both active and passive candidates to really succeed in recruitment. While having active candidates apply to your open positions is the ideal situation for any team, it can be overwhelming to manage multiple job boards and make sure your team is getting optimal ROI. Passive candidates are important since they do make-up 70% of the workforce, however without knowing if they are interested or qualified it can be time-consuming to continuously track down every candidate in your database.

Experimenting with tools and services to make driver recruitment simpler and more efficient is a growing trend today in order for recruitment teams to meet their hiring goals.

Want to learn how to start receiving more unique and qualified candidates to quickly fill your open positions? Check out our best practices guide for some quick and actionable tips for your driver recruitment efforts.

Topics: recruitment