Connor Zazzo

Connor Zazzo

Connor is the Marketing Manager for, focused on providing valuable insights to help drive forward the hiring efforts of recruitment teams across the country. Interested in reaching out to Connor to learn more about Connect with him on LinkedIn!

Recent posts by Connor Zazzo

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 to get the answers you need.

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


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?


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?


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?


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?


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.


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?


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.

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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.


  • 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 to get the answers you need.

Question 1: Should I start advertising for drivers now?


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?


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?


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?


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.


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?


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?


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?


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?


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.


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.


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?


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?


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, 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, reach out to us at 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 McLeod Express.




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, 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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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