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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.


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.

Connor Zazzo

Written by Connor Zazzo

Connor is the Marketing Manager for FATj.com, 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 FATj.com? Connect with him on LinkedIn!