Truck drivers are the lifeblood and muscle of any asset-based transportation business. Each trucking company has its best ways to recruit truck drivers to attract and hire the best candidates.
This article spills the beans on the best truck driver recruiting strategies based on our 5-year experience in helping US carriers of all sizes hire professional CDL drivers.
While all truck driver recruiting strategies can be largely divided into online and offline ones, the sweet spot in the middle is where you want to be. First things first, an Application Tracking System (ATS) is the backbone of your whole hiring workflow. Simply put, it’s your truck driver database with a focus on your activities and recruiting efforts. Without an ATS in place, it’s impossible to track your recruitment progress and streamline processes.
Ideally, your ATS should be seamlessly integrated with your lead channels. This way, all candidates land in your ATS, which makes it easy to process and engage with them.
When it comes to lead generation, there are multiple channels and truck driver recruiting ideas to employ in your hiring strategy.
Truck Driver Recruiting Tips
Out of all social media, we give precedence to Facebook because:
- According to various online sources, a whopping 63% to 75% of truck drivers are active Facebook users.
- The Cost per Lead is still reasonable, ranging from $2.5 to $60 per applicant (depending on location, type of freight, and experience).
- The Cost per Hire is also the lowest among other channels and varies between $250 to $1,200 when done right.
- Facebook Ads deliver the highest quality leads compared to other platforms like job boards.
- With Facebook Ads, you become the master of the recruitment road and can tweak or test to your heart's content, getting a steady stream of candidates that you have full control over.
If you’d also like to target younger demographics like Gen Z, you’d better include TikTok in your hiring mix. This social media platform is booming and semi-truck drivers are on TikTok.
Some tips and hints you need to take into account when running TikTok ads:
- TikTok is all about videos, so create some killer video ads. From our experience, driver-generated content in the form of video testimonials performs best of all.
- Keep swapping creatives regularly to reach a wider audience and attract more candidates.
- Mind you, the average Cost per Lead (CPL) and Cost per Hire (CPH) on TikTok might be higher than on Facebook, but don't fret – TikTok is catching up with the big boys.
Good old job boards like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, etc., also yield good results, especially if your transportation company has a rock-solid brand identity and a stellar reputation.
Before posting your truck driving jobs on any of these platforms, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- The quality of candidates you get through job boards can vary, so buckle up for a wild ride.
- Job boards have their limits and might not be the scalable source you need if you're looking to hire 15+ new drivers a month. And let's face it, the more CDL license drivers you need, the more it can dent your budget when using job boards.
- Be prepared for a longer time-to-hire compared to social media advertising.
From our experience, the majority of unqualified drivers apply through job boards. So, it's wise to tighten the screening and background checking process for these candidates. But keep in mind that it's not a one-size-fits-all solution and depends on your specific job offer. For instance, carriers recruiting for local routes usually have no problem filling their positions.
We’d also like to shed some light on the most ‘neglected’ yet effective online recruitment sources. We’re talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Ads. Very few transportation companies incorporate these methods into their truck driver recruiting strategies because:
- You need to have a dedicated professional on your team to run, optimize, and fine-tune SEO and Google Ads.
- It takes much more time and funds to see the payoff. However, you get more benefits in the end such as enhanced brand awareness and inbound lead generation - it's like hitting the turbo boost on the recruitment highway!
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your readiness to make long-term investments and generate greater value for the business or just settle with quick wins.
Last but not least among our truck driver recruiting tips is to optimize your digital presence via your corporate website. Just like you screen and perform background checks on candidates, drivers will vet their potential employers. And the first place they will go to is Google and your website.
Make sure your website has the essentials to make a lasting impression and convert potential hires. Here's a non-exhaustive checklist:
- Showcase pay and benefits details.
- Provide info about equipment and hometime.
- Feature driver reviews and testimonials.
- Embed a Short App to collect candidates’ info.
Now, let's put the pedal to the metal and mention the best offline ways to attract CDL drivers – company culture and driver referrals. They go hand in hand, and from our conversations with recruiting leaders, an outstanding company culture secures hires through good old word of mouth. We even know large fleet businesses that fill 80-90% of their positions through driver referrals.
To wrap it all up, there’s no single best way to recruit CDL drivers, and any strategy needs a technology boost. In particular, we mean recruitment automation since it:
- Saves your recruiters a ton of time per week.
- Makes their work more efficient and driver-focused.
- Replaces manual candidate processing, engagement, and reactivation.
In conclusion, effective truck driver recruitment is a balanced blend of online and offline strategies. Harnessing social media platforms, job boards, SEO, and Google Ads is vital for broad reach, while offline methods like fostering company culture and driver referrals add a personal touch.
Remember, your digital presence, especially your website, is essential for attracting and converting potential hires. All these efforts should be underpinned by robust technology and automation for an efficient, driver-focused hiring process.