Connect With CDL Drivers – Without Overwhelming Them

Recently, Wendy Bartz, DriverReach's VP of Customer Experience, was in Orlando at the American Trucking Association SSHR Conference, presenting on a topic near and dear to any CDL driver recruiter's heart: how to successfully connect with drivers.

People + Process = Prosperity

 In her presentation, Wendy discussed the importance of connecting and engaging with drivers without overwhelming them. This approach can be boiled down to a simple formula: people + processes = prosperity.

So what does this formula mean, exactly? On the one hand, drivers are the most critical assets any carrier has for succeeding as an organization. Without your drivers, your trucks are stuck in a lot, not on the road where they belong. Every decision a recruiting team makes – how to engage drivers, what channels to use, what questions to ask, etc. – must lead back to what is most valuable for the drivers themselves.

On the other hand, your team must also rely on processes and workflows to be successful. Recruiters can't just reach out to drivers willy-nilly, and organization is critical. When both this people-facing aspect and process-facing understanding align, your team can start to see true success where it matters: your bottom line.

Put yourself in the driver's shoes

Unfortunately, it's easy for recruiters to get a little overly excited when it comes to engaging drivers where and when they are most receptive. Finding qualified drivers for a team isn't easy, so it's normal to get carried away when one comes along.

According to Wendy, recruiters must take a step back and refocus where it matters – on the CDL drivers. Let the drivers themselves take the reins instead of information dumping at a prospective driver over the phone or droning on and on in an onboarding session. Keep this guideline in mind: your drivers should be doing about 80% of the talking during any conversation, while you should only be contributing around 20%. If this ratio seems off from where you are now, consider these tips.  

Ask your drivers open-ended questions that prompt them to share more about themselves, their career goals, and past experiences. Try to understand what drives them in their career, what they are looking to achieve, and what they are looking for in a carrier employer. If you're working with trainees or onboarding drivers, make sure you ask for input and feedback.

Want to learn more?

If you want to hear more about Wendy's presentation at this year's SSHR conference, you can connect with her on LinkedIn. Additionally, you can access tons of educational resources, action plans, and guides for delivering modern, driver-focused recruiting experiences by checking out the DriverReach blog here.


Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.

Listen to Taking the Hire Road podcast, hosted by Jeremy Reymer and in collaboration with FreightWaves, for timely conversations with industry experts. For more information, or to join a live group demo, visit


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