Webinar Q&A: "A CDL Recruiter's Guide to First Impressions"

Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “A CDL Recruiter's Guide to First Impressions”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time, so our guest presenter, Max Farrell, Co-Founder and CEO of WorkHound, answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post.

If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!

Question: Can there be a second chance to make a first impression? 

Answer: It might be tough, but there will be times you will fumble, especially when you’re onboarding a new position. In times like these, you have to acknowledge your mistakes or shortcomings, own up to them, and directly ask for input on how to best make changes for the future. Being transparent and honest can go a long way.


Question: Can you please speak to first impressions as it relates to the background screening of applicants?

Answer: It’s important to make the process as simple as possible. The application and background screening can be very complicated, so make sure to work with your applicants to help them navigate the process. Making a good first impression means you’re being supportive, helpful, and respecting people’s time from the very beginning.  


Question: How often should I be evaluating my first impression?

Answer: It’s best to have a conversation quarterly because things can change very quickly.


Question: How often should I be evaluating my training program?

Answer: You should be regularly auditing and reviewing the way your training is being conducted, both in the experience trainers are offering as well as the value the trainees are receiving. This could mean quarterly or even more often as you receive feedback. 


Question: Is there a way to fix a bad first impression experience?

Answer: It starts with being vulnerable, recognizing that you have room for improvement, and gathering input from the people who have been impacted to help you get better and move forward together.


Question: Not everyone takes feedback in the light that it is a positive step to improve. How would you suggest sharing feedback in a "gentle" way?

Answer: You could reframe the feedback in a couple of different ways, like approaching the feedback from an angle of care and concern. People are generally more responsive when they know you’re on their side and want to help. Remember to share your own perspective instead of placing blame on the other party. 


Question: Is there a difference in first impression when it comes to large carriers versus small carriers?

Answer: Certainly, people will align with the size of a company because of the expected experience they’re going to receive. More importantly though, people want to know who to contact when they have an issue regardless of the size of a company. Having a point of contact is very critical whether you’re a large carrier or a small carrier.


Question: What do you think of a single point of contact vs a rolodex of departments?

Answer: If your team can do one point of contact well, that’s better than haphazardly doing multiple contacts, and vice versa. Make it as easy for the driver as possible in whatever ways you can. 


Question: Do you have any advice on how to recruit quality prospects/hires?

Answer: Be communicative, transparent, and honest. It’s important to align expectations and then follow through with them. 


Question: Is there a certain time that we should be reaching out to new hires to see how things are going?

Answer: Having regular and consistent communication with new hires is vital. It’s also important to make yourself available should they have any questions and need to reach out.


Question: Is there a difference in first impressions between more senior drivers and brand new younger drivers? Should we interact any differently?

Answer: At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel valued, heard, and respected. Asking for input, listening, and following through with the changes you make is important regardless of someone’s tenure or experience. 



Interested in learning from similar resources? Check out these on-demand webinars: 

CDL Driver Recruiters: What You Need to Know About Recognizing and Avoiding Unconscious Bias

Expert Panel | NAIL the 3 R’s: Recruiting, Referrals & Retention


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