Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “Expert Panel | NAIL the 3 R’s: Recruiting, Referrals & Retention”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time, so our presenters, Nate Tellis, CTO and Co-Founder at RocketCDL, and Max Farrell, CEO and Co-Founder at 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: Referral Bonus...Yes or No?
RocketCDL: Absolutely! But a referral bonus is just one piece of what makes a successful referral program. A healthy company culture, well maintained equipment, and consistent communication are all pieces that need to be in place for a referral program to thrive. A successful referral program is more often than not a reflection of a successful driver culture at your company, so thinking about your referral bonus in this context will lead you to success.
WorkHound: In driver feedback, we’ve found that referral bonuses are beneficial, but they must be easy-to-understand, repeated often, and possible to achieve – meaning no loopholes. When it comes to any kind of incentives for employees, it’s always important to consider trust and loyalty as key components.
Question: How do you deal with drivers touching freight or not touching freight?
RocketCDL: This question highlights a bigger idea that we’ve tackled with numerous other issues with our partner carriers. Negotiating or dealing with something that potentially causes issues with drivers can be tricky, but the key is to get ahead of the issue with consistent and clear communication from the beginning of the recruiting funnel all the way to onboarding and beyond. If you expect your drivers to be hands on with freight, then be clear about this expectation from the get go.
Question: Where are you getting your best referrals?
RocketCDL: Drivers onboarded in the first 90 days of their tenure consistently provide the best for referrals. New drivers are excited to start driving for your company, and they also often have lots of connections they’re excited about referring. New drivers are looking to you to communicate about company culture and benefits, so this can be a tremendous opportunity to market the benefits of your referral program as new drivers come through the door.
WorkHound: Happy drivers provide the best referrals. It’s important to consider that asking for referrals is putting a driver’s credibility on the line. They all know someone who could potentially work for you, but would they want to? From our standpoint, we know that drivers want to provide referrals when they’re proud of your company’s culture and offerings in exchange for their work as drivers.
Question: I typically shy away from rehires and referrals, as my company offers recruiters a lot less money for these, and they see them as though they are already sold despite spending the same amount of time on them. What's your thoughts on that?
RocketCDL: If your company financially disincentives referrals and rehires, it’s totally understandable why you would shy away from these recruiting sources. That being said, we know for a fact that rehires and especially referrals provide a better ROI for companies than other leads sources. Referral hires are all about relationships, and they bring much more to the table than just another filled truck.
WorkHound: While this is an understandable sentiment, it’s important to think about your time as a recruiter. From our understanding, it’s much easier and faster to achieve rehires and referrals. The value of your own incentives as a recruiter is a completely different conversation, but taking care of referrals and rehires is certainly a more efficient use of your time and you can, therefore, accomplish more than in the situations where you’re recruiting via cold outreach.
Question: What's the magic formula for a robust referral program?
RocketCDL: The magic formula for a robust referral program has many ingredients. A healthy driver culture, well maintained equipment, consistent communication, and exciting incentives are all things necessary for an amazing referral program. All of these components take months or years to put into place, so planning strategically, rather than being reactive, is likely the most important ingredient. The amazing thing about referral programs is that if you have the ingredients in place, you’re probably already doing amazing things that will show dividends beyond just your referral program.
Question: Do you know of a free online source to do a feedback questionnaire?
RocketCDL: There are many free online questionnaires, such as Google Forms. However, getting survey results is just one piece in a larger puzzle about driver feedback. Understanding the context behind the feedback, interviewing drivers, and gaining trust around the feedback process are critical pieces in achieving your goals.
WorkHound: There are lots of free resources for feedback questionnaires. However, it’s our responsibility to make sure you’re getting the best, most accurate information, so we should also share that survey questionnaires will often introduce bias in your communications. For example, if you ask about pay, suddenly everyone has a problem with it, or if you ask about equipment they’ll tell you it should be newer or nicer, rather than getting to the root of problems that should actually be solved. Additionally, this style of survey also doesn’t happen frequently enough. As we all know, drivers can be happy on Monday, something happens on Tuesday, and then they’re gone by the end of the week. That being said, we always want to answer your questions, and if you’d like to gain some free feedback and get started on change management at your company, Google forms is a good place to start.
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.
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