Webinar Q&A: Impacts on Driver Recruitment Amidst Covid 19

Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “Impacts on Driver Recruitment Amidst COVID-19”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time frame, so our presenter from FATj.com, Alex McKeown, has answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post.

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

Question: Are most companies still doing orientations? 

Answer: Nearly all companies are still conducting orientations, they have just adapted to doing them remotely in most cases. Fortunately that’s become easier to manage with solutions like DriverReach. 

Question: How are others covering road tests?

Answer: When road tests are being performed (they aren’t always necessary), I’ve heard stories of carriers using a camera versus having a driver trainer in the cab. For now, many understand that the normal, or traditional, way of doing has been upended. Even FMCSA recognizes this, which is why they’ve loosened some regulations over the past month or so.

Question: When we hire drivers (even with CDL's), we need to train them to operate the vehicle properly (construction rig) which normally requires a trainer in the cab - what are companies doing to overcome this and meet "social distancing" desires?

Answer: Similar to the question above, companies are becoming more resourceful and creative in order to accommodate these types of things. Video conferencing (even FaceTime, for example) can be quite effective during this challenging environment.

Question: What is the percentage of drivers who dropped out of the workforce due to the pandemic?  

Answer: 54% of survey respondents said that they had drivers stop driving due to fears over COVID-19. The survey was completed by nearly 300 transportation professionals during the first week of April 2020. Nearly ⅔ of all respondents worked for companies with more than 50 trucks. 

Question: What’s a good way to monitor my recruiters? We have no tracking system. The owners are still paying us by what we made last year, but I still want to make sure my recruiters are actually working.

Answer: Using an ATS like DriverReach makes it very easy to track recruiters and their work, and manage them in a way that helps identify areas that could be improved. It also ensures no drivers slip through the cracks.

Question: Do you believe in having processors or letting the recruiters handle the entire application?

Answer: Companies have their own preferences, and it often depends on the size of the fleet. The larger the company, the more likely they’ll want to keep recruiters focused on recruiting (sales), while a processor will handle the necessary compliance-related aspects.

Question: How will this compare to the last great recession?

Answer: This is a great question that is very difficult to answer. In the survey, we asked the question, “What is the expected duration the impact of COVID-19 will have on your business?”. 80% of respondents believed that the impact on their business would be less than 6 months. My opinion matches that of the sentiment of the responses to our survey. I believe that we will see predictable business growth at the beginning of Q3-2020. Shortly thereafter, we will see recruitment advertising budgets replenished and increased competition for hiring drivers.

Question: Are you guys seeing any signs of demand/need for driver applications picking up for carriers? 

Answer: According to the survey, 50% of carriers reported that they stopped or paused hiring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2 out of 3 carriers planned to re-evaluate their hiring needs within three months. At FATj.com, we have seen an increase in driver candidate engagement on our website. Driver candidates visiting FATj.com are completing job applications at a higher rate. The combination of decreased hiring companies in the market and increased driver candidate engagement should lead to improved cost-per-applicant and cost-per-hire conversion metrics for companies that continue to advertise during this time.

Question: So the 299 companies that filled out this survey… what percentage do you think is missed? I’m looking for a percentage as a whole that this survey reveals. Do you think this survey captures about 30% of companies?

Answer: Of the 299 responses, we know that 41% of the respondents represented the Midwest, 36% of the respondents represented the Southeast and Northeast, and the remaining 23% represented the Southwest, West, and Northwest. In addition, nearly ⅔ of the respondents represented companies with more than 50 trucks. The weakest response we had to the survey was from companies with less than 25 trucks (23%) and from companies in the Northwest (2.9%).

Question: Has anyone seen any delays with Pre-Employment screenings?

Answer: This isn’t something we (FATj) track or know much about.

Question: Do you think the retention rate in the next 3 months is going to be tough as companies that laid off workers call them back?

Answer: This is a tough question. Our survey collected data from transportation and recruitment professionals so we weren’t able to measure the sentiment of drivers who were laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any layoff, for any reason, will probably have a negative impact on the retention rate of employees. However, the negative impact on the retention rate should be less severe considering that the reason for the layoffs is a global pandemic that is affecting all industries in all countries. 

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

Interested in seeing DriverReach’s modern Recruiting Management System in action? Request a demo!


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