Webinar Q&A: "QUALIFIED DRIVERS FAST: How Driver Staffing Complements Recruiting"

Did you have a chance to attend webinar #5 in our multi-month series, "QUALIFIED DRIVERS FAST: How Driver Staffing Complements Recruiting"? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time frame, so each presenter 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: What are the primary benefits of utilizing a driver staffing company for a private fleet or for-hire carrier?

Rodney Graham, QDS: We discussed at length on the call, but a few key items are: Flexibility, co-employment, access to more drivers, quality, overhead control, benefits, work comp, and expansion/growth.

Dianna Rosenberg, ProDrivers: Our sole purpose, every day, is to hire drivers and find them great jobs. That is literally all we do – and there is a lot that goes into it. Every client we work with gives us the opportunity to take a very big responsibility off their hands, which allows them to focus on their business. We take on all aspects of managing the driver workforce such as I9s, scheduling and counseling, drug testing (including randoms), HR and file compliance. We have found that many of our clients have come to depend on us for these things, especially for compliance because of all the items required by DOT. It is a time consuming process that, if not done right, can seriously affect a business and open up opportunity for litigation. That also ties into Safety as well – we have a robust training system that is required of all drivers prior to working with any of our clients.

Our goal is simple: let us understand what your needs are and then let us find the right person – who is not only qualified, but safe and reliable – to help meet those needs. We craft relationships with all of our drivers to ensure that they show up and do the right thing and complete the job every single day.

Justin Clarke, CDS: There are three benefits that driver staffing companies bring to the table: control, flexibility, and efficiency.

Control is the number one reason why carriers utilize driver staffing services. Trucking changes overnight and carriers need resources that can help them react to the industry in real time. Driver staffing solves the fixed costs associated with direct hiring and helps put carriers back in control without fear of running short on qualified truck drivers.

Driver staffing provides carriers with significant levels of flexibility. The best processes, systems, and plans cannot account for when life happens. Drivers get sick, have family emergencies, or go on vacation. Staffing companies help carriers augment their workforce when needed, and they only pay for the staff they contract.

With staffing services, carriers can efficiently utilize internal resources to grow their businesses without the burden of fixed hiring cost. Staffing services eliminate the expense and time required by customers to recruit drivers, create, manage and maintain DOT compliant files, and handle workers compensation, payroll taxes, health benefits, and other human resources functions.

Question: What are some of the biggest misunderstandings of using a driver staffing company (liability, qualification, etc.)?

Rodney Graham, QDS: Probably the biggest issue is not understanding that the driver source (own hire, a staffing company, etc…) has no effect on where the auto liability lies. The carrier, with DOT authority and a truck, is solely responsibility for the auto liability. The carrier insures the truck. The staffing company cannot carry auto liability on clients' trucks.

Dianna Rosenberg, ProDrivers: Quality is the first thing that people will question. “If a driver is so great, then they would be working already.” That may have been true at some point many years ago, but the fact is that most of the drivers we hire already have a full time job when they apply to us. Drivers will easily leave a company if they do not feel respected, or if they feel underpaid, or if the equipment is unsafe. All of these things say to a driver that she or he is undervalued and, based on how drivers have been treated for many years, this is not a surprise that drivers are always searching for something better.

Also, our standards to hire a driver are almost always higher than our client’s – we MUST be sure that each driver is truly qualified to drive a truck and we must jump through every hoop imaginable to vet each person that walks through our doors. Again, we do this full time 365, 24/7 and we are specialists in what we do.

Justin Clarke, CDS: Many misconceptions surround driver staffing companies, including poor driver reliability, driver professionalism, lack of opportunity, and high costs. It’s essential to understand why drivers work with carriers to shed light on the reality behind these misunderstandings.

As I discussed in the previous question, working with a driver staffing company provides cost savings over the carrier direct-hire process. Whether carriers choose to contract short-term help or they use us to build their permanent workforce, we take the complexity and time out of the hiring process. We also pre-qualify and vet each candidate, so our carrier customers know that they’re getting high-quality, professional drivers that meet their needs. This process results in less churn, better results, and lower hiring costs.

Question: What is the attraction for drivers to work for a staffing agency? Why wouldn't these drivers just apply for a permanent position with a trucking company?

Rodney Graham, QDS: Drivers work for different companies for many different reasons, just like any other employee.  Staffing agencies have much to offer drivers in flexibility, consistency of pay, benefits, diversity, and many other great “benefits” of working with us. There is also a reality that some companies make it difficult and frustrating for a driver to apply.

Dianna Rosenberg, ProDrivers: We don’t consider what we do as “staffing.” We are in the business of helping people work and helping companies grow – so our job is to show drivers that we ARE a permanent home. The biggest draw to our business model is that it is driver-centric: we want our drivers to feel respected and well-represented while at the same time, ensuring that we meet our client’s needs and allowing them to run their business.

For many years, companies would treat drivers as another piece of machinery – expecting and demanding that they put in dangerous amounts of driving time to get the product delivered. Fortunately, our world is changing and drivers can now command the respect they deserve due to the necessity of having them (A.I. is far far away from approaching what millions of drivers do around the country). We hire the best drivers available because we can focus on it full-time, and also, we can allow drivers the flexibility of change when they require it in their lives, and usually without any disruption to the client’s needs for their business.

Justin Clarke, CDS: Today's workforce demands more control and flexibility in careers, and truck drivers are no different. Drivers are looking for jobs that allow a work-life balance not previously available in trucking. Working with a staffing agency gives them that control.

Drivers also want respect. Staffing companies understand what truck drivers want and can deliver the best opportunities to them at the right time. We take the time to get to know each driver, and we place them based on their qualifications and desires. In our company, we offer a driver advocate program that helps drivers build a career they love by listening to their concerns.

That’s not to say that our carriers wouldn’t want to give drivers that same level of respect.

 However, because we only deal with driver staffing – that’s our sole purpose – our staff is dedicated to maintaining and elevating the driver’s job satisfaction. The result is happier drivers, higher quality engagements, and satisfaction for the driver, the carrier, and the carrier’s customer.

Question: How does pricing work for driver staffing services? What is the process to start working with a driver staffing service?

Rodney Graham, QDS: The first step is to get the staffing contract in place. Once the contract is signed and we can onboard the client, we have the ability to respond to client needs quickly. The onboarding process isn’t painful, but it allows us to gather important information about the client’s operations. Then we know what the client is seeking in a qualified candidate, which is a huge leg up when the need arises.

Dianna Rosenberg, ProDrivers: Pricing is a function of a) what kind of solution we develop to meet the clients needs and b) the skills of the driver we provide as part of that solution. That is why it is so critical that whenever we meet with a new client/prospect, we conduct an in-depth discovery meeting to understand not only what the driver’s job is but, more importantly, what challenges the client or prospect is facing in their business, especially as it relates to maintaining a qualified staff of drivers. Then, we return back to our teams and discuss it with them in order to develop the best possible solution to meet their needs.  

Most companies are learning that driver pay is constantly increasing and so what we find is since clients are having a difficult time finding their own drivers, they know they need to keep rates competitive in order for us to help them as well. Once we lay out all of the things that our services cover – from payroll taxes, to screenings, to safety training and workforce development, to HR and workers comp, to compliance and beyond – the overhead in managing and maintaining a driver workforce through a company like ProDrivers makes sense.

Justin Clarke, CDS: Pricing for driver staffing is as individual as the carriers themselves. It greatly depends on whether a carrier needs a handful of temporary drivers for a short-term job, or if they want to build their workforce over time. Sometimes, the historical industry norm of cost-plus is most appropriate. Other times, a flat rate works best. Those needs can change over time. The pricing structure can be as flexible as the carrier requires. 

Engaging with a driver staffing company is as easy as a quick call to understand your driver needs and requirements. There’s a little bit of paperwork to define the agreement, and you’re ready to connect with drivers. Anyone interested only needs to fill out the driver request form online. From there, we work with each carrier individually to build a custom and affordable staffing solution. 

Bonus Question: What is the future of driver staffing?

Justin Clarke, CDS: The staffing industry is like most B2B solutions. We are ready for an acceleration into the adoption of on-demand marketplace solutions. With marketplace solutions, end-users can receive updates about jobs in real-time. This eliminates unnecessary delays in connecting workers to hiring companies in need. Staffing has been a solution for decades. Many of our potential carrier clients are not aware that a solution exists.

In the future, smart carriers will all use some form of on-demand marketplace solution. Carriers will be able to request workers and solve their driver shortage problems. This will all take place right on their mobile device.

Learn More From the Experts!

Have a further question for one of these experts or want to learn more about the services they provide? Feel free to reach out to the presenters via LinkedIn or contact their respective companies for more information:

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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