Webinar Q&A: “Recruit from the Inside Out: Winning With Retention”

Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “Recruit from the Inside Out: Winning with Retention?” We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time, so Jeremy Reymer, Founder & CEO of DriverReach, and Leah Shaver, President & CEO of the National Transportation Institute, 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!

Looking for additional recruiting and retention resources? You don’t want to miss the conversation between Jeremy Reymer and Leah Shaver in DriverReach’s Taking the Hire Road podcast or in Leah’s recent TT Newsmakers interview, “The Value of Good Drivers”. 

Question: Where would you say would be the best place to recruit drivers? 

Answer: Your approach is dependent on your locations, job description, driver requirements and volume needs.

We’d love to provide you with one silver bullet answer but instead, we recommend a multi-faceted approach that is tested, tracked, measured for efficacy, and adjusted when necessary. 

2021 Recruiting requires a holistic approach. Train, encourage referrals, stay in touch with potential rehires. Deploy a combination of advertising, branding, social media, drip marketing, work, and then rework your applicant tracking system with outreach, and most importantly, don't ever lose the race for “speed to lead”. 

You absolutely must incorporate an ongoing branding strategy that promotes both internally and externally your company, your people, your mission, and the industry. Share why drivers choose you, what they like about you, what their friends like about you and why they stay. Celebrate your own people and company first, and not only will your proud drivers shout your name, but folks watching you will want to connect with you as well. 

Question: Are you seeing an increase in "stay bonuses" for drivers? 

Answer: We see an increase in incentive programs that emphasize performance pay measures. Drivers provide a lot of feedback about recruiting efforts and maintain that companies should offer incentives to stay by way of “steady, respectable pay, quality affordable insurance, and a solid retirement plan.”  The National Survey of Driver Wages tracks all of the above. 

Question: When announcing a pay increase, what is the best way to do it to get the most bang for our buck?

Answer: Announce and celebrate with your own drivers first and then share publicly on social, on your website, in the press, etc. 

Question: Any tips for a recruiter who is feeling burned out with the process? 

Answer: First, give yourself some grace as you think about how far you’ve come in the last year!  Don’t underestimate the emotional toll of a global pandemic, forced isolation, health risks, and living in fear. We transitioned from that to a severe workforce shortage and record-high demand that together have forced us to rapidly change our methods and routine frequently. 

Add more motivation and networking by connecting with other folks in the industry that validate your feelings but inspire you to keep going! 

Call the drivers you’ve hired and ask them why they chose you, what they love about their job and company, and what they’d share with new drivers about their experience. 

Do a diagnostic on your vendors to ensure you’re making the most of their resources and technology to run your day smoother. 

Identify what is pulling the most energy from your day and also what puts more pep in your step.  Do less of the first and more of the latter. You’ve got this!

Question: Can you share some advice to grab new drivers in this competitive market of hiring CDL drivers?

Answer: Recruit from the Inside - Out!  Promote your programs and your people, celebrate their successes,  reflect what you admire, and you’ll attract what you reflect. Drivers today want to know the company that they work for. This goes beyond the concept of having an open-door policy by proving and promoting it. 

Identify a career path within your company that promotes your goals and your people and share it with the world. 

2021 Recruiting requires a holistic approach. Train, encourage referrals, stay in touch with potential rehires. Deploy a combination of advertising, branding, social media, drip marketing, work and then rework your applicant tracking system with outreach, and most importantly, don't EVER lose the race for “speed to lead.” 

Question: What is the best way to encourage referral bonuses? We push great bonuses but our drivers don’t seem encouraged to... what is the best way to approach?

Answer: Engaged drivers that feel connected to you want to help spread the word so start by communicating effectively your efforts, your needs, your progress with regular cadence. 

Ask them personally. Choose your biggest fans and they’ll convert to your greatest ambassadors. Each of your recruiters should have a small team of top-fan drivers that love their job and want to spread the word. 

Make it easy for your drivers to connect other drivers by deploying technology to assist. We recommend exploring RocketCDL to assist your efforts.

Question: When do we start to reimagine the driving job so that industry executives would promote the job to their own children? I believe that will be the answer for the young and next generations. 

Answer: Eliminating the most challenging pain points for professional drivers and offering opportunities in high schools so that young folks are enabled to join our industry sooner and faster are top of our list to begin. Professional drivers are proud of what they do and we are too. 

Question: At the beginning and want to grow in another geographical area. Where can you go to find the pertinent information regarding driver pay in the new area (to be sure pay is not too low, etc.)?

Answer:  The National City-Centric Driver Pay Survey tracks driver wages at the city level for Local, Regional, OTR, and Dedicated Drivers. If there are any special nuances to the job related to trailer type or that lean toward highly qualified drivers and labor requirements, contact us to ensure the data will support your needs. 

Question: I work SO hard to recruit and onboard drivers only to have Dispatch run them off. What's your best advice in getting upper management to retrain dispatchers to become recruiters/retention-minded. 

Answer: Thank you for all you do to support professional drivers and your company’s opportunities!  Indeed, the synergy between recruiting and operations is key to retention. Information is power, so equip your team members with data and intelligence from experts in the industry that promote your message via an external delivery system. Today’s webinar recording, along with the other resources listed ranges from 30-60 minutes. Contact us if we can help further support your efforts with data. 

Question: Is there any growing interest in ‘importing’ talent from foreign countries on temp work visas?  Say... South Africa or Malawi? 

Answer: Yes, absolutely!  Contact the expert, Chad Hendricks at Brand Outcomes to learn more. 

Question: Do you know anything about the Military Apprenticeship Programs? 

Answer: We’re so glad you want to further support our nation’s veterans!  We recommend the experts at https://www.fastport.com/ to assist.

Question: Why not do more community outreach programs to improve the image of trucking? Such as “Touch a Truck” for little kids....

Answer: Agreed, we need to do more across the industry to promote and celebrate our efforts here. My calendar today says “reflect on what you love most about the world and find a way to get involved with it!”  We love that the Women In Trucking Association developed a patch and program for Girl Scouts!    We also need to continue the conversation at the high school level with Career Technical Education programs that enable, encourage, and promote our industry. Contact us to find out how you can become involved with the Next Generation in Trucking Association and support our mission in your community!  

Question: What is the % breakdown for Millenials and Gen X?

Answer: Pre-Covid, we measured Millennials (age 25-40) account for just under 20% and GenX (age 41-56) for just under 50% of our professional drivers. 

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 www.driverreach.com/livedemo


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