What 2020 Has Taught Us About the Power of Connection in Driver Recruiting

For the last decade or so, there has been a steady shift towards driver-focused recruiting in the CDL truck driver industry. In the last few years, it seemed like recruiters and drivers alike had hit a sweet spot between leveraging automation-focused technology and relationship-focused human connections. The first half of 2020, however, threw this cautious balance into a bit of a tailspin.

There are more than a few challenges facing CDL driver recruiters at the moment. On top of moving to a fully remote recruitment style, there still exists a shortage of qualified drivers, as well as the question of how to train and prepare new drivers for the road without putting them at risk. While these concerns have CDL driver recruiters reassessing processes and adapting fully remote recruiting and onboarding workflows, they’ve also helped the industry identify areas of opportunity and success.

Even though driver recruiting processes have become more automated and ‘online’ in the name of efficiency, recruiting – regardless of industry – will always be about making real connections with potential employees. While there’s no denying that the last couple of months have made the public hyper aware of the importance of human connection, CDL recruiters have (hopefully) always maintained this value as one of the main focuses of recruiting. There is a reason why in-person interviews, conversations, Q&A sessions, and trainings are so important.

Let’s take a look at a few critical steps in the recruiting process to see where CDL driver recruiters can add just a little more ‘human connection’ for drivers:

  • The online application: When drivers first seek out a new position, the first place they often land is on a carrier’s website. While an easy-to-access online application is par for the course for modern CDL driver recruiters, there are ways to add a personal touch to your website. Post videos from current drivers explaining what sets your team apart or highlight the unique benefits you offer drivers to make your job posting feel more human.
  • Interviews: While the phone conversation is always a good place to start, technology is actually making it possible to add a little in-person connection even in the age of social distancing. Conduct video interviews and conversations and make them more engaging.  
  • Onboarding: This is definitely the trickiest one, since onboarding and training new truck drivers involves quite a lot of equipment and hands-on communication. Recruiters can start by doing online and video onboarding, allowing the classroom aspect of onboarding and orientation to be much shorter and more focused. In order to build camaraderie amongst your drivers, turn to social media, newsletters, and company updates to keep people in the loop.

As things start to open back up again and people become more comfortable living in the ‘new normal’, it will be important to remember what the weeks of social quarantine taught us – as recruiters and as people – about just how important human connection is when it’s taken away.

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