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How to Hire Great Drivers in 5 Easy Steps

Written by: Ivan Danilov

Picture if you will, a world where hiring great drivers is a walk in the park.

A world where welcoming Charles Bronson himself on board as your newest flatbed driver is just Wednesday. A world without speed limits, without DOT recordable accidents, and without drivers jumping ship two weeks into the job.

What a wonderful world that would be.

I won't promise you that world, and frankly if I did, you'd be mad to believe me - but what I will do is give you the information to bring you closer to it.

It's no secret that smaller trucking companies have issues recruiting and retaining drivers. These issues leave drivers unhappy and force carriers to make poor decisions in the name of cutting costs and optimizing.

It isn’t just a matter of cost and wasted time, it's the primary cause of an ailment that has affected everyone in the industry.

You don't have an unlimited budget like the mega carriers, which means that every dollar counts.

Cutting your recruiting costs and hiring great drivers is possible, but it will take a bit of effort on your part.

Here are the 5 steps that will help you get there.

1. Start using an applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system allows you to manage and handle the candidate inflow in a way that saves you time and money while filling your pipeline with quality prospects.

That way you can be picky about who you hire, without burning money. We've been building an applicant tracking system for trucking carriers for a while now, and we (naturally) think it's the best trucking-specific ATS on the market currently.

Why is having an ATS important?

Well, the average trucking company spends roughly $8000 hiring a single dry van driver. Whatever your expenses are, using an ATS is proven to deliver significant boosts in hiring results, as well as significantly decreasing your cost per hire.

Aside from saving money, there are many other great perks that come with using an ATS.

2. Set up a good career site

You want to build up a brand and image for yourself to keep those potential employees eager to work with you. You don't need a marketing department, or an expensive web designer, thanks to several available options.

Setting up a career site takes minutes, and you'll have a great looking website to feel proud of once you're done. The career site is easy to integrate into your existing website, as well, if that's your preference.

YouCruit Trucking Career Site Example

Your potential employees will be happy to know a bit more about you, and will be far more likely to commit to the job if they're invested in your brand.

A career site is a simple way to funnel candidates to your applications in a way that is easy to understand by just about anybody.

YouCruit's own career sites are automatically optimized for mobile use (96% of drivers apply through their smartphones) to make sure nobody slips through the cracks.

With the amount of carriers out there struggling to get the attention of drivers, it's important to set your company apart from the crowd.

3. Start getting your name out there

This is where most companies hit a brick wall and are most likely to waste a lot of time and money.

The issues you've probably faced when trying to advertise your positions online are as follows:

  • Your cost per lead has been very high
  • You've been unable to target your hiring area effectively
  • Your targeted leads have attracted unqualified candidates that took hours to process (over 80% of time wasted in recruitment is due to this issue)
  • You've been unable to rank highly on job boards, causing your ad to be buried under mega carrier job ads
  • You couldn't efficiently handle the influx of applicants via email

These are all incredibly frustrating issues to face, as it might lead you to believe that you have no choice but to sink hundreds of dollars into each lead.

Furthermore, the strategies to target ads and rank highly are advanced, and require significant time investment to research.

Job boards ZipRecruiter, Careerjet, Jooble, Indeed, Google

Posting your ads through an ATS like YouCruit allows you to get your jobs out onto several job boards at once. Through the system, you will be able to efficiently track and manage the applications that come through in a manner that is infinitely more time efficient than email or (God forbid) fax.

By doing this, you'll waste less time and be able to devote more attention to the things that matter.

To get a "hire" return on investment, you can read up on how to effectively structure your job posts and ads, and access other useful material on our help pages.

4. Kick back, put your feet up and watch the candidates roll in

Before you get too relaxed, however, you might feel the need to set up some questions and tests for your candidates. This will help the system sort through the applicants and highlight the ones that stand out.

This makes sorting quick, so you can deal with the crème de la crème right away, and politely reject the drivers that didn't make the cut - in a manner that aligns with your employer brand.

Robots can be scary, and nowhere is that more true than in the trucking industry, with the threat of mass automation causing drivers to tremble in their boots.

However, we believe there's nothing wrong with letting machines do some heavy lifting for you. After all, it used to take 5 months to get from Missouri to Oregon, but now you can make the trip in around 3 hours (unless you're Amish).

5. Rate, chat with, and hire the best candidates

At this stage, you'll be able to rate and talk with the candidates that are best suited for your position. Many truckers are notoriously hard to reach, so being able to communicate with them on one platform becomes very convenient.

From here, it's only a matter of time before you connect with and hire a great driver that's interested in what you have to offer.

Because of your newfound advertising and organizational advantage, you'll find yourself with more potential drivers than you know what to do with. That is, if you play your cards right.