Truck driving can be a challenging lifestyle. Truckers give up their normal lives for long, solitary days with limited access to healthy food options. They are often left feeling disrespected by car drivers and the companies they work for. These challenges make it difficult to find quality truckers.
Even companies that manage to attract truck drivers have an equally difficult time keeping them once employees experience the lifestyle firsthand. All of this is shown in the major truck driver shortage that America is currently experiencing.
Though finding and retaining truck drivers is no easy feat, it can be done with commitment and a willingness to make drivers a top priority. This guide is full of ideas and tips on how to find truck drivers, retain them, and create a more loyal driver base.
Table of ContentsConsider your job description carefullyHow to find truck driversUse SEO for your websiteMake your jobs easy to findMake your application easy-to-understandUse an employee referral programVet the candidatesHow to retain truck driversAsk drivers what they wantSet clear expectationsImprove the payMake health a priorityPrioritize home timeHow to Get Started
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Consider your job description carefully
Before diving into how to find Class A drivers, you need to write out your job description. The description should be clear so that the candidate knows whether they qualify from the start.
Also, make sure that you add information about why they should apply to your company. What do you offer that others do not? More home time? More money per mile? Better benefits? Pick the best features and include them in your job posting.
How to find truck drivers
The following tips can help you get your job posting in front of the right people.
Use SEO for your website
When a person searches for anything online, they typically only pay attention to the first section of results. Rarely do they visit the second or third pages of search engine findings.
Likewise, when drivers search for jobs, they need to see your company and your job posting near the top of the search results page. This can be accomplished by using SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
SEO, for logistics and trucking, is one of the best ways to get Google and other search engines to prioritize your website, moving it higher up the results list. Two ways to utilize SEO on your website include:
Your website should incorporate more than your products, services, and recruiting. You should have content available, as well, by adding a blog. You can then write long and short articles about topics relating to your company.
To attract customers, posts should cover topics that they would be interested in. However, when trying to attract truck drivers, you should write content specifically for them as well. Some examples include:
Top X Truck Stops in AmericaEating Healthy On the Road10 Best Things About Trucking10 Worst Things About TruckingA Day In the Life of a Long Haul TruckerDifferences in a Semi and a Flatbed
All of these examples are directly related to being a truck driver while some are geared toward current drivers. Others target those who might be looking into becoming a trucker. Either way, the topics are things that potential employees might Google at some point. When they do, your post will show up in the search results, giving you exposure.
Keywords are another big part of SEO. They are similar to file folder tags. They tell the search engine what to file your post under, so when someone searches for that keyword, your post shows up.
As you are looking for prospective employees, you want to use keywords relevant to them, such as:
Truck stopsTruckingTruck drivingBecoming a trucker
Be sure to add keywords naturally throughout your website, but avoid overusing them as this will prevent you from ranking high.
Make your jobs easy to find
One of the most important ways to find truck drivers is to help them find you. This is one reason why it is so important to post your listing in as many places as possible, including:
Your website is one of the best places to advertise your jobs. Try these few tips to increase exposure:
Have an “Apply” section clearly labeled in the headers of your website.Post jobs in the space on the side or bottom of your web pages.Link to your job description and application in your blog posts.
Social media is an efficient resource to use in the hiring process. Approximately 79 percent of those looking for work use social media to search for job postings. Additionally, more than 80 percent of companies use it to recruit employees.
To successfully use social media platforms for recruiting, follow these tips:
Stick with a few platforms
Social media can be challenging to maintain, especially when trying to use all of the various platforms. It can be much easier to choose two or three platforms to commit to than managing five or more at a time. LinkedIn is a common recruiting tool, as is Facebook. Consider starting with those to build your social reputation. You can always add more platforms later.
Do more than recruit
Like your website, it is essential to focus on more than sales and recruiting with your social media accounts. While those things have their purpose, providing relevant, valuable, or entertaining content can get your company in front of many more eyes.
For example, on Facebook, you can share relatable memes about trucking that make truckers laugh or know you understand what they go through. You can also share a list of “10 Quick Tips to Stay Healthy On the Road” or something similar. Also, be sure to link to your blog posts. All of these steps increase page views, increase your exposure, and attract applicants.
Job posting boards
There are many job posting boards available for you to advertise your position on. Some are dedicated to truck drivers, while others have a more general purpose. Posting on several of these increases the likelihood of you finding the best candidates. Here are a few options to try:
Make your application easy-to-understand
There is no denying that you need information to hire someone, but it is not necessary to get all of that information up front. No one enjoys filling out long, seemingly endless applications — not to mention it can be challenging to find the time.
If your application is too long or complex, potential employees might move on to a company with a simpler one. Instead, keep your applications as short and straightforward as possible. Ask only for the information necessary to start the process. Any additional information can be obtained at a later point.
Use an employee referral program
When you are considering how to find truck drivers, it’s important to remember that you have an invaluable resource available: your current truck drivers and support staff. Many know someone who would be a good fit for the overall industry and your job specifically.
Create an employee referral program that makes it easy to suggest candidates and adequately reward the referrer.
Vet the candidates
Once you have attracted applicants, it is time to dig in and find those that are the best qualified for the position. You can easily start the vetting process by structuring your email marketing tool to send out a short questionnaire once a candidate has applied.
This questionnaire should only involve a few qualifying questions. For example, if you are only looking for an experienced flatbed driver, one of the questions should be, “How much experience do you have driving flatbed trucks?”
While this information should have been in your job description, some applicants may not pay attention to it or may apply anyway in hopes that you have another position available. When you receive the questionnaire, if they answer “None,” you can file their name and contact information to call for other positions that open.
If they do have experience, you can move onto the next step in the process: a phone interview. It is at this time that you can ask for any other information you feel is necessary to determine whether the applicant is a good fit. Talk more about the job, ask if they have any questions, what their expectations are, and why they left their last job. These types of questions will give you a much clearer picture and help you choose the right candidates.
If you feel comfortable hiring the candidate, you can then move onto background checks, drug testing, and any other required steps. Once all of this is done, and you decide to hire a candidate, reach out to them immediately as they may be speaking to other companies. You do not want to lose them.
How to retain truck drivers
When you have good employees, you do not want to lose them to competitors. You put a lot of hard work into finding them. Now it’s time to put at least that much effort into keeping them. The following are a few ways to do this.
Ask drivers what they want
If you want to know how to keep your truckers longer, ask them. They are the experts at knowing what they want and need. They have insight that others simply cannot provide.
Send out a survey or other questionnaire asking your drivers if they are happy with your company, what could make them happier, what changes they would like to see made, and more. Make it an option for them to stay anonymous while doing so, in case they fear being punished for their opinion.
After you have gotten this information, use it. Do your best to put those changes and ideas into play. If, for some reason you cannot do that, communicate with your drivers to let them know. This way, they will know that you are not just ignoring them but rather that there are challenges to making their ideas happen.
Set clear expectations
A common reason people leave their job is that they did not fully understand the job expectations in the first place. For example, if you hire a trucker who is normally home every weekend, they may expect the same thing. If your job description or onboarding process did not specify otherwise, your trucker will be upset when they find out. It is best to be clear upfront and ensure that the candidate understands what your company expects from them before hiring.
Improve the pay
There is one common goal between everyone, from the lowest-level employee to the highest-level CEO: everyone is at work to make a living. This is usually the bottom line. Therefore, how much your drivers get paid is going to have a direct impact on whether you retain them.
It’s important that you find a way to improve their checks. You can do this by offering more per mile, incentives for meeting specific goals, or more significant benefits. You could also consider giving your truckers something that keeps money in their pockets. For example, providing a gym membership means they do not have to pay for one out of their checks.
Make health a priority
The CDC reports that long-haul truck drivers are twice as likely as non-truckers to be obese and smoke, both of which lead to serious health complications. They are also more likely to have high blood pressure and develop diabetes. Sadly, this leads to too many sick days — and deaths.
Your company should make health a priority. The majority of a trucker’s job typically involves sitting down. There is low physical activity and often unhealthy eating habits as options are limited.
There are several ways you can encourage healthy behavior:
Some companies have gyms on-site or provide memberships to external gyms. You can give incentives to truckers that quit smoking or lose a specific amount of weight. You could consider outfitting your trucks with items that encourage cooking rather than eating fast food.
Taking steps like these not only makes your employees feel valued but can also help them stay alive — and with your company — much longer.
Prioritize home time
Drivers are not just employees. They are people — sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, friends and siblings. Each CDL driver gives up time with the people and things they love to deliver your goods but also to support their lives and families. It is important to their well-being that they also have time to enjoy themselves.
When they feel as though they must choose between your company and their loved ones, they might harbor resentment. This can quickly lead to an employee quitting their job. Getting drivers home regularly should be a top priority. Doing so will not only benefit your drivers but also your company.
How to Get Started
The tips listed here can help you find truck drivers and create a better working environment to keep them with you longer. Before you begin advertising your job, there is one question you should consider carefully: What pay and incentives can you provide drivers that will make working for your company worth the cost of what they will have to give up?
Anything you provide drivers is an investment into your business, so be willing to invest well. After answering this question, you can move onto the next steps:
Carefully craft your job description, adding in everything you can offer. Create accounts on job posting sites like those listed above and share your job description on them all.Immediately get to work on your website. Use SEO to your advantage and add valuable content to attract the right group of people. Dive into creating or updating your social media accounts with content that attracts quality truckers.
You can learn more about how to find truck drivers through marketing tips with The Download.
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