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5 Ways to Create Your Driver Candidate Pipeline

Building your own pipeline of quality Driver candidates is key to successful long-term operation. Driver retention is one of the key challenges facing the transport industry. For instance, statistics indicate that driver turnover costs freight companies an average of $15,728 per driver. Furthermore, the figures indicate that approximately 50% of new truck drivers quit within the first six months.

Before the development of modern methods of recruiting drivers, managers grappled with high employee turnover that interfered with operations. Today, managers in the transport industry are adopting pipelining as the new and best approach to recruiting drivers. Read on because, in this article, we share with managers in the transport industry five ways to create your driver candidate pipeline.

Cartoon depiction of busy truck yard with empty trucks waiting for Driver Candidates

Build Your Driver Target Leads

Marketing 101 is the best way to build target leads. Let your team scout for qualified drivers in places they spend most of their time. Luckily, drivers, just like other professionals, spend most of their time on smartphones. Innovative recruiters take advantage of websites, social media, and digital media campaigns in recruiting drivers.

For instance, NextGen Trucking allows you to connect with professionally trained drivers. Next Generation Trucking Association is a non-profit trade organization that trains the next generation of truck drivers. The association has forged partnerships with local CDL schools, community/technical colleges, and private schools to launch training programs across the U.S.

Building your target leads is important because driver retention is a process that begins before hiring. As we speak, there is a very high demand for drivers caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This means you have to be organized and consistent with recruiting new drivers through non-traditional channels.

Nevertheless, before sourcing for drivers, you should consider two important factors. They include work history and attitude. When screening drivers for work history, make sure he/she is not serial job hopper.

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Specify the Behaviors and the Certifications You Need From Your Drivers

Stating the type of behaviors and certifications you need from your drivers is important when building a pipeline because it helps solidify your brand. It can help you attract the right candidates into your pipeline, which simplifies your work. However, you should avoid serial job hoppers even if they have CDL. Examine the driver’s work history by looking at the average time spent per contract.

The attitude should be considered when creating a potential pool of drivers. A good attitude is a prerequisite to good performance. This means that you should consider things like sense of humor, sociability, and cooperation before adding a new driver to your pool. You can target individuals with a good attitude by introducing some humor in your job advertisements and descriptions.

Enroll Drivers in an Advanced Processing System (APS)

Having an advanced processing system in place gives you an edge over your competitors. When drivers are scouting for new opportunities, you must give them a reason to pick your company. Most freight companies have a slow verification process for new drivers. Using an advanced processing system enables you to beat your competitors by recruiting faster.

The driver applies to different companies because it takes time to get the job and the approval. Whoever responds faster has the upper hand in winning the driver. An advanced processing system enables managers to generate more leads through the application process. An APS enables recruiters to fill empty spots quickly and ensure efficiency.

For example, if an application form is received, you don’t have to wait for a manager to respond if you have an advanced processing system in place. You can either call the candidate back immediately or follow up with an SMS before they talk to another recruiter. APS helps you in creating a driver candidate pipeline by making the recruitment process easier and faster. This increases the chances of bringing new drivers onboard.

Some advanced processing systems come with a pipeline reporting functionality. This tool allows you to extract reports that show how your team is using the system and the strength of your strategy.

Use Technology: Step outside the Passive Recruiter Mentality

Technology not only helps you recruit faster, but it also makes it easier for drivers by improving their safety and schedule. Technology enables you to stay engaged with both active and potential drivers. Doing away with a passive recruiter mentality also means creating effective communication channels. The communication channel should allow drivers to air their grievances.

Using technology to engage drivers is effective in attracting new drivers and retaining the existing ones. Managers in the transport industry could also form driver councils to improve communication and engagement. If drivers are assured that their grievances will be heard and addressed, they’re likely to stay with the company for long.

Engage the drivers in your pipeline and keep a warm touch with them. It will enable you to build a relationship with drivers who are not looking for employment opportunities right away. However, before you connect with potential drivers, you need to create a great first impression. For instance, you can go through drivers’ LinkedIn profiles to enable you to send them personalized messages.

Create a Network of Ambassadors

The drivers you’re currently working with are your best ambassadors. Before new drivers agree to work for your company, they’re likely to seek a second opinion on driver satisfaction from one of your employees. As a manager, you can have a group of ambassador drivers. You can have your group go-round on specific days, talking and connecting with other drivers.

Most successful transport companies have a group of loyal, dedicated drivers who are truly advocating for the organization. Candidates have a habit of asking about company culture and driver satisfaction before choosing to engage. Having ambassadors and drivers give testimonies is the best way of showing transparency.

Communication in your driver network should be kept open because people are inclined to follow those who lead them. The issue of diversity and inclusion should also be considered when creating a driver candidate outline. Make sure that diversity and inclusion are reflected in the company culture, vision, ambassadors, and management.

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