Top Five Skills Every Truck Driver Recruiter Needs to Master
The last thing any trucking company wants to see is trucks parked against the fence. Everyone throughout each trucking company is painfully aware of what it means to have a truck sitting idle.
As a truck driver recruiter, you’ve got your work cut out for you. You’re competing in a crowded market for a limited resource. There are plenty of jobs for good drivers who can afford to pick and choose.
It isn’t enough for you to put out a driver ad and wait for applicants. To succeed requires patience, hard work, and a unique set of skills.
Here are the top five skills that effective driver recruiters practice on a regular basis to recruit and retain truck drivers.
Putting People First
As the first point of human contact, driver recruiters have the chance to make a positive impression for your trucking company. Successful recruiters embody the culture of their company and can easily show a new recruit why their company is the best fit.
Are you grumpy, curt, and bristling with negativity? Or do you treat driver candidates with respect, returning calls promptly, checking in regularly, taking an interest in drivers, answering questions, and solving problems? You don’t have to be everyone’s friend, but showing that you’re committed to a truck driver’s success will go a long way.
Successful recruiters need to wear many hats, or sometimes they may be required to wear all the hats: marketing, lead tracking, cold calling, interviewing, checking qualifications, hiring, onboarding, and more.
Maybe you’ve got 50 post-it notes on your desk, or perhaps you use an applicant tracking system. Regardless of how you do it, you won’t succeed at driver recruitment if you aren’t organized. Ensure you’re contacting everyone who has applied and that you’re prioritizing tasks to get the most out of your day.
Communicating Openly and Honestly
Like most other people, truck drivers want answers to their questions and hate being kept in the dark. Communicating clearly with driver candidates can solve this. What’s more, the best way to show drivers that you put people first is through simple conversation.
You can gently take control of the conversation from the beginning by learning about the driver first. Find out what they like about driving, what makes them happy, and what’s important to them: money, home time, miles, or hours.
Your conversations with drivers will help establish a relationship of trust and confidence. And clear, honest communication will help you avoid mismatched expectations. In addition, you can pre-empt objections by asking questions and checking in during the conversation to ask if they’re getting the answers and info they need.
Going beyond simply communicating with driver applicants, good recruiters will share their notes on drivers with dispatch to help avoid sending drivers on runs they don’t want.
The best recruiters keep their channels of communication open and reach out periodically after drivers are hired, (especially in those critical first 90 days) to ensure they’re adjusting and settling in.
The trucking industry is a 24/7 business. Whether your company only operates locally or spans the continent, your key assets, drivers and trucks are on the road and far away from your office. Recruiters who want to succeed can’t expect to do this by working bankers’ hours or expecting drivers to adhere to the recruiter’s schedule.
By working with trucking candidates within their schedule, you’ll again show that you put your people first and improve your chances of finding the best drivers for your company.
The Ability to Maintain Relationships
Just because a driver doesn’t take a job with you right now, or isn’t a good fit for you, doesn’t mean that they might not be a good fit later on down the road. Being able to leverage those relationships that you built at the beginning will make it easier when you reach back out to the driver when you have found the perfect role for them within your company. They’ll be happy you did and see that you are truly about the long-term, which will make them stick around for the long haul.