It takes a lot of patience and persistence to be successful at recruiting drivers these days. A lot of effort, time, money, and brain power is being put towards finding quality drivers that are a good fit to join our fleet. However, our focus is not solely recruiting, but also retaining our current fleet of safe, professional, and dependable drivers. So… what are we doing?
To start, we’ve created a “Driver Retention Schedule” so that every new driver has constant communication with office employees. This has helped ease drivers’ frustration early on. There is a lot to learn all at once when starting with a new trucking company, and we help alleviate stress by showing them constant support. In that, Mike, our Driver Trainer, contacts them regarding PeopleNet and if there are issues with the truck. Accounting calls to make sure everything is okay on their pay and if they have questions on how to read their settlement sheet. HR calls to make sure they receive their benefits cards. Dispatch and I call numerous times to check in over their first year. If drivers do have any issues or concerns, each person at Keller makes sure to take care of them right away.
Along with that, we’ve built engagement through StayMetrics, a company which Keller has partnered with to create our Driver Scorecard and our perk website, www.MyKellerPerks.com. Not only do drivers get to earn points and purchase a ton of goods (over 90,000 awesome items to choose from!), they also get to see where they stand within the fleet regarding job performance. Drivers are paid a quarterly bonus if they are in the top 75% of the fleet, and if not, they’re able to immediately see what needs to be worked on to make it there.
As for Recruiting, the days of going to a truck stop and signing up 10 drivers are over, and Trucking companies are getting more creative. Keller is no different! For instance, I am not just a “driver recruiter,” my title is Driver Relationship Manager. I am involved from the first phone call, through orientation, and well after each driver goes out on the road. Keller also hired a dedicated Marketing Coordinator, Hayden, for our Trucking division. He markets towards bringing drivers in, and sprucing up our social media presence, while also helping us with the retention side of things- he makes friends with everybody!
I’m sure you’ve all seen something referencing the “Drive for Keller” campaign, and we have been working diligently to get those messages out. For those of you not familiar, that campaign highlights 5 main reasons why they should Drive for Keller: Responsive Maintenance Team, Financial Stability, My Safety Matters, Family First Atmosphere, and Less Stress More Miles.
As we all know, the world of marketing/recruiting is constantly changing and evolving. It is important to keep up with the times to not only make sure we don’t become obsolete, but to also ensure that we are reaching our audiences in the most effective manner. It appears print media is slowly going by the wayside; there are now channels with better ROI, larger audiences, and more specific targeting abilities. Below are a few highlights.
Crescent News Digital: One of our local newspapers partnered up with APG Media of Ohio to create digital marketing campaigns for their clients. These are high volume targeted campaigns with a much larger reach than conventional newspaper.
Indeed: A targeted marketing/recruiting channel; Keller posts driving jobs in certain geographic locations along with targeted ads. Indeed allows candidates to freely search and apply to our posted jobs at his or her discretion.
Facebook: Everyone knows how important it is to maintain a social media presence these days! With over one billion users, it is one of the most cost-effective channels in terms of reach. We maintain a steady presence on social media with paid, unpaid, owned, and shared content. With Facebook, we aim to create captivating content for our audience in order to build awareness, promote engagement, and in some cases even generate prospective driver leads.
Promoting referrals: Driver recruiting isn’t all about external marketing efforts. Sometimes the most valuable resource is sitting right beside you. Recently we implemented an “All-In Driver Referral Campaign” that encourages internal Keller employees to be more engaged with our current professional drivers by asking drivers how their day is going, making sure they don’t have any issues or concerns, and reminding them of our referral bonus.
Landing pages: Landing pages are an integral part of driver recruiting in that they simplify the application process. With landing pages, less is more. We create them with the intentions of being simplistic, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. While applicants still must fill out a full application eventually, this is a great form of lead generation and tracking. Another advantage of a landing page is that it can be linked to virtually all digital marketing channels to not only help us be consistent, but also to track the performance of certain forms of messaging versus others.
New truck decals: With the recent ordering of new tractors and trailers, we also saw the opportunity for new “mobile billboards.” It was our goal to freshen up our equipment with a new, more modern look that would appeal to all demographics on the road. We also wanted our company information to be easily visible from a distance to build awareness. On the rear of the trailers, we placed large graphics that further push our marketing/recruiting messaging. The wonderful thing about having art on all our new tractors and trailers is that they receive maximum exposure in the proper geographic locations, to the proper audience, and are a conversation piece amongst fellow professional drivers. Our drivers aren’t shy about talking to drivers from other carriers about how happy they are here at Keller and it was our intention to aid starting that conversation with the new art.
With patience and persistence, we continually work on implementing strategies to draw prospective drivers while encouraging and remaining supportive to those that already work for us. We take pride in staying ahead of the game with proactive tactics, and plan to continue to do so for years to come.