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Driver Recruiting: What NOT to Do (Part 2)

Last week I covered some common problems recruiters run into when pursuing prospects. Knowing what approaches continually fail and what NOT to do can help guide your team to a more effective strategy.
Continuing with that line of thinking, here are some more examples of what you and your recruiters should avoid. The first entry in the series, Driver Recruiting: What NOT to Do (Part 1), is also available on our Randall-Reilly blog page.
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Asking Similar Questions Multiple Times

Multiple QuestionsRecruiters can end up spending a lot of time on the phone with prospective drivers. During this time they form an understanding and impression of who the driver is and hopefully begin to get a feel for if the prospect would be a good fit for your fleet.
Some drivers become frustrated having to answer the same questions, no matter how relevant they are, multiple times. This typically happens when a topic is approached during the initial conversation and introduction, then the driver is asked to answer the same questions later if he/she decides to complete a full application.
This frustration can easily be avoided with a little forethought from an attentive recruiter. If the conversation is progressing well and it appears that the driver would be a good fit, if they are able to type without interrupting the conversation a recruiter should begin taking down information. This simple step will speed up the process if the prospect decides to move forward.
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Recruiters Over-Promise and Under-Deliver

No one wants to be lied to, especially when making a decision such as taking a new job or in the case of drivers, changing to a new fleet. Drivers are very weary of being deceived by recruiters, and over the years, recruiters have gained a somewhat negative reputation for being willing to say anything to get a driver to commit.
Obviously, for the most part, the average driver recruiter is not actively attempting to deceive prospects, but they must be mindful nonetheless. While it is important to get drivers to commit to your fleet, making sure they fully understand policies and all the facts is paramount.
When a driver commits to driving for a fleet but afterwards feels they were lied to during this initial recruiting process, it ends up being a huge negative for everyone involved.
The driver feels that the fleet is not coming through with what was promised, and the fleet now has a very dissatisfied and unmotivated driver on the road. This disgruntled driver will probably leave at the first available opportunity and warn other drivers of their negative experience.
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Avoid Directly Addressing Concerns

Another common stumbling block that recruiters encounter on a consistent basis is how they address, or more specifically fail to address, a prospective driver’s concerns.
A timid or unconfident recruiter may feel the need to try and avoid any areas of concern a driver might have. These issues could be different depending on the driver, but if a recruiter is worried they are unable to satisfy a prospective driver with an answer, sometimes they take the tactic of simply avoiding the problematic area all together.
Instead, they either try to change the flow of the conversation to another topic they are more comfortable with or remain as vague as possible. This is a huge mistake.
To make sure your fleet is getting the most qualified drivers AND make sure they are happy and well informed members of the fleet, it’s important that recruiters not only answer all questions head on, but go out of their way to bring out any other hidden areas a prospect might not even be aware of.
Good open communication during this phase allows the recruiter to get a more accurate understanding of how the driver is feeling about the company. Even if a prospective driver ultimately decides to go with another fleet, this open and honest approach will ensure the door will always remain open for that prospect to join your fleet in the future.
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Recruiters Don’t Take Time to Understand the Industry

The key to success in any industry is knowledge. Recruiters need to have a full understanding of their company. Knowing the in’s and out’s will allow them to better inform, educate, and recruit drivers.
The most successful recruiters, however, go beyond knowledge of their fleet and take the time to learn about competing companies as well and stay up to date with any industry changes. Having a full understanding of not only their own company, but competing fleets and the industry as a whole makes for a well-rounded recruiter capable of talking confidently with prospects about any topic that may arise in a conversation.
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Letting Calls End With No Clear Direction

Often times a driver will call and speak with a recruiter to get a feel for what the company is offering compared to their current fleet. These drivers typically want a few questions answered and try to end the call once they have the information.
Knowing pay rates, available route types, fleet equipment, and time off the road are all hot button issues for today’s drivers. Recruiters have to try keeping these conversations going instead of letting them end abruptly once the questions have been answered. In these situations it falls on the recruiter to not only be an accurate source of information, but to be a driving force in the conversation.
It could be as simple as asking a few key questions. “Do you see yourself being successful with this company? Why?”
Knowing where a driver is at in the decision-making process will allow the recruiter to move forward in a more effective manner. Every call will not end in success, but the goal of every call should be to have a clear knowledge of exactly where the driver stands.
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More Driver Recruiting Tips to Come

There is no perfect technique to recruiting, but by highlighting the areas that typically impede recruiters and understanding why they are a detriment it will hopefully allow you to move forward and help you secure qualified prospective drivers. More tips on what NOT to do will follow in the weeks to come.