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Flipping the Recruiting Funnel – Engage Phase

We’ve been discussing the idea of approaching your recruiting in a different manner the past several weeks. We’ve already covered the basic idea of flipping the recruiting funnel and the concept of average lifetime value. Last week we began covering the funnel itself with the convert phase. This week we move on to the engage phase. As we covered with the convert phase we’ll talk through a few metrics you may want to take a look at as well as few you may not want to focus on quite as much. So, let’s get started.
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How Does Looking at the Engage Phase Help You Moving Forward?

Some of these ideas will sound familiar as they tie directly into last week’s article about the convert phase. But before you can successfully hire a driver and seat them in one of your trucks you have to be able to engage with them to move them along your recruiting process.
The previous few weeks when we discussed lifetime value and the conversion process, I primarily talked about looking inward to maximize your efficiencies and minimize the rest. The big difference with the engage phase is that you are no longer looking at what you are doing. Instead, now you need to look outward to examine where the hires supplied to you have come from, and the efficiency or effectiveness of those sources.
This is where most people begin their journey. The idea is that by starting at the end of the funnel and first taking that look inward that you are now better prepared to get the most out of the engage phase.
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Mistakes in the Engage Phase

Knowing what drivers are most valuable to you and what areas your recruiters accel in, you are in a better position to look back and track where your most valuable leads are coming from and hopefully adjust your campaigns to get the best CPH. That being said, here are a few mistakes that can keep you from getting the most out of your recruiting spend.

Focusing on CPL

The main problem with this is that a cheap lead does not always translate to a cheap hire, or a hire at all for that matter. While it is always good to monitor costs, it is a mistake to assume that because leads provided by one channel are cheaper than the rest that they will give you cheaper hires. Focusing on metrics like this also discount the value of the hire. What you really need to ask yourself is, are the leads that do result in hires from a specific channel the type of drivers you value most?

Blanket Campaign and CPH Analysis

Another common mistake is to make sweeping assumptions based on a generalized analysis of all your campaigns. If you’re running two separate campaigns and one is bringing in more leads, on the surface you may think well obviously that campaign is better. But what’s below the surface? Are the leads actually generating hires?
It’s important to optimize each campaign based on its own unique needs and challenges. Don’t assume that if one campaign’s numbers don’t measure up to another campaign, the latter campaign is failing. A campaign targeting team drivers in Reno will not look like a national campaign targeting company drivers. Location, driver type, seasonality, type of route, and many other factors will change how a campaign will perform.
Take as many factors as you can into account to find what really provides you with the most value. The end goal of approaching your recruiting differently and flipping the funnel is to help you become more targeted and deliberate about who, how, and why you target certain drivers. Making broad assumptions is what you need to stay away from.
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What to Focus on in the Engage Phase

Now that we’ve touched on a few common mistakes, let’s get to the good stuff. What should you be focusing on? As I said earlier, the emphasis of the engage phase is looking outward and trying to pinpoint where your driver hires are actually coming from.
Comparing the CPH of specific driver types across different channels can help you find what is working best for you. If one platform is consistently able to deliver leads that convert to hires at a lower CPH, you want to know that. Maybe Indeed fares better at team drivers while Facebook brings in better results for regional drivers. Knowing which approach is best suited to different drivers can help you better allocate money to generate the leads and hires for the drivers you are pursuing at the lowest CPH. It also provides you with a baseline for improving each individual campaign based on its own merit.
You need a unique cost-per-hire for each of your uniquely targeted audience segments. This could be owner-operator vs. company driver. This could be regional vs. OTR. It’s just any audience that is uniquely targeted. For each of these audiences find your CPH by vendor or placement. This could be by a channel such as Facebook or Indeed or by an agency that you work with.
You can look at the chart below and fill it in with your own information to gain a better understanding of what I mean.
Uniquely Targeted Audience Segments Chart
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The Next Step in the Funnel

This series has already covered how important it is to find and pursue what’s valuable to your fleet (average lifetime value), finding what is working and to replicate that success (convert phase), and looking at and measuring how effective your recruiting partners are at providing quality leads that convert to the valuable driver hires you want today with the engage phase.
Next week we’ll take a closer look at the connect phase of the recruiting funnel to see what steps you can take to increase your lead flow and optimize your recruiters’ time.