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Flipping the Recruiting Funnel – Convert Phase

Welcome back to our ongoing series covering the recruiting funnel. The purpose of these articles is to try and help you gain a new perspective on how you approach and think about your driver recruiting. Flipping the funnel and beginning at the end will help you identify and keep your goals in mind.
We’ve already discussed average lifetime value and how to calculate the value of drivers for your fleet. Now it’s time to take that information and apply it. We start with the convert phase of the driver recruiting funnel. These are the drivers that make it all the way through the process and begin working for your fleet. So, what can you learn by looking at these drivers?
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Finding Value in the Convert Phase

Hands holding value signFirst things first, we can’t forget about lifetime value. After all, you want to hire drivers that will provide you with the most value, the most bang for your buck. How’s your retention? Is there a driver type that you tend to do better with? The longer a driver stays with you the more value they provide. Identify exactly who your ideal driver is. The driver that brings the most to the table and will generate the most value for your fleet over the course of time.
The idea is that once you know who you are after you can work your way backwards. If team drivers who run routes in the Southeast United States provide the most valuable to your fleet, you want to do all you can to specifically target, nurture, and convert team drivers operating in that area (we’ll cover more on applying limiters and how to narrow down who you try to reach in the target phase).
So, how can we apply this idea to the convert phase? What is it that is converting the drivers you’re after? These are the hired drivers. So, if it’s team drivers in a specific geographic location you’re after, it becomes a matter of looking through your hires and seeing exactly how those desirable team drivers were hired.
Is a particular campaign generating more team driver hires than others? Do you have a rock star recruiter that is killing it and landing more of the team drivers you need than everyone else? How about response types? Find what is working for you and do what you can to grow that moving forward. This allows you to maximize your results and get the drivers you desire most.
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Common Mistakes Made in the Convert Phase

To get the best drivers for your fleet and the most out of your recruiting you first have to know what mistakes to avoid. The two most common mistakes made during the convert phase of recruiting are:

Focusing on Cost Instead of Value

It’s so easy to fall into this trap. In the previous article dealing with Average Lifetime Value, I touched on the idea that the driver with lowest CPH (or cost in general) is not necessarily always the most valuable driver.
Value vs. Cost graph
CPL and CPH can vary from fleet to fleet and even from campaign to campaign within the same fleet. There are many different variables that can contribute to these differences. But as hard as it may be, as counterintuitive as it may seem, you should never assume that the lowest CPL or CPH is automatically the best path forward for your fleet. I’m not saying that it can’t be, just that it’s important to know that the lowest costs don’t always provide the most value. Getting hires at a lower cost isn’t enough if those hires aren’t the drivers you need.
Using team drivers as an example again (meaning your fleet values team drivers, and is actively looking to hire that specific driver type), let’s say that when you look at all your new hires, job boards provide you with the lowest CPH. Some would say, “Great! Dump more money into job boards.” But that doesn’t necessarily take value into account for those hires. Short forms may get you more hires at a cheaper price, but are they really getting the drivers you need? The cost is good, but what value does it provide?
What do I mean? We’ll take a look at inbound calls from a search campaign. Search hasn’t brought in as many total hires . . . but, they have been responsible for more valuable hires than job boards. Even though they have a higher CPH, the hire provided through search is actually more valuable to your fleet.
So yes, it’s true this channel will cost you more to get the drivers you want, but in the long run it also provides you with more value. The value of the hire always needs to take precedent.

Comparing Numbers from Separate Campaigns

The other big mistake that happens all the time has to do with how fleets compare their campaigns. It’s only natural to want to compare how different approaches are faring, but that’s where the problem comes in. The campaigns are different. When you try to use the numbers from one campaign to predict or interpret another it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
Each recruiting campaign and their results can be very different. There are a multitude of factors that go into each campaign such as driver type targeted, channel mix, geographic reach of the campaign, or even the quality of fleet reputation at the time of the campaign. All of these factors can influence campaign numbers.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t compare your campaigns. Obviously if one worked extremely well and another didn’t there is something to be learned there. The point is not to use numbers from one campaign to predict or dictate another.
Using that data within the same campaign, however, can be useful to show you what is performing and moving the needle within an individual campaign.
When you’re looking at metrics like CPC, CPL, and CPH it’s really hard to get any value comparing campaign A to campaign B because of all the variations in how they’re are built and distributed. However, comparing these numbers to different aspects of the SAME campaign can indeed be very helpful and guide you in your efforts.
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Helpful Metrics to Track in the Convert Phase

Metrics above a measuring tape
Is there anything you can look to that will help you zero in on those high value drivers you are afer? As a matter of fact there is.

Recruiter Scores

One effective way to help you get the information you need is to employ some sort of scoring metric for your recruiters. Whether you manually go through and compare hire rates or use an automated system to monitor calls and hires it is important that you do your best to keep up with how your recruiters are doing.
If you’re not sure where to start, Smart Rhino (a division of Randall-Reilly) has developed techniques that allow automated systems to key in on specific words, analyze the conversation, and score it based on interactions, questions asked, etc. It could be a great way to gain insights into your recruiting.
Measuring and scoring your recruiters will help you know exactly who you’re most productive team members are. If one of your recruiters is bringing in high value prospects that’s something you can learn from and educate other recruiters with. What are they doing differently from everyone else that’s helping them get conversions?

Hire Rates by Response Type

Unfortunately, when it comes to recruiting , far too many fleets tend to focus exclusively on CPL. It’s important to factor in conversion rates of those leads. Who cares if you’re able to generate a ton of cheap leads if those leads do not end up producing quality hires for your fleet? Instead of zeroing in on CPL, factor in the conversion rates of those leads to see which type of response gives you the best CPH.
Just as with the recruiting scores, the goal is to see what is actually working for you and try to replicate it. Take a look through your response types and find out which type your recruiting team converts the best. Knowing which lead types are producing your hires and how much it is costing you can help you adjust your spend to get the most value out of your recruiting mix.
If inbound calls and short forms are both performing well and bringing in comparable numbers of the desired drivers, but one is markedly cheaper, maybe it’s time to shift spend and maximize the effectiveness of the channel not only bringing in valuable hires, but doing so at a good cost.
Below is a simple chart you can fill in to help you formulate a game plan based on where your hires are coming from.
Hire Rate by Response Type Chart
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Moving on to the Engage Phase

Using the information gathered through response types and recruiter scores you can pinpoint exactly where the high value hires you want to duplicate are coming from. Taking average lifetime value into account it’s now time to move onto the next step of our flipped funnel. Engage.
But we’ll save that for next time. I hope this has been informative and useful for you. As we continue to move on to cover the engage, connect, and target phases we will paint a more complete picture of how looking at your recruiting in a new light and approaching it a little differently than normal can lead to you gaining the quality drivers you need.