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Flipping the Recruiting Funnel – Introduction

We’ve talked about the similarities between marketing and recruiting truck drivers a few times here. The articles, 3 Ways to Improve Your Recruiting with Marketing Principles and Content Marketing is the Secret Weapon for Effective Recruiting, are two such articles that delve into how taking basic marketing strategies and applying them to your recruiting can lead to landing more drivers.
I’d like to talk about another idea that’s thrown around in the world of marketing that you can apply to your world of recruiting. The marketing or sales funnel. Marketers are constantly talking about and referring to the so-called funnel. And for good reason. It makes sense and in large part is a very accurate depiction of what happens.
Over the next few weeks we will go through each stage of the funnel as it applies to driver recruiting and where you can look to improve how you approach your recruiting. This knowledge has been gathered over the years by Randall-Reilly recruiting through countless recruiting campaigns with fleets all over the country.
The hope is that by using some of what we have picked up along the way and applying it to your recruiting it will help you convert more qualified drivers. And as always, if you’re not exactly sure where to start or need some help or guidance, let us know. We’re more than happy to help you along in the process. But before we get too far, here’s a brief breakdown of the funnel itself.
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What is the funnel?

Before a customer commits to buying a product they go through the buyer’s journey. This process can be broken down many ways with different numbers of stages or given different names, but in general it’s all the same idea. You start by targeting a large group and try to nurture them along the process to completing a purchase.
Each step in the process narrows down the number a little more. When illustrated this narrowing down effect resembles, you guessed it, a funnel, which is where we get the term. We’re going to break this process down into four stages.
Sales funnel divided into four sections: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action

1. Awareness

A prospective customer becomes aware of a product or realizes they have a problem that a particular product can solve.

2. Interest

After becoming aware they seek out information to learn about all the possible solutions available.

3. Decision

The prospective customer makes a final decision to solve the problem and choose a product to buy.

4. Action

The prospective customer buys the product.
But how does all of this relate to truck driver recruiting?
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The Recruiting Funnel

Generally speaking, marketers start by trying to get their messaging in front of as many people as possible to give themselves the best chance of getting someone to buy their product. This same principle is often applied in the world of driver recruiting.
Just get the message out there. Put our fleet’s name in front of as many drivers as possible. The more drivers that see our messaging and know we want/need drivers, the better chance we have to fill the seats we need. The problem is that funnel effect that happens.
The same way that the number of prospective customers is reduced along each step of the marketing funnel, the number of prospective drivers will also reduce as you move forward in each step of the recruiting process.
Recruiting funnel divided into four sections: Target, Connect, Engage, and Convert

1. Target

You initially target a large number of drivers.

2. Connect

You are only able to connect with or get in contact with a portion of the drivers you originally were going after.

3. Engage

Of those you are able to reach only a portion are interested, qualified, or scheduled for orientation.

4. Convert

Moving forward only a portion of those you engaged with will actually follow through with completing orientation and actually be seated in a truck to run routes for you.

But what would happen if you were to change your approach by flipping the funnel?

Flipping the recruiting funnel
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Flipping the Recruiting Funnel

First off, what do I mean by flipping the funnel? Basically instead of starting by just going after any driver you can get your hands on, instead start at the end and work your way back.
What drivers are valuable to you? If you could describe the perfect driver for your fleet what would it be? That’s your target. That’s who you’re after.
Do you have experience minimums? Only want drivers in a certain geographical area? Apply as many limiters as you can to help weed out unqualified drivers so your recruiting efforts won’t be wasted on a driver that is not ultimately who you’re looking for, and not a good fit for your fleet. That’s where flipping the funnel comes into play.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will look at each stage of the recruiting funnel and take a look at your recruiting process from a different point of view.
No matter what type of campaigns or recruiting approach you are using, flipping the funnel and knowing exactly what kind of driver you want to end up with can be hugely valuable. Moving forward with this in mind can help you develop a process that works best for you to get the type of drivers you need while avoiding wasting time and spend on unqualified or undesirable drivers for your fleet.