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Flipping the Recruiting Funnel – Target Phase

With this, the final installment of our flipping the recruiting funnel series we end at the beginning. The target phase. If you’re not up to speed, you can check back on our articles covering the recruiting funnel and average lifetime value, as well as the convert, engage, and connect phases.
But this week is all about targeting. The very first step in the normal process. This is when you cast out the net to try and attract and engage with drivers who you feel could be beneficial to your fleet.
By flipping the funnel as we have and approaching things starting at the end and moving back to the beginning, we hope to have given you some ideas at how you can streamline and improve your process at each step along the way. But everything starts here with the target phase.
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Target Phase Mistakes

First things first. Just as we have done in the previous entries of this series, I’d like to kick things off by taking a quick look at some of the missteps and frequent mistakes that are made at this point in the process. Identifying and eliminating these time and money wasters can help you increase the efficiency and success rate of your driver recruiting efforts.

Focusing on Cost

Throughout our coverage of the recruiting funnel, this has been a frequent and common theme. It’s understandable that you want to keep costs down, but it’s important to remember that cost isn’t everything. The value you receive in exchange for that cost is vitally important as well. As hard as it may be, you have to try to keep value at the top of your considerations and not just what it will cost you.
Whatever metric you are using, whether that be CPM, CPC, CPL, or CPH try to take the value of that driver into account as well. It may cost you more to acquire that driver, but if they have all the qualities you are looking for, they will more than pay from themselves over the lifetime of their employment with you.

Ignoring Failure

Failure isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can actually make you better and more effective. By taking the time and finding where your campaigns aren’t successful, you gain valuable insights that can result in more hires. This is exactly why lead-to-fail is so important. What do I mean by lead-to-fail? In a nutshell, it is basically referring to all those leads you have that failed to convert to hires. Figuring out why they failed to convert is the key to improving your recruiting.

Clogging Your Recruiting Funnel with Junk

Far too often fleets and their recruiting partners seem to embrace the old marketing attitude of spray and pray. Get the generic messaging out there and in front of as many people as possible (spray) and then just cross your fingers and hope for the right drivers see your ads (pray). This is the exact opposite of what you need to be striving to do. This kind of approach only slows down the process and makes it harder to get to the right drivers. Your recruiting funnel becomes bogged down with prospects you don’t need, don’t want, or can’t hire.
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Succeeding in the Target Phase

Now that I’ve touched on some things to avoid let’s talk about things you should be focusing on in the targeting phase of your recruiting process. Your primary goal throughout the targeting phase is trying to eliminate bad leads from the start.

Examine Lead-to-Fail Data

This builds off what we talked about in ignoring failure earlier. It’s not enough to know what’s “working” for you and what’s not. You need to know why leads are being disqualified or failing to be hired. Look for recurring reasons that leads are disqualified to see if they are easy fixes.
Are you reaching out-of-area drivers? Drivers who don’t meet your qualification requirements? These can be easy fixes. Out of area leads can be fixed through better targeting and unqualified drivers can be weeded out with simple knock out questions. Which brings me to my next point.

Add Elimination Questions

One thing that is very useful is adding elimination questions or qualifying questions. Anything you can do to try to limit that junk that clogs up your recruiting funnel. Use what you’ve learned by examining your lead-to-fail data to formulate effective limiters for your process.
Are your recruiters wasting valuable time working leads that ultimately fall short because they don’t meet your fleet’s driver requirements?
Add elimination questions within your online application to help weed those drivers out before they make it further into the process and eat up valuable time and effort. Anything you can think of to help narrow down the search and prospective driver pool right from the start will aid you moving forward.

Helpful Tip

Examples of Limiters/Elimination Criteria:

  • Out of Area (Driver Location)
  • Home Time
  • Driving Violations
  • Driver Certifications
  • Work History
  • Experience

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Moving Forward with the Recruiting Funnel

I hope this series on the recruiting funnel has helped you come away with a different perspective and given you some ideas on how you can improve your current recruiting strategy. Over the years Randall-Reilly has worked with all kinds of fleets with all kinds of budgets, requirements, and strategies. The issues covered in the series is derived from these experiences.

Average Lifetime Value

This is the main event. Increasing the lifetime value of drivers increases revenue for your company. It’s the ammo you need to increase budget and prove your worth.

Helpful Tip

Calculate your average lifetime value:
ALTV = Average time at fleet (in months) x Average revenue per driver (by month)
Your ALTV:

Convert Phase

How many of your leads actually convert? Increase the conversion rate by measuring recruiters efficacy and identifying the types of leads that close most effectively. Make sure you relate it back to ALTV. A cheap CPH is meaningless if the driver leaves within the month.

Helpful Tip

Measure the Efficacy of Your Recruiters
Inbound responses per month / Schedule for orientation
Hire Rates by Response Type
Hire Rate by Response Type

Engage Phase

In this phase, you want to create the clearest picture of your cost-per-hire. This is accomplished by breaking it down by driver type and placement. However, don’t forget the ultimate goal of increasing your average lifetime value.

Helpful Tip

Finding CPH by Driver Type and Placement
Uniquely Targeted Audience Segments

Connect Phase

Your focus should be lead flow and driver experience. You want to increase your “lead velocity,” which means decreasing the time between lead submission and orientation. In addition, you want to optimize the time recruiters spend on the phone by ensuring they’re making quick contact and aren’t overloaded or underloaded with leads.

Helpful Tip

Unanswered Calls – Inbound calls vs. calls fielded
Speed to Contact – Time between lead submission and first contact with the driver.
Recruiter Capacity – Inbound responses per recruiter per month.
Lead Velocity – Time it takes between submission of lead to schedule for orientation.
Hint: Our research suggests the optimum inbound responses per recruiter per month to be around 400 – 500.


The focus is filtering out bad leads from the beginning. You want to place mechanisms to weed out drivers who aren’t qualified before your campaigns even launch.

Helpful Tip

Find the main reason leads are disqualified:
Reasons for Driver Disqualifications
Tips for removing junk from your funnel:

  • Use elimination questions
  • Track lead-to-fail

Breaking the recruiting funnel down, flipping it, and starting at the end then working your way back can help you gain valuable insights for your recruiting. Beginning by looking at the final piece of the puzzle, the most valuable hired drivers, and examining how you were able to reach them, the lead sources that provided them, and then formulating ways to specifically target that type of driver moving forward ensures that your recruiting process will not only become more efficient but also help supply your fleet with the most valuable drivers available.