How to Benchmark Your Online Truck Driver Recruiting Advertising

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When it comes to advertising online, it can be difficult to tell if your efforts are really working. You get this report from your vendor that shows all these results and metrics, but it can be hard to determine which of these results truly indicate success. It leaves you wondering if your online driver advertising is up to par.
You may assume the best way to find out is to compare the performance of your advertising to that of other fleets. It seems sensible enough, but unfortunately, this is where many trucking fleets go wrong. What exactly should you compare? Think of the report you get from your vendor. In the report are all sorts of metrics measuring the different parts of your truck driver recruiting campaign like cost-per-lead (how much it costs you to generate a lead), click-through-rate (the percentage of people clicking on your ad when they see it), cost-per-click (how much you pay for a click), etc.
Which of these metrics can you look at across the industry and use as benchmarks to determine how your online advertising is performing?
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Why Comparing All Metrics is Ineffective

The expectation is that by looking at industry averages, this is what you will learn:

  • If your results are not up to par with industry averages, that indicates a need to improve.
  • If your results are better than industry averages, then you are doing well.

The truth is that’s not how it works. To compare two or more things, there have to be very few variables between them. The problem with using other trucking fleets’ metrics as benchmarks is that there are too many variables between every fleet’s online advertising efforts; variables like driver type, audience size, location, seasonality, channel mix, budget allocation, and the list goes on. Every unique combination of the many variables produces unique metrics. Thereby making each fleet’s online advertising too unique to compare.
Take audience size for instance. Let’s say two fleets that are exactly alike in size and method of operation both run a similar Facebook campaign targeting truck drivers. One targets drivers in Minnesota—a state with a small driver population— and the other targets drivers in Texas—which has a large driver population. The difference in audience sizes may be the only difference between the two Facebook campaigns and yet, this one difference will campaign to produce very different metrics and results.
So industry averages will not work as effective benchmarks. However, looking at these metrics within your own online advertising can provide useful information that can help you improve. For example, by comparing the click-through rates, cost-per-click, etc. of your current Facebook campaign to your last Facebook campaign can reveal where optimization is needed. Or by comparing your search engine campaigns over time, you can see how much you have improved.
Every fleet’s metrics are too unique to them to really be comparable. But if you want to know how your online advertising efforts stack up against the rest of the industry, there is one specific metric that is consistent enough across the industry to use as a benchmark. That metric is cost-per-hire.
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The Truck Driver Recruiting Metric to Use as a Benchmark

Unlike other metrics, cost-per-hire is more constant across the industry because it does not have as many variables as other metrics. Most of its factors are more consistent across the industry. For example, the audience size of a driver population in a specific state is the same for every fleet targeting that specific audience. Another example is type of haul. No matter what fleet targets intermodal, they have to deal with its commonly high cost-per-hire. These factors are unchanging for every fleet. The consistency of cost-per-hire across the industry makes it a more dependable benchmark than most other metrics.

Here are some of the cost per hire benchmarks we compiled by pulling data from over 2,600 Randall-Reilly campaigns:

CPH Industry Average by Driver Type
Cost per Hire Industry Average by Haul Type
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How to Improve Your Truck Driver Cost-Per-Hire

There are many factors that affect cost-per-hire, such as fleet reputation, audience quality, campaign quality, budget, etc. But according to our research, the factor most correlative to cost-per-hire is lead-to-hire ratio (i.e. how many leads amount to 1 hire). The more leads it takes to amount to a hire, the more it costs to hire a driver. This makes improving your lead-to-hire ratio the most effective way to improve your cost-per-hire. Here are three main ways to reduce the number of leads it takes to produce a hire. Now we could write a whole article about each of these—and we probably have—but for now, we will focus on the starting points.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Truck Driver Lead-to-Hire Ratio

  • Recruiter Performance:

How good your recruiters are at closing leads plays a huge part in reducing your lead-to-hire ratio.

  • Lead Quality:

The higher the quality of your leads, the less leads it will take to produce a hire.

  • Lead Volume:

According to our research, lead volume was the most correlative of all factors. A healthy lead volume is anywhere around 450-600 inbound responses per recruiter per month.
Don’t make the mistake of comparing or worrying about metrics that are not indicative of recruiting success. Looking at industry averages when it comes to cost-per-hire gives you an indicator of whether you are ahead, keeping up, or in need of improvement.