Technology is advancing, leading to the digitization of many processes including hiring. Online applications are common but don’t guarantee to bring in new workers. A recent study from recruitment technology company Jibe and research firm Kelton Global found that the current state of online job applications causes up to 60 percent of candidates to abandon applications if they experience a technology hurdle. To keep your brand intact and target potential workers, the applicant experience should be at the forefront of your hiring strategy.
Keeping the applicant satisfied is important in every industry, but especially in trucking where a shortage of drivers affects the entire industry, not just the long-haul sector. This high demand and low supply, leads to a competitive field where the driver has the advantage. If drivers have a poor experience with your application, they are likely to abandon it for an opportunity elsewhere. Improving the driver application is a great first step to remain competitive in the industry. Listed are five tips to improve recruiting from the heavy-duty operators’ perspective.
1. LIMIT REPETITION
One of the most frustrating things when applying for a job is a repetitive application. Completing multiple forms and participating in several interviews with the same questions over and over again is exhausting. A CDL-qualified operator has plenty of options, freeing them to leave time-consuming processes at any point in pursuit of other opportunities. Set your organization apart by looking at things from the perspective of an applicant, and cut down the process to gather the most essential information. You don’t need long-form answers about a driver’s duties during his or her last job. What you really need to know are the dates and information about their last job to verify employment. Information about job duties can come later.
Take preventive measures to avoid repetition by using an Applicant Tracking Solution (ATS) to house all information for each applicant as it comes in. A recruiter can look through the profile at any time to see what is already completed, which interviews were held, and the status of a candidate’s employment verification. Using a system like an ATS is organized and doesn’t waste the candidate’s time with repetitive questions.
2. GO MOBILE
Smartphones are a huge part of everyone’s lives, and CDL drivers are no different. Workers have to rely on their phones to communicate with their employer to know where to go for their next job, delivery, or appointment. This reality should influence the application process. There is no need to print an application, complete by hand, and scan and/or mail it to a business. A mobile application provides flexibility and aligns more closely with a candidate’s lifestyle. Moving away from traditional desktop application portals can lead to an increase in completed applications, while also placing the wants and needs of applicants above your own.
3. SHORTEN APPLICATIONS
A driver’s time is valuable, and applicants often balance their job hunt with a busy schedule. Instead of filling your application with open-ended questions, use it as a chance to get the basic, crucial information into your system with the intent to gather more specific information as the candidate moves through the application process with conversational interviews via phone or in-person. Another benefit of this trimmed approach is that if an application is abandoned halfway through, you’ll still have the basics (contact information, past employment, etc) to help your team decide whether to pursue the lead.
4. GO BEYOND CALLS
The most obvious place the prevalence of technology appears is in communication. Phone calls are fewer and text messages are mainstays in communication. Your application follow-up doesn’t have to be through phone call or email; it can be more flexible. For example, we noted the dependence applicants place on their cell phones—leverage that by sending them a text message. There are also other innovative ways to communicate as a recruiter such as video chat. Using these tools captures the attention of a potential hire, relating to their lifestyle and avoiding losing them during the application process.
5. BE TRANSPARENT
Considering the shortage of qualified drivers, your company cannot afford to be anything but honest with all candidates. When an applicant wants to know everything they can about compensation, company health, and struggles with operator turnover, tell them. The worst thing you could do is lie to a candidate, especially since this information is likely available to them through a quick internet search. Applicants appreciate transparency, and simple honesty could set your company apart from the others.
If your team is looking to increase the number of recruited qualified operators, you must first understand and develop an applicant-focused recruiting strategy. When you do, it shows the job-seekers that their value is seen and that they are recognized as partners on the job.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As founder and CEO of DriverReach, Jeremy Reymer is passionate and innovative in addressing the problems faced by today’s CDL driver recruiters and is dedicated to improving efficiency and output through technology. Jeremy brings 15 years of experience in the industry and works to address today’s ongoing driver shortage with a modern operator recruiting solution found in DriverReach. Find out more about DriverReach and how to access its Applicant Tracking Solution, visit www.driverreach.com.