Digital Presence Plays Vital Role in Recruiting, Survey Shows

Conversion Interactive Agency via Twitter

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Digital technologies are playing an increasingly pivotal role in terms of finding and keeping drivers, according to a report Feb. 14.

The 2021 Driver Recruiting and Retention Annual report identified a shifting perspective regarding the need to cultivate a digital and online presence to recruit drivers. Those carriers that build and maintain a good reputation are being noticed by prospective drivers.

“It’s understanding how technology plays a role in recruiting today,” Priscilla Peters, vice president of marketing and training at Conversion Interactive Agency, told Transport Topics. “And then the second thing would be really understanding the importance of operations and making sure that they benefit the driver’s lifestyle.”



Conversion Interactive Agency, which specializes in recruiting and retention, developed the report with retention firm Professional Driver Agency. Their report found equipment was the most important issue to drivers at 32.1%.

“The equipment issue is going to be both a challenge for companies and for drivers,” Scott Dismuke, director of operations at PDA, told TT. “Because of new trucks either being delayed or canceled, parts shortages, supply chain issues, labor shortage issues, we’re seeing that fleets are aging. The drivers are going to have trucks longer, which means they’re going to be more apt to break down.”

The report, whose information was gathered from more than 120,000 phone calls, found that after equipment the most important issues to drivers were:

• Compensation, 21.6%

• Internal operations, 19.1%

• Personal issues, 9.4%

• Home time, 7.6%

Dismuke

“We see an uptick in breakdowns, which is ultimately going to affect driver pay,” Dismuke said. “Drivers spending more time in the shop, that’s less miles they’re going to log and at that point it doesn’t really matter what companies have offered from a raise standpoint.”

The report found that aligning the internal operations to the needs of drivers is just one aspect. The carriers also must get noticed online through their content strategies, reputation and driver referrals, all of which take time to foster and maintain. Those carriers that implemented a formal content strategy saw a 128% increase in driver engagement online.

Peters

“When it comes to your online reputation, it’s something that you have to consistently work on and make sure that you’re looking at it and monitoring it,” Peters said, “that you’re really focused on the drivers that you have today that are satisfied, that they’re telling their story online.”

The report found some of the best performing content strategies leverage blogs, social media postings, online advertising, satellite radio and videos to interact with drivers. The content doesn’t even have to be about job postings, but rather brand engagement.

“It’s about having an actual strategic plan in place for your content,” Peters said. “The carriers who are actually winning when it comes to recruiting have a content strategy in place, meaning they are pushing out social media content, maybe they’re on Sirius XM. They’re pushing out this type of content to both active and passive drivers.”

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Peters noted that many of the drivers consuming the content may not be looking for work at that moment. But by producing content that they enjoy, the carrier can build a brand preference for when that driver does decide to change jobs. Peters also suggests carriers can ask their drivers who are happy to share their stories online.

“We know that driver referrals have always been one of the top sources for recruiting, and what is happening is drivers don’t have to wait until they encounter another driver face-to-face anymore,” Peters said. “They can go online.”

The report asked the drivers to rate the online reputation of various carriers and found they had an average reputation of 3.74 out of 5. But carriers that are consistently implementing strategies to support their online driver reviews are seeing their overall recruiting results improve.

“Drivers trust drivers more than anyone else,” Peters said. “And so, what we’re really seeing is carriers who are consistently focused on really managing their online reputation well are winning.”

 

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