Internet and Social Media Fuels Driver Recruitingby Jana Ritter - Published: 9/06/2013
Company websites, on-line job sites such as TruckingUnlimited.com and social media has become an essential strategic tool for recruiting today's truck drivers. In fact, the point of using Facebook – at least for transportation companies – is to become part of the existing social habits of drivers, customers and other prospects.
Drivers are a fleet's primary Facebook audience. More than 96 percent of company drivers have a Facebook account, according to Randall-Reilly Market Intelligence. For many carriers, Facebook has become the go-to resource for drivers looking to change careers. “(Drivers) look there often when they are researching a company,” says John Elliott, president of Lansing, Mich.-based Load One, a 350-truck expedited hauler. Elliott feels that Facebook is most useful to help prospective drivers understand the company's culture. While some carriers use Facebook to promote job opportunities directly, Load One has taken a more indirect – but perhaps more effective – strategy for recruiting.
The carrier – which has more than 5,800 followers – uses Facebook to recognize all new driver hires, driver birthdays, community charitable work, company events and other aspects that showcase its culture. Load One receives several job inquiries each day through Facebook, Elliott says.
Lincoln, Neb.-based Crete Carrier Corp., which has nearly 4,000 trucks and more than 35,000 followers, uses distinct phone numbers and website URLs when it posts job opportunities on Facebook to monitor the page's recruiting effectiveness, says Justin Gibson, web designer. Facebook also can be a valuable driver retention tool – who doesn't like to be recognized along with their friends and peers? – and can help drivers feel connected to the fleet while isolated on the road.
For trucking company Celadon, the most popular posts are those that highlight events taking place at the office, as drivers get to know the staff and feel more involved and included. Each month, the company recognizes drivers who achieve the top performances in on-time delivery, idling, mileage and other categories, none of which are announced ahead of time. The winning drivers are routed through headquarters and featured in Facebook videos and short articles that explain how they earned the recognition.
Many strategies can be used to increase engagement with Facebook users and influence the audience's “buying” habits in areas such as safety, performance, health and fitness. One way Celadon tries to increase engagement is by asking drivers to submit scenery pictures, the best of which are included in the company's newsletter. Celadon also is developing a new driver portal through blogs, community posts and social media feeds. To grow its Facebook presence, Load One posts a sign at all company events to remind people to check for their photos on the company's page.
In addition to posting positions on TruckingUnlimited.com's industry renowned job board, Crete periodically runs ads directly through Facebook that can be targeted to a certain demographic such as truck drivers. While social media presents many opportunities for a fleet to broaden its influence, it can be time-consuming and difficult to manage. Another major reason why today's top trucking companies are seeking the expertise of on-line recruiting partners such as TruckingUnlimited.com