Insights - March/April 2017 - 20
The closer that a driver's perception is to the to reality as to what
they are going to experience before they get hired and show up for
orientation, the more likely they are to stay."
Track5Media, said trucking companies
are embracing social media as they
wrestle with the industry's traditional
recruiting culture, which includes
building hiring around economic
cycles that results in too many or too
few drivers. Too many companies in
the hotly competitive industry rely only
on sign-on bonuses, extra miles
and creative scheduling, he believes.
Social media has helped to address trucking's culture by creating what he called "a vital community" focused on relationships.
That includes Facebook pages for truckers' wives to support each
the development of training videos used in terminals, he added.
Like Feakins, Hindes advocates creating an online community
while creating a "lively and attractive" website. "Drivers can be
brand evangelists," Feakins said. "Work with a small group of them
to show what life is like on the road. Drivers are very savvy. They
read propaganda with a fair amount of disdain. Drivers want the
content. Give them a peek behind the company curtain."
Feakins stressed social media's evolution, outlining a progression from a decade ago when most drivers didn't use the Internet,
to today, when virtually every driver has that access. Because
Facebook has been widely used in the industry, it is still a mainstream recruiting channel, he said.
Within three years, however, Feakins believes that 80 percent
of recruiting content will be videos, using programs such as Instagram and Snapchat because they provide a more real look at what
a driver does.
There is also a cost factor. Some fleets spend $10,000 on a
video that simply promotes a company and gets about 2,000 YouTube hits. By comparison, videos done by drivers trained to use a
hand-held camera cost far less and generate as many as 140,000
hits, Feakins said.
When a new hire joins a company, Hindes said, they are beginning a socialization process, learning about their new position
and how the company works. Stay Metrics focuses on identifying drivers who aren't engaged in socialization and getting them
involved because they are likely to leave if they don't feel part of
Many other recruiting and retention approaches can work well.
The personal touch is effective, particularly for intermodal carriers that tend to have smaller fleets, Hindes said, such as having
the CEO personally call a new driver.
Word of Mouth
Mundy stressed the importance of keeping drivers happy.
OQUVHTGSWGPVOGVJQFVQCVVTCEVSWCNKƒGFRGQRNGUJGUCKF6TWEMing as an industry is challenged by the inconsistency of efforts for
its drivers to plan their lives outside of work, such as when they will
get home, said Mundy.
20 Intermodal Insights | March/April 2017
Vigillo Sees CSA, Turnover Correlation
Freight industry data analyst Vigillo found in a study
of 2,000 customers that high driver attrition at carriers
has a close correlation with poor Compliance, Safety,
Accountability program scores, crash frequency and outof-service violations. Vigillo CEO Steve Bryan said at a late
February industry conference that "there appears to be a
pretty strong correlation between the safety culture that
exists at a motor carrier, which can be measured in CSA, and
The review was done by identifying the 25 percent of
motor carriers with the highest turnover and the 25 percent
of them with the lowest attrition rate and comparing that
driver loss is at high levels had nearly three times more
hours-of-service and controlled substance CSA violations
compared with the lower turnover group.
However, intermodal has an advantage here because drivers
typically are home every night.
Addressing issues with new hires from driving schools is
especially important, she said, because they often have a greater
number of questions and incomplete perceptions because they
have never done the job before.
Fleets seeking to hire drivers should recognize them as
individuals, and recognize that compensation and home time that
is as consistent as possible are the two most important factors
that drivers seek in a new carrier, said Charlie Saffro, co-founder
who manage recruiting and other driver related services.
An important recruiting-related factor, she said, is to show how
your fleet stands out in comparison to competitors. One way to
do that is to have some recruiters who have been drivers. "Having
someone in the recruiting department who came up from the ranks
of drivers is really important," she said. "Some drivers may not trust
She also advised a cautious approach to touting new technology. She believes telematics are "a bit of a Catch-22" if not properly
presented because there is both a learning curve and some drivers'
suspicion that it's "big brother" in the cab. At the same time, she
urged that fleets closely monitor safety and compliance because
drivers often evaluate those qualities when deciding where to work.
Some Recruiting Approaches Fail
"A lot of recruiting companies tend to focus on the wrong
things in their social media strategy," Feakins said, such as measuring results by the average cost to hire a driver. That's a mistake,
Feakins believes, because recruiters overlook qualitative metrics
to assess whether a website is built for the proper browsers and
Hindes made a similar point. Recruiters focus on the greatest
number of new hire candidates to maximize despite the reality that
on average eight of 10 new hires leave after just a year. That defeats the purpose by focusing solely on the number of candidates
rather than their quality and the process of recruiting, orientation
and early driving experience.