Recruiters say competition is fierce among trucking companies to find qualified truck drivers and it can be a race to see which company can successfully help applicants navigate the hiring process first.
Gone are offices with endless rows of metal filing cabinets, ancient fax machines and often incomplete paper files with drivers’ records. Instead, they have been replaced by automated, paperless technology designed to help streamline the tedious and time-consuming employment verification process.
Peter DeStasio, driver recruiting director of Oakley Transport of Lake Wales, Florida, was an early adopter of automated technology to help his company gain a recruiting advantage over its competitors.
Oakley, a liquid food-grade hauler, has around 565 drivers and hires approximately 40 drivers per month.
To help speed up the hiring process, DeStasio said he turned to Tenstreet, a software-as-a-service company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after watching a demo several years ago. Tenstreet is dedicated to expediting the hiring process in the trucking industry through automation.
“We know that drivers are not only looking at us, they are also looking at our competitors, as well,” DeStasio said. “The winner is usually the company that can get to the hiring finish line first and I want that to be us – and Tenstreet helps us do that.”
How Xchange works
Tim Crawford, CEO of Tenstreet, said he co-founded the company 14 years ago as a way to build an electronic network to eliminate the time-extensive hiring process that traditionally consisted of faxing employment requests to verify a driver’s employment history, which used to take weeks or sometimes months to complete.
Utilizing the Xchange system, carriers can now receive employment documents in minutes. Client sizes range from five-truck operators to some of the top 250 for-hire carriers, Crawford said.
He added that more than 51,000 companies provide and/or receive verification data via the Xchange program, which is free for users.
Carriers can upload and automatically send electronic verification requests through Xchange to all of a candidate’s former employers that have registered as providers.
For every 100 applicants, carriers only end up hiring maybe three candidates, Crawford said.
“Most carriers have a hiring cycle of between 10 and 15 days, so shaving a few days off that cycle pays huge dividends for both the drivers and carriers,” he said.
Dwindling driver pool
The pool of qualified drivers is dwindling as some truckers are retiring and the industry is having a hard time attracting new drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations.
The trade association projects the trucking industry, which hauled more than $700 billion worth of freight in 2017, will be short by around 175,000 drivers by 2026.
This means motor carriers are ramping up recruiting efforts to snap up the remaining qualified drivers, who may be expressing interest in leaving their current employers.
Simplifying the employment verification process, using automated technology like Xchange, allows carriers to get a leg-up on the competition.
Crawford said Tenstreet also analyzes data on how many carriers a driver is engaging with prior to being hired.
“So, on an initial lead, the driver may be talking to one or two carriers,” Crawford said. “However, if he or she has filled out the full application, he/she may be talking to four or five carriers and the level of competition goes up quite a bit at that point.”
The company’s proven accuracy and verification speed have gained DeStasio’s loyalty.
“This allows us [recruiters] more time to spend on recruiting drivers rather than on paperwork and faxing employment verifications back and forth like we did years ago,” he said.
Xchange has also improved Oakley’s ability to compete against other companies vying for the same pool of qualified drivers.
“This is just such an organized way of doing things, and I am confident that the data we are provided, if we ever encountered a DOT [Department of Transportation] audit, is accurate,” DeStasio said.