Ask any motor carrier what’s giving them headaches and they’ll likely say “hiring drivers”. It’s no surprise, considering we’re in what many are calling an ongoing driver shortage.
External factors have largely taken the blame for such woes. They’ve been an albatross around the neck of driver recruiters nationwide – especially during the pandemic. It started when COVID-19 slowed the once bountiful driver school pipeline to a trickle, virtually eliminating new talent. Things only worsened with the departure of many experienced and veteran drivers for other industries or retirement.
There’s no denying the challenges these factors have created, but little has been done to combat such issues. In this age where FreighTech adoption has penetrated nearly every aspect of the supply chain, it’s peculiar that technology isn’t being used to neutralize motor carriers’ biggest bottleneck: the recruiting and retention of quality drivers.
That is until now. A growing number of trucking companies are improving their hiring odds with DriverReach, the recruiting and retention management system helping driver managers convert leads, hire faster, and maintain strong relationships.
DriverReach aims to streamline the hiring process, which is the make-or-break stage of the driver lifecycle.
“We want to be the change-makers in the industry; we want to show how technology can really improve your overall process to demonstrate that it’s not always a people problem as much as it can be a process problem, too,” said Wendy Bartz, VP of customer experience.
Founder and CEO Jeremy Reymer describes the platform as a tool rather than a solution, explaining that driver recruiting will forever be an imperfect pursuit. But he said there’s always room for improvement.
The DriverReach platform tackles the speed-to-hire challenges that slows the hiring process by utilizing lightning-fast communication and digital application management. It all begins with the user-friendly, mobile-optimized DOT application. These user-friendly documents help move drivers into the process faster, ultimately reducing abandon rates.
DriverReach’s applicant tracking system propels companies light-years ahead of their competitors. Bartz said it’s not uncommon to find motor carriers lacking such software or not utilizing mobile applications for interested candidates. Instead, many of these carriers use static PDF files. Bartz commented, “Can you imagine using your mobile phone to complete a 10-page application?”
Once drivers have applied, recruiters can stay on top of the entire application process through the intuitive dashboard where workflows and tasks can be neatly organized. Additional features such as lead source performance tracking, driver compliance management, and employment history verification can also be easily accessed through the interface.
Reymer calls the previous employment background check the most cumbersome part of hiring a driver, and he said the reason why the process takes so long is because motor carriers are at the mercy of the driver’s previous company, which are often slow to respond to the required data inquiries.
This led DriverReach to create VOE Plus, a database amassing CDL driver employment history. As more and more motor carriers partner with DriverReach, so will the database accrue more employment records, delivering results in minutes instead of weeks. “If the data is already in our system, a company can access it immediately and bypass having to wait for a previous employer to respond,” Reymer said.
Communication is equally important to boost recruiting numbers, as is process efficiency. It takes a lot of effort to get drivers into your funnel, but keeping them there can be a challenge. With Cadence by DriverReach, recruiters can create automated drip marketing campaigns to keep in touch with qualified candidates.
“It’s important to have the tools at your fingertips to improve the rate of connectivity via email and text,” Reymer said. “That functionality exists in the platform, whether it’s aimed at one driver at a time or to a whole bunch of drivers that you’re trying to communicate with.”
DriverReach hopes its platform will bring some clarity to the part of the driver life cycle that’s often hard to quantify or predict. The hiring process will always be tedious work, but the effort needed to drive results can be drastically reduced with the right technology platform in place.
“I feel that the industry is on the cusp of adopting HR and recruiting technologies to solve one of their biggest issues, which is recruiting and retaining drivers,” Reymer said.
However, the best retention strategy goes beyond technology. Both Reymer and Bartz said that the best way to recruit drivers is to keep the ones you already have. Bartz added, “Retention is the new recruiting.”